Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Ammon Bunday Says Militia Won't Leave Until Malheur Refuge Turned Over to Locals (VIDEO)

At the Portland Oregonian, "Bundy: Militants 'forwarding our plan' to privatize Oregon wildlife refuge":

BURNS -- The leader of anti-government protesters occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge said Tuesday that the group won't leave until ranchers, loggers, farmers and other private landowners have wrested full control of the reserve's tens of thousands of acres.

Ammon Bundy, who has acted as a spokesman and head of the group, took no questions from reporters after making brief remarks vowing to hold his ground at the refuge until the private landowners "can stand strong enough to defend them themselves."

"We have been very active in forwarding our plan and assisting the people of Harney County in claiming and using their rights," he said. Once that happens, "then we will go home."

His statements followed Harney County Sheriff David Ward's call for the protesters to pack up and leave town.

Many of them hail from out of state -- places like Nevada, Arizona and Texas. Their presence has disrupted the community's daily rhythm, with Burns' schools and public buildings shuttered and law enforcement presence growing in town.

Bundy offered no details about which residents, if any, have accepted the militants' offer for land on the refuge.

Pulling up in a silver Chevy Silverado pickup with a "Bye Bye BLM" bumper sticker in the back window, a flannel-clad Bundy emerged with a posse of several men for what has now become a daily 11 a.m. press conference. As reporters swarmed, a man in military garb barked into a walkie-talkie.

"All sectors, all sectors, maintain radio silence unless it's an absolute emergency."

Silently, Bundy approached a podium in the snow-covered roadway at the refuge.

Bundy said the group will leave only if "the community" signals that the protesters no longer are welcome. Despite the sheriff's statements and a general sense of unease among townspeople and ranchers alike, militant leaders said so far that they haven't received that signal...
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