Occupied refuge 'belongs to the people', Oregon milita leader says

PORTLAND, Ore. - The leader of an armed group that took over an Oregon wildlife preserve to protest federal land policies is remaining defiant behind bars.

See Full Article

While Ammon Bundy on Tuesday again urged four holdouts at the refuge to leave, he said local residents should control the federally owned property and U.S. officials do not belong there.

Bundy said the FBI and Oregon State Police surrounding Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are leading an “armed occupation,” words typically reserved for the ranchers and others that launched the standoff on Jan. 2. He said the refuge “belongs to the people,” according to a statement read by his attorney.

“I am requesting that the remaining protesters go home now so their lives are not taken,” Bundy's statement said.

He is among 11 people arrested in connection with the standoff, whose adherents have called federal land restrictions burdensome and demanded the government turn over public lands to local control. Many were taken into custody during a traffic stop last week that left one occupier dead.

All face a felony conspiracy charge of using intimidation to prevent federal employees from their work. Bundy will stay behind bars while his attorneys build their case that the standoff was intended as a “peaceful protest and civil disobedience.” A federal judge has allowed a couple of others to go free pending trial.

Another court hearing in the case is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the handful of remaining occupiers offered no signs they are ready to leave. They gave an interview Monday on an online talk show on a YouTube channel called Revolution Radio.

“We're still here,” said David Fry, adding that the four hope sympathizers will come out to back them up. “We need the American people to get the courage to stand up.”

Bundy pleaded for them to go home and aligned with his father, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, on demanding federal and state authorities clear out of the area.

The elder Bundy, who was involved in a high-profile 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights, sent a certified letter to the local sheriff Monday, saying the refuge should be placed under local control.

Unlike his son, Cliven Bundy has not called for the last occupiers to leave.

The Oregonian reported the Rev. Franklin Graham had spoken with the remaining occupiers.

Graham spokesman Todd Shearer told the newspaper that the religious leader had communicated by phone with the four occupiers and federal officials but Graham had “no comment” beyond that.

The last four occupiers had asked Graham to help them negotiate their departure. They have said they want assurances they won't be arrested.

Federal prosecutors are building a case against Ammon Bundy and his followers to show that the occupation was a threat to residents and federal employees. Prosecutors say the group, once numbering a couple dozen, was ready to use violence to hold on to the refuge.

The standoff also has created divisions among residents that will take time to heal. Many locals want the occupation to end and are eager to get on with their lives. But others sympathize with Bundy's complaints, which are part of a long-running dispute over federal management of public lands in the West.

Some have rallied in support and opposition to the standoff, the latter often citing the death of an Arizona rancher by police. Robert “LaVoy” Finicum was killed Jan. 26 during a confrontation with FBI agents and Oregon State Police on a remote road.

Federal authorities have released aerial video and said Finicum was going for a gun in his jacket pocket. Bundy's relatives say the shooting was not justified.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Police response to Texas school shooting remains unclear

    World News CTV News
    AUSTIN, Texas -- Santa Fe High School had conducted active shooter drills, armed police officers patrolled the hallways and students went through a scare in February after a false report of a campus gunman. But in the aftermath of the deadliest public school shooting in Texas history, early witness accounts and recordings from emergency dispatch describe a 30-minute nightmare as the real thing unfolded last week, even as authorities continued to keep details close Sunday. Source
  • Several Atlantic fisheries closed due to presence of two right whales

    Canada News CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. -- Federal authorities are closing several fisheries in the Gulf of St. Lawrence because of the presence of North Atlantic right whales. In a statement posted on Twitter, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc says two of the severely endangered animals have been spotted off the coast of New Brunswick. Source
  • Ontario New Democrats forced to admit to annual $1.4-billion costing error

    Canada News CTV News
    PETERBOROUGH, Ont. -- Ontario's New Democrats, often accused of fiscal incompetence, made a $1.4-billion annual costing mistake in their election platform, the party's leader was forced to admit on Sunday. The miscounting of a $700-million annual reserve fund as revenue rather than as an expense will affect deficit projections for several years, Leader Andrea Horwath conceded. Source
  • Victims of alleged LSD brainwashing experiments in Montreal plan to file lawsuit

    Canada News CTV News
    Survivors and families of those who allegedly underwent brainwashing experiments at McGill University in Montreal are planning a class-action lawsuit against the Quebec and federal governments because of what they claim had been done to them decades ago. Source
  • Kayakers take Kinder Morgan protest offshore in U.S.

    Canada News CBC News
    More than 200 kilometres south of where the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is slated to end, environmental groups in the U.S. took to the water in Seattle on Sunday to add their voices to ongoing opposition to the project. Source
  • Sask. couple swept away by B.C. mountain landslide can't believe they're alive

    Canada News CBC News
    Saskatchewan couple Sheri Niemegeers and Gabe Rosescu do not remember much after the wall of mud and trees came hurtling down a steep mountain pass toward their vehicle. But, according to Rosescu's sister Andrea, they both recall the split second when they realized they were in the path of a landslide. Source
  • Cyclists near Seattle tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

    World News CTV News
    SEATTLE - The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion tailing them on a trail east of Seattle. They got off their bikes. They faced the beast, shouted and tried to spook it. Source
  • 'I could have ID'd him': Woman says Dominican resort didn't investigate claim that she was raped by staffer

    Canada News CBC News
    A Toronto-area woman says she is going public to warn travellers, after a security guard at a Dominican Republic resort raped her and the hotel "did nothing" to investigate — an occurrence she believes is all too common. Source
  • Canadian vacationers stranded in Cuba following plane crash

    Canada News CTV News
    In the wake of a horrific plane crash in Cuba that claimed the lives of 110 people, dozens of Canadians are now stranded in the country, wondering when they will be able to fly home. Source
  • Police video shows harrowing escapes from California fires

    World News CTV News
    SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Chaotic police body-camera footage from last year's deadly wildfires in Northern California's wine country shows officers running door-to-door urging people to flee and rescuing elderly residents of a retirement community as flames bear down, according to a newspaper report Sunday. Source