Standing in front of a group of TV cameras today, an occupying group of vigilantes from throughout the country told reporters and onlookers that they have received word indirectly from the FBI that they “will not come upon us,” meaning they will not attack the group.
Occupying leader Ammon Bundy said his group has created a name for themselves – “Citizens for Constitutional Freedom.” Mr. Bundy said their “work plan” based at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge includes two main areas: Win the freedom for local rancher Dwight Hammond and his son Steven who have been returned to prison to serve out the remainder of their five year sentences for illegally setting fires on federal lands. The Hammonds contend a fire headed for their leased grazing pastures was set by BLM crews and so they set a backfire in the direction of their fire in an effort to protect their leased lands.
The other goal of the now Citizens for Constitutional Freedom is to begin going back through documentation pertaining to ownership of all lands in Harney County and to correct the federal government’s unlawful claim of ownership. Bundy said only the state of Oregon or the County of Harney are legally qualified to own those lands – not the federal government.
We await the next news conference.
Meanwhile, the FBI has ordered ODOT to not plow any roads that provide access to the refuge headquarters area. ODOT’s message to the media is that the roads will remain unplowed until the FBI determines that they should be plowed.