In a new video released on Facebook, Oregon standoff leader Ammon Bundy says that his group hasn’t just staged an armed takeover for ranchers, but that they “are actually protecting the rights of all of us.”
As the Oregon standoff stretches into its fourth week, there are few signs that Bundy is ready to head home. In the video, Bundy speaks directly to some critics who he says worry about the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.
“This is public land, and there is multiple use rights,” Bundy says in the video address which includes a piano interlude of “America the Beautiful.” “The hiker has the right to hike. The hunter has the right to hunt. The camper has the right to camp, and the birdwatcher has the right to birdwatch.”
Bundy says that all his group is doing is making sure the federal government does not infringe on people’s abilities to use land as they want. Bundy also said that his group is also “continuing to meet almost daily” with community members and getting down into the “nuts and bolt into what is happening and how we are going to transfer these lands over to them to begin using on their own.”
“Love the people here in Harney County,” Bundy says. “I have met so many good people. We are so grateful for the food and supplies that they have given us and how they have kept us and how they have fed us with barbecues. They have come and entertained us.”
Most in the community have actually been very vocal that they want Bundy to leave.