No Bail for Oregon Occupiers

This was no Tea Party, judge says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2016 9:23 AM CST
No Bail for Oregon Occupiers
A law enforcement vehicle heads away from a roadblock near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.   (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP)

The occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was no Tea Party, a federal judge decided Friday when she denied bail to Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, and three other protest leaders. A lawyer for one of the men, Ryan Payne, had sought to link the militia's actions to America's "long and revered history of political protest," but Judge Stacie F. Beckerman rejected comparisons to the Boston Tea Party or lunch counter sit-ins during the civil rights movement, reports the Washington Post. "Those were peaceful protests," she said. "This was so far beyond a peaceful protest." Bail hearings for three other activists were delayed and prosecutors appealed a decision to grant bail to another, the Guardian reports. Shawna Cox, the only woman being held, can be freed on bail when the occupation ends, Beckerman ruled.

At the hearing, Ammon Bundy described himself as a "federalist," the Post reports. "I believe federal government has a role and it is to protect people from the outside world," he said. "I do love this country very much." The Guardian notes that prosecutors argued that Bundy has no respect for the federal criminal justice system, citing an Aug. 2015 Facebook post in which he said: "There is no justice in a federal court." There are still four occupiers at the refuge despite Ammon Bundy's call to "go home," the Oregonian reports. On Friday, one holdout posted a video online saying they won't leave until everybody involved is pardoned. He says the refuge now feels like a "zombie apocalypse." (The FBI has released video of the fatal shooting of a militia spokesman.)

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