There’s quite the showdown taking place between federal agents and a cattle farmer in Bunkerville, Nevada right now.
For the past 20 years, farmer Clive Bundy has battled Bureau of Land Management (BLM) attorneys in court for the right to use public land surrounding his farm for cattle grazing. Bundy, whose family farm has been located in its current location for over 150 years, refuses to pay legally required grazing fees for his use of the public land.
Because of Bundy’s refusal to comply with the law, the BLM took action and started evacuating his cattle off of public land. The BLM’s decision caught the attention of numerous militia groups across the nation who have now descended on the property to protest the evacuations.
A standoff between protestors and BLM agents nearly turned bloody earlier this week when agents tried to clear protestors from a path that one of the evacuation trucks was using. The defiant protestors refused to back down, which resulted in one of them being tased. Other protestors shouted and chanted their displeasure with the BLM’s presence.
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“We need to be the barrier between the oppressed and the tyrants,” militia member and protestor Ryan Payne said. “Expect to see a band of soldiers.”
“We’re not anti-government,” added protestor Jim Lardy. “We’re anti-corrupt government.”
The BLM claims the protests have “crossed into illegal activity” over the last several days. One protestor reportedly rammed into the side of a cattle evacuation truck using an ATV.
Despite the BLM’s defense of their tactics, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval slammed the agency for creating “an atmosphere of intimidation” on the property.
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“No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans,” Sandoval said.
Here is cell phone video of Wednesday’s standoff between protestors and agents. One protestor is tased around the 1:05 mark after an aggressive encounter with an agent and his dog.