- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 31, 2016

They are proving a small but stubborn band as the last four anti-government occupiers remained dug in Sunday at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge while activity swirled outside the perimeter.

Even as occupation leader Ammon Bundy renewed his call for those remaining to “stand down,” a patriot network called on supporters to converge for a rally Monday at the Harney County courthouse to protest the shooting of an armed occupier by law enforcement last week.

Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, 55, was shot and killed after the FBI and Oregon State Police intercepted protesters in two vehicles as they drove Tuesday to a community meeting. A total of 11 people have been arrested in connection with the occupation, which began Jan. 2 as a protest against federal lands policy.

“We’re rallying there in support of LaVoy and his family. We’re going to protest this armed insurgency that’s taking place by our federal government,” said B.J. Soper of the Pacific Patriots Network in a video posted online over the weekend.

In the video, Mr. Soper and two others stand in front of a makeshift memorial to Mr. Finicum alongside Highway 395, where the shooting occurred. The memorial includes a cross planted in the snow and an American flag.

“We need you here. We need everyone here. We need the locals, we need everybody from around this country,” Mr. Soper said. “It’s not just an Oregon issue, it’s not a Harney County issue, it’s an American issue.”

He and other organizers stressed that the noon rally would be peaceful.

“If you have any ill intent, please do not come. We do not need you,” said a post on the network’s Facebook page. “Please come prepared with civilian attire and adhere to the policy of no long guns within the community.”

The four occupiers still holed up at the refuge headquarters — identified by The Oregonian as Sandy and Sean Anderson, Jeff Banta and David Fry — had been negotiating with FBI officials over the terms of their surrender.

The FBI has charged the 11 people arrested with a federal conspiracy charge, but has also released some people who have departed the refuge. The occupiers have sought assurances that none of them will be arrested if they leave.

In a video posted on KATU-TV, Ammon Bundy’s wife Lisa and attorney Lissa Casey are shown holding an iPhone talking to Mr. Bundy on speaker as he urges occupiers to “go home to your families.”

“To those at the refuge, please stand down,” Mr. Bundy says. “This was never meant to be an armed standoff. We only came to expose abuse and educate people about their rights protected by the Constitution of the United States. Please do not make this something it was never meant to be.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Finicum’s family and friends continue to dispute the FBI’s official account of the shooting. Aerial footage released Thursday by the FBI shows him reaching into his jacket before he was shot and killed. The FBI said he was later found with a 9 mm gun in his jacket pocket.

The video shows Mr. Finicum driving into a snowbank just before reaching an FBI roadblock and exiting the vehicle, taking several steps with his arms extended before reaching into either his jacket or waistband as two officers approached.

A memorial service for Mr. Finicum is scheduled Friday in Kanab, Utah.

“We don’t shoot Americans with their hands up. If we do, when does it stop?” said the PPN’s Joseph Rice.

In Burns, Oregon, where the PPN held a rolling rally Saturday at which supporters waved American flags as they drove through town, some residents have said they grow weary of the conflict.

“We just want to go back to the way we were,” Barbara Ormond, owner of a quilt store in downtown Burns, told The Associated Press. “We want everyone to leave us alone.”

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