Cliven Bundy Son, Militia Take Over Fed Building

Ammon Bundy calls for militiamen to protest ranchers sentenced for arson
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 3, 2016 10:00 AM CST
Cliven Bundy Son, Militia Take Over Fed Building
Protesters march on Court Avenue in support of an Oregon ranching family facing jail time for arson in Burns, Ore., Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016.   (Les Zaitz/The Oregonian via AP)

A protest in support of Oregon ranchers facing jail time for arson was followed by an occupation of a building at a national wildlife refuge led by Ammon Bundy—the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was in a standoff with the government over grazing rights. The younger Bundy told the Oregonian on Saturday that he and two brothers were among a group of dozens of people occupying the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Ammon Bundy posted a video on Facebook asking militia members to help. He said "this is not a time to stand down. It's a time to stand up and come to Harney County." Below the video is this statement: "(asterisk)(asterisk)ALL PATRIOTS ITS TIME TO STAND UP NOT STAND DOWN!!! WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! COME PREPARED."

In an interview late Saturday, Bundy said "the people have been abused long enough. I feel we are in a situation where if we do not do something, if we do not take a hard stand, we'll be in a position where we'll be no longer able to do so." Bundy said the group planned to stay at the refuge indefinitely. "This is not a decision we've made at the last minute." Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward told people to stay away as authorities work to defuse the situation, the Oregonian reported. Ammon Bundy's father, Cliven Bundy, told Oregon Public Broadcasting that he had nothing to do with the takeover. "That's not exactly what I thought should happen, but I didn't know what to do," he said. Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, plan to peacefully report to prison Monday as ordered; they lit the fires in 2001 and 2006 to reduce the growth of invasive plants and protect their property from wildfires. The two were convicted three years ago and served time—the father three months, the son one year. But a judge ruled their terms were too short under federal law and ordered them back to prison for about four years each. (More Cliven Bundy stories.)

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