Harney County Protest Draws Hundreds on Both Sides
Editor’s Note: This Article was written by Sheri Duval who has has traveled to
Burn Oregon twice now to bring us reporting and live streaming from the boots on
the ground perspective. More of her work can be found at her website www.redoubtnews.com.
Several hundred people attended a protest rally at the Harney County Courthouse in Burns, Oregon on Monday. There was a definite division between groups. Supporters of Judge Grasty, Sheriff David Ward, and the local government stood on the grounds and sidewalks, with their backs to the courthouse. Citizens upset with LaVoy Finicum’s Death, overwhelmed with the BLM land grab issues, and others responding to a ‘Call-to-Action’ by the Pacific Patriot Network <http://pacificpatriotsnetwork.com/> of militias, stood facing them in the street and surrounding areas. Overall, it was a mostly peaceful rally, even if it was rather loud. Judge Grasty and Sheriff Ward stayed in the courthouse looking down at the citizens through the windows on the second floor. There were USA Flags being waved by protesters in the street, as well as a few yellow ‘Gadsden’ flags <http://www.gadsden.info/>. There was tension between the groups, however, they all attempted to keep it verbal and not allow it to escalate. There was one notable exception. A young lady attempted to drive through the crowd. She was driving at a rate that was not safe for the situation, if not greater than the normal speed limit. When she stopped due to a protester being in the street, as were dozens of others, she opted to try to move the man with her car, rather than honk or ask him to step away. The State Troopers walked over after they heard shouts of “She hit him! She hit him!” Their response was to talk to her and escort her out of the area. The protester was not seriously hurt. Additionally, there were a few loud disruptions while the protesters attempted to hold a memorial moment, including a moment of silence, for rancher LaVoy Finicum, who died on January 26, 2016. The crowd on the courthouse steps began to thin after a short time, and I heard comments that they “had to get back to work”. The rally was begun during the normal government lunch hour, beginning at noon. However, the crowd in the street seemed to get larger as time went on. The protest lasted between three and four hours overall. During the protest, there was a heated verbal exchange between Brandon Curtiss, founder of the Idaho 3% militia, and an unidentified older man. Curtiss was heard to say, “You [belong] in prison. And I have the documents!” The exchange of words did require the intervention of law enforcement officers. If this is the case, one wonders why these documents have not been made public, as per the transparency demands continually being made by the protesters. Several media outlets were represented during the rally, but it was very disappointing to watch how they set up their ‘spin’ on the day. When the crowd was smaller and the day was winding down, I observed a reporter, and her cameraman, setting up in front of the courthouse. That was where they positioned the last of the ‘pro-government’ supporters.