Oregon militia occupation finally over

By Bart Brewer, Reporter

The occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is finally over. On Jan. 25, Ammon Bundy, the leader of the group that took over the refuge, was arrested along with five others at an FBI roadblock. Shots were fired at the scene and Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, a spokesman for the group, was shot and killed.


Ammon Bundy, along with dozens of other people, stormed and took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 1. He did this to protest the conviction of two ranchers, Dwight Hammond and his son Steven, for the arson of federal land. He has been demanding for their release and for the government to hand over the land he is occupying.


This event is a major turning point in the Malheur standoff that has been going on for the last month. The arrest of the group’s leader has made it so there are only four people remaining on the refugee as of Feb. 1. It also shows that the FBI means business when it comes to this situation.


Now the incident in itself has some controversy around it. Ammon Bundy called occupiers on the refuge saying that Finicum had his hands up when the FBI shot him. However, in a recent video that has been released by the FBI, you can clearly see this is not the case. The car that the occupiers are driving almost hits an FBI agent while trying to aviod the roadblock, and when Finicum gets out of the vehicle, you can see him reaching for a gun.


Now while the occupation is essentially over, as the are only four people left on the refuge and the leaders are arrested, there is still one person keeping it going. Against Ammon Bundy’s wishes, his father, Cliven Bundy, has been urging for the remaining occupiers to stay on the refuge. In a letter to Governor Kate Brown and President Obama, Cliven Bundy stated that he and the other occupiers would keep hold of the refuge, and he also demanded that all federal agents be removed from the county.


This however, didn’t last long. Cliven Bundy was arrested after flying into Portland on Feb. 11. He faces a conspiracy charge of interfering with a federal officer. The remaining four occupants of the refugee didn’t last much longer, with three of them surrendering soon after the arrest of Cliven Bundy. The final occupant surrendered some time after.
In total, the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge lasted 41 days. Now that the occupation is over, the surrounding cities of the refuge can breath a sigh of relief. Now all that’s left is for the members of the occupation to face prosecution. Members of the militia currently face conspiracy charges, and if convicted, could spend up to six years in prison.