It’s finally over. Last week, the occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon all but came to an end with eight arrests and one death among the militia. But how did we get to this point? Let’s go through the timeline of events.
January 2 – A group of militants led by Ammon Bundy occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon. They demanded the release of ranchers Dwight Hammond and his son Steven, who were in federal custody for setting fires that spread to public lands. They claimed to be “ready to kill,” but thankfully no one was hurt.
January 3 – The standoff continued, and as the militia called for more people to join their cause, they were instead met with hashtag trolling and a lack of media coverage.
January 6 – #Tarpman was born as the militia continued to be a lightning rod for ridicule and confusion, not the least of which was their list of demands. Unlike the heavily armed responses at Waco and Ruby Ridge, the FBI continued a decidedly hands-off approach to the armed occupation and did not place the refuge under siege.
January 17 – Surprisingly, the occupation continued without federal intervention. Unsurprisingly, the ridicule continues as well. Militants were still allowed to come and go as they pleased, and instead of cutting off their heat or electricity, the FBI seized Lavoy Finicum aka #Tarpman’s income.
January 19 – Media coverage continued to taper off due to lack of drama, so the militants turned to increasingly bizarre stunts for attention (including a rousing blow of battle trumpets).
January 21 – Oregon Gov. Kate Brown demands the arrest of the militia, and pressure increases for the FBI to handle the situation more directly.
January 25 – The FBI finally struck with the militia leaders left the compound in a vehicle convoy. A shoot-out ensued, resulting in the death of Finicum and the arrest of Bundy and five others.
February 1 – While the leaders were out of the picture, the standoff drags on with four armed militants still occupying the refuge. Bundy has called for the end of the occupation, and as the FBI negotiates with the remaining occupants, it’s only a matter of time until it comes to an official close.