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Hullabaloo


Friday, February 05, 2016

 
A new right wing martyr

by digby












You knew this would happen, right?

A wooden cross and cowboy hat appeared on the side of a remote Oregon highway just days after Robert “LaVoy” Finicum was shot by a state police officer.

For weeks, Finicum was the public face of the armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, until his death marked the violent culmination of the standoff. Leaders of the occupation were arrested that day, and most of the people who hunkered down for nearly a month there trickled out as the FBI surrounded the compound.

The weeks-long standoff seemed to be winding down.

But rather than an end, the death of the Arizona rancher at the hands of state police has marked the continuation of a simmering anti-government movement that manifested in Oregon, and a rallying cry for a growing number of armed militias across the country.

Memorials for Finicum have since spread through social media. Facebook posts hail the rancher as a hero against government tyranny. Songs have been written about the Arizona rancher, and conspiracy theories about how his final encounter with police have swirled online after his death.

“The more radicalized individuals are going to look at Finicum as a martyr,” Robert Harris, a former case manager for the Federal Bureau of Prisons told BuzzFeed News.
I'm pretty sure this is exactly why all those guys did their suicide videos.
“He put things in plain English so that people could understand,” Jordan Page, a musician whose songs carry a strong political message of freedom, Second Amendment rights and limited government, told BuzzFeed News. “Whether you agreed with him or not, he lived a life based on principles.”

Hours after the shooting, Page wrote a song as a tribute to Finicum, called A Cowboy’s Stand For Freedom. He didn’t agree with the decision to take the refuge at first, but said he began to sympathize with their tactics when he learned more about their grievances on federal management of lands.

“Once I understood what they were trying to do I was more supportive,” Page said.

“He left his home to go and take a stand, his voice voice rang out across the deafening land,” he sings in a YouTube video shared more than 21,000 times. “In the end it was a bullet that exposed a lie. A truth remembered is a battle won, though his murder cannot be done.”

Page has viewed the video released by the FBI of the shooting, and like some, believes the use of force wasn’t justified.

“I think he was trying to draw the fire away from the truck because there were women and friends in the truck,” he said. “I think he probably knew it was his time”

Page doesn’t believe Finicum was reaching for a weapon, but instead grabbing a wound after being shot first. He also questions the FBI’s statement that Finicum reached for a gun on his left side, pointing out similar social media postings that the rancher wore a holster on his right side.

The FBI, however, states Finicum reached toward his left side at least twice before a state police officer fired. A video released by the agency seems to back up that claim.

“So many people in this country are distrustful of government, and scared of government, and that’s not the way it’s supposed to be,” Page said. “They’re supposed to be scared of us.”

“So many people in this country are distrustful of government, and scared of government”
After Finicum’s death, however, several militia leaders appeared to be doubling down on their efforts.

“I got pissed, in super capital letters,” Gary Hunt, of Operation Mutual Defense told BuzzFeed News. “I don’t know how many times they (law enforcement) said they wanted a peaceful solution.”

A network of regional militias, the group helps organize response to “assist patriots in the defense of lives, individual liberties and property.”

After the shooting, Hunt said he put out a call to militia members to flock to Harney County to support the remaining occupiers.

“Everybody said, ‘Yes, hell yes,’” he said. “There was an echo almost.”

Hunt decided to rescind the order when he realized the FBI was already surrounding the compound.

Still, he said similar standoffs are all but certain to continue to make sure Finicum’s life was not lost in vain.

He was actually armd and waving a gun around. You'd think these people who are so concerned about overzealous government authorities would be a little bit more concerned about them shooting unarmed black teenagers. But they don't appear to care about that. The Oath Keepers did show up in Ferguson. To protect the property owners.

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