The family who is at the center of the group of angry anti-government militia members, along with two of Cliven Bundy’s sons, occupying a building at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon, isn’t too happy with their tactics.
The Hammonds, father and son, were convicted of arson three years ago and served time — the father served three months, the son, one year.
However, a judge ruled their terms were too short under federal law and ordered them back to prison for about four years each, and that is what supposedly prompted the protests.
The Oregon ranchers, who the militia members say they are defending, do not want them there and say they will report to prison on Monday as ordered.
CBS News reports the Hammonds’ lawyer W. Alan Schroeder saying this:
“The Hammonds said they have not welcomed the Bundys’ help. Neither Ammon Bundy nor anyone within his group/organization speak for the Hammond Family.”
We’ll just leave this here:
— Steve Marmel (@Marmel) January 3, 2016
Ammon Bundy said they plan to turn the refuge into a militia base.
Ammon Bundy said in Facebook video they have taken over refuge to use as militia base for years. Called patriots from U.S. to come.
— Les Zaitz (@LesZaitz) January 3, 2016
It’s not just the Hammonds that object to the militia’s presence. Before the armed takeover of the building outside of Burns, Oregon, which prompted schools to shut down, a peaceful protest took place. Counter protesters showed up and posted signs. “I want them to go home,” resident Bee Bee Sitz said. “We take care of ourselves.” Another resident, Kainan Jordan, said, “I don’t think all of these outsiders coming here is necessary. I think they intimidate the local people.”
Ring of Fire reports:
“The men made a plan to march through town, and dozens joined them in their march which ended at the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge where they planned to stay “for years, absolutely,” according to Ammon Bundy. So far, police have called for their officers and others to stay away from the building in order to decrease tensions and keep the protest peaceful.”
Here’s what happened in a nutshell, courtesy of the Daily Mail:
Harney County Sheriff, Dave Ward, instructed people to stay away from the building as authorities work to defuse the situation, according to The Oregonian:
“A collective effort from multiple agencies is currently working on a solution. For the time being please stay away from that area. More information will be provided as it becomes available. Please maintain a peaceful and united front and allow us to work through this situation,” Ward said in a statement.
Police are dragging their feet, perhaps intimidated by how the media will cover it if they go in with riot gear and militarized weapons as they have done when black people have protested against another unarmed African American being shot dead.
During the livestream of the occupation, one of Bundy’s sons said, “We have the potential for a slaughter of about 100 patriots.” This is their ‘look at me, look at me!’ moment and indeed, we’re looking right at them. Meanwhile, the Hammonds insist they plan to comply with law enforcement, and insist the armed demonstrators have nothing to do with them.
Featured image of Dwight Hammond: Screen grab.