Urban Visitor Attends LVF Rally in John Day, Oregon

Free Range Report:

LaVoy’s memorial on January 28 was given the title, “The Meeting that Never Happened” because the gathering would fulfill the aims of those who traveled with LaVoy Finicum on January 26, 2016, to meet with local folks, and talk about the constitutional rights to life, liberty and property which he came to Oregon to defend. The Meeting that Never Happened was attended by around 500 people, many from other states, who wanted to tell the story that LaVoy Finicum simply wanted to share when he was gunned down; the story of a rancher who loved his God, his family, his country, and his freedom, more than life itself. ...

Following are the reflections of Macon Richardson, a 41 year-old technology professional from Bellingham, Washington, which is located about 9 hours north of John Day, Oregon.

FRR: Please share your impressions of eastern Oregon. How is it different than Bellingham?

Driving south to John Day from Bellingham, I thought to myself just how far away from the urban setting eastern Oregon is. Not just far in the sense of distance but far in the sense that people out here live a different life than most people in America. Out here folks care about each other, they know each other. They look out for each other. They have to, if they don’t look out for each other, who will? Without all of the comforts of large emergency service infrastructure and a grocery store on every corner the people of eastern Oregon have to be there for each other.

FRR: Being unfamiliar with the people out here, what did you expect after hearing media accounts of the Oregon Standoff? Did anything surprise you about your interactions with them?

A day in eastern Oregon made it clear to me that these folks are good, hardworking, caring Americans. I don’t understand why have some of them been deemed terrorists by the media. Why did a small group of ranchers decide to form a protest in such a remote part of Oregon? Why not protest in a big city like normal protesters? Why didn’t they burn things and assault people like the “normal” protesters that we’ve seen throughout America? I wanted to take a good look at it first-hand. There has to be more to the story than it just being some fringe group taking over a federal building with guns, as CNN reported.

FRR: What did you know about the background of the story, and the motives of the Oregon Standoff protesters before tonight?

I knew a little. The Harney basin has been a real hotbed of land deputes and outright destruction of natural resources for decades. By reading the news about the protest in Oregon last year you may think that all of this wrong-doing must be caused by the people who live there. But I learned that all of these transgressions and aggressions have been perpetrated by our own Federal Government. ...

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