BURNS, Ore. (KOIN) — The same day Oregon Governor Kate Brown called the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge “absolutely intolerable”, more militiamen from around the country drove in truck by truck to join the cause.
Group leader Ammon Bundy says there is much work to be done, and that’s why Wednesday’s regularly scheduled press conference was canceled.
“We came here to work and we are working,” Bundy said. “We have crews that are working and our teams that are working on.”
That includes a legal team, security detail, crews to tend to the property and numerous other small groups tasked with “important” work.
Bundy reportedly met with his top-ranking counterparts for several hours on Wednesday, but he’s keeping a tight lip about what was actually discussed.
Still, the heavily armed militants believe their cause is not only just, but an act of divine intervention.
“God wants us here, there’s a sense that’s beckoning and it comes from heaven,” militiaman Kelly Gneiting said. “We’re doing what’s right, we’re doing what the founding fathers would do because we’re inspired by God, also.”
But the town seems to overwhelmingly disagree.
Residents expressed their frustrations with the refuge occupation at a community meeting Wednesday night. Bundy sat quietly among hundreds of locals at the meeting, listening as many loudly chanted at him to “go”.
“Ammon, you need to go home to your family; thank you,” local resident Jennifer Williams said.
Harney County Judge Steve Grasty took the microphone over to where Bundy sat in the bleachers and told Bundy he’d drive him wherever he wanted to go, as far as Utah. He also offered to meet with him anytime.
Bundy and his small posse left after the meeting without incident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report