Thursday, February 11, 2016

FBI Moving In On Occupiers

Woke up to this:

FBI agents surrounded the last four occupiers of an Oregon wildlife refuge on Wednesday night.

Negotiations were under way and no shots have been fired, according to the FBI’s Portland office. It said agents have been stationed at barricades in front of and behind the area of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge where the occupiers are camping.

Wednesday’s confrontation began about 4:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. ET) when one of the occupiers drove an all-terrain vehicle outside the group’s own barricades, the FBI said. When agents approached the driver, he speeded back to the encampment.

“We 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,” said Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. “It has never been the FBI’s desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue.”

Tens of thousands of people listened in to a live stream of a phone call which appeared to include the four occupiers and several supporters. Amid prayers and anti-government diatribes, the participants in the call repeatedly expressed distrust of the FBI’s intentions and of their chances in the legal system.

By around 9:30 p.m. local time (12:30 E.T.) the tone of the call — posted by Gavin Seim, a Washington state writer and activist allied with the so-called patriot movement — had cooled significantly.

The remaining occupiers are believed to be: David Fry, 27, of Blanchester, Ohio; Jeff Banta, 46, of Elko, Nevada; and Sean Anderson, 48, and Sandy Anderson, 47, a married couple from Riggins, Idaho.

Let’s hope it ends peacefully and that the next news out of this is that they’ve signed Woody Harrelson to do the TV movie version.