The Daily Mail reports, April 12, 2014, that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today said it would stop trying to seize the cattle of Cliven Bundy after militia members, armed with AK-47s and handguns, continue to gather in Nevada in a confrontation with federal agents.
Militias who have streamed into Bunkerville, a tiny town just north of Lake Mead, said violence was imminent as tempers flared in the desert heat. “We want to get ourselves between this family and these federal agents,” said Brand Thornton, of the Southern Nevada Militia. “We have pretty strong feelings that this could erupt in violence. Another militia member said he’s there to support Bundy whether “he’s legally right or wrong.:
A large militia gathering is scheduled for 9am today on the property.
Neil Kornze, nominated by the POS and confirmed as BLM director only 3 days ago, said: “Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public.”
The dispute that triggered the roundup dates to 1993, when the BLM cited concern for the federally protected tortoise. The agency later revoked Bundy’s grazing rights.
Bundy claims ancestral rights to graze his cattle on lands his Mormon family settled in the 19th century. He stopped paying grazing fees and disregarded several court orders to remove his cattle. BLM officials say Bundy now owes more than $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees.
On Wednesday, a video emerged of armed feds repeatedly shooting Ammon Bundy, the son of Cliven, with a taser and threatening him with police dogs.
The politicians who have spoken up in support of Bundy include:
- Nevada’s Republican senator Dean Heller, who says he told BLM head Neil Kornze that law-abiding Nevadans such as rancher Cliven Bundy shouldn’t be penalized by an “overreaching” agency.
- Nevada’s Republican governor Brian Sandoval said the feds’ actions were leading to an “atmosphere of intimidation.”
- Congressman Bob Thorpe (R-Arizona) said he and several state Republican lawmakers may travel to Bunkerville to protest what they perceive as government heavy-handedness. Thorpe said the Arizona lawmakers were upset the BLM initially restricted protesters to so-called free speech zones.
- Arizona Congresswoman and Tea Party-supporter Kelly Townsend told the Las Vegas Review Journal, “Watching that video [of Ammon being tasered] last night created a visceral reaction in me. It sounds dramatic, but it reminded me of Tiananmen Square. I don’t recognize my country at this point.” Townsend said she plans to drive up to Nevada to join the Bundys’ supporters in their protest over the weekend.
- Nevada state assemblywoman Michele Fiore said “I’m highly offended by the feds coming in as aggressively as they have” and has already made two trips to meet with the protestors in Bunkerville.
BLM spokeswoman Amy Leuders said it was public outrage over the footage of Ammon Bundy being tasered which prompted a change in the federal agents’ orders.
- “200+ armed feds declare war on Nevada rancher over desert tortoise“
- “Standoff between armed BLM feds vs. Nevada ranch worsens“
- “Wayne Allyn Root on the Nevada Standoff“
- “Lexington and Concord Nevada Anyone?“