Those of you who read my blog know that I am a Ghandi kind of person. I think that peaceful resistance leads more to a world we want to be in than violent resistance. Violence begets violence and all that. But if you haven’t been following the battle for the Bundy ranch I suggest you begin to do so because I think it could very well be one of those markers of a direction the US is going to and we will be looking back at when history is written. Did it start at the Bundy Ranch?
Also remember when you think: oh, but protecting Tortoises is a good thing eh? that this is the same Nevada desert where the US federal Government exploded Nuclear devices to their hearts content without a single thought for whatever critters where living there.
From Liberty Blitzkrieg
Before I get into any sort of analysis about what this means within the bigger picture of American politics and society, we need a little background on the situation. The saga itself has been ongoing for two decades and the issue at hand is whether or not Mr. Bundy can graze his 900 head of cattle on a particular section of public lands in Clark County. Cliven Bundy has been ordered to stop on environmental grounds to protect the desert tortoise, but he has stood his ground time and time again. As a result, the feds have now entered the area and are impounding his cattle. According to CNN, Between Saturday and Wednesday, contracted wranglers impounded a total of 352 cattle. The Bundy family, as well as a variety of local residents have already had confrontations with the BLM agents. Tasers have been used and some minor injuries reported. Most significantly, militia members from across the country have already descended upon the area and it seems possible that hundreds may ultimately make it down there.
To me, the argument of who is right and who is wrong in this situation is the least interesting part of the story. I have noted time and time again that the feds are becoming increasingly out of control and belligerent to American citizens. We know the stories (think Aaron Swartz) and we know the overall trend. However, the reason the Bundy Ranch confrontation is so interesting, is that for whatever reason this particular incident seems to be striking a chord of dissent. It is often times the most random, unforeseen and innocuous things that spark social/political movements. This standoff has it all.
From CBS News:
LAS VEGAS (CBS Las Vegas/AP) — Militia groups are rallying behind a rancher whose cattle are being seized by the federal government.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that two militia members from Montana and one from Utah have arrived at Cliven Bundy’s ranch.
“We need to be the barrier between the oppressed and the tyrants,” Ryan Payne of the West Mountain Rangers told the Review-Journal. “Expect to see a band of soldiers.”
Payne said that militias from New Hampshire, Texas and Florida are likely to join and stand with Bundy and stay at his ranch.
“They all tell me they are in the process of mobilizing as we speak,” Payne told the Review-Journal, adding that hundreds of militia members are expected.
Lawmakers are adding their voices into the fray, criticizing the federal cattle roundup fought by Cliven Bundy who claims longstanding grazing rights on remote public rangeland about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada said he told new U.S. Bureau of Land Management chief Neil Kornze in Washington, D.C., that law-abiding Nevadans shouldn’t be penalized by an “overreaching” agency.
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval pointed earlier to what he called “an atmosphere of intimidation,” resulting from the roundup and said he believed constitutional rights were being trampled.
The fact that a U.S. Senator and the Governor are publicly coming out against the feds is in my opinion a very big deal and may signal the beginning of a true fracturing in the social fabric. Something that I have been expecting for many years.
Heller said he heard from local officials, residents and the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and remained “extremely concerned about the size of this closure and disruptions with access to roads, water and electrical infrastructure.”
The federal government has shut down a scenic but windswept area about half the size of the state of Delaware to round up about 900 cattle it says are trespassing.
Sandoval said he was most offended that armed federal officials have tried to corral people protesting the roundup into a fenced-in “First Amendment area” south of the resort city of Mesquite.
The site “tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution” and should be dismantled, Sandoval said.