Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy (shown), whose sons Ammon and Ryan led the occupation of the Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon, was arrested Wednesday night (February 10) at around 10:00 p.m. at the Portland International Airport. Bundy, 69, was booked into the Multnomah County jail. The reason for his arrest has not been made public by authorities, but various media are reporting that the charges against him relate to the 2014 standoff with federal authorities at his ranch. (For some of The New American’s coverage of the 2014 Bundy standoff see here, here, and here.)
The arrest of the patriarch of the Bundy family came 40 days into the occupation of the vacant facility, and on the eve of the negotiated surrender of the four remaining protesters. The Rev. Franklin Graham, son of famous evangelist Billy Graham, and Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, a friend of the Bundy family, had been talking with the four occupiers for the past week by cell phone, urging them to come out. Graham and Fiore both went to Oregon and played a key role Thursday morning (February 11) in the peaceful surrender of the occupiers: Jeff Banta, 46, of Elko, Nevada; Sean Anderson, 47, and his wife Sandy, 48, of Riggins, Idaho; and, David Fry, 27, from the Cincinnati area of Ohio.
A tense drama unfolded as the Andersons and Banta departed the refuge, with Fry staying behind and defiantly vowing to stand and fight. The lone occupier engaged in a lengthy heated exchange on a live audio feed with Internet radio blogger Gavin Steim and attorney KrisAnne Hall. Fry, who repeatedly and vehemently swore (at times screaming incoherently) he would not surrender, did eventually walk out to face arrest.
Photo of Cliven Bundy: AP Images