David Fry, the last remaining militant at the occupied Oregon nature preserve, finally surrendered after nearly two hours of tense negotiations.
Sean Anderson, Sandy Anderson and Jeff Banta each surrendered peacefully Thursday morning, but Fry stopped just short of waiting FBI agents and said he would rather die than surrender.
“I can’t come out because I’m a man, I’m making a stand,” Fry said. “A stand means you’re willing to risk your life.”
He claimed that his grievances were not met, complaining that his income taxes were funding legal abortion.
“I’m thinking that the American people need to know, that when they’re trampling on your rights this much, sometimes it’s better to die,” Fry said. “I declare war.”
He complained that he was not allowed to legally smoke marijuana in his home state of Ohio but didn’t have money to move to a state where it was legal.
“As a citizen of the Constitution, I declare war against the federal government right now,” he said.
The 27-year-old Fry said he would defend himself if fired upon, and he told two right-wing supporters during a phone call streamed live online that he had a gun to his head and would use it.
He finally walked out, after intense pleas from Florida attorney Krisann Hall and Washington activist Gavin Seim to surrender peacefully.
Fry asked FBI agents to yell hallelujah when he walked out of a building, and they complied — and he surrendered.