Oregon Militia Take Over

Fatima Rosas, Managing Editor

After the takeover of a federal wildlife refugee in Oregon back on Jan. 2 people panicked and started to wonder if this has become another terrorist attack. Luckily, the local ranchers, who are there to protest against the government, have done no harm. Instead they want more control over land that the federal government took away from the ranchers.


Many of the locals have reacted towards this situation and have given their opinions such as Maureen Peltier, an understanding citizen, who shows no concern for the protestors since she knows they are not here to harm but to get their points clear and across.


“There is absolutely no armed standoff,” Maureen Peltier told The Oregonian. “Roads were clear going to and coming from. They want us to know: They are simply occupying land and a building owned by ‘We The People.’ Our tax dollars. And that for them, this is a civil peaceful protest.”


This began when the Hammonds family son Steven Hammond, 46, and father Dwight Hammond Jr., 73, were accused of arson, which set them in prison. The son served one year while the father served three months. They had set fire to their land in order to prevent unwanted plant growth. A judge called back the case and decided that the sentence before was lenient. Then he decided a new sentence of four years were required as a minimum sentence which set the Hammonds back to prison.


Ammon Bundy, 40, the leading man of this movement, reveals his plans of action are to stay at peace and create awareness across they country. There is to stand still until the federal government returns the land to local ranchers.


“We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely,” Bundy told The Oregonian. Bundy said his group planned to “gather here and we can unite, we can stay out of the cold. We can feed all of the individuals that come. Our intent is to assist the people of Harney County in claiming their rights.”


Ranchers who had followed the case closely grew angry and decided to protest. This group decided to named themselves citizens for constitutional freedom lead by Ammon Bundy. The group as previously mentioned took over Malheur National Wildfire Refuge and afterward Bundy called anti-government militia members to join. The group has made certain demands but none of them had been fulfilled and although the neighboring people are alert since they are armed no harm has been done.


“Claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers,” Sheriff David Ward said, to USA Today, “these men had alternative motives to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States.”


Authorities are concerned for the well being of their local citizens but they know that is not the militia intensions but instead to create awareness across the country, which they have certainly gained. More people keep visiting Oregon after the complication gain attention from the media. The militia only wants for the ranchers to gain more freedom and control of their own land. For sometime now rancher have been pushed of the land by the government. The supporters of this movement have announced that they will not move until changes are made and federal land is returned.