Armed militia takes over wildlife refuge to protest jailing of Oregon ranchers

Bundy ProtestArmed militia members, including the sons of Cliven Bundy, took over a wildlife refuge on Saturday and said they are prepared to “kill or be killed” in a conflict with authorities.

Ammon Bundy created and shared a video on his Facebook page that called for “patriots” from all across the country to join the fight and come to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Ore. to join their protest.

The contention stems from ranchers Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, being ordered back to prison to finish a five-year term for committing arson on federal land.

Both have already served some time behind bars for the fires they set in 2001 and 2006, the maintain to protect their property from invasive plants and wildfires.

A judge ruled, however, that the 3 months the elder Hammond served and the one year his son did in prison were not in line with federal law and ordered them both back to prison for about another 4 years each.

“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,” Ammon Bundy told reporters Saturday adding that his group, which includes his brother Randy, are willing to stay in the refuge for years.

“The facility has been the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds,” he said.

The Hammonds are not involved in the takeover or protest and plan to turn themselves in on Monday to serve their respective sentences.

That didn’t sit well with Bundy and the militias according to Cliven Bundy who said he had nothing to do with the seizing of the refuge.

“That’s not exactly what I thought should happen, but I didn’t know what to do,” he told Oregon Public Broadcasting. “You know, if the Hammonds wouldn’t stand, if the sheriff didn’t stand, then, you know, the people had to do something. And I guess this is what they did decide to do. I wasn’t in on that.”

Watch report below.

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