Burns and the Malheur Wildlife Refuge – Part 1
Burns, OR – Redoubt News is on the ground in Burns, bringing you the latest updates. We have teamed with Revolution Radio to live stream several events and interviews, as well as recording for later viewing. As there is so much to cover, this will be a series of articles, updating as fast as we can.
When I arrived, there was a tension throughout the town. An obvious law enforcement presence, much of it federal officials, left an intimidating atmosphere. The lack of regular communication from the local sheriff and the FBI has given a sense of unease that is hard to overcome.
Completely opposite is the feeling at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, where I first visited on Saturday. Traveling there the first time was a bit unnerving, as I was alone and there had been so many negative stories about what the attitude was with the occupiers.
As I drove in, I met a nice young man by the name of Nick. He was extremely polite and gracious, welcoming me both as a citizen and as the media. He was quite pleased that alternative media had taken the time to visit and report the viewpoints that the mainstream media has not covered.
Every person that I met during the visit, including Ryan Bundy, was polite, kind and very pleased to see me. That particular day, there was quite a large media presence, and everyone of them were treated equally, with courtesy being the theme.
LaVoy Finicum brought me down to their chow hall. I was introduced to everyone there and was welcomed wholeheartedly. I noticed a United States flag on the wall with writing on it. When I asked, LaVoy explained that everyone who loved Freedom was invited to sign it. I love freedom. I love the Constitution. I love my country. I signed it.
I was given free access to the entire property, with the only exception being the sleeping quarters for those staying on site. There were visitors and site-seers, as well. Everyone was offered food and tours. No one was shy about talking to me, about themselves or the cause that brought them together. There was no subject that was off limits.
There were people from all walks of life, such as blue collar to farmers to college educated. You would not know one from another, as they were all equal at the Refuge. There were chores that all shared, from cooking to feeding the birds.
I discussed the condition of the refuge before they arrived. It had not been kept as well as it should have been. The group now spends time everyday improving the buildings and the property. I noticed that they recycle and don’t allow garbage to drop. They work very hard to keep it clean and beautiful.
Transparency breeds trust, a lesson many in government have not seemed to grasp. The difference between the Refuge and the town was enormous. In many ways, I felt safer at the refuge than I did in the town, even with the large footprint of law enforcement around.
Enjoy the videos and interviews that we have to date. Please, stay tuned for more.
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~ Shari Dovale