What now? – What has taken place was nothing if not inevitable in the age of homeland security, the patriot act, and historical reference.
In fact more than a few are amazed that the occupation of the Malheur Refuge has gone on as long as it has – this isn’t Ruby Ridge or Waco yet the drama will continue in the aftermath as it did there.
The limited support for the occupiers may experience an upsurge following the death of Lavoy Finicum, who by all accounts was a decent man who opened his home to numerous foster children and did right by them.
Charges and countercharges will be leveled, accussations of cold blooded murder and conspiracies will sprout like weeds in an untend garden as “justice” is pursued.
In this pursuit for justice the injustice of the original occupation may at times be a minor talking point as occupiers occupied an already occupied land.
Talk is cheap and rehtoric isn’t assured to generate support or sympathy, in that Ammon Bundy and crew learned the hard way the axiomatic truth of that – that to rage against the machine doesn’t always work, doesn’t always rally support.
This is the age of terrorism and but a short step for a great many on the local and national level to view this occupation as an act of domestic terrorism whether in fact it is or not.
It has been clearly established that the government over reacted at Waco and Ruby Ridge, law suits that prevailed and official “reprimands” attest to that and undoubtedly lay the ground work for more of the same.
There is a growing sense of disconnect in this country, a feeling that things are spiralling out of control and the voices of this nation are measured by wealth and influence – that an inanimate object such as corporations possesses rights and access exceeding those of the individual, that the government can and will change the rules as it deems appropriate with an eye to self perpetuation and maintaining the existing status quo as a priority – a premise increasingly difficult to deny that will increasingly lead to protests in myriad ways.
There has been and will be those who will attempt to liken what is taking place at Malheur to the events of Wounded Knee 2 – “patriots” and “liberators” taking a stand not for their individual selves but for others and a nation, perhaps something the indigenous people of this country should support as the site Last Real Indians speculated about – yet I say though the physical act of occupation is similar the realities are vastly different.
There has been no rampage at Malheur directed by the leaders, no arson and looting, no rapes, drunken or drug induced revelry, artifacts have not been destroyed, stolen, or marketed.
No hostage taking nor the murder of innocents, and while similarities exist the differences are a chasm that neither words nor rhetoric can span or deny.
WK2 was not a defense, nor a stand for liberation, it was an assualt by an invading force bent on destruction that led to the murder of non combatant innocents both men and women whose remains have yet to be repatriated.
I won’t attempt to draw a connecting line between those at Mahleur and those who initiated WK2, I won’t muse that perhaps as a people we share a commonality with them and that maybe somehow as indigenous people of the nations we are kindred spirits and need to be supportive, for those at Malheur are as different from us as were those who led the devastation at WK2.
In the end the reality of occupation at Malheur only changed the faces of those who for a short time occupy and hold not just land and buildings, but has impacted the lives of a nation who are the true owners, the original aggrieved, the Burns Paiute, who have a prior existing claim established thousands of years ago that far exceeds the thirteen thousand odd acres they currently reside on.
A people now numbering in the mere hundreds buffeted by winds of change amounting to more than access fees and regulations governing land use – more than fences and an enforced poverty and dependency – a greater wind that laid waste not just to a way of life but covered the land with blood.
Ammon Bundy stated the purpose of the occupation was to return land to the rightful owners when the intent was to return it to those who occupied a conquered and divvied up land……..the rightful owners were never part of the equation.
As is often the case the Constitution is cited while ignoring what should be an affirmation
that “all men are created equal”.
An equality if observed would also recognize the injustice visited upon the Paiute and all nations of this land and hemisphere – in doing so no dispute as to ownership and rights would exist.
Blood has now been spilled, as a people we know all too well the meaning of that for we live in a land blanketed with the blood of our own, and all I can say is thus far the occupiers unlike AIM have not spilled our blood or the blood of their own, and like Wounded Knee 2 nothing good will come of this.