Quantcast
Connect with us

The next Bundy Ranch? Militia groups flock to Montana to square off with feds over mining dispute

Published

on

The armed militia group best known for hunkering down at Bundy Ranch during a grazing dispute with the federal government has now occupied a mine in Montana that is also at odds with the feds.

The Oath Keepers, a camouflage-wearing, weapons-brandishing group of former military and law enforcement personnel who vow to disobey laws they believe to be unconstitutional, have descended on Lincoln, Montana. They came at the request of owners of White Hope Mine, who are upset that the Forest Service is making them remedy safety issues on the mine, according to the Independent Record.

Documents obtained by the Record show the mine operators built a shed on the property without permits, explosives were stored, firewood was cut and they didn’t have an approved operations plan for surface disturbance. Two plans were submitted and rejected, and the mine hasn’t had one approved since 2014.

According to a press release on the Oath Keepers’ website, there are three militias involved in what they are calling “Operation Big Sky,” including the Pacific Patriot Network and the three percenters — a group named for the three percent of Americans who fought the Revolutionary War.

The “mission” is “to ensure the mining claim owners 4th & 5th Amendment Constitutional Right’s are not violated and to prevent further unlawful action by the United States Forest Service.,” the release reads.

“The USFS has no legal standing or precedence for their recent actions, but has taken it upon themselves to require unnecessary permits, enacted stalling techniques, made threats of arson, and strong arm tactics to coax a generation of older miners to submit to unlawful authority, preventing them from working their rightful mining claim,” the Oath Keepers release reads.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Forest Service officials said no threats have been made against the miners, and their goal is to remedy the permit issues so that mining can continue. They have met with the mine owners, George Kornec and Phil Nappo, and believed they were on track.

“So why they have these other people up there is a mystery to us,” Bill Avey, Helena and Lewis and Clark national forests supervisor, told the Record. “At this point we still believe based on this meeting and what they indicated to us on July 30, they were going to submit a new plan and make this work, and that’s where we want to go.”

Concerned Lincoln residents have been calling police upon seeing the armed, camo-wearing men around town, authorities told the Record.

In April, the Oath Keepers showed up at the request of the owner of the Sugar Pine Mining Claim in Oregon, who feared Bureau of Land Management officials would destroy his property before he was able to remedy permitting issues.

ADVERTISEMENT

The scene turned into a circus when armed volunteers streamed in and started setting up camp, believing the situation was heading for a “showdown” with the BLM.

“We don’t need any more volunteers, we’re not under attack, this is not the Bundy Ranch,” co-owner Rick Barclay had said.

On Thursday, Oath Keeper leader Joseph Santoro put out a “general call to action for all American patriots to support this operation.” Volunteers are needed for security, medical and communications and should prepare to spend one week camping at the site, Santoro said.

Santoro told the Record that members of the operation are vetted to weed out “crazies.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“We work with any militia group that is willing to work with us, and what we do is to ensure they’re not crazies,” he told the paper. “Because we know there are some folks like that in the militia groups that just want to pull the trigger on somebody, we vet them, make sure we don’t get felons or people that just want to shoot a policeman or authority figure.”

While best known for opposing government authority at operations like Bundy Ranch, the group acted as de facto law enforcement in Ferguson, Missouri, standing guard over property during civil unrest when African-American citizens protested en masse the police officer shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown.

Watch Santoro’s call to action here:

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Virginia Democrats are so fired up that the party chair had to scold them: ‘Sit down — be quiet’

Published

on

Democrats in Virginia are fired up as they gathered in Richmond for their annual gala dinner.

Political analysts believe the Democratic Party of Virginia has a good chance to win control of the state legislature in 2019's election, before setting their sights on the Commonwealth continuing its recent trend of voting Democratic in presidential elections.

Patrick Wilson, a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, attended the event.

He reported that Democrats were so "noisy" that it was hard to hear the speakers, which include presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Everyone knows what to expect’ at Trump’s Amway Center re-election kickoff

Published

on

Donald Trump considers himself a legendary salesman, but can he really sell America on giving him four more drama-filled years at the White House?

Tuesday, he'll make his big pitch.

The 2020 reelection kickoff rally is being held in Orlando, Florida and campaign operations chief Michael Glassner says the "historic" event "has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests."

There's little mystery about how the night will go down.

Expect Trump, the self-promoting hero of his ghost-written book "The Art of the Deal," to claim the US economy is richer, the military stronger, and the country more respected than ever in history.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Florida man’s own family blasts him after he was arrested for racist threats: ‘This isn’t how we were raised’

Published

on

After a Florida man was arrested for trying to start a race war, a member of his own family slammed his values.

"A Florida man’s social media posts that threatened violence against African-Americans, Jews and homosexuals and that urged his followers to start a race war netted him a $1 million bond," the Miami Herald reported Saturday. "And then there’s another $100,000 bond he would have to pay to get out of Lee County Jail because of a weapons charge."

Joshua Leff, 40, is being held in the Lee County Jail.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

Investigating Trump's henchmen is a full time job, and I'm trying to bring in new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have more stories coming you'll love. Join me and help restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link

Investigating Trump is a full-time job, and I want to add new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have stories coming you'll love. Join me and go ad-free, while restoring the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link