Today, April 10, 2014, it was reported that militias from across the nation are arriving to support Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in his ongoing fight with the federal government over a land dispute. Hundreds of federal, state and local law enforcement officials descended on Bundy's Clark County, Nevada ranch (about 80 miles north of Las Vegas) and the federal property that adjoins it to round up his cattle this past Saturday.
Bundy claims he and his family have rights dating back to the 1870s for his cattle to graze on and around his property; rights before the land in question was taken over by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM does not want Bundy's cattle grazing on public land as it may harm a particular Nevada Desert Tortoise. No tortoises have been harmed to date due to Bundy's actions.
Since 1993, Bundy and the federal government have been fighting over Bundy's use of the land by his cattle which the government has been charging Bundy fees; fees which Bundy refuses to pay due to his view that he, as his predecessors, have a right to use the land. Last Saturday, the federal government came in to round up anywhere from 500 to 1,000 heads of cattle to be auctioned off to pay the fees they say Bundy owes.
Today there are still hundreds of federal agents surrounding the Bundy ranch. The federal government has closed nearly 600,000 acres of land to the public during the round up which is expected to take through May and cost taxpayers approximately $3 million to complete. The BLM states that Bundy owes approximately $1 million in fees.
Operation Mutual Aid is a national association of legal state militias with the intent to protect state citizens from federal tyranny. This weekend the number of militia troops is expected to reach into the hundreds to protect the Bundy family from the federal government's tyrannical posturing. This past Sunday Cliven Bundy's son, 37 year old Dave Bundy, was arrested for photographing federal agents while on a public right of way.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said Tueday, "“No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans." He added that he was upset with the BLM for creating an "atmosphere of intimidation." It was also reported that a federal judge told the BLM “that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others.”
Waco refers to the 1993 Waco, Texas massacre by the federal government when Bill Clinton was President of the United States. An estimated 76 people died as a result of federal government overstepping their bounds and igniting a literal firestorm. It was after Waco and Ruby Ridge, where the militia movement started to grow as a protection against further federal tyranny on state citizens.