On Wednesday, federal agents clashed with protesters in a confrontation the Las Vegas Review Journal said "teetered at the edge of deadly conflict." By the time it was over, federal agents had reportedly assaulted a cancer victim, set a dog on a pregnant woman and tased Ammon Bundy, Infowars added.
In a statement released Wednesday, the BLM and National Park Service said that "peaceful protests have crossed into illegal activity," which they said included the blocking of vehicles "associated with the gather, impeding cattle movement, and making direct and overt threats to government employees. These isolated actions that have jeopardized the safety of individuals have been responded to with appropriate law enforcement actions."
"Today," the statement added, "a BLM truck driven by a non-law enforcement civilian employee assisting with gather operations was struck by a protester on an ATV and the truck's exit from the area was blocked by a group of individuals who gathered around the vehicle. A police dog was also kicked. Law enforcement officers attempting to protect the civilian federal employee from the attack were also threatened and assaulted. After multiple requests and ample verbal warnings, law enforcement officers deployed tasers on a protestor."
Video of the incident, however, would seem to present a slightly different story.
The video shows a man appearing to defend himself from a dog with his feet, although it is unclear if the dog is actually kicked.
Protesters say federal agents were there to “punish” them for violating a “First Amendment Area” set up by the feds, outside of which free speech is banned
Ammon Bundy, son of rancher Cliven Bundy, was hit with a taser but the barbs were pulled out before he could be incapacitated.
“I pulled the tasers out of him,” said Cheryl Teerlink.
Cliven Bundy's 57-year-old sister, cancer survivor Margaret Houston, was also thrown to the ground by a BLM agent.
“I have 11 children, I’m 57 years old and they threw me to the dirt….I was just taking pictures, I just said get out of here,” she said.
“I just saw federal agents throw my aunt on the ground, I saw my cousin get tased three times, I saw them pull dogs and sick it on a pregnant woman….I got hit by multiple vehicles because I wanted a couple of questions….this is America and they are the aggressors, we are not the aggressors," another Bundy family member said in the video.
Protesters yelled "no BLM" as the confrontation ended and federal agents left.
The Bundy family is under constant surveillance by a force of about 200 federal agents armed with sniper rifles and helicopters.
The family has also asked for help from members of various militia groups.
"The Bundy Family has requested help from militia groups including Operation Mutual Aid, 3 Percenters club, freedom fighters and other like operations to come and stand with us and regain our rights and freedoms," Carol Bundy said on Facebook.
"The Bundy Family is greatfull (sic) and overwhelmed with the support of millions of people from around the country. Thank you. We would like to remind all of you that we want our stand for liberty and freedom to remain peaceful. We requested and asked, for people to come and stand by us. Let America know that we the people are standing up for their rights," she added.
According to the Review-Journal, some have responded to the call for help and are making their way to the Nevada ranch.
By late Wednesday, Ben Botkin and Henry Brean reported, three militia members -- two from Montana and one from Utah -- had made it to the ranch, while other groups have pledged to muster at the site to protect the family from federal tyranny.
Militia members say they are armed, but will not instigate conflict with authorities.
Ryan Payne, a member of the Montana-based West Mountain Rangers, said others are coming from all over the country.
“They all tell me they are in the process of mobilizing as we speak,” he said.
“We need to be the barrier between the oppressed and the tyrants,” he added. “Expect to see a band of soldiers.”
No one was seriously injured in Wednesday's confrontation and no arrests were made.
By Wednesday, federal agents had rounded up 352 cattle.