Town watches warily as armed protesters take over refuge

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  • JBs Logan, UT
    Jan. 7, 2016 2:30 p.m.

    @ Old Jake

    You're wrong about all of us feeling they are at least partially right. I don't, and from what I have read on these boards, very few people have much sympathy for terrorist activities inflicted on society by the Bundy's.

  • JBs Logan, UT
    Jan. 7, 2016 2:23 p.m.

    Are these terrorists assuming they are better stewards of the land than the government? I can't imagine the townspeople they are terrorizing would agree with that. Do these terrorists believe in following the laws of the land? Obviously not. They are behaving as though they are above the law and they aren't. The people enforcing the law at least have to attempt to follow it while the terrorists don't have rules they are following, either federal or local laws or those in a civil society. They need to go home, where I hope justice will catch up to them.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 5, 2016 10:36 a.m.

    The radical right revolution starts with people armed with high powered rifles playing military in a bird refuge take over in the middle of nowhere. History will not treat this incident kindly. The Internet on the other hand will relish in the disgraced attempt to allow a few to try to take the publics land.

  • james d. morrison Boise, ID
    Jan. 4, 2016 8:00 p.m.

    They basically took over an outhouse or a glorified information booth.

  • Contrariuses mid-state, TN
    Jan. 4, 2016 4:15 p.m.

    @JRL in AZ --

    "I'm rather confused. The condemnation of the Bundys and their ilk has been pretty strong in the comments here at Deseret News"

    Just look to the responses from people like procuradorfiscal and samwise to alleviate your confusion. And we have lots of "law and order"-type commenters who are frequently seen in other threads but are conspicuously silent on this topic as well.

  • Contrariuses mid-state, TN
    Jan. 4, 2016 4:13 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal --

    "Exactly the same as every Occupy Wall Street action..."

    You keep conveniently ignoring the "armed" part. None of the other protesters you mentioned have been carrying assault weapons -- and, in fact, some of the Black Lives Matter protesters have themselves been shot by right wingers.

    And no, The Obama administration does NOT count as armed insurrection, however much you may disagree with its policies.

    "over a few hayseeds parading around..."

    Well, I'm glad to see you at least characterize them as hayseeds. But "parading around with guns" is kind of the point. If you want a peaceful protest, guess what -- DON'T bring your guns with you.

    "the terroristic actions of hippies, thugs, commies, and even jihadists... so long as the bad actors are left-leaning marxists."

    LOL.

    No, hon. So long as THEY AREN'T CARRYING GUNS.

    KKK wants to parade? Fine, let em -- NO guns. Westboro Baptist Church wants to protest? Fine, let em -- NO guns. Just don't bring guns and keep trying to pretend that you're peaceful. Even the guys who mounted the actual peaceful protest in support of the Hammonds don't want anything to do with these armed thugs.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 4, 2016 4:03 p.m.

    "No, there's no significant difference at all. Only one of degree, perhaps. Certainly not of intent."

    So we are to the point that there is no difference between armed people threatening violence against government officials, and people who hold a sit in? It really does say something about the moral foundations at work here. Law enforcement has had to move their kids to neighboring towns out of fear.... same as people chaining themselves to a tree.

    I wonder if people like procuradorfiscal thought the black panthers of the 60s were also just a harmless group.... no big deal... just like other "leftist" activist. I don't how the color of the skin of the one holding the gun, aiming it at police, makes the act by one group acceptable, and yet if another group does the same thing it is the end of society.

    A conservative holds a gun to someone.... its ok. A liberal does it... and we are all doomed. The politics of hate is alive and well.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Jan. 4, 2016 3:36 p.m.

    "....Anybody who feels terrorized over people occupying a federal building either already has serious emotional problems or is a paid crisis actor...."
    ______________________________

    I assume that the guns they used to seize a government office are loaded with real bullets. So far, Federal law enforcement authorities have avoided a confrontation that might result in people getting killed. That’s not easy when dealing with armed fringe fanatics who seem determined to command national attention.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 2:36 p.m.

    Re: "This is armed insurrection. Treason."

    Of course it is. Exactly the same as every Occupy Wall Street action, the Ferguson, MO protests, tree huggers hanging from bridges to clog shipping channels, students forcibly occupying deans' offices until they get "free" tuition, and an Obama administration's armed enforcement of illegal gun controls, as well as adding to its perfidious refusal to do its job, by its armed prohibition of states and counties protecting themselves from the effects of federal political malfeasance.

    It's just funny to watch liberals work themselves into a veritable, foaming-at-the-mouth foment over a few hayseeds parading around with guns 30 miles away from anyone who cares, while, at the same moment, tying themselves in knots to justify the terroristic actions of hippies, thugs, commies, and even jihadists that have real effects on real people, so long as the bad actors are left-leaning marxists.

  • JRL in AZ Tucson, AZ
    Jan. 4, 2016 2:20 p.m.

    contrariuss

    mid-state, TN

    From Oregon Public Broadcasting -- I'm ready for you "moderate" Mormons to start condemning this radical Mormon extremism any time now.

    ---------------

    @contrariuss - I'm rather confused. The condemnation of the Bundys and their ilk has been pretty strong in the comments here at Deseret News every time they show up in the news. Either you haven't paid attention or you are being disingenuous.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 1:53 p.m.

    Samwise says that it is silly for cops to confront criminals in the act of committing a crime. That kind of thinking would have police stand down from entering the bank until the robbers have left. And if the police see some people carrying guns as they enter a church should they just assume that they are just protesting the no-carry policy.

    Armed rebellion is not an acceptable form of protest, it is a declaration of war and must be recognized as such. The purpose of a gun is to kill people or to keep other people from killing you. In either case if your opponent is your government it is a crime against that government.

    Enter comment

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    Jan. 4, 2016 1:52 p.m.

    Oh please. Anybody who feels terrorized over people occupying a federal building either already has serious emotional problems or is a paid crisis actor.

    Anyhow I think this whole thing is just a stunt in order to Glorify Obamas Gun Control executive orders. These Militia people are probably Feds if anything else. It would make perfect sense if they were.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 1:38 p.m.

    This is the American version of British Soccer Hooligans.

    Except the Brits don't let the hooligans wander the countryside with AK-47s and AR-15s, threatening to topple the government.

    Why don't these Bundy brothers go help their dad find the stray cattle he grazes on land owned by the rest of us?

    (In a way, we're all subsidizing this lunacy.)

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Jan. 4, 2016 1:33 p.m.

    It’s a fight the Bundy brothers have no more chance of winning than their father had in his standoff with Federal authorities over grazing rights in Nevada. Their invoking of scriptural passages probably has less to do with any extreme interpretation of Mormon beliefs than with their intense anti-Federal government hostility.

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    Jan. 4, 2016 1:27 p.m.

    "...armed conflicts between citizens and an out-of-control federal government who is grabbing more land and more power and more constitutional rights away from states and private citizens..."

    Funny. I've never been an Obama fan, but I've consistently seen my civil rights expand and be officially recognized under his administration. The worst things I've seen are Citizens United and Hobby Lobby, and both were SCOTUS.

    On the other hand the Obama administration has consistently moved to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority (a very central purpose of the Constitution) and to ensure citizens in every state - even those with a theocracy oriented legislature - are treated equally under the law, another hallmark of the Constitution.

    Those who see the need for treason and armed rebellion are white Christians who are less able to legally bully and mistreat their neighbors because "God said".

    The antics of this group of would-be terrorists is likely to sear the awareness of the average citizen with the idea that terrorism is terrorism, and it doesn't matter what religion is used to justify it.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 1:07 p.m.

    @Samwise

    So threats of violence are okay, as long as they are not carried out?

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 1:04 p.m.

    @Billy Bob

    My post was written largely in satire.

    Also, if I am not mistaken, this statement came out today...after my comment.

    It was in reference to all the posters on here to who want Muslims to denounce acts of terrorism, and largely attribute guilt by association to the entire community; despite repeated condemnations by leaders world wide. I was merely asking the same standard be applied to ourselves.

    I do find it refreshing that there is strong condemnation, and not people jumping on the bandwagon and praising them as I feared would be the case.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 1:03 p.m.

    @Max Power
    The Mormon church did come out with a strong statement against these terrorist. Same as American's muslims did last month in the So. Cal shootings. Let's just hope some crazy Presidential candidate does not call for the deportation of all Mormons based upon the actions of a few terrorist.

  • Samwise Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 12:59 p.m.

    At the moment, despite these extremists/protesters/whatever you want to call them being armed, no one is in immediate physical danger. The government is not going to send in the National Guard to attack them when that would most definitely result in loss of life. The difference between this and some Black Lives Matter protests is that those protests occur in highly populated areas, and there are some (of course not all, but some) Black Lives Matter "protestors" who purposefully do harm to others and the property of others. It is apples and oranges, and their are significant differences between this protest and the various BLM protests. The peaceful BLM protests are allowed to continue. If lives are not immediately in danger, they have largely been allowed to do whatever the heck they want, even in downtown Baltimore or other large cities. In short, to cry racism over the difference in response to this protest and BLM protests is just silly.

  • Billy Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 12:53 p.m.

    MaxPower

    "The silence is deafening"

    What silence? The LDS Church has come out with an official statement condemning these anti government extremists (you know how to comment on an online news paper comment board, I am sure you also know how to use google) and every member of the LDS Church I have personally heard speak about this also condemns it and thinks these guys are wackos. As a matter of fact, I have heard the greater condemnation coming from normal LDS members. We want to make it clear that we are not associated with these extremists and the church not only does not supports their actions, but strongly condemns it.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 12:53 p.m.

    ALthough I agree with the Church and their official statement today I see a nation divided with more and more of these types of potentially armed conflicts between citizens and an out-of-control federal government who is grabbing more land and more power and more constitutional rights away from states and private citizens. The one word that comes to mind regarding the Obama state of the union is "chaos". So much for hope n change.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Jan. 4, 2016 12:09 p.m.

    If Ammon Bundy is lucky - he will not be introduced to Lon Horiuchi. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of Al Bundy to this noble cause.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Jan. 4, 2016 11:47 a.m.

    I guess a turban isn't required clothing for terrorists after all. Send in the National Guard and clear out these freeloaders.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 11:24 a.m.

    Where do these people live? Seems a great time to take over their ranches and homes to get the back
    Taxes they owe. Round up their cattle and sell their other assets. Then when they come back home they will be the aggressors, and the federal agents will be simply protecting themselves. If the feds are quick enough they will come back to empty homes and fields.

  • contrariuss mid-state, TN
    Jan. 4, 2016 11:04 a.m.

    @procuradorfiscal --

    "No, there's no significant difference at all."

    Seriously? You guys who always respond to shootings by police with comments like "Obey the law!" and "Do what the police tell you!" and "Don't point guns at cops!" see no problem with armed occupiers who have threatened multiple times to shoot anyone who tries to take them into custody??

    If the Black Lives Matter protesters had been armed, there would have been a blood bath. Same with any Muslim protests.

    This is armed insurrection. Treason. As the local sheriff has stated: "These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers," Sheriff David Ward said in a statement, "when in reality these men had alternative motives, to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States."

    The hypocrisy of the "law and order" types is coming through loud and clear.

  • james d. morrison Boise, ID
    Jan. 4, 2016 10:42 a.m.

    The Bundy family needs to be excommunicated. The handbook says if you refuse to pay your taxes, you can't have a temple recommend and if you take illegal actions to avoid paying taxes, further church discipline is necessary. His grazing fees are like taxes.

  • contrariuss mid-state, TN
    Jan. 4, 2016 10:40 a.m.

    From Oregon Public Broadcasting -- I'm ready for you "moderate" Mormons to start condemning this radical Mormon extremism any time now.

    ----------

    The protesters come from as far away as Texas, Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Montana. They describe themselves as patriots, militiamen or constitutionalists.

    “I came prepared for anything,” said one Utah man who called himself “Captain Moroni.” Many of the protesters provided reporters with names such as “Fluffy Unicorn,” or “Jimmy Joe”.

    Captain Moroni said he participated in the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff, and he was disappointed that more protesters did not arrive.

    “I feel quite betrayed. It’s been on Facebook that everyone is going to come. And we show up, and everyone just craps out,” he said. “You come up here, ready to get killed if we have to and these people are just on Facebook about it.

    “I’m not here to shoot anyone, I’m here to get shot,” he said, while guarding the entrance to the refuge headquarters Sunday afternoon, patting his hands together for warmth near a sagebrush fire.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 10:37 a.m.

    Re: "There's a huge difference between sit-ins and armed occupation."

    No, there's no significant difference at all. Only one of degree, perhaps. Certainly not of intent.

    Sit-ins; die-ins; occupations; shamings; boycotts; violent, threatening demonstrations; politically-motivated prosecutions; uninvited outings; publishing addresses; inviting or demanding firings and boycotts; demanding "perp-walks" of the innocent; fabricating undeserved outrage; strikes, violent picketing, and intimidation of "scabs;" yellow journalism; academic snark and sophistry -- all are oft-used tools of all-too common leftist bullying.

    Each arises out of exactly the same motivation as ISIS beheadings -- attempts to force or coerce a view, aim or political end on unwilling people that are not convinced by peaceful, reasoned argument.

    These demonic tools have been embraced and adopted by the left, primarily because they've come to understand that their philosophy simply doesn't resonate with real people.

    It's entertaining, almost comical now, to watch the convoluted mental gymnastics in which they're now engaged, attempting, disingenuously, to distinguish their actions from those of people with conflicting views, but who've adopted the exact same tactics.

    It's as if they're accusing them of thievery.

  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    Jan. 4, 2016 10:30 a.m.

    Why not just cut off all utilities, ingress, egress, and arrest them for trespass when they come out? No need for violence. Was anyone jailed for the Cliven Bundy matter?
    @Maxpower. Based on the responses herein it looks to me like a whole lot of Mormons are speaking out against this. I see terms like sedition and treason thrown around a lot. As I recall Cliven Bundy was pretty roundly condemned by on these pages.

  • bikeboy Boise, ID
    Jan. 4, 2016 10:09 a.m.

    Have you heard the Bundy version of the familiar patriotic song?

    "This land is my land...
    this land is my land...
    this land is my land...
    this land was made for meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

    (I generally lean libertarian, but recognize the value of public lands. Historically, federally-owned land is likely to stay public - you know, available to all citizens. There are definitely management problems, particularly when the managers work in a big office on the other side of the country. Or when cattlemen or some other interest group forgets that it's public land... happens all the time. But when it's owned by the state, the states have a distrubing tendency to sell it off when hard times hit.)

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    Jan. 4, 2016 10:08 a.m.

    Occupy Wallstreet was demanding changes to banking regulations from the current model of private profit but taxpayer responsibility for failure. They protested by sitting (and camping in public parks and by blocking doors and sidewalks.

    College students have grievances against colleges and the oppressive - and highly profitable - loan system. They are often lawbreakers and potentially rioters, and those who break the law should be dealt with.

    Ferguson and Baltimore are a mix of rioters, looters, and people demanding accountability for police shootings and brutality. The criminals should be dealt with, the protesters heard.

    These terrorists are openly calling for armed rebellion and the overthrow of government, and they talk openly about a theocratic system. They are openly calling others to join them - an act of treason and sedition.

    They are not the same.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 10:00 a.m.

    Business terrorists are the worst kind of terrorists. Their loyalty is to the money from the highest bidder. Where is the police, the army, the National Guard? Where is the people who are supposed to be protecting Americans in America?

    As a reminder, America is all about equal justice for all and not allowing the rich and powerful to walk over the rights and freedoms of other Americans. Armed rebellion is not a part of America or the American Constitution. Americans are those people living, working and enjoying the benefits of America no matter where they reside.

    Criminals, even when they are businessmen, ranchers, farmers or other parasites on the labors of honest men, must be put down, outlawed, nullified and if necessary exterminated if America is to survive.

    Enter comment

  • 1st avenue New York, NY
    Jan. 4, 2016 9:58 a.m.

    @jamescmeyer
    "It's difficult to think poorly of the occupiers. I mean, when people began trashing banks and the property of their staff, the president lauded it."
    Please do quote for us from an actual reliable source were the "president lauded it."
    @DN subscriber
    Yes because unarmed protesters are the same as an armed self discribed " militia willing to die out here."

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 9:58 a.m.

    @Old Jake

    No, the reason this isn't all over is because they are white, and Mormon.

    I just wish moderate Mormons would decry, and condemn this sedition. The silence is deafening.
    (end satire)

    But if this was Black Lives Matter or a muslim...it would be on CNN 24 hours a day.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 9:52 a.m.

    Re: "The government really needs to take full military action, and any survivors need to be in Gitmo with the rest of the terrorists."

    Yeah -- just like the government took full military action to address and punish the leftist "Occupy Wall Street" terrorists; or the leftist student terrorist occupying college administration offices demanding "free" tuition and an end to free speech; or the leftist, pro-crime Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD protesters, huh?

    It'd by hard to argue these misguided bozos are not terrorists, particularly since the stand they've taken includes implied and overt threats of armed violence. The funny, but accurate "Vanilla ISIS" moniker certainly fits.

    But, they're certainly no worse than many, many, many marxist movements -- in some ways, not quite as bad, since they've chosen to do their senseless "protest" thing miles away from real people's residences and businesses.

    Are we seeing here that the American left has finally begun to awaken to the inarguable fact that their incessant, illegal "protests," while often not as dangerous to human life, serve exactly the same function as Taliban and ISIS executions -- terrorizing opponents?

  • contrariuss mid-state, TN
    Jan. 4, 2016 9:44 a.m.

    @DN Subscriber --

    "However, if you are going to let leftist kooks take over forests and live in trees to prevent logging, and if you let the leftists "occupy" public parks (even here in Utah!) then if we have equal justice under the law, we must tolerate the right wing kooks demonstrate and protest in a wildlife refuge in Oregon."

    There's a huge difference between sit-ins and armed occupation. These guys have assault weapons, have threatened violence, and are intimidating the local townsfolk.

    As others have already noted -- if these guys were black or Muslim, the occupation would already be over.

  • Old Jake Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 9:40 a.m.

    The reason this is not over yet is because we all feel to some degree that they are right. We have had our right infringed for decades and we are all waiting for someone to draw the line and say "Enough"!!!

    We are pretty close to that line and although these guys are not the perfect situation they might be close enough to rally the Patriots around them. In Ferguson they didn't have the perfect situation but it was close enough to rally the blacks together.

    As Americans we all need to figure out where the line is going to be drawn. We are (were) a "free" people. It is in our DNA to fight to defend our "freedom"

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 9:32 a.m.

    Armed and ready to die protesters are terrorists. Taking over property by force is aggravated robbery. Looks like the radical right has an attempted revolution underway. Must be a lot of people from Utah heading up to join.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 9:31 a.m.

    A bunch of kooks taking over public property is illegal and should not be tolerated.

    However, if you are going to let leftist kooks take over forests and live in trees to prevent logging, and if you let the leftists "occupy" public parks (even here in Utah!) then if we have equal justice under the law, we must tolerate the right wing kooks demonstrate and protest in a wildlife refuge in Oregon.

    This bunch of protesters is better armed than the leftists, but their demonstrations were not totally non-violent either.

    Best plan is for the feds to step back and let them occupy all winter long. With no direct confrontation, there will be no escalation of force, and no news coverage, and that is what they seek.

    But, we must enforce the laws equally, not one set of rules for the left and a different set for the right.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 9:23 a.m.

    I do hope that their first act upon occupying the wildlife refuge office was to notify the utility companies to change the billing. I know responsible patriots would not dare live off the taxpayer's dime (or do they subscribe to the "Bleed the Beast" philosophy?).

    Meanwhile, I am anxiously waiting for the moderate voices of the public lands movement to repudiate the use of armed protest and unlawful seizure of property by their more extreme colleagues, just as everyone expects moderate Muslims to vigorously and visibly denounce every violent act by Muslim extremists, no matter how distant. American Lands Council, we are paging you.

    And what of conservatives' much ballyhooed deference to local control, decentralized power, and federalism? It appears that many Bend residents, the Hammonds included, do not want the out-of-state Bundy group meddling in their local affairs.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Jan. 4, 2016 9:19 a.m.

    It's difficult to think poorly of the occupiers. I mean, when people began trashing banks and the property of their staff, the president lauded it. You'd think people outraged at the federal government blocking off most of their land, kicking them from it, and re-jailing people who've served their declared sentences who are holding a location without rioting would be permissible by comparison.

  • FatherOfFour WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 8:58 a.m.

    Oh look it's Vanilla Isis. Can you imagine if the Black Lives Matters folks did this? Took over a federal building with assault weapons and refused to leave? Can you imagine if these guys were Muslim? It would be over by now and there would be a crater there.

    Their leader is reportedly named Ammon. That is an interesting name. Where have I heard that name before?

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    Jan. 4, 2016 8:39 a.m.

    Protesters have signs. They have chants. They sometimes block doorways or roads.

    Terrorists are heavily armed. They threaten violence, and do violence. They quote scripture to justify their actions.

    Sedition is conduct and speech encouraging insurrection, including especially subversion of a constitution.

    These individuals are treasonous terrorists who are trying to start a civil war to overthrow the lawful government. Much of their rhetoric centers around establishment of a theocratic form of government.

    There is no practical difference between this group and ISIS.

    The government really needs to take full military action, and any survivors need to be in Gitmo with the rest of the terrorists.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 8:29 a.m.

    They're terrorists in support of welfare queen ranchers, and if this were Ferguson the national guard would long since have been called.
    On the other hand, the government has time on its' side; they're out there on their own and away from everyone. So the "y'all Queada" can keep waging "Yee-hawd" for a while.

  • H. Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2016 8:25 a.m.

    So when they "return" the land to local control, does that mean the local county or city will assume the cost of any wildfires, like the ones that the Hammonds started (estimated to cost more than half a million dollars to fight) and were convicted for? If I lived in that county, I'd be out there telling the outsiders to take a hike back where they came from.
    The "return" of federal lands movement never does tell the truth about where the money to maintain those lands will come from when they "return" the land back to the states, or the counties, or the cities. It will either have to come from higher taxes to the local residents or it will come from selling that now-local land to private interests, and then the lie of "returning" the land will be laid bare--this is a land grab by extractive industry and not a "patriotic" movement at all.