The Oregon militia standoff continues to this day, with Ammon Bundy’s group continuing to occupy parts of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the Harney County Courthouse. Without warning, heavily armed members of the Pacific Patriot Network surrounded the encampments with their convoys. The Pacific Patriot Network is an umbrella group for Oregon militias, and they say they have set themselves between the Bundy Randy group and the U.S. federal government’s agents in order to work out a peaceful resolution to the Oregon standoff.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Bundy’s Oregon militia initially told reporters they had enough food and supplies to carry on the standoff for years, but they are now saying they are willing to accept donations in order to help them.
Prior to recent events, representatives for the Pacific Patriot Network told Reuters that “it did not support seizing federal property” even though they understood why the Bundy militia was taking action.
“This land use issue is decades old and it’s boiling up in frustration. That’s what you’re seeing,” spokesman Joseph Rice said.
The Bundy Ranch protesters say their goal is to “restore and defend the Constitution” in addition to protecting the land rights of ranchers from the alleged encroachment of the federal government. As part of the protest, they seized federal land and a building.
Other Oregon militia groups like Three Percent of Idaho have said, “There’s a better way to go about things.” Even the Native American Burns Paiute Tribe has gotten involved in the dispute, since they say the federal government “stole” the land after President Ulysses Grant established the Malheur Indian Reservation for the Northern Paiute in 1872.
“I just think they [the armed militia members] are a bunch of glory hounds. Look at us, look at what we’re doing. I don’t give much credence to their cause,” said Charlotte Rodrique, chairwoman of the Burns Paiute Tribe.
Now, the other Oregon militia groups are directly intervening in Ammon Bundy’s standoff. A convoy of heavily armed men surrounded the federal courthouse and also sent more men to the wildlife refuge. The Pacific Patriot Network said they were going to act as a “neutral party,” but they also brought many men armed with rifles.
“We’re here to establish a security buffer between the gentlemen here at the refuge, the community citizens, as well as law enforcement,” explained Pacific Patriots Network founder Brandon Curtiss, according to OPB.
According to the Guardian, a liaison between the Bundy militia and the public named Todd Macfarlane said that Ammon Bundy was “blindsided” by their arrival.
“Ammon felt blindsided,” Macfarlane said. “This was not a welcome development. We are trying to de-escalate here – then boom, they all show up.”
LaVoy Finicum, a regular spokesman for the Bundy militia, told the Pacific Patriot Network that they were not welcome, and that bringing more guns to the compound would not help minimize conflicts. A second group called the North American Coalition of Constitutional Militias joined the Pacific Patriot Network in providing a “buffer zone” between the U.S. government and the Bundy militia.
“They do not want to cause any trouble,” explained Joe Oshaughnessy, speaking for the second group. “Some of these guys are unarmed.”
By Saturday afternoon, the Pacific Patriot Network had already driven off from the refuge, but Joseph Rice says the Oregon militia group is there to help encourage Ammon Bundy’s group to end the occupation and reach a resolution. According to the Oregonian, Rice presented Ammon with “articles of resolution” and would not say whether Pacific Patriot Network will return on Sunday.
“We are moving on to present them (the articles of resolution) to other government agencies,” he said.
But Bundy’s response was that “we don’t need you.”
(Image via AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)