Thursday, February 11, 2016

Final Oregon occupiers surrender to authorities, ending the refuge siege

The armed occupation of a rural Oregon wildlife refuge ended peacefully here Thursday after 41 days as the last four anti-government activists surrendered to FBI agents, following a dramatic and emotional hour-long negotiation with the final holdout broadcast live on YouTube. After repeatedly threatening to shoot himself, complaining that he couldn’t get marijuana, and ranting about UFOs, drone strikes in Pakistan, leaking nuclear plants and the government “chemically mutating people,” the last occupier, David Fry, 27, lit a cigarette, shouted “Hallelujah” and walked out of his barricaded encampment into FBI custody. “I don’t want to be put behind bars,” he said at one point. “I don’t want to take that risk…. I didn’t kill anybody.” The FBI said it arrested David Fry at about 11 a.m. without incident. Before he was taken into custody, agents arrested Sandy Anderson, 48, of Idaho; her husband, Sean Anderson, 47; and Jeff Banta, 46, of Elko, Nev. They were taken to Portland to face federal charges. Fry’s surrender, which had an audience of more than 30,000 people listening live, capped an extraordinary 18 hours in which America’s growing and extreme anti-government movement morphed into something that more closely resembled a strange and nerve-racking reality TV show. And it brought an end to a bitter, five-week standoff at the snowy Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, in the remote high desert of eastern Oregon, that drew international attention to anti-government extremist sentiments along with long-simmering anger over federal land-management policies in the American West...more

No comments: