As the Oregon standoff ended on Thursday, petty tyrants and cowards the nation over rejoiced that men and women who had the courage to take an armed stand against their own government are no longer a threat to the status quo – but that’s not entirely true is it? Perhaps now, they are a bigger threat than ever.
In the wake of the Citizens For Constitutional Freedom takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters near Burns, it seemed like the entire country was against them. Even the majority in militia circles lamented the action, failing to see the importance of such a move.
Right-wing talk-radio hosts sought to distance themselves and provided analysis as Monday morning quarterbacks that it “just wasn’t the right time,” or alluded to claims of infiltration or an impending set-up by the feds. That most likely did happen, as it will happen in any scenario where people are seeking freedom – but the point is, when the Bundy-led militia stood up for what they believed in, almost no one had their back.
The timid remained timid. Individuals that had been talking about the overreach of the federal government for decades stood down. Instead of offering support, they rationalized away their cowardice with platitudes about strategy – again, “it just wasn’t the right time.”
Ladies and gentlemen, there is never going to be a “right time” to take back our liberty and now is always as good a time as any. Also, let me just say this: If you are the type of person that cheered on the occupations of “public property” during the Occupy Wall Street movement or the rioting and protests that have ensued in the wake of Black Lives Matter, but you decried the Oregon occupiers because they didn’t align with your personal political preference, then you are a hypocrite.
The group had legitimate grievances and responded as any individual should to the repeated encroachments on their rights and the rights of their countrymen. To get into what these brave men and women were standing up to in Oregon would require too much detail here, but for the full backstory, CLICK HERE.
You can also gleam some of the dirty tricks that the FBI employed in the standoff in order to turn the local population against the occupiers HERE. Despite the mainstream media spin, many Oregonians were outraged by the reaction of the feds to the situation. This is important to consider in context when addressing the government-sanctioned assassination of Robert LaVoy Finicum.
An American Legend
Lavoy Finicum quickly became the voice of the occupiers, giving mainstream media interviews and statements live from the refuge. He even wrote a novel, entitled “Only By Blood And Suffering,” which details a family’s struggle to come together in order to survive and maintain their liberty in the midst of a national crisis.
On the day of the murder, Lavoy, Ammon Bundy and several other occupiers were traveling to the city of John Day for a community meeting set up by local residents.
They were pulled over on U.S. Highway 395 by the Oregon State Police and the FBI. Officials said that in an attempt to minimize violence, they had been waiting for an opportunity to arrest the group’s leadership away from the refuge. They said everyone obeyed orders to surrender except LaVoy and Ryan Bundy, Ammon’s brother – who were both shot.
According to the group’s Facebook page, which posted an audio interview from a witness who was present during the traffic stop, Finicum was murdered without cause as over 100 shots were unloaded during the encounter. Other witnesses have also corroborated those statements and given additional audio testimony.
In all, police arrested eight people: five in the traffic stop; two others in Burns; and one in Arizona. Those arrested at the traffic stop were Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox and Ryan Waylen Payne. The two arrested in Burns were Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy and Peter Santilli. A FBI spokesperson said protester Jon Ritzheimer turned himself in to police in Peoria, Arizona.
According to the feds, all those arrested after the killing face a federal felony charge of “conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats.”
Just what exactly transpired during the shooting will remain unclear. After video footage was released of the incident however, witness claims appeared to be vindicated as Lavoy is seen being hit with bullets before he ever “reached for a gun” like the FBI and police claimed. After the killing was over, cops were seen flipping off his lifeless body.
Watch the raw footage:
The full “unedited” – though obviously edited version of the video was released by the FBI – but interestingly enough, in places where the footage seems to skip during the initial stop of the occupiers’ vehicle, is where witnesses claimed the feds first opened fire. You can watch the footage of the shooting linked up to witness testimony here, and an in-depth analysis from a retired cop here.
The Citizens for Constitutional Freedom have steadily maintained that Lavoy was unarmed during his death and have called the shooting a “cold-blooded assassination,” and the FBI “liars.” They said that, “LaVoy’s guns were left at the compound” evidenced by the fact that his personal pistol can be seen in videos from the refuge after he was killed.
Lavoy was said to have shouted to police, “just shoot me,” before he was gunned down. This gives credence to claims made by one of the passengers that he “got out to try to keep the attention focused on him so that they would not shoot at the women in the vehicle.”
“You can see him point at the vehicle before he is shot. This supports the story that he was warning them not to harm the women in the truck,” the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom Facebook page said. “When you watch the longer, unedited version you can see the authorities shoot up the vehicle – hitting it with about 100 bullets and shooting out the windshield – even though nobody in the vehicle had done ANYTHING aggressive in any way.”
Robert LaVoy Finicum was born on January 27, 1961 in Kanab, UT and was murdered the day before his 55th birthday on January 26, 2016. LaVoy was born to David and Nelda Finicum and had six siblings, Sherre, Guy, Jody, Jill, Misty, and Tadi. LaVoy was married to Dorthea Jeanette Finicum on February 18, 1994 and together they have eleven children, Thara, Belle, Tell, Tawny, Arianna, Brittney, Mitch, Thomas, Challice, Danielle, and Tean. Combined they have 19 grandchildren with three more on the way.
LaVoy went to school in Page Arizona. He served a full time mission in the Dakotas for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints of which he was a faithful member his whole life. He served in many church positions; among them: the Young Men’s program, Ward Mission leader, Elders Quorum president, a High Priest leader and a member of the Bishopric. LaVoy worked many years in property management but his passions were helping children and ranching. LaVoy had over 50 foster boys whom he was able to have in his home and mentor over the course of the past 19 years. He loved working on his ranch and teaching his children how to ride horses, brand cows, and most of all, to follow Christ. LaVoy loved God, his family, and his country. He believed that the Constitution of the United States was inspired by God and he was willing to, and did, die while defending our freedoms stated within.
Folks, Lavoy Finicum is a great American hero – murdered by his own government after they escalated a peaceful situation to death for daring to stand against federal tyranny. People might say that police were just doing their job, that they were just following their training. Well, I say the officers and agents in this situation are traitorous filth that must be seen as nothing less than enemy combatants to the cause of freedom.
Even if Lavoy had been reaching for a gun, it would be completely justifiable in my view. Any officer or FBI agent that gave a shit about the oath they took to uphold Constitutional rights in this country would have been standing, fighting, and dying right alongside this brave man. Instead, they murdered him for a paycheck and flipped off his dead body.
And Then There Were Four
Following the death of Lavoy and the arrest of Bundy and other prominent group members, the state of the occupation fell into disarray with only four remaining: 47-year-old Sean, and 48-year-old Sandy Anderson, of Riggins, Idaho; 46-year-old Jeff Banta, of Elko, Nevada; and 27-year-old David Fry, of Blanchester, Ohio.
Sandy, a former barber and cosmetologist helped her husband Sean run Hurricane Outdoor Supply, a company that sells camping, hiking, hunting, survival and tactical supplies. Banta is a father of two who worked as a construction worker.
The FBI moved in for the final siege on Wednesday night deploying armored vehicles, snipers, and drones – during which the remaining occupiers, who were camping outside of the building, live streamed the encounter and Thursday morning’s subsequent surrender. Those streams, along with minute by minute updates can be found HERE.
During the tense hours, the protesters engaged in conversations with evangelist Franklin Graham and early supporter of the occupation, Nevada state-legislator Michele Fiore, as an FBI negotiator can be heard speaking from a bull-horn. The streams consisted of several patched in phone calls from Fiore, the occupiers, and public speaker, activist and past Congressional candidate Gavin Seim – who arranged them.
During the night and next morning, the final four expressed solace regarding the reality that the American people had not supported them, the way that the mainstream media had portrayed them as terrorists, the death wishes they had received, and the likelihood of federal infiltration of their group. They prayed and read bible verses, and listened to hymns sung by 18-year-old Victoria Sharp – who had been in the backseat of the vehicle Lavoy was driving on the day he was killed.
“If we go to jail, that’s admitting that we did not follow the Constitution. And we did follow the Constitution,” Sandy Anderson told Fiore. “That’s why we’re here. We were standing up for the Constitution. Expressing our First Amendment right to peacefully assemble. And they are crucifying us for that.”
Fiore spoke for hours with the occupiers and attempted to negotiate with the FBI to bring her to the refuge so that a peaceful resolution could be agreed on. At first, the feds refused to speak to her. According to the protestors, the FBI negotiator said that neither she nor Franklin Graham – who was supposed to arrive Thursday morning would be allowed on the grounds despite earlier saying they could.
Eventually, after being exposed as liars to over 67,000 live viewers on the Wednesday night stream, the feds finally said that they would allow Fiore to walk the protestors out during their surrender on Thursday – which they did willingly without incident with the help of Franklin Graham and other lawmakers – but not without some prolonged apprehension from David Fry.
The Last Occupier
David arrived at the refuge during the first week of the occupation and quickly gained notoriety after posting impassioned videos and live streams from inside. His candid rants and comments often garnered criticism, even from other occupiers however.
David’s live-streams cut off in the last days of the occupation but the young man had previously said that he had showed up in Oregon because he thinks that the world is falling apart – morally and physically – and that something needed to be done.
He said he was concerned about the environment, particularly the health of the Pacific Ocean and its wildlife, and had grown close to Lavoy, having even corresponded with him prior to the occupation. Lavoy’s death is said to have hardened David’s resolve to stand against the federal tyrants.
David, who is half American and half Japanese, comes from a long line of defenders of honor and liberty. According to Jake Morphonios, who had been chronicling the events in Oregon since the beginning, David’s hereditary roots extend into the American revolution and into the Samurai in Japan.
As David remained the final holdout, he remarked that he would rather die free than live as a slave. He lamented the ineffectiveness of voting, the apathy of the American people, and the coercive mechanism of taxation that forces him to pay for things he doesn’t agree with like abortion and foreign wars.
“I think most of Americans need to realize that they should have been here supporting it,” David said. “If they would have been here from the start, Lavoy would still be alive… After Lavoy died everybody should be upset about it, but they’re not doing anything… Civil disobedience is a word that means you have to break the law.”
“I believe man was made to build,” he latter added. “And these people that are controlling us, suppressing us, are the people that need to be removed and I’m trying to expose them.”
Finally, around an hour and 15 minutes after the three other occupiers walked out, David agreed to surrender. “If everybody says ‘Halleluiah,’ I’ll come out,” he told the FBI negotiator. “Will you do that? Everybody’s listening. Alright guys, you heard that, they’re at least going to say ‘Halleluiah.'”
David then lit a cigarette and exited his tent to chants of ‘Halleluiah,’ and was arrested without further incident. Prior to the final surrender, a total of 12 other occupiers and the remaining four were indicted.
Its important to note that none were accused with any “crime” aside from the catch-all charge of “conspiracy.” Why? Because the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is supposed to guarantee “…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” In other words, the occupiers did nothing wrong – including being armed, which is also obviously supposed to be a Constitutionally protected right.
Forty-one days into the Oregon standoff and the occupation was over – but not before the feds took vengeance on 69-year-old Cliven Bundy – the patriarch of the Bundy family who lead the historic stand-down of federal usurpers at his Nevada ranch in 2014.
The Citizens for Constitutional Freedom Facebook page said that as the elderly man was arriving in Oregon on Wednesday night at the Portland airport, he was surrounded by FBI and SWAT and was taken into custody on the same “conspiracy to interfere with a federal officer” charge that his sons Ammon and Ryan, and the rest of those arrested during the refuge occupation were jailed on.
In addition, Blaine Cooper has also been arrested by the FBI in conjunction with the occupation and it has also been reported that 68 other indictments may have been unsealed against others who stood in the face of their criminal government at the Bundy Ranch, the Oregon refuge, and Sugar Pine Mine – though those reports have not yet been confirmed.
Don’t the feds understand anything? Striking down defenders of liberty only makes them more powerful. The symbol that embodies courageous Oregon occupiers like Lavoy Finicum, David Fry and others is now set in the minds of men and women all over the country. Liberty will continue to rise and rise again, until the yoke is finally overthrown.
It is the inevitable course of human events and is what economist and political theorist Murray Rothbard called the eternal struggle between Power and Market – between those who wish to dominate and coerce and those that wish to be free.
The fight for those incarcerated now turns to the courts. If you didn’t support the Oregon occupiers when they were risking their lives and dying for your liberties, perhaps you will now be on their side. These men and women are true American heroes and stood up for more in 41 days than most of us will in a lifetime.