Armed activists defy US government in Oregon standoff

Ammon Bundy speaks to the media as the leader of a group of armed anti-government protesters who have taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters near Burns, Oregon, January 4, 2016A band of armed anti-government activists occupying a federal wildlife reserve in rural Oregon dug in for a third day Monday, as the ranchers they claimed to be defending denounced the siege and turned themselves in to the law. The loose-knit band of farmers, ranchers and survivalists — who have dubbed themselves “citizens for constitutional freedom” — began the siege in protest at the jailing of Dwight Hammond, 73, and his son Steven, 46, convicted of arson for setting fire to federal land. Up to a hundred protesters are believed to be holed up at the snowy visitor’s center for the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, which they took over to show solidarity with the Hammonds, and demand that a court rescind an order for their arrest.

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