This takeover was led by the sons of Cliven Bundy – Ammon and Ryan. Cliven was recently incarcerated for his own armed encounter with federal authorities in 2014 over similar local-federal disputes. He was arrested on his way to support his sons in their rebellion. Ammon and Ryan still face charges relating to this incident.
What stands out about both armed acts of militant defiance is not only that they happened, but that local law and federal law enforcement didn’t seem very eager to stop them.
The CCF was allowed to come and go as they pleased for weeks. They were met with no force for the entire standoff. They were allowed to peacefully negotiate, and those that were arrested were arrested without incident. Even though they were fully armed, took over federal property and had threatened to kill law enforcement – on Thursday, a federal court acquitted 7 of these neo-Confederate soldiers, including the Bundy Brothers, of federal conspiracy and firearms possession charges related to the militia’s armed action against the federal government.
This treatment by law enforcement starkly contrasts the violence unleashed upon the peaceful protestors at Standing Rock.