BURNS, Ore. (KOIN) — Some people felt because the main leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation were arrested things might quiet down around Burns. But supporters of the militant group have other plans.
A memorial with flowers marks the spot where LaVoy Finicum — the Arizona rancher and de facto spokesman for the militia — was shot to death Tuesday during a traffic stop and roadblock. The tire tracks from Finicum’s attempted escape are still visible in the snow. The FBI and Oregon State Police intercepted Finicum and 7 others in 2 vehicles as they headed toward a meeting at a senior center in Grant County.
The death of the 54-year-old armed militant only solidified the resolve of Duane Schrock.
“A loss of a great life and a great man. I believe he will elevate the rest of us to another level,” Schrock said. “The people have been awakened.”
Singer Jordan Page posted “The Ballad of LaVoy Finicum” on YouTube.
Community members organized about 50 protesters who rolled through the streets of Burns over the death of LaVoy Finicum about 6 p.m. Saturday.
KOIN 6 News learned more outsiders are organizing and coming to the area. A rally of the group 3% of Idaho will take place Monday in the area of the Harney County Courthouse in Burns.
The 3% of Idaho is the same group who arrived unannounced and uninvited on January 10, the 8th day of the militia’s occupation.
Brandon Curtiss, the president of 3% of Idaho, told KOIN 6 News that day, “We’re here to establish a security buffer between the gentlemen here at the refuge, the community, citizens and law enforcement.”
But Ammon Bundy and other militia leaders said they weren’t wanted or needed, and they left.
The group met with the FBI at the Burns Muncipal Airport that day and claimed the talk was “positive.” An FBI officer was heard saying “You understand from our perspective, you can’t walk up and tell us how we’re going to do this. I agree it has to be a mutual thing.”
‘Go home to your families’
In a phone conversation recorded by his attorney in the presence of his wife, Lisa Bundy, Ammon Bundy said: “Please stand down. This was never meant to be an armed standoff. We only came to expose abuse and educate people about their rights and protected by the Constitution of the United States. Please do not make this something it was never meant to be. Go home to your families.”
Four people occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge continued to hold their position Saturday and posted live videos that reveal their hyper-vigilance against any federal officials who may try to move them out.
During one early morning video posted by a man identified as David Fry, the occupiers express concerns about nearby aircraft and Fry gets jumpy when he believes he hears gunshots near the entrance.
“False alarm,” he soon says as he realizes the noise came from a generator or some other type of equipment.
Mike Arnold, Bundy’s attorney, said publicly Friday the continued occupation of the refuge “is a terrible idea.”