Militia takeover in Oregon

By Bart Brewer, Reporter

On Jan. 2, a group of dozens of armed men stormed a federal wildlife refuge in south eastern Oregon. The building that they took over is the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, a very remote location famed for its bird populations.

The event that sparked this takeover was the conviction of ranchers Dwight Hammond and Steve Hammond. Both men were convicted of federal arson in 2012, but the judge that originally sentenced them gave them less years than the federal minimum, so they were resentenced back in October of 2015.

The takeover of the refuge started with a peaceful protest outside the refuge, lead by Ammon Bundy, earlier in the day. The protest soon grew violent however, and the refuge was overtaken by the protesters later in the day. In a statement, one of the occupiers said that they were willing to stay there for as long as it takes. In the same statement, they said that they wanted the refuge to be returned to the locals, despite the fact that none of the occupants live in the area.

After the militia took over the refuge, people on social media were quick to berate and criticize them, with people on Twitter starting the hashtag #YallQeada to refer to them. Many criticized the fact that they have taken over a remote bird sanctuary, and that they just expect the federal government to give it to them. The militia came under even more fire when they showed how ill prepared the group was by asking for snacks and clothes over social media, which sparked people to start sending fake care packages to them.
As it stands, the feds have taken a “wait and see” approach to the situation, with them cutting off the refuges power and blocking all roads. At this point, it is still too early to tell how this conflict will end, but with it being the dead of winter and the militia running low on supplies, it is expected to end soon.