Ammon Bundy is in talks with the FBI. One of the leaders of the Oregon standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Center and the federal agents had a chat earlier this week. The brief exchange was captured, at least in part, on video.
The Oregon militia, as they have been dubbed by the media, took over the Malheur wildlife refuge in Burns about three weeks ago. The Citizens for Constitutional Freedom group has stated repeatedly that they will not leave the center until evidence they feel illustrates that the federal government and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have no legal claim of ownership or stewardship over the property is reviewed by the court.
— Raw Story (@RawStory) January 21, 2016
The video of the meeting between Ammon Bundy and an FBI negotiator shows the Oregon standoff leader stating that the sentiment in the community has shifted in favor of the occupiers, according to a report by the Oregonian. The short video was captured by journalist John Sepulvado of Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Ammon Bundy, talking to an FBI negotiator, in front of the FBI base camp. pic.twitter.com/jCqld6OMLb
— John Sepulvado (@JohnLGC) January 21, 2016
A public meeting held to discuss the ongoing Oregon standoff was held at Burns High School. Some on the crowd vehemently stated that the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom group’s battle with the BLM has created both division and tension in the rural community. The federal government owns about 40 percent of all the land in the West. In recent years, the BLM has enforced stringent mandates that restrict the long-time use of ranging and water rights ranchers staunchly maintain they need in order to produce beef to feed the country.
One local resident who addressed Bundy during the meeting, Ed Brown, said that he agrees 100 percent that the United States has “way too much government.” He also decried the chaos which has been present in the county since the Malheur wildlife center standoff began.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown claims that what she deems a “spectacle of lawlessness” is costing the taxpayers in her state $100,000 per day. Supporters for the Oregon militia have often pointed to the Black Lives Matter and Occupy protesters being allowed to engage in acts of civil disobedience and take over parks, streets, and, in essence, entire neighborhoods to garner attention to their cause.
“This situation is absolutely intolerable and it must be resolved immediately,” Governor Brown stated during a press conference about the Oregon standoff. “The very fabric of this community is being ripped apart.”
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) January 21, 2016
Those who are hoping that the talks with the FBI and Ammon Bundy mean the occupation is nearing a close might be soundly disappointed. KOIN News has reported that more “militia” members have arrived at Malheur from other regions of Oregon and from various states around the country.
It does not appear a resolution is near, however. Local KOIN reported Wednesday that so-called militia members were coming to the occupation from other parts of the country and they believe they’re on a mission from God. Currently, neither the FBI nor state law enforcement officers have any type of barrier around the wildlife refuge to prevent individuals from entering or exiting the area. One occupier, Kelly Gneiting, told the local media outlet that both God and the Founding Fathers would want them to be right where they are and to hold fast to their goals.
What do you think about the Oregon standoff and Ammon Bundy’s talks with the FBI? Should the federal government hold the deed to such a vast amount of land in the United States?
[Photo by Rick Bowmer/AP]