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‘I didn’t come here to shoot, I came here to die’: Oregon militia occupiers fess up to local reporters

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While headliners from the national media are either en route or remaining in their studios to cover the militia takeover of a federal building in Burns, Oregon, local reporters are working the front lines and tweeting updates as the armed “patriots” settle into what they say will be a long occupation.

On social media, many have complained about the big networks either passing on the militia takeover story or soft-pedaling it.  Local reporters, who covered the Hammond trial and saw militia members begin to gather in the small town, have set up their own camp outside of the occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to report on their doings.

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Writing for OPB, Amanda Peacher stated that early estimates of 150 occupiers are wildly inflated, saying, “only a few dozen men are occupying the federal building.”

According to Peacher, federal employees were advised to stay clear of the refuge, in a memo that read: “Our top concern is employee safety. All employees are accounted for, and the Refuge will be closed until further notice. Employees of all land management agencies in the area will operate from alternate worksites, telework, or administrative leave.”

Outside of the refuge, she interviewed one militia member — identifying himself only as “Capt. Moroni” — who told her, “I didn’t come here to shoot, I came here to die.”

A series of tweets from Peacher below:

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According to Jason Wilson, who drove in from Portland to cover the stand-off for the Guardian, “There were no law enforcement agents visible in the area around the refuge. A man with a goatee beard and wraparound sunglasses stood guard, armed with an AR-15-style rifle, and refused entry to the federally owned facility.”

“He declined to give his name or affiliation, citing ‘operational security,'” Wilson wrote. “He did confirm, however, that the men – several of whom were openly carrying assault weapons – would be camping on the site. ‘This public land belongs to we the people,’ he said. ‘We’ll be here enjoying the snow and the scenery.’”

Wilson was also one of the first to photograph armed militiamen as they began the takeover of the federal facility.

OregonLive reporter Les Zaitz was the first to speak with ringleader Ammon Bundy who told him, “The facility has been the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds. We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely. This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.”

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According to Zaitz, the FBI is in charge at the scene because the refuge is on federal property.

Additionally, the Harney County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police are on the scene as well. Zaitz tweeted this morning that Bundy had scheduled a press conference for 11AM.


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Swiss holding ‘funeral march’ to mark disappearance of an Alpine glacier

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Dozens of people will undertake a "funeral march" up a steep Swiss mountainside on Sunday to mark the disappearance of an Alpine glacier amid growing global alarm over climate change.

The Pizol "has lost so much substance that from a scientific perspective it is no longer a glacier," Alessandra Degiacomi, of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection, told AFP.

The organisation which helped organise Sunday's march said around 100 people were due to take part in the event, set to take place as the UN gathers youth activists and world leaders in New York to mull the action needed to curb global warming.

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2020 Election

UAW strike ‘threatens to upend the economy in Michigan’ — and could destroy Trump’s re-election: report

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At the end of the first week of a major strike by the United Auto Workers, the employment standoff threatens to upend President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election map, the Chicago Times reported Saturday.

Approximately 46,000 workers have been striking against General Motors.

There are two major threats to Trump's campaign from the strike.

The first is that the strike could cause regional recessions -- threatening Trump's political standing in key Rust Belt states.

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Security forces fired live rounds at protesters calling for the ouster of Egyptian president: report

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Egyptian security forces clashed with hundreds of anti-government protesters in the port city of Suez on Saturday, firing tear gas and live rounds, said several residents who participated in the demonstrations.

A heavy security presence was also maintained in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt's 2011 revolution, after protests in several cities called for the removal of general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Such demonstrations are rare after Egypt effectively banned protests under a law passed following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi.

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