Among the demands of the armed men who took over a federal building in southeastern Oregon is to shut down the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which provides crucial protections for wildlife — especially migrating birds. Members of the men’s group have said they’re willing to kill and be killed if necessary.
This is the latest in a long string of armed, right-wing thugs — recall Cliven Bundy in 2014 — attempting to seize America’s public lands and enact their paranoid, anti-government dream bought by guns and intimidation.
What’s happening in Oregon is a logical outgrowth of right-wing rhetoric that demonizes even the concept of federal land — places such as national parks and forests — and villainizes those who believe that publicly owned land should be more than just a source of profit for ranchers and corporations.
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