A group of militiamen who have taken over a national wildlife refuge in Oregon have been joined by the notable Bundy family, a group of anti-government ranchers headed by a racist patriarch.

The group broke into the federal Malhuer Wildlife Refuge after a protest in Harney County, Oregon, on Saturday, following the conviction of two ranchers for arson.

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The militia was joined by three sons of Cliven Bundy, a rancher who famously held a standoff with federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada in 2014. Bundy does not recognize federal laws, and engaged in several legal battles with the federal government over his claimed rights to cattle grazing areas. He is also a well-known racist, having suggested that black Americans would have been “better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things.”

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The armed militia is to come to the refuge to join them. In a video posted to Facebook, Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy, called the refuge “the people’s facility” and that the group “would not rule out violence if law enforcement tries to remove them.”

One militiaman created a “goodbye video” to his family, presumably preparing to fight to the death.

Schools in the area remain closed, according to The Oregonian reporter Les Zaitz. Meanwhile, the National Guard has not yet been called in for assistance, despite what seems like a pretty dangerous situation.


Contact the author at melissa.cronin@gawker.com.