Armed protesters have set up camp on Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon to protest the government’s sentencing of two ranchers on the charge of arson.
Brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy began the protest by taking over a federal building on Saturday as part of their protest against what they believe is the government’s unauthorized takeover of private land.
The two ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, were sentenced to jail for arson, according to Slate.com. The ranchers claim that they started fires on their own land which then accidentally spread to government land.
The government’s sentencing of the Hammonds has angered many conservatives.
“The Hammonds are an example, or a symptom, of a very huge egregious problem but it’s happening all across the United States,” Ammon Bundy posted on his Facebook page.
Many agree with the Bundys that government has over-stepped its bounds.
"We will be here as long as it takes," Ammon Bundy told CNN by phone from inside the wildlife refuge.
Bundy said the protesters are not terrorists and are simply exercising their rights; although he added that if the government used force against them, they were ready to defend themselves."We have no intentions of using force upon anyone, (but) if force is used against us, we would defend ourselves."
Publication date: Janurary 4, 2016