Police recently arrested more protesters at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. After the detainment of the protest’s ringleaders, brothers Ryan and Ammon Bundy, the anti-government group turned violent. The two are sons of Cliven Bundy, a rancher that is involvement in a 2014 high-profile standoff with the government over grazing rights.
LaVoy Finicuim, who was one of the protestors, was shot dead after jumping out of a car and brandishing a firearm. The police have made several other arrests in separate but related incidents. More than 11 people are facing charges, and one of the ringleaders, Ammon Bundy appealed to any supporters still at the refuge to go home.
The number of occupiers at the refuge is declining each day and by Thursday morning, there were only four remaining. The occupiers agreed to leave the stronghold as long as the FBI promised not to arrest them.
Not all of the members were from Oregon; some were from outside the state such as Nevada, Georgia and Arizona, and their sole mission was to support the rights of local ranchers.
Reports from the FBI indicate that people could stay at the refuge for the time being. But they did not indicate how or when they will be drawn out. However, the authorities will not allow anyone new to enter the refuge. To that end, authorities set up barricades and checkpoints. According to authorities, anyone who wishes to leave of their own free will is welcome to do so.
The Bundys, together with others arrestes were arraigning in court on Wednesday. And charged with impeding federal officers from carrying out their official duties by use of threats, force or intimidation. They will return to court today (Friday) for detention hearings.
The elder Bundy has indicated that this is just a beginning of a wave of countrywide protests, worldwide maybe. He stated that those who were present with him were there to do no harm and that they never threatened anyone.