Anti-government radical Cliven Bundy says three of his sons and about 150 supporters are occupying a U.S. government installation.
Here it is. Please know these men will speak to people civilly. Do not go up there guns blazing. Stay safe and smart.Posted by Sarah Dee Spurlock on Saturday, January 2, 2016
A few hundred supporters of two ranchers convicted of arson on federal lands marched in Burns, Oregon this afternoon for about 40 minutes, and when it was over several anti-government "patriot" militia members took over a federal installation. The leaders of the group include three sons of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher who leased federal lands for decades yet refused to pay over $1 million in grazing fees to the government. For weeks in 2014 Bundy Ranch supporters engaged in a heavily armed standoff with federal authorities.
The scene in Burns Saturday morning as protestors gather in support of 2 ranchers going to prison. pic.twitter.com/ec6tmdeTik— Les Zaitz (@LesZaitz) January 2, 2016
Cliven Bundy is not believed to be part of the takeover directly, but Ammon Bundy, Cliven's son, has issued a call for fellow militia supporters to join him and what his father claims are 150 men who have taken over a federal headquarters building at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Ammon Bundy arrived, handing out rolls of pennies to toss at the courthouse in protest. pic.twitter.com/XGB3BJDqbK— Les Zaitz (@LesZaitz) January 2, 2016
Cliven Bundy tells @OPBnews some 150 militia men have occupied a federal building, unsure where exactly it is.— John Sepulvado (@JohnLGC) January 3, 2016
They claim "the federal government had no authority in Harney County" and they will be there for years to come, and are willing to defend themselves. Another Bundy son, Ryan Bundy, reportedly says they're willing to kill and be killed:
I talked to Ryan Bundy on the phone again. He said they're willing to kill and be killed if necessary. #OregonUnderAttack— Ian Kullgren (@IanKullgren) January 3, 2016
Bundy said feds' actions are violation of constitution. Founding fathers were ready to die, and so are they. #OregonUnderAttack— Ian Kullgren (@IanKullgren) January 3, 2016
In response, local authorities have already announced schools will be closed for the next week.
MILITIA UPDATE: The local school district in Burns announced it will keep schools closed all week because of the militia situation.— Les Zaitz (@LesZaitz) January 3, 2016
"We're planning on staying here for years, absolutely," Ammon Bundy said, the AP reports. "This is not a decision we've made at the last minute."
Many on social media are calling the occupiers domestic terrorists and believe if they were Black the scene would be a lot different.
They should be considered a high-level threat, these domestic terrorists are armed and prepared to kill in order to steal public land.— Michael Oman-Reagan (@OmanReagan) January 3, 2016
Right-wing terrorists have co-opted local issue: "Neither Ammon Bundy nor anyone within his group/organization speak for the Hammond Family"— Michael Oman-Reagan (@OmanReagan) January 3, 2016
It would be live, non-stop, coverage calling black people every word close to savage if 150 armed black folk took over a federal building.— deray mckesson (@deray) January 3, 2016
When you're black,it's shoot first ask questions later.When you're white, you get a crowdsourced peaceful solution. pic.twitter.com/ZDEukFOnxf— Hend Amry (@LibyaLiberty) January 3, 2016
Don't get me wrong - Bundy militia gang are terrorists. But I don't think they're anymore representative of Right than Fred Phelps was.— JeffSharlet (@JeffSharlet) January 3, 2016
bundy bros get multiple standoffs w the feds, tamir rice didn't live to see 13 #OregonUnderAttack— Oliver Willis (@owillis) January 3, 2016
This is a distinctly American brand of terrorism: rather than destroying lives and property, they're willing to destroy lives *for* property— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) January 3, 2016