Summary: The last protestor on the Oregon wildlife refuge finally turned himself in peacefully to officials after a 40-day standoff.
The last members of the armed occupation of a Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon have finally surrendered. The standoff between the Protestors and government officials lasted 40 days with the last person finally giving in peacefully.
Most of the protestors had given up earlier but one man refused to give in. Three of the four remaining walked off the refuge at 9:30 a.m. David Fry was the last man standing. In an live conversation streamed online, Fry refused to follow the promptings of supporters to give up, arguing with F.B.I. agents at the same time.
The Oregon Standoff Explained
Twenty-seven year old Fry from Ohio told agents on the phone, “I’m actually feeling suicidal right now. It’s liberty or death. I will not go another day as a slave to this system.” Fry also complained about taxpayer money being used for abortions and drone strikes in Pakistan, bankers causing the world wars, being unable to obtain medical marijuana in his home state, and the governments concealment of U.F.O’s, breakthrough inventions, and “chemically castrating everybody.” The last things Fry said were, “I declare war against the Federal Government. I’ve peacefully voted and nothing is ever done.” Around an hour later, he turned himself in.
Oregon Judge Plans to Bill Bundy $70K a Day for Occupation
The occupation lost ground when Ammon Bundy and several other members were arrested when they left the refuge over two weeks ago. When Cliven Bundy, the father of Ammon Bundy, was arrested yesterday, there wasn’t much left for the protestors to do. The reasons for being on the land focused on grievances over federal government ownership and management of land in the West that greatly affected the livelihood of ranchers.
The Aftermath of Ammon Bundy’s Arrest
The negotiations of surrender for the remaining protestors received help from Rev. Franklin Graham and Michele Fiore, a Nevada lawmaker. Fiore urged them to surrender peacefully because, “A dead man can’t talk, a dead man can’t write. We have to just stay together, stay alive.” The spokesman for the group, LaVoy Finicum, was the only person to be killed.
The protestors had originally taken over the land, demanding that two local ranchers put into prison for fire that burned public land be released. They were also asking for land taken from ranchers by the government be given back to the ranchers. The death of Finicumn served as a sign for the remaining protestors that the government was unwilling to allow for a peaceful ending.