A fundraising campaign launched in protest of the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has raised more than $50,000 in pledges in 72 hours, the OR brothers behind the crowdfunding site announced Wednesday.
The funds are slated for a gun control campaign, a group that supports the refuge the occupiers want to privatize, an organization that has labeled Bundy and his compatriots as extremists and the Native American tribe whose members claim the refuge as their ancestral land.
Meanwhile, Ammon Bundy made a surprise appearance at Tuesday night's community meeting in Burns.
"Ammon, you need to go home to your family; thank you", local resident Jennifer Williams said. The group says it is time for the government to take action against the protesters in Oregon. What this is, is an armed, criminal political occupation of public lands.
Steve and Carol Hoke, of Eagle, Idaho, hold signs protesting the recent occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern OR by group of armed activists, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Boise, Idaho. Many of them sympathize with the issues being raised but prioritize the peace of their community.
Conservation groups have also shown up at the refuge itself to demand that Bundy and his followers leave, and last weekend got into a shouting match with Bundy's group.
Still, Bundy isn't giving up.
Bundy, son of controversial Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, and others started out protesting the sentencing of Dwight Hammond and his son Steven, two ranchers convicted of arson on federal lands in Oregon.
The open letter, which was posted on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge's Facebook page, states, "Many have asked us to comment on the ongoing situation at Malheur NWR". "I will not stop insisting that federal officials enforce the law", she said. Bundy's game plan may be to continue to try to win local support and to draw as much attention as possible to his complaints against the federal government.
But a march supporting the Hammonds led to the armed occupation of the refuge, with occupiers decrying what they call government overreach when it comes to federal lands. During a Tuesday press conference, Bundy reiterated that "we're not going anywhere" until his group accomplishes its goals.
Federal, state and local law enforcement officers have been sent to the remote area but so far have avoided doing anything that might provoke a confrontation. If they drive them off the refuge, they can probably count on being arrested.