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Militia groups flock to Oregon for Bundy-style standoff with ‘government jackboots’ over gold mining claim

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Militia groups are gathering in southern Oregon to back gold miners embroiled in a Bundy-style dispute with the Bureau of Land Management.

Federal authorities said they had notified the miners earlier this month that they were out of compliance with BLM regulations and ordered them and their equipment off the land by April 25.

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The owners of the Sugar Pine Mining Claim reached out to the Oath Keepers of Josephine County for help, and the pro-gun group issued a nationwide call for assistance that was picked up by websites such as Infowars and Before It’s News.

“If you are a true Militia, true III%, Oathkeeper etc. then you are needed. If you can get away from home to help, NOW IS THE TIME,” says the alert issued by Chris Langer, a firearms instructor and barbecue restaurant owner from Wisconsin. “Just like Bundy ranch, the BLM is out of order! SHUT DOWN THE FOREIGN CORPORATION NOW! The miners need you!!”

The alert seeks at least 50 volunteers in the mining district with supplies to remain in rough terrain for at least seven days.

“That’s what being an American’s all about,” said Blaine Cooper, an Arizona State Militia member headed to Oregon. “We don’t allow our neighbor to be enslaved or beaten or tortured by government jackboots because they want to steal our land and our resources to keep us under their thumb.”

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SWAT vehicles were spotted Tuesday near the mining claim outside of Merlin, reported KDVR-TV.

The Oath Keepers said they want to ensure that the BLM respects the miners’ Fifth Amendment rights to due process.

BLM authorities said they had spoken with a lawyer who represents the miners – who will likely appeal the federal order.

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The Sugar Pine Mine is part of the Galice Mining District, where miners have been fighting the BLM over the rights to underground mineral deposits.

The miners contend Congress had set aside the Galice Mining District as a “local governing body for and by miners,” granting them “the right to create and enforce local rules and regulations” as long as they did not conflict with U.S. laws.

The private consortium has turned up 10 million ounces of gold during continuous operations since the 1870s, although geologists estimate there could be much more gold in the mining district, reported the Shasta Lantern.

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Claims of that age hold exclusive rights unless the Department of Interior severs those rights under the 1955 Surface Resources Act, and the miners say the BLM had produced no evidence of its surface authority.

The miners claim federal agents may be destroying documents they are required to maintain as evidence, and they see the brewing confrontation as an opportunity to shake off federal authority over their mining operations.

“This case is headed in a direction that presents what is probably a once-in-a-generation prime opportunity to strike at the heart of the very surface management authority of the (Department of the Interior) and (Department of Agriculture) and to restore the ‘as patent’ rights of every mining claim owner in the United States by striking down the actual source of that intrusive authority,” the miners said in a statement.

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Watch a pair of Arizona State Militia members on their way to join the standoff in a video posted online by DAHBOO777:

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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