by Scott Creighton
What people fail to understand is that these cowboy hat wearing, neoliberal privateers of “liberty” aren’t taking the land from the over-reaching Big Gubment… they are taking it from the American people, the people of Harney County, the people of Oregon. They are stealing it from us and asking us to applaud while they do it, so they can hand it over to some wealthy company so they can make a buck off of it… all the while thinking we are stupid enough to believe they are doing it for “freedom”. Speaking for some of us out here, we aren’t that stupid. Maybe the Sarah Palin fans are. Maybe Donald Trump fans are. Maybe the Killary fans are. But most of us aren’t. And it would appear, most of the residents of Harney County aren’t that stupid either.
This past Tuesday night, the people of Harney County, Oregon held a public town-hall type meeting in a local high school where they intended to air their grievances to the local authorities about the continuing Bundy occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The occupiers got wind of the meeting and showed up uninvited. This allowed the locals to vent their frustrations directly toward Ammon Bundy and his fascist little clan of Big Gubment haters.
At the emotional meeting, residents one by one demanded that Bundy and his armed followers end their siege of the wildlife sanctuary and immediately leave town.
“It is time for you to go home,” Harney County judge Steve Grasty, one of the most vocal critics of the militia, said directly to Bundy, who sat in the bleachers of a Burns high school gymnasium on Tuesday night and listened to a steady stream of angry comments.
Gone is the illusion that these armed men came to Harney County to “help the citizens” reclaim resources of the federal land for their own use.
Gone is the narrative that they came to help the two imprisoned ranchers who set fire to federal lands so they could make some larger profits.
“This was never about the Hammonds,” Grasty told the Guardian over the weekend. “It was a diversionary tactic. These folks have some other goal that they never told us about.” Guardian
This was never about “freedom” or “liberty” or the constitution. It was ALWAYS about the neoliberal plan to PRIVATIZE federal land for the PROFITS of a few wealthy ranchers, mining and logging companies.
Radio fascist Pete Santilli made an obscene gesture to one of the local women who was voicing her disapproval of the occupation. Santilli’s gesture makes it perfectly clear just how these folks feel about the locals.
Resident Isabelle Fleuraud pointed out that mandatory minimum sentencing wasn’t “invented for the Hammonds a few years ago.”
“It has been around for 20 years and it was the Republicans who put them in place,” she said. “For 20 years mostly inner-city, poor, minority men have been unjustly jailed for endless sentences… The Hammonds committed the crime, and they got the sentence that was appropriate for that crime. And it is very sad, but it is sad for everybody in America who has an unfair sentence. Not just the Hammonds.”
She then accused the group of “invading” the community and said they should leave and “go to jail where you deserve to be.” Raw Story
While the local sheriff does nothing to hinder the occupier’s efforts, one Harney County judge at least made an effort:
At one point, the crowd erupted in applause when Harney County judge Steve Grasty approached the group and addressed Ammon Bundy directly.
“It is time for you to go home,” he said. At the end of the meeting, Grasty urged Bundy to leave peacefully, even offering to put him in his own pick-up truck and drive him wherever he wanted. “I don’t care if it’s Utah… Go home will you? We got families. We need to move on.”
At one point, audience members began chanting, “Go, go, go, go, go.” Raw Story
Pete Santilli made a video of the meeting. He rushed up there once the occupation began, I guess sensing an opportunity to make a buck for himself out of it. Kinda like the Bundy’s. That’s all that “liberty” they’ve been talking about.
The governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, is demanding the Justice Department and the Obama White House take steps to end the occupation. She can’t figure out why it’s taken so long. We all know, were these armed Muslim Americans taking over federal property because they hate the federal government, it would have been over 3 weeks ago… and they would have blamed Iran somehow.
Gov. Kate Brown said federal officials “must move quickly to end the occupation and hold all of the wrongdoers accountable.”
“The residents of Harney County have been overlooked and underserved by federal officials’ response thus far. I have conveyed these very grave concerns directly to our leaders at the highest levels of our government: the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House,” she said at a news conference.
Exasperated by a tense situation that has caused fear among local residents since it began Jan. 2, Brown said, “This spectacle of lawlessness must end, and until Harney County is free of it, I will not stop insisting that federal officials enforce the law.” AP
Kate touches on an important aspect of this. It’s kind of the same thing as that Harney County resident who was asking what the hell the sheriff was doing by allowing this occupation to continue for so long. Notice, when the meeting ended, the Bundy clan of neoliberal Mormons was allowed to simply walk right past a bunch of Harney County sheriff’s deputies vehicles and hop in their cars and drive back to their illegal occupation without being arrested. Try occupying a 7-11 in that county and see what happens to you.
The Obama administration has no intention of stopping this since they are neoliberals as well.
Federal authorities did not immediately return calls seeking comment. AP
The people of that area deserve legal protection under the law. These assholes are disrupting their livelihoods, threatening the peace in their community and literally stealing the bread off some of their tables… all so they can privatize something that belongs to all of us, for the benefit of a few rich businesses and ranchers.
But larger than all of that is the notion that our public resources belong to all of us not just a few mining and logging companies who can hire assholes like the Bundy clan to move in and take over federal lands and hold them until they get drilling or logging rights handed over to them by a complicit Barack Obama.
What the Bundys are is simply an American version of the thug class we see operating in places like Ukraine, Syria and Egypt. They serve the interests of the establishment oligarchs. While they drape themselves in the American flag and cite the constitution as their divine right, what they really want is the demolition of the constitution and the federal government along with it so they and their ilk are “free” to wipe every national treasure off the map for their own personal profits. How long till they turn the Redwood Forrest into hamburger wrappers for Burger King in the name of “freedom” or strip-mine the Grand Canyon for “liberty’s” sake? It’s not a hard jump to make.
Here’s an interesting little diddy from Woody Guthrie from back in 1945. Is this really our land?
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