News / USA

    US Wildlife Refuge Standoff Ends as Last 4 Protesters Surrender

    FILE - Members of the Oregon State Troopers and FBI are seen as in Burns, Oregon, Jan. 31, 2016. Four armed occupants remain at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns.
    FILE - Members of the Oregon State Troopers and FBI are seen as in Burns, Oregon, Jan. 31, 2016. Four armed occupants remain at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns.
    VOA News

    The six-week standoff at a U.S. national wildlife refuge between law enforcement authorities and armed, anti-government protesters ended Thursday, with the last four demonstrators surrendering.

    Two men and the wife of one of them walked out of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in a remote part of the northwestern state of Oregon. Hours later, the last remaining protester, who had rejected pleas to leave, surrendered as well.

    The four holdouts were part of a larger group that seized the refuge Jan. 2, demanding that the federal government turn the property over to local authorities, and that two ranchers convicted of setting fires be absolved from having to return to prison to complete their sentences. But days later, the ranchers peacefully returned to prison, even as the protest at the wildlife refuge continued.

    FILE - Rancher Cliven Bundy speaks with supporters at an event, April 11, 2015, in Bunkerville, Nevada.
    FILE - Rancher Cliven Bundy speaks with supporters at an event, April 11, 2015, in Bunkerville, Nevada.

    Late Wednesday, authorities arrested a well-known anti-government figure, Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher who in 2014 sparked an armed confrontation with officials over cattle grazing rights on federal land. He was apprehended in Portland, Oregon, but apparently was on his way to the refuge, where his son, Ammon Bundy, had led the protest and was one of a dozen people arrested late last month.

    The younger Bundy and others were apprehended on a road outside the preserve during a traffic stop that turned violent, with authorities killing one protester who they said was reaching for a gun.

    The final hours of the protest played out after federal law enforcement officials surrounded the four remaining protesters late Wednesday.

    Greg Bretzing, an FBI special agent in Oregon, said the situation "reached a point where it became necessary to take action in a way that best ensured the safety of those on the refuge, the law enforcement officers who are on scene, and the people of Harney County who live and work in this area."

    Confrontation streamed live online

    Authorities said they encircled the camp after one of the protesters drove an all-terrain vehicle outside barricades the protesters themselves had erected earlier. Officials said an attempt was made to approach the driver, but he drove away "at a high rate of speed."

    For hours after authorities closed in, an acquaintance of one of the occupiers streamed a phone call with the four live on the Internet. During the call, FBI agents could occasionally be heard calling to the protesters on a loudspeaker, demanding that they put down their weapons and surrender. The protesters could also be heard shouting responses to law enforcement.
     
    Nevada state lawmaker Michele Fiore, who said she was trying to help end the standoff, also joined the call as she was en route to the refuge. One of the holdouts, Sean Anderson, told Fiore that members of the group had agreed to turn themselves in at an FBI checkpoint at 8 a.m. Thursday, the Associated Press reported.  

     

    FILE - Ammon Bundy, center, walks off after speaking with reporters during a news conference at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters Jan. 4, 2016, near Burns, Oregon.
    FILE - Ammon Bundy, center, walks off after speaking with reporters during a news conference at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters Jan. 4, 2016, near Burns, Oregon.

    41-day standoff

    The standoff began Jan. 2 when an anti-government militia group composed of about 100 ranchers, farmers, and so-called survivalists took over the refuge.  The group was led by Ammon Bundy.

    Ammon Bundy and most of the group's leadership – including Ammon's brother Ryan – were arrested Jan. 26 when they left the refuge for a meeting and authorities stopped the protester's vehicles. Shots were fired during the incident, and one of the occupiers, Robert Finicum, was killed. Federal officials said Finicum reached into his jacket for a handgun, a claim the protesters and their supporters dispute.

    Most of the occupiers left in the days and weeks after the arrests, but the four remaining had said they wanted assurances they won't face charges if they leave.

    A federal grand jury has indicted 11 people arrested for their roles in the refuge occupation, including Ammon and Ryan Bundy.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: meanbill from: USA
    February 11, 2016 10:05 AM
    Sooner or later they had to surrender? .. They were a bunch of armed morons trying to start a revolution of some type, but the cause and reason they were demonstrating for with weapons, wasn't worth fighting and dying for, was it? .. It's fine to demonstrate for a cause, but do it without weapons, and do it for a cause worthy of it, and not for a cause that benefits a few?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora