Supporters of Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy violated a “First Amendment Area” by staging a rally in support of Bundy, who earlier declared a “range war” against federal authorities in response to a land dispute that threatens to escalate into a Waco-style standoff.
Bundy is currently embroiled in a spat with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over his long standing refusal to acknowledge a 1993 modification to grazing rights on land that Bundy asserts has been in his family since 1870. On Saturday, hundreds of federal officials, aided by helicopters, low flying aircraft and hired cowboys, began rounding up Bundy’s cattle in northeastern Clark County.
The feds say the move is about enforcing the law and protecting the endangered desert tortoise, but the Bundy family says the spat represents a showdown between big government and American farmers.
“We’ve had enough, we’re going to take our land back, we’re done,” said Bundy’s wife, Carol Bundy, adding that the rally was held “to show that we are not standing alone. People are getting tired of the federal government having unlimited power.”
More than 100 supporters violated a crudely taped off “First Amendment Area” to rally in support of the Bundy family, erecting two flagpoles with the words “We the People” attached, above a flag which read, “Liberty Freedom For God We Stand”. The first amendment area stood empty, with one sign nearby declaring, “1st Amendment is not an area.”
“I grew up on this ranch. This is what we knew,” said Margaret Houston, Cliven Bundy’s younger sister. “It’s got nothing to do with the cattle and the tortoises. It’s about taking our rights — power — and it’s wrong.”
“Right now it looks like the movie Red Dawn, said, Ryan Bundy. “Right now we’ve got 200 plus federal agents up there in a military compound that they have put together and they’ve got snipers….everybody’s armed, and they’ve been monitoring our ranch with high-tech surveillance equipment….it was never about the grazing fees, it’s about control.”
Ranch manager Derrel Spencer warned that a “revolution” was brewing unless a solution could be found to settle the dispute.
As we reported yesterday in an article that has already garnered over 4300 comments, Bundy’s son Dave Bundy was arrested on Sunday by BLM officials after refusing to follow a dispersal order as he filmed cattle from a state highway. According to Dave’s brother Ryan Bundy, snipers had guns trained on them throughout the incident. Feds claimed Dave Bundy had violated the ludicrous “First Amendment Area,” outside of which free speech is banned.
The Bundy family posted still images of snipers who trained guns on them in the video below.
After his son’s arrest, Cliven Bundy posted a statement on his website which read, “They have my cattle and now they have one of my boys. Range War begins tomorrow.”
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department asserts that the actions against Bundy are a “federal operation,” while the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association told ABC News, “This has gotten way out of hand,” while refusing to become involved.
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