Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Anger, frustration boil over at community meeting

The divide among friends and neighbors over the refuge occupation boiled into the open here Tuesday night in a community meeting that crackled with emotion. What residents have feared and only whispered about in recent days took center court at the Burns High School gymnasium. In sometimes highly personal remarks, speaker after speaker vented anger – at public officials, at the federal government and at the man in the brown cowboy hat sitting high in the bleachers to take it all in – Ammon Bundy. One woman said she appreciated the attention Bundy has brought to rural issues but told him, "Get the hell out of my county." Another man gestured at Bundy and gave him the same message. "Are you happy you did this to our community?" he said. Another woman, shaking in anger, called out Bundy for the fear he's caused in local schools, which closed for a week after the occupation began. She yelled across the gym at him, telling him to leave and "go to jail where you deserve to be!" Ammon Bundy wasn't the only one catching brickbats. Public officials, particularly Grasty and Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, took a verbal pummeling. One man, who said he was from Eugene, pressed Ward about what he was doing to end the occupation and what was the role of the FBI. "Just tell the truth," he barked. When it ended, the Bundy brothers left as quietly as they had entered, striding silently to an SUV with Nevada plates, and driving off without a word to the throngs of reporters and onlookers who trailed behind...more

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