Posted by: atowhee | January 19, 2016

PUBLIC LANDS RALLY

I attended one of the several rallies around the West today…all in support of public lands, wildlife habitat and ending the illegal occupation of the Malheur Refuge by armed white gunmen.  I was at the rally on the front steps of the Oregon Capitol in Salem.  One speaker there said open carry of rifles is in direct conflict with freedom of speech.  I would go further and say open carry and the menacing threat it includes is in direct conflict with democratic rule of law and justice.  I have a gun, do what I say.  This is the violent mentality that has led to police shooting of unarmed blacks in America, beheadings in the Middle East, gang massacres in Mexico.  Gun as proof of right is totally bankrupt–morally, politically, economically.  Countries where violence is a dominant form of public interaction become hopeless–Honduras has the world’s highest murder rater and one of the worst economies.  Not a coincidence.  If public debates in America are allowed to devolve into an arms race, our democracy is doomed.

Nobody at the rally could understand why there has been no action to end the seizure and return the public lands to public use.SALEM RALLYThis is on the entryway inside the lobby of the Capitol Building.  Right now unjust and tyrannical well describes the actions by the handful of armed white men in possession of the public owned buildings, vehicles and land at Malheur. STATE QUOTENow Burns has become a center for anti-government agitation.  The Bundy Gang are trying to get local Malheur area ranchers to stop paying their grazing fees.  A self-proclaimed constitutional expert was in town last night telling 300 locals that the federal governments has no right to own land.  Harney County residents have worked hard to produce a co-operative community in a harsh and unyielding landscape and climate.  They are now being over-run in a political land rush of right-wing militia supporters who want to take away more than a century of conservation and public access to precious habitat and wildlife.

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