A stand-off between federal authorities and armed militiamen persists in Oregon over the jailing of two ranchers.
A stand-off between federal authorities and armed militiamen persists in Oregon over the imminent jailing of two ranchers. SHOWS: MALHEUR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, BURNS, OREGON, US (JANUARY 3 & 4, 2016) (REUTERS - BROADCASTERS AND DIGITAL: THE MUSIC TRACK IN THIS VIDEO NEWS STORY MUST ONLY BE USED AS PART OF THIS PRODUCTION AND MUST NOT BE STRIPPED OUT AND USED IN ANY OTHER CONTEXT OR PRODUCTION, OR USED IN ANY RE-EDIT OR CUT DOWN OF THE PRODUCTION) 1. MULTIMEDIA CONTENT SHOWING VARIOUS STILL IMAGES OF CIVILIAN MILITIA'S OCCUPATION OF OREGON REFUGE STORY: The leader of a group of self-styled militiamen who seized a remote U.S. wildlife refuge in Oregon said on Tuesday (January 5) their plan was to help local residents regain their rights from the federal government. The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the small town of Burns have been thrust into the spotlight by the takeover, which began on Saturday (January 1) and marked the latest protest over federal management of millions of acres of land in the West. The armed militia group call themselves 'Citizens for Constitutional Freedom'. Its leader Ammon Bundy told reporters that the goal is to 'restore and defend the constitution'. The reaction to the takeover among residents of Burns, about 30 miles (48 km) north of the refuge, has included sympathy for the jailed ranchers from the area whose plight inspired the action, and criticism of the armed protesters. Militia occupied the refuge in support of two archers who were in dispute with the wildlife center, however the two have disassociated themselves from the occupiers. Harney County Sheriff David Ward pleaded with the activists to leave the area. The US is estimated to have around 276 militia groups.