Heavily Armed Conservative Militia Seizes Federal Building in Oregon

Oregon-Bundy-Hammonds-militia-standoff

Last night members of a conservative militia stormed the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Oregon in protest of the two Oregon ranchers recently convicted on charges of setting fire to federal land.

Several of the protesters hail from the Bundy family – the clan that previously initiated a government standoff in Nevada over similar federal land issues. Among them is Ammon Bundy (Clive Bundy’s son) and two of his brothers. Ryan Payne is also present at the domestic terrorist event. (Payne organized snipers in aiming at federal officials at the Nevada standoff.)

Oregon Live reported on the situation:

The Bundy family of Nevada joined with hard-core militiamen Saturday to take over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, vowing to occupy the remote federal outpost 30 miles southeast of Burns for years.

The occupation came shortly after an estimated 300 marchers — militia and local citizens both — paraded through Burns to protest the prosecution of two Harney County ranchers, Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, who are to report to prison on Monday.

Speaking with Oregon Live, the Bundy family threatened violence against law enforcement officials while making broad Sovereign Citizen-style proclamations. “The facility has been the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds,” Ammon Bundy said.

“We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely,” he added. “This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.”

Issuing standard terrorist-style demands, Ammon said his group is “demanding that the Hammonds be released and the federal government relinquish control of the Malheur National Forest.”

Reporting for OPB, Amanda Peacher said “only a few dozen men are occupying the federal building” of the 150 or so who participated in the protest. She interviewed one of the protesters not involved in the federal standoff (identifying himself only as “Capt. Moroni”).

I didn’t come here to shoot, I came here to die,” he told her.

Of note, the Hammond family has already dissociated themselves from the right-wing terrorists holding government property hostage. “Neither Ammon Bundy nor anyone within his group/organization speak for the Hammond Family,” Hammonds’ attorney W. Alan Schroeder said according to local station KOIN.

Additionally, Harney County Sheriff David Ward reported he’d received several death threats for refusing to create a “sanctuary” for the Hammonds to evade law enforcement. “I haven’t slept a full night in close to two months now. I have a lot of anxiety,” Ward told OPB. “What we’ve been threatened with here is civil unrest and the insinuations of armed rebellion.”

Since the building and refuge are on federally owned land, the FBI is leading law enforcement to end the standoff working in conjunction with local law enforcement.

 

 

Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.

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39 comments

  • The back story on this is extremely troubling and yes, the writer of this report has ignored the decades of animosity between the BLM, FWS, and the ranchers despite the obvious attempt to drive the ranchers from their private lands as the feds have done to their neighbors. The writer also ignored the obvious legal problems with the trial, problems that will result in acquittals should this get heard by an honest court. I challenge the writer to visit that link and look into the back story and then come back and add the missing facts.

    When I read the initial reports i was troubled by what these guys were doing. After reading the back story at the link posted above I totally changed my mind. I hope these patriots are wise enough and brave enough not to start anything. Yes, they had to arm themselves to protect themselves against the police state in order to get their message across, and if God forbid they are attacked then they have the right to defend themselves. I personally am not sure this is the time in our history to make that stand, I don;t think it has gotten bad enough to create a popular uprising, but I understand their anger and fear that these two unchecked government agencies are unaccountable to anyone.

    BTW, here in Oklahoma farmers, ranchers, and woodland owners always burned the land each spring. It killed the ticks, opened up the ground to sunlight and allowed berries and other forage crops to flourish. The minerals were released back into the soil, cedar trees and other invasive species were kept in check, and the wild life grew thick. The state forestry service was always on standby ready to help out with a dozer or fire line crew in case a fire got out of control but everyone was intelligent enough to keep the homestead area cleared of brush and to watch out for any hay bales still left over from winter. When they burned the land it rarely got up in the canopy, just crept across the ground as the annual fires set by Indians, farmers, or lightning strikes kept the big fuel burned up each year.

    Now we have forests that explode due to the massive fuel build up. People lose homes now. The seventeen sections of land, and that is 17 square miles for the city folks out there, that my dad ranched could not be used for cattle without controlled burning. That land will be taken out of production if there is a risk of terrorism charges from a burn getting out of control. Food will become more expensive, but that is the end game isn’t it? Common sense and good government would be to hold people responsible for damage they caused and burning some worthless scrub brush isn’t going to be much of a bill if the ranchers put the fire out on their own. Make em pay for the fire crew costs, past that, it is insanity and tyranny to charge someone with terrorism for such a “crime”. Then you have the age old legal right of Mens Rea, where for a crime to have been committed there has to be an intent to break the law, not just something getting out of control. The feds have removed the common law protection of Mens Rea and has made insane and societal expensive punishments for minor things.

    As for the court system, like the ranchers I went through a felony trial and was convicted because the judge and prosecutor refused to acknowledge decades of higher court decisions on Free Speech and Constitutionally protected Political Speech. The same higher court decisions my pro bono legal team used (including he ACLU for the haters out there) were used by the highest court in Oklahoma to reverse my conviction and dismiss the charges. Like in this story there was bad blood between me and the prosecutor going after me. My group has a huge voice in Oklahoma, at the trial the state senator testified that we were generating phone calls every fifteen seconds during office hours and hundreds and hundreds of emails each day. A few years earlier we had dragged this same prosecutor before a Grand Jury, the final report gave us credit for forcing the investigation of the prosecutor who gave back the illegal campaign contributions and finally prosecuted the four or five felonies that had been languishing for almost four years (all political donors or wealthy individuals) before going in to testify before the Grand Jury. the crook escaped being indicted, not enough votes to indict him, and as the Grand Jury proceedings were secret no one will ever know if it was one vote that kept the crook from going to prison for corruption.

    But like the ranchers, that bad blood between the prosecutor was not allowed to be told to the jury. Like in this story the bad blood is more than enough to explain why the BLM and FWS was persecuting this family and had the jury heard the testimony they would not have convicted these ranchers.

    Yes, these ranchers can go back to prison and rot while a decade of appeals go forward. And like me they will ultimately be exonerated and everyone will see that they were persecuted by prosecutors breaking the law. But they will have been punished and THAT is the point of all of this and THAT is the reason why I am glad we have men brave enough or crazy enough to stand up and push back. Lets just pray that wiser heads prevail and the government waits them out. To hear the crazies calling for violence against these men while we have seen what the Black Lives Matters protesters get away with is insane.

    • The trial and prosecution of the Hammonds have little to do with the current stand off currently transpiring in the refuge. In fact, the families and attorneys for the Hammonds have publicly condemned the Bundys and their accomplices for the ongoing domestic terrorist incident.

      • Absolutely false, these patriots are standing up for their rights and the rights of others, not just the Hammond’s rights. Why do liberals believe it is okay to march in cities, smashing and burning private property, and shut down airports during holiday travel for the rights of minority thugs like Brown but they refuse to support concerned citizens standing up to thugs in suits corrupting the legal system?

        The reason the patriots took over the small building out in the middle of nowhere, not a vaunted “federal building” as the article claims, hyperbole intended to vastly inflate the crisis and mobilize liberals to chant death to the patriots, was because that small building out in the middle of nowhere was being used to drive dozens of local farmers and ranchers off PRIVATE land. Did you bother to read the part about the feds diverting the water, flooding the valley, to drive the ranchers off their private property? Did you bother to read the part about the roads being county owned yet closed by jackbooted thugs? Did you read the part about the local prosecutor refusing to file charges?

        In our legal system if the victim is unwilling to stand up a prosecutor has the option of forcing a prosecution anyway and forcing the victim to appear in court to testify against the criminal. That is because the crime was committed against the state, not the victim, and the law must be enforced for there to be rule of law. This case is no different, if the Hammond men are unwilling to stand up for the rule of law we understand as they are being intimidated. But the patriots are willing to defend the rule of law and they are putting their lives on the line for all of us.

        Your heroes and civil rights activists are willing to march and burn private property as part of a cowardly mob, looting minority owned stores that opened stores in areas that most businessmen were unwilling to risk an investment in. Your heroes throw rocks and bottles and shoot at police from the shadows. When the riot police crack down they will run away. Your heroes are willing to disrupt innocent traveler’s schedule and cost local businesses vast sums in lost business and added costs while chanting “no justice, no peace.” No one at the airport or none of the business owners or private property owners whose property was destroyed had a part in killing the Brown thug yet your heroes demand that everyone suffer until they get what they want. Our heroes quietly and openly stand their ground and are prepared to defend themselves at the point of the problem where innocents will not be harmed or inconvenienced. They will not fire unless fired upon, like the patriots on Lexington Green long ago.

        Finally your heroes use terrorism, acts of violence where people might be killed or harmed, looting, burning, smashing, all in order to influence government policy. That is the definition of terrorism. Our heroes will stand quietly and peacefully while practicing their God given right to self protection, a right enshrined and protected by our Constitutions at the federal and state level.

        Clean up your article if you wish to command any journalistic integrity. As it is you are just a mob leader inflaming violence against peaceful protesters.

        • The Hammonds’ attorney is on record condemning the protest, as is local law enforcement and the entire community – many of whom support the Hammonds.

          If it walks and talks like a domestic terrorist…

          And to reiterate, the building they seized literally is a federally-owned building. That it was unmanned at the time and remote makes no difference.

          Finally, this is your first and last warning: as stated in our publicized comment terms of service, we have a zero tolerance policy for trolling, personal insults and other inappropriate behavior. Should you continue you will be banned.

          • And isn’t that the time honored reply of tyrants and those who have no tolerance? Bann anyone that disagrees with them or challenges them? I think the other poster got it right, sleepy little blog catering to a small segment of the population, why waste the time challenging a bigot?

            • Tolerance in regards to speech is encouraging and allowing disparate viewpoints. It does not extend to threats, personal insults, or other inappropriate behavior (as we clearly explain in our terms of service).

              And why does it not surprise me that you live in Oklahoma?

            • These cowards are now hiding behind children. These welfare “ranchers” need to be eliminated and their kids sent far away to decent people to raise.

  • Heavily Armed Conservative Militia Seizes Federal Building in Oregon https://t.co/1tWGtyAkWc

  • Phyllis Holden

    This is in that endemic warfare history-geology since 1492 in the Americas column [land] https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/01/03/bundy-militia-musters-again-over-paiute-land-162939

  • RT @ThinkWingRadio: Heavily Armed Conservative Militia Seizes Federal Building in Oregon https://t.co/0PNV7y7H1T via @PeacockPanache

  • RT @timsimms: That time armed terrorists stormed a federal bldg and the press called it a peaceful protest.

    https://t.co/KmQylh1Zoq
    #YallQ…

  • Heavily Armed Conservative Militia Seizes Federal Building in Oregon https://t.co/0PNV7y7H1T via @PeacockPanache

  • Bob Manley

    Terrorists? What nonsense. These men are fulfilling the oaths they took to uphold and defend the US Constitution…something that the Federal government no longer considers a restraint upon its power. Far from wild eyed crazies, these men have taken a considered step in a peaceful manner. They have attacked nobody. They have destroyed nothing. What they have done is occupied a facility that belongs to the people. Remember that the US government owns NOTHING, but merely holds certain property in trust for the people.

    The people are the sovereigns, not the subjects. Those calling for violent action by the government are either completely ignorant or blatantly un-American by definition. The “MILITIA” of the USA is defined by law as able bodied men of military age capable of bearing arms. That is who is occupying this facility…a duly authorized and completely constitutional militia.

    These folks have attempted all other means of seeking redress of their grievances. All that is left to them is direct action or complete surrender to a hostile government controlled by hostile elites (many of whom are not even American citizens).

    The government has backed down in the past in the face of armed resistance from the people. Today there is a complete Cable News blackout on this story. Why do you suppose that is? It is because the government fears setting off a revolution that could spread like wildfire across the country. Otherwise they would have crushed the militia at the Bundy Ranch stand-off and most certainly would be mounting a military assault on them today. If the government chooses to spill American blood over this, it will not end in Oregon.

    • pmacdee

      “but merely holds certain property in trust for the people.” But you people were not elected by “THE people to administer that trust. So go home.

    • 3052 oif vet

      Terrorists is what they are, i dont recall my enlistment oath mentioning anything about threatening peace officers with death and overtaking federal buildings by armed insurgency, hell i spent a few years fighting religious extremists i think i know one when i see it

      • Bob Manley

        Nobody has been threatened. What has been said, insofar as I have seen, is that the militia has advised everyone that they will defend themselves if attacked.

        Perhaps you should go back and review your oath…I know that when I took mine it was to uphold and defend the constitution, not the government. What the federal government has been doing is blatantly unconstitutional. This rampant lawlessness on the part of the US government extends far beyond the local issues in Oregon. For Christ’s sake the government has now claimed and exercised the right to liquidate US citizens in direct violation of the constitution and to wage war anywhere, anytime and against anyone, it chooses without a declaration of war. Those reasons alone are sufficient to justify armed opposition to the Federal government.

        Vote? You assert that nobody “voted for” these militiamen…the truth is, and this has been verified by at least one scientific study, the American people no longer have any significant influence over the policies of the US government… In fact, you are no longer allowed the option to vote against the policies of the US government in any meaningful way. Hence the resort to direct action.

        What kind of real American would urge the government to shed American blood in this kind of situation? I suspect that the people making those calls have never filled a body bag or seen what that kind of violent death and destruction looks like first hand. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and the government will be compelled to back down once again.

    • Beliefs such as these (that subverting the democratically elected official process to effect change through threats of violence and illegal actions) are explicitly illegal and contrary to the founding documents. For more information on why the Sovereign Citizens movement is considered domestic terrorism, please see:
      https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2010/april/sovereigncitizens_041310/domestic-terrorism-the-sovereign-citizen-movement

      • Bob Manley

        You sir don’t seem to have a clue about what you are speaking of. Not only is this kind of direct action not “contrary to the founding documents” the founders explicitly set out the right of the people to take exactly this kind of action. Please put away your liberal dogma and go read the actual contemporary writings of the founders.

        • Where in the founding documents does it condone armed resistance against the government and subversion of the democratic process?

          Let’s face it. If the Sovereign Citizens movement held any legitimacy they would’ve won at least one court case using all of the alleged case law and constitutional precedent you seem to believe exists. But they haven’t because it doesn’t exist outside the minds of those wielding guns and using women and children as human shields.

          As the old adage goes, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not to his own facts.”

          • Bob Manley

            We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men…. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. … Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Declaration of Independence (1776).

            I could point you to numerous statements by the founders on this point, but given that this right is enshrined within the very founding document of the nation, the point seems to be made well enough.

            • While the Declaration is indeed considered a founding document, it has no weight as a legal document (as it’s a political, not legal document) and doesn’t offer legal rationalization for a terrorist coup against the government. Citizens’ rights are only applicable as a United States citizen as laid out in the Constitution (which is the first legal document at the time of the founding that laid out government structure and the specifically the ability to redress grievances).

      • Bob Manley

        Please let me apologize Mr Peacock. I came across your website randomly and didn’t look through it. Now that I have, I see why so many ridiculous posts are present and why your own positions seem so alien…You are a homosexual and campaigner to undermine traditional American society. I can only suspect that followers of your site posting here are also homosexuals or deviants of one form or another. Of course you would be opposed to the constitution and anyone who would stand up to defend it.

        Please carry on with your efforts if you must and others will continue to resist. Clearly my words are wasted here.

        • And there it is: the guy who claims to love the Constitution yet defending those who take up arms against the very nature thereof now uses ad hominem to insult and belittle someone based on an immutable trait. Using that you seem to believe someone (despite an extensive education and career in constitutional law) has no clue how the Constitution works based on that immutable trait. It’s similar to 1950’s era and prior America when white supremacists literally used the same arguments (right down to intelligence being linked to race as an immutable trait) to deny African-Americans civil and voting rights.

          Please take some time to read the Constitution and pay particular attention to the 14th Amendment when you do so. It might just enlighten you a little.

          • Under that line of reasoning those who follow the “religion” of Islam can use the Constitution to continue the practice of child brides, pedophilia, bestiality, and battering women based upon the immutable trait of being born in a Muslim society. Is there a Constitutional right to be a peeping tom? Marry a dozen women and let the state feed and clothe the kids? How about an undertaker practicing necrophilia on his clients?

            I am one that says leave the gays alone to live their pitiful lives but wrapping perversion in the Constitution and claiming the same status as the civil rights heroes in the black community is crossing the line. Political correctness has run its course in the U.S., people are sick of it.

            • What line of thinking is that, precisely? Dealing with immutable traits? Religion is not immutable by definition and due in large part to that the U.S. restricts practices religions can engage in. Are you ignorant of this fact or just disingenuous?

    • Joe Coombs

      The Founding Fathers could scarcely have conceived or imagined the current destructive force of modern day firearms. In 1776 a skilled shooter using available technology could not massacre groups of people. One shot only, then reload, then shoot again. Experts can reload muskets in 30 seconds = 2 shots per minute. Also, muskets were and are inaccurate. When the 2nd Amendment was written, the concept of accurately firing 4 to 5 rounds a second was not knowable. In 1776 a person with a musket was not really a threat unless they got within 20 or 30 yards of quarry. Muskets had to be used in rows to be effective. The 2nd amendment was written in this context – arms in the hands of one individual were a threat to only one person at a time. And muskets were expensive, and so is an army. The 2nd amendment is fast and affordable way to muster an army (militia) and it would be even better if the soldier / citizen had his own gun, lousy as it may be. Notice the 2nd amendment does not give citizens the right to own a cannon. Cannons were extremely dangerous and could kill many people at once. The Founding Fathers obviously thought cannon ownership should be reserved for the Army, possibly to avoid massacres.

      • Bob Manley

        Sir, you are simply mistaken. Not only did the “repeating firearms” exist at the time the Constitution was written, but the founders actually placed an order for them for the new US Army (the order was later cancelled as being too expensive).

        Cannons were not restricted to the government. In fact it was not only legal for people to own cannon, but in many cases they were encouraged to acquire them. The founders not only envisioned private ownership of cannon and repeating firearms, they also encouraged private ownership of warships!

        It is true that the founders could not have envisioned many of the advances in technology (nuclear weapons for instance would have been simply inconceivable at the time), but the principle behind the 2nd Amendment was that the people would be sufficiently armed so as to be able to resist the government should it become tyrannical.

        Does anyone really want to dispute that the US government is now operating with complete disregard of the US constitution? Can anyone seriously dispute that the entire system is now thoroughly corrupted? It is the right of the people to determine for themselves when the government has crossed the line into outright tyranny. Millions of Americans have already come to that conclusion. Some are now taking steps, peaceful steps, to put the government on notice that they have gone too far.

        If this is unacceptable, pray tell what would be the appropriate action for people to take at this point?

  • The Federal government needs to kill the terrorists. WTF, terrorists taking over a Federal building and the police and government do nothing. Kill them all before they kill police officers and innocent people get hurt.

    • PanchoVilla5000

      Right, lets get these guys, Living just blocks from the projects here in NY my family is very concerned about militia people, flags, bandido biker brawls, and confederate veterans—–not the over 1800 shootings here in NY to close 2015

  • Random Handle

    Speaking as a taxpayer, the Bundy’s owe me a million bucks. And that’s MY land those sanctimonious, rationalizing deadbeats twits are trespassing. GET OFF MY PROPERTY!

    • Random … this land is your land, this land is my land … you know who is going to get “your land” – China, when it calls the loan. And the fed will happily hand it over. All that nonsense about buying up the land to protect it – you believe all that, don’t you?

  • Shamay

    A lot of misinformation in this story. Sensationalist reporting.

  • John

    Turn off the power, turn off the water…then just wait. And conservative? Last I knew being a conservative meant obeying the rule of law. These people are law breakers. Drop the labels.

  • “Waco” their butts… there’s no use for these guys.

  • Full back story re: Armed militia stationing at closed Wildlife Park Headquarters (Malheur National Wildlife Refuge) around Harney Basin in Oregon
    http://tekgnosis.typepad.com/tekgnosis/2016/01/full-back-story-re-armed-militia-stationing-at-closed-wildlife-park-headquarters-around-harney-basin.html

  • Did you call Ferguson mo a domestic terror event? Fucking idiot #OregonUnderAttack @timsimms

    • No, because the events that transpired in Ferguson, MO did not meet the criteria for terrorism.

      (1) The disturbance was at the local/state level. Terrorism is a federal level crime.
      (2) No legal precedent exists for applying terrorism charges to riot-type disturbances. This would include the same sort of riots that Caucasians have been known to engage in following sports team wins/losses (i.e.: the riot after the University of Kentucky won the NCAA Championship)
      (3) Generally peaceful civil protest in the public square is not the same as occupying a federal building with weapons and issuing demands and threatening potential violence against law enforcement should they take certain actions.
      (4) While they were not charged with terrorism, those who committed crimes (and many who did not and were merely present at the demonstrations expressing their legal First Amendment rights) were indeed arrested and indicted.

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