The drama at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge has taken yet another turn for the bizarre. Occupied by the Bundy militia since last weekend, they have been joined by members from two other militia groups, the Idaho Three Percenters and the Pacific Patriots Network, who are also heavily armed. The newcomers say they are there to “provide security” and prevent an armed standoff.
The most amusing part of this increasingly ridiculous situation is that the Bundy group is very displeased that their limelight is being stolen by other groups. “We don’t need that. We don’t want it and we’re asking you to leave,” said Todd MacFarlane, attorney for the Bundy group. “This was the last thing in the world they wanted to see happen.”
He failed to see the irony of the situation, given that the local community is also very upset at the presence of these insurgents and are also asking them to leave. In fact, they were offered safe passage out and a promise that local law enforcement would not file charges, but they refused. The PPN presented the Bundy group with some kind of document called “articles of resolution” and then left to go to the courthouse to present the same documents to Sheriff Ward. Armed guards were posted throughout the town, further terrorizing the local citizens.
The PPN website stated that they will be creating an armed perimeter around the refuge, locking the occupiers in: “the primary intention of this outer-ring is to bear witness to any aggressive action initiated by federal agencies or the occupiers, and to encourage an open dialogue towards a peaceful resolution. We will serve as a neutral third-party intermediary to prevent bloodshed. It is imperative that the Nation recognize the importance and sanctity of all lives in this situation. While the PPN does not condone nor encourage the execution of the Wildlife Refuge occupation, we have a duty and responsibility to ensure that a peaceful resolution is reached.”
Earlier this week, there were reports that militia groups around the country were angry at the Bundys for needlessly provoking a standoff; this just confirms it. It is just the latest twist in an increasingly disturbing story that highlights just how many armed groups are running our nation and how much of a problem they could prove to be should things turn violent.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.