More About: States' Rights

Occupy 2.0: Why the Oregon Wildlife Occupiers May Be More Intelligent Than We Give Them Credit For

During the Occupy Movement, I often asked myself, why do they demonstrate on private property where their constitutional rights are not protected? It is, clearly, a privilege to be on the private property of someone else, and not a right. What they failed to realize is that, yes, a "public" city park is actually private property owned by the city corporation. Trespassing statues apply here. If, however, as most activists know, they where to move to the nearest sidewalk where the courts have ruled that this is public property, then their constitutional rights would have been fully intact and they could have stood holding their signs without fear of abuse or getting arrested for trespassing. But of course, where is the fun in occupying a sidewalk? There's not even a place to pitch a tent.

So, where else can one find public property to occupy that has more room? Yes, of course, BLM land. This is public land that has never been granted to anyone. The way a trespassing statue is written, it requires an owner to, first, give notice to an intruder and let him know that he is on private property (verbally or a posted sign), and then the intruder must have the opportunity to leave. And only then, if the intruder refuses, can he be arrested for trespassing.

But who is the owner of the BLM land and has authority to ask the occupiers to leave? The liberal media will say that the Federal Government owns it. But we know this is not true because the federal government only owns 10 square miles in Washington D.C. It seems to be unclear as to who the real owner is (at least to some). One thing struck me as interesting at the very beginning, and that is how calm and confident Ammon Bundy was when he said that they would be there many months, perhaps indefinitely. He certainly didn't have the demeanor of a crazed aggressor about to hijack a 'federal' building and have a shootout with the Feds. Ammon doesn't seem to me to be the type that would jump in on a half-baked plan. But if someone came to him with a well thought out plan, that could be a game changer for ranchers and even bigger than Bundy Ranch, then I could see him maybe getting on board with this.

How does one go about changing things in this country? Either by buying a congressman to write legislation for you, or better yet, get the courts to interpret existing law that will benefit you. Getting into the court system, however, requires an action. I would say that occupying a wildlife refuge would constitute a significant action. This will get the case on to the court docket, which will then battle its way through the court system, probably taking months or even years and eventually find its way to the state or U.S. Supreme court.

What is the precedent for occupying public BLM land? It just so happens that there are hundreds of years of occupiers (i.e. settlers), who have staked their claim on BLM land who got, not jail, but instead, a land grant to start their homestead. Hmm... The fact that the BLM had built a building on unsettled land, is all the better reason to stake your claim there. What kind of fool would build a building on public/unsettled land and leave it there vacant for someone else to come in and claim? I guess that they had not thought this one through too well.

How will this ultimately turn out? My guess is that the reason the Feds have not acted yet, and the story has been pulled from the main stream, is that they have a team of lawyers scratching their heads thinking oh S*(#. The way I see it, the Supreme Court will have no choice but to rule that BLM land is public land where the new settlers have all of their constitutional rights intact, and BLM has no enforcement power here, but only authority to issue land grants. This will leave it to the State to remove (or not) the new settlers. This in and of itself, will be a game changer for the relationship between ranchers, the state, and the BLM nation wide, which, I think may be the goal.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Patricia Anderson
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Unfortunately the Harney County Sheriffs and the Oregon State Police have ended this occupation by force, they have killed LaVoy Finicum. In spite of the FBI report by Greg Reitling, two eye witnesses have come forward and told their stories. You can view on several sites or Google Victoria Sharp or Shawna Cox. Here is one of the media outlets reports:

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