Ammon Bundy And His Outlaw COVID Meet-Up Crew Are Hosting An Easter Potluck

Ammon Bundy(2nd-L), leader of an armed anti-government militia,reacts to a comment during a news conference at the entrance to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters near Burns, Oregon January 5, 2016. The... Ammon Bundy(2nd-L), leader of an armed anti-government militia,reacts to a comment during a news conference at the entrance to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters near Burns, Oregon January 5, 2016. The occupation of a wildlife refuge by armed protesters in Oregon reflects a decades-old dispute over land rights in the United States, where local communities have increasingly sought to take back federal land. While the standoff in rural Oregon was prompted by the jailing of two ranchers convicted of arson, experts say the issue at the core of the dispute runs much deeper and concerns grazing or timber rights as well as permits to work mines on government land in Western states. AFP PHOTO / ROB KERR / AFP / ROB KERR (Photo credit should read ROB KERR/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
April 10, 2020 11:46 a.m.
EDITORS' NOTE: TPM is making our COVID-19 coverage free to all readers during this national health crisis. If you’d like to support TPM's reporters, editors and staff, the best way to do so is to become a member.

The anti-government activist Ammon Bundy and a crew of Idahoans angry at the state government’s anti-coronavirus orders are fighting back — with an Easter service, followed by a potluck.

For weeks, Bundy, who’s best known for leading the 41-day armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon, has been holding crowded meetings meant to defy Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s (R) recent order against large gatherings.

The latest, on Thursday night, included upwards of 70 people crammed into a room no larger than a basketball court. Speakers performatively coughed and wheezed, shared a microphone and, at one point, recommended that those with flu symptoms drink tonic water. (Quinine has not been proven effective against the disease at all.)

Toward the end of Thursday’s meeting, a former state senate candidate and marketing consultant in Bundy’s crew announced the latest effort to “further snub our noses in the faces of all these morons who are telling us what we can and cannot do”: An Easter service, followed by a potluck.

“Bring your own food, bring your own chair,” said Diego Rodriguez, who also previewed an attack ad against Little and asked for donations to get the ad on Rush Limbaugh’s show.

“Your dollar will go further right now than it can ever go in the history of time!” Rodriguez exclaimed at one point on Thursday.

Rodriguez said he’d be delivering the “very short” sermon Sunday.

“I don’t care if you’re Christian, Catholic, Mormon, atheist, Libertarian, hare-brained conspiracy theorist,” he said — all are welcome.

“Our goal is to get enough people together and secure our rights,” Bundy told CNN, describing the service. “We are not trying to provoke, we want people to be able to worship.”

Bundy, who lives in the small town of Emmett, Idaho, said he’d received the contact information of hundreds of people who were willing to — physically, if necessary — stand up for those committed to violating the state’s “stay-at-home” orders, which Little announced late last month.

After the meeting Thursday, Bundy plugged the website Rodriguez had announced earlier: Bundy also suggested at the meeting that he might try to put together a class action lawsuit related to the stay-at-home order, though wasn’t clear whether there were any serious plans to pursue it.

“Whatever the recourse is, I don’t know,” he said. “But it is going to be a very stout effort.”

Correction: This article previously referred incorrectly to the occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon that Bundy led. The refuge was occupied for 41 days, not 10. 

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world). (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: