Four “protesters” remain at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, and last night, a confrontation nearly came to a head while some 60,000 listened live to a broadcast phone call with the armed citizens and some off-site supporters.
You can replay the entire four hours of broadcast here, or you can see highlights that I live-tweeted in the storify at the end of this post.
The siege began, of course, back on the second of January, when Ammon Bundy and supporters took over the administrative grounds as a protest against federal land grabs. In the ensuing weeks, one man has been killed by the FBI, LaVoy Finicum, and his name came up frequently during the evening’s events. He has taken on the role of martyr in the cause.
On the call were the four remaining protesters who were speaking to activist Gavin Seim. Seim was the one broadcasting the call on YouTube. Also on most of the call was Assemblywoman Michele Fiore from Nevada, who had flown in just before the tension escalated and was en route to the site for most of the call.
Eventually, the situation was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. The FBI promised not to attempt any intervention during the night, and the four remaining from the siege agreed to turn themselves in this morning at a meeting with law enforcement, Assemblywoman Fiore, and the Reverend Franklin Graham.
Below is my own live Tweet account of the events that occurred during the latter half of the live stream, including people that I retweeted. There is a reference to prank calls. During the live stream, the phone number that Seim was using was made public (according to Seim this was done by the FBI.) Internet trolls of course began calling in by the hundreds, one or two making it on to the broadcast.
We’ll try to update you as this continues to develop today.
One more note. After the end of the broadcast, Cliven Bundy was arrested in Portland. This may or many not affect any peaceful surrender today.