Oregon protesters occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge have been arrested after a firefight which left Oregon militiaman Lavoy Finicum dead.
Sources within the Oath Keepers organization claim that Finicum was surrendering peaceably to law enforcement when he was shot and killed, but there is no independent confirmation or video evidence of the ultimate showdown at this time.
Finicum gave MSNBC an interview which went viral after he stayed under a blue tarp while vowing to die defending the constitution.
The Oregon State Police and FBI arrested the leader of the group, Ammon Edward Bundy of Emmett, Idaho whose father Cliven Bundy’s refusal to pay federal grazing fees climaxed in a 2014 standoff in Nevada.
PINAC correspondent Mike “Bluehair” Smith has been on the scene of the Oregon standoff since Friday and checked in hours after the arrest.
He went to Burns to report for Film the Police Portland and was unarmed, only shooting with a camera and wearing a “ridiculous bear hat” while speaking with the people of Burns and later visiting the wildlife refuge.
Smith’s most recent videos from the remote federal compound can be seen below.
New media webcaster Pete Santilli was also on the scene, and his live streaming video can be seen above and lasts nearly an hour from Burns, Oregon where he approached the hospital only to be greeted by armed law enforcement officers at the doors.
Bundy and the others have been charged with violating Federal law 18 USC 372, 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.
Pete Santilli, was also arrested and charged with the same federal allegations according to this Harney County Sheriff’s office post on Facebook.
They each face up to six years in a federal correctional facility.
The following other militiamen were arrested on their way to the nearest town of Burns in eastern Oregon:
Ryan C. Bundy, 43, of Bunkerville, Nevada
Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada
Shawna Cox, 59, Kanab, Utah
Ryan Waylen Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Montana
Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, of Cottonwood, Arizona was arrested separately inside the town of Burns.
One of the arrested suspects, left unspecified by the FBI’s press release, is also in the hospital facing non-life threatening injuries.
Ultimately, the group of militiamen protesting Federal land management practices spent 22 days living in the bitter cold of Malheur.
The Oregon occupiers did succeed in raising the issue of western Federal Bureau of Land Management practices from a somewhat obscure, rural issue into a nationally discussed topic.
Dwight and Steven Hammond, whose prison sentence spawned Bundy’s militiamen followers to protest, both disavowed themselves of association with the armed protesters.
The militiamen suffered a catastrophic public relations failure for sharing their lack of preparation for a prolonged protest, which resulted in widespread internet mockery when they requested snacks to be sent to Oregon via Facebook. Twitter users coined the irreverent hashtags #YallQueda and #VanillaISIS to describe Bundy and his men.
Later, internet users sent the Oregon occupiers an actual, factual “bag of dicks” instead of the requested snacks, which was only revealed by the militiamen in one of their frequent social media posts, and causing further ridicule in the mainstream press.
Eventually, food was sent to the Oregon standoff protesters too.
Now, it remains to be seen if the resulting Federal charges seek to punish Bundy and his followers for their protests or actually constitute a real, prosecutable criminal offense under the law.
The FBI’s press release concluded that, “All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
UPDATE: Here is an audio recording of a woman who said she was an eye witness to the shooting. The first video below. The woman says Lavoy Finicum stepped out of a car with his hands in the air, telling the feds to “just shoot me,” which they did.
UPDATE II: As of 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, a group of seven activists still remain holed up inside the refuge, which is now surrounded by law enforcement agents, according to Oregon Live.
Jason Patrick, a former roofer from Georgia, has emerged as the group’s new leader. But the news site reports that a “steady trickle of occupiers has taken up police on the offer to leave, including one of the other last remaining leaders, Blaine Cooper.”