Even as the arrested leader of the Oregon standoff has called for those who remain at the federal wildlife refuge to leave, an outside patriot group has issued a new “call to action” for “any and all Americans” to join the anti-government occupiers still at the facility.
Citing the shooting death of one of the standoff leaders in an encounter with law enforcement earlier this week, the Pacific Patriots Network posted the call to action on its website Friday.
“Come stand together with other Americans, and express our Constitutional right to PEACEFULLY assemble and air our grievances,” the call to action said. It called for the arrest of the law enforcement officers involved in the shooting that killed occupier LaVoy Finicum on Tuesday night, as well as for the departure of the federal authorities who have staked out the Malheur National Wildlife Center and for the resignations of some of the local officials in Harney County, Oregon.
The statement represents the completion of a full 180-shift that some prominent right-wing extremists have taken in reaction to the Oregon standoff, which began in early January and was led by Ammon Bundy, who was arrested Tuesday night.
BJ Soper, a founding member of the Pacific Patriots Network, told TPM at the beginning of the occupation that he opposed the takeover of the refuge, but as days went on, signaled he was warming up to cause. He promoted the “call to action” on his Facebook page Friday and told the Oregonian Thursday that his group is planning a protest in Burns for Saturday.
Previously, the Pacific Patriots Network was acting as a “buffer” outside the refuge, and a line of communication between occupiers and authorities, according to the Oregonian’s Thursday report.
Currently, only a handful of anti-government protestors are believed to be still at the refuge center. Bundy and the other leaders were arrested in the encounter with law enforcement in which Finicum was killed. A handful of others involved have also been taken into custody, and the Wednesday arrest of Jason Patrick — who was briefly the occupation’s de facto leader after Bundy’s arrest — also motivated the Pacific Patriots Network call to action.
“PPN condemns the DISHONEST tactics used to arrest Jason Patrick,” the statement said, accusing the FBI lying to Patrick by telling him was free to leave the refuge.
Here is the full statement: