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Could refuge protest spread across state?

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I guess they are afraid of the Revolution spreading.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. – John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Could refuge protest spread across state?

Sheriffs keep wary eye on tense Harney County standoff


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PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Sheriffs across Oregon are keeping a close watch on Harney County’s standoff with armed militants, concerned that similar protests could spread to other parts of the state.

Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton says that as the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge stretched into its third week, Oregon sheriffs are providing deputies to patrol the rural Eastern Oregon county, and are carefully watching the situation unfold, with a cautious eye on possible armed protests elsewhere.

“There’s real concern where this thing could go in the future,” Staton says. “A similar type of protest in Multnomah County could be a problem because people here won’t react the same way they are in Harney County.

“I’m paying real close attention to it. I certainly wouldn’t want anybody like that over here.”

John Bishop, a retired sheriff and now executive director of the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association in Salem, says the group is concerned about that possibility as its members focus on helping Harney County.

“It is a consideration that we have talked about,” Bishop says. “Whether it is a reality or not, time will tell. But we just want to be prepared.”

Jessica Campbell, organizing director of the Rural Organizing Project in Scappoose, a group that opposes militias across the state, says sheriffs should be worried that the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation could spread. Armed militants holding the refuge complex have called for people across Oregon and the West to join them in the occupation, and hope to “inspire others to take similar action,” Campbell says.

“This is the second time a national mobilization of militia and patriot groups were called into Oregon in the last year,” Campbell says, referring to 2015’s standoff in Josephine County, led by Oregon Oath Keepers, a similar group of armed men who do not recognize federal authority. “Considering that this is the second time that folks from outside of the community and outside of the state came into rural Oregon to exploit a local situation for national attention in the last year, I believe the sheriffs are right to be concerned.”

The first arrest

Staton’s observations came after he spent two days last week in Central and Eastern Oregon meeting with local officials and talking with residents in Burns and Hines, the two Harney County towns about 30 miles from where two dozen armed militants took control of the wildlife refuge complex Jan. 2.

The militants, who call themselves the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, are demanding that refuge land, and other federally owned property in the county, be turned over to local ranchers. They believe the federal government’s ownership of the land is unconstitutional.

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