Militias rally for fight with federal agents
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/11/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Tensions have increased in Nevada after armed citizens from several different militia organizations arrived on the ranch of Cliven Bundy to support the besieged rancher.
The standoff turned violent within the week of April 7, bringing two decades of land disputes to a head.
span style="line-height: 1.22;">LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ranch, just 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, has been the site of a land dispute two decades in the making. The standoff between hundreds of federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management and FBI and the Bundy family and supporters occurred after the agents went to confiscate 1,000 heads of cattle as part of a court order.
In 1998 the Bureau of Land Management designated 186,909 acres of the Gold Butte area, Bundy's ranch, as critical for the survival of a local desert tortoise. Despite holding onto that land for generations, Bundy lost the grazing permit. The Bureau of Land Management claims that Bundy owes around $1 million in fees, but the family contends that they only owe $300,000.
A scuffle occurred on April 9, where Bundy's son was shot with a stun gun which was recorded on camera, while his daughter was apparently beaten before the footage was taken.
The Bureau of Land Management says that the situation only deteriorated to violence when a protestor kicked a K-9 unit officer.
Later that day three militia members arrived, two from Montana, and one from Utah. Other groups have pledged to muster at the site, with the goal to protect the Bundys from the federal government's actions. They claim they are prepared to fight, but insist that they won't instigate it.
Ryan Payne, a member of the West Mountain Rangers, made the trek from western Montana, and also a coordinator with Operation Mutual Aid, a coalition of national militias, says that his organization is getting ready to aid the Bundys.
They tell me they are in the process of mobilizing as we speak," he said.
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