Updated: January 5, 2016, 1:38 PM
After commandeering control of a federal building in Oregon, a heavily armed White militia group showed no signs of standing down a day later, according to NBC News.
The protesters said they wouldn’t budge until the government addresses their demands, but the FBI said it was hoping to bring a “peaceful” end to the standoff at the remote Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
“We feel we have exhausted all prudent measures and have been ignored,” said Ammon Bundy, co-leader of the self-styled Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, who said the group wants the federal government to “remove its unlawful presence in this county.”
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel’s spirited debate over the Oregon Militia’s actions in the video clip below.
CNN reports that the “armed protesters who took over a federal building in Oregon are calling themselves the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom.”
So far no injuries have been reported. We hope it stays that way.
The armed group of militia men associated with controversial Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, are days into their occupation of a federal government building in Burns, Ore. Some members of this group have come forward to say they’re largely being treated worse than members of the Black Lives Matter movement.
While at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a representative for the militia stepped forward to claim they’re being met with treatment that rivals what the Black Lives Matter protesters have faced in recent months. The gentleman who called himself “Fluffy Unicorn” seemingly feels that the Bundy Militia should have been granted more leniency.
From the Huffington Post:
In the parking lot of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge — which the militants stormed and took over on Saturday in the name of grazing privileges — a man who claimed to be a body guard for the group’s leaders said they are facing worse resistance than Black Lives Matter, a nationwide campaign to end police brutality against people of color.
“The Black Lives Matter movement, they can go and protest, close freeways down and all that stuff, and they don’t get any backlash, not on the level that we’re getting,” said the man, who identified himself as “Fluffy Unicorn.”
While acknowledging that police have used force against Black Lives Matter protesters, he also said “their level of protesting is different; we’re not obstructing schools.” (In fact, an Oregon school district has canceled classes this week because of the federal building’s occupation.)
So far, backlash to the occupation has included hashtags like #YallQaeda and #YeeHawd on social media to describe the group’s attempts to defy the federal government.
The response on social media to the claims that the Bundy Militia has been mistreated have been robust and stands in contrast to what observers have felt has been a lax response to the building takeover. Granted, the building was reportedly empty when the militia came to the Refuge after a protest gathering to support a recently jailed rancher over grazing privileges on Saturday.
Despite some peaceful gatherings nationwide connected to Black Lives Matter, none featured heavily armed protesters like what’s being witnessed in Oregon. In fact, the paramilitary police responses in cities like Ferguson, Mo. and Baltimore, Md. in the past year shoots down Fluffy Unicorn’s narrow assessment.
Federal authorities maintain they have no plans to go in and shut down the building occupation and are electing to not make the situation any more intense.
Over the course of the evening, it’s been reported that Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven, have surrendered. The Hammonds are the ranchers that sparked the entire building takeover but protesters vow to hold their ground despite it all.
I lost interest when I heard the self-pitying spokesman called himself “Fluffy Unicorn.” https://t.co/aYeQ3e11wM
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 5, 2016