A radical right wing extremist group of at least 150 militia members has taken control of a federal building in eastern Oregon Saturday night.
The group, led by three sons of the Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy who had a tense standoff with federal authorities in 2014, reportedly descended upon on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Hareny County, Oregon to protest the conviction of two local ranchers for arson of government building.
The group claimed “that the federal government had no authority in Harney County.” As the protest wore on, a splinter group broke off from the larger protest and seemed intent on “provoking a standoff with the federal government” by occupying the location.
The scene in Burns Saturday morning as protestors gather in support of 2 ranchers going to prison. pic.twitter.com/ec6tmdeTik
— Les Zaitz (@LesZaitz) January 2, 2016
In a phone interview with Oregonlive.com, Ammond Bundy, one of the three brothers, said they “would not rule out violence if law enforcement tries to remove them” and called the wildlife refuge building “the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds.” Bundy added that he was “planning on staying…for years.”
In a message on Facebook Bundy said he planned on establishing the facility as a base for militia members across the nation According to reports, Ammond is rallying other right-wing militia members to join him in occupying the building. Even one member wrote an ominous message to his family on his Facebook page saying, “I want to die a free man,” Ritzheimer says.
Featured image via Twitter