Oregon Militia: ‘We Plan On Staying Here For Years, Absolutely’
The nice young men with guns who took over a wildlife preserve threaten to stay for a very long time.
The occupation, which is being led by Ammon Bundy, the son of a Nevada rancher involved in previous clashes with the government, and two of his brothers, came on the behalf of the ranchers and not at their behest.”The facility has been the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds,” Ammon Bundy told The Oregonian in an interview published Saturday night from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. “We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely,””This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute,” he added. In an interview conducted Sunday morning on CNN, Bundy called the refuge “destructive to the people of the county and to the people of the area.”
Reports suggested that the occupation began following a protest with approximately 300 marchers, both militia and local residents, in Burns, approximately 30 miles northwest of the refuge. The protesters marched against the prosecution of two Harney County, Oregon, ranchers set to report to prison on Monday for lighting fires in 2001 and 2006 that they said reduced the growth of invasive plants and protected their land from wildfire. Both Dwight Hammond Jr., 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, were convicted three years ago, with the father serving three months and the son a year.
Since that time, a judge ruled that their sentences were too short and ordered them back to prison for an additional four years each. Dwight Hammond has said he and his son are going to report to prison in California on Monday without incident.