FBI special agents are urging the militants occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Oregon to abandon their armed occupation and go home peacefully.
Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing said the militants have an “opportunity to return to their families and work through the normal legal process to air their grievances."
This week, law enforcement authorities arrested eight key members of the militia, while another, Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, the Oregon’s stand-off’s key spokesperson, died in a confrontation with officers. The tragedy happened during a shoot out from both sides, however, “Tarp Man’s” daughter Thara blames the feds and posted on Facebook yesterday that he was murdered in cold blood.
Ammon Bundy, the leader of the occupation, asked all remaining protesters to go home a day after his arrest.
"To those remaining at the refuge, I love you. Let us take this fight from here. Please stand down... Please go home," Bundy said in a statement read by his lawyer, Michael Arnold, after a court hearing.
But soon after, Lisa Bundy, Ammon’s wife, shared a post (which has since been deleted from Facebook) that urged the militants to stand firm. The post stated:
“ALERT! From Ammon’s wife, Lisa: Ammon would not have called for the patriots to leave. We have lost a life but we are not backing down. He didn’t spill his blood in vain! Hold your ground... Ranchers come and stand! Committee of Safety come and stand! Militia come and stand!”
One of the militants, David Fry, said in a statement that they do not plan to abandon their occupation.
The statement comes as vlogger Jon Ritzheimer stands accused of following a woman (who was wearing a Bureau of Land Management T-shirt) home and harassing her. Fellow protestor Pete Santilli also called a 15-year-old girl a “prostitute” for crying at a town hall meeting.
A post on the Bundy’s official Facebook page confirmed the self-styled “Liberty Revolution” is “STILL STANDING with the DAWN.”
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters