Oregon standoff escalates

Talia Tirella, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Several of the Oregon standoff militants were arrested last week. In the midst of the arrest, one militant was shot and killed.

Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy and eight others were denied bond and remain behind bars for their occupation of federal land on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Oregon.

The Bundy’s, along with a larger group of militants, took control of the land in early January.

During the arrest, a prominent member of the group of militants, LaVoy Finicum, was shot and killed by federal agents. Finicum was considered to be the spokesman of the group and frequently spoke to media outlets about the group’s aim in occupying the refuge as well as their fight for freedom from the federal government.

Finicum’s death prompted a response from the militants and those who support them. In turn, the FBI released footage of Finicum’s death in order to avoid backlash.   

After the group was arrested, Ammon Bundy issued a statement through his lawyer urging those militants still on the refuge to “turn yourselves in and do not use physical force,” according to CNN.

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered two no-fly zones in connection with the militants’ arrest; one over the wildlife refuge and another over a nearby airport, according to the Washington Post.

Earlier this month, the group of militants received widespread media attention for their protest against the government and occupation of the refuge. The group aims to fight against the federal government over what they consider government overreach on federal lands.

Due to Finicum’s death, many think the occupation will end. Ammon Bundy has called for other militants to step down.

“We need to step back. Somebody died yesterday,” Bundy’s attorney Mike Arnold told reporters Wednesday, according to CNN. “Mr. Bundy wants everybody to remember that somebody died, and this is not just about him right now.”

The militants continue to post to social media as a small group remains at the refuge.

The FBI said the arrests were “the first steps to bring this occupation to a conclusion,” according to the Washington Post.