The FBI has opened talks with Ammon Bundy, the leader of a group of militants who have broken into and taken over the headquarters of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, according to the Oregonian.
According to reporter Les Zaitz, the FBI started talking to the group’s leaders two days ago. Brief video taken by Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter John Sepulvedo seems to show Bundy telling an FBI negotiator that community sentiment has shifted in the favor of the militants.
Events at a community meeting Tuesday belie that claim.
Locals crowded into Burns High School and for the most part condemned the Bundy-led occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which started on January 2. Emotional residents said the situation is creating tension and division in the community.
“Mr. Bundy, I agree with you 100 percent, we have way too much government,” Ed Brown told the group. “But the same hand, get the hell out of my yard. Look what you did to this county.”
On Wednesday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown called the ongoing occupation a “spectacle of lawlessness” and said it’s costing taxpayers $100,000 a day.
“This situation is absolutely intolerable and it must be resolved immediately,” Brown said, in a press conference where she also laid out policy proposals. “The very fabric of this community is being ripped apart.”
It does not appear a resolution is near, however. Local KOIN reported Wednesday that so-called militia members were coming to the occupation from other parts of the country and they believe they’re on a mission from God.
“God wants us here, there’s a sense that’s beckoning and it comes from heaven,” militiaman Kelly Gneiting said. “We’re doing what’s right, we’re doing what the founding fathers would do because we’re inspired by God, also.”
Watch brief video of Bundy talking to the FBI, as posted to Twitter, here:
Ammon Bundy, talking to an FBI negotiator, in front of the FBI base camp. pic.twitter.com/jCqld6OMLb
— John Sepulvado (@JohnLGC) January 21, 2016
Trump supporters shouted ‘go home’ at Native Americans protesting Mount Rushmore rally on their land: report
The protesters argued that it is their land after the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1868, which was ratified by the U.S. Senate.
The Black Hills of South Dakota, where Mount Rushmore is located, was among the lands the tribes received to bring about an end to Red Cloud's War, which is also known as the Bozeman Trail War.
WATCH: Native American protesters ‘reclaimed the road’ to Donald Trump’s speech at Mount Rushmore
Police in camouflage fatigues and riot gear faced off against protesters in South Dakota on Friday evening.
"More than 100 protesters gathered on a highway leading to Mount Rushmore on Friday ahead of President Donald Trump’s speech at the monument," Indian Country Today reports. "Native women in ribbon skirts created a line across the highway, behind them members of NDN Collective, a nonprofit Native advocacy organization, parked white vans across the road."
Trump impersonator hilariously previews the president’s Mount Rushmore speech
On Friday, musician and Trump impersonator J-L Cauvin posted a video satirically previewing the president's Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore.
"The Democrats want you to wear masks, but we don't need masks," said Cauvin, impersonating Trump's New York accent. "Everybody's feeling great — stop coughing! Everybody's feeling great. So healthy. Such great health."
"Democrats want to kill you and silence you," he continued.
He then delivered a parody rant against removing statues, which sources report Trump will make a central point of his speech. "Thomas Jefferson, that's another one they hate. Everyone makes mistakes, but he had African-American girlfriends!"