SALT LAKE CITY -- Shawna Cox, of southern Utah, grabbed a microphone on Monday and read aloud a letter of grievances from a group now calling itself ‘Citizens for Constitutional Freedom.’
The group was part of a protest on Saturday to support Dwight and Steve Hammond, a pair of Oregon ranchers convicted of setting fires on federal lands and ordered to serve five years in federal prison. The militia left the protest and took over a cluster of U.S. Fish and Wildlife buildings on the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.
"We the people of these states united, insist that you immediately assemble an independent evidential hearing board,” Cox said, reading aloud from a letter, demanding the case against the Hammonds be reviewed.
The Hammonds reported to federal prison in California on Monday.
"We require your thoughtful response within five days of the date of this notice,” Cox read aloud.
Cox went on to claim tens of thousands of people from all 50 states in the nation had signed the grievance letter online.
The ‘Citizens for Constitutional Freedom’ have indicated they are prepared to continue to occupy the buildings at the wildlife refuge until changes are made, not only in the Hammond case, but also in what they call a ‘land grab’ by the federal government forcing ranchers off of their property.
Click here to read a statement from the Department of Justice regarding the protest and occupation of the federal building.