Oregon standoff not violent, says Utah woman who participated

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Janalee Tobias sat in her sunlit living room, remembering her days in a small federal building at a remote wildlife refuge in Oregon

To Tobias, and to many Western conservatives in the renewed sagebrush rebellion sparked by ranchers confronting the Bureau of Land Management, it’s heavy-handed government agents who are the aggressors.

“It was not a violent takeover, the doors were unlocked, a handful of people went there,” she said, pushing back against a characterizations of the “armed takeover” of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Tobias traveled to Oregon in the first week of January to support Ammon Bundy and others who were protesting federal control of Western land used by ranchers.

“I think that becomes problematic when the Bureau of Land Management comes in and tells them how to run their ranches," she said. "Guys in suits telling guys in cowboy hats and spurs how to raise their cattle."

See the video above for more on Tobias' comments on the protest.

11 comments

  • Troll_Herd

    So it’s a FACT they had GUNS but she is sitting there saying “It was not a violent takeover, the doors were unlocked, a handful of people went there,” pushing back against a characterizations of the “armed takeover”
    Effin Lying B$%&h

  • KNBG

    Really tell that to the families living next door to the reserve. You were probably part of the group that left in the windowed time given by the FBI and got lost on the neighboring ranch. The one you guys cut the fence for? Because of your actions people very close to me have to go through those check points you left to avoid. Your “friends” who are still there are wanting to avoid them now right? Well tell that to the 13, 10, and 8yrs old who now have AKs pointed at them just so they can leave home and go to school. It may not be you outright but you and you “friends” got it to this point. How dare you say it was peaceful. Wth did you think was going to happen? I do not care about why the take over was done. Things got hard so you left and don’t have to put up with the road blocks and check points. Way to go b* leave that to the locals right?

  • Carl D

    That’s like saying an armed robbery is a non-violent crime if the perpetrator doesn’t have to shoot you to get your cell phone and wallet.

  • Robbie

    This is truly insane.
    These people are terrorists under every definition. When you threaten violence for a political cause you are a terrorist. Stop calling them “protesters”.
    Secondly, the federal government is permitted to own land, this has been thrashed out over centuries and is not something new and strange/. The federal government is one of the people, for the people, by the people. It’s not some outside force coming in and stealing land from ranchers, land that those ranchers have no claim over.
    BLM manages land on behalf of the American public, it is not the ranchers land and it is not being stolen from them.
    These people are truly delusional, and all of their nonsense can be put down to one constant theme in their ranting – “big gubmint bad! Waaaa!”
    These people are fantasists who crave ea cause, even to the point of manufacturing one.
    Finicum is dead, and the only people to blame for that are Finicum himself and the other right-wing loons who deluded him with a rewritten propaganda Constitution.

  • Roary Racoon

    They were clearly trying to intimidate thru threats of vilence .In chat groups they tried to convince other melitia groups to come in and shoot the FBI .They lied and gave false testimony on the internet in an effort to start armed conflict .Many of their members had criminqal records .Each one a had a different agenda but used different methods . The Bundys have visons of grandure.The heart of their problem is without federal land they would be all hat and no cattle.

  • Roary Racoon

    As far as their complaints about federal land. The amount of private land in Nevada they have is larger than many states.They are lucky to have open spaces. In other states there are very few places that they can go onto . Private land owners don’t encourage visitors . When they had open grazing, the ranchers over grazed and called in the government . Its just a thinly disguised effort to take resources thay have exhausted their own resuorces .

  • redagave

    Oh please! It’s just ridiculous to hear these gun toting, lawless thugs act like victims now because their illegal occupation of Malheur didn’t end well. The BLM land doesn’t belong to them. Cows for profit don’t trump wild horse habitats or bird sanctuaries. This isn’t the wild west. We have laws. Their decision not to end this occupation and leave Oregon in the early weeks is why LaVoy is dead. Next time, take it to court, cowboys.

  • Kathleen Alyce

    After reading most of these comments posted I’d say to you it is obvious many of you have zero respect for all those
    who died for the freedoms YOU enjoy in this country. You know, the RIGHT to bear arms and the RIGHT to peacefully congregate, hell, even the right to congregate while rioting, as has been seen regularly recently in certain areas in this country. So, it looks as if the only way to get your attention is to ‘inconvenience’ you comfortable folks. Fact is, these protesters were not criminals nor threatening to any of you. There protest was rooted in the fact the Feds ‘own’ (a misnomer if ever I heard one!) most of the land in this state and believe it is their right to harass the ranchers regularly over even the smallest of requests. When the FEDS who believe ‘they’ own and manage the surrounding lands make a mistake…such as starting a fire they cannot contain…simply are not liable for what might happen to a rancher’s lands. Oh, and one last FACT…if the Feds had stayed out of the protest not one person would have been killed. Remember who fired the first shot…and the last shot. It would be a criminal offense if it was a single one of those ranchers that had fired that shot. But the Feds? NOT! Let’s hope no one in your families ever are involved in any such an event for you will then be forced to recognize your RIGHTS are not really your RIGHT, after all.

  • Adam

    Government can own land and there is longstanding precedent for it. http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/apr/28/andrew-napolitano/napolitano-washington-lacks-constitutional-right-o/

    The fact of the matter is these guys like the federal government when it benefits them ($500,000 loans), but dislikes the federal government when it benefits others (multiple use and environmental protection). Those who have studied land management and conservation remember the Dust Bowl and know the consequences of unfettered and unrestricted extractive land use.

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