Libertarians on the Oregon occupation (and current events)

4 Jan
Elizabeth Nolan Brown

“I don’t think you’re having the right takeaway here,” said a friend yesterday after briefly explaining to me the situation in Oregon. I was too busy watching “Making a Murderer” all morning to read much myself, but my initial reaction was along the lines of, “wait, so are people saying it’s *never* OK to sit in armed protest of the government? And if the complaint is that minorities would be killed for much less, isn’t this an opportunity for how things should go rather than a mandate for law enforcement to violate and kill everybody equally?” A day or so and some reading later, my response is basically the same. 
What keeps getting overlooked in a lot of the discussion of this is that a) the protest is in response to mandatory minimum sentences (which a lot of liberals oppose in most circumstances), and b) the mandatory minimum statute that the Hammonds were sentenced under was itself a response to unwarranted fear-mongering about terrorism and its ability to justify civil-liberties infringements. The Bundys haven’t used any force and say they don’t intend to use force except if to defend themselves if necessary. So at this point there is just no sort of anti-carceral, egalitarian, pro-civil-liberties position which can benefit from the inflated cries of terrorism or the applauding of more extreme reactions and/or violence at the hands of the state.


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Bruce Majors
Washington, D.C.

Hillary was right! Obama’s executive overreach, gun grabbing, and unconstitutional executive orders are a recruitment tool for the militia movement 
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Sean Malone
Alexandria, VA

If you’re calling the current happenings in rural Oregon, which have (as yet) hurt no one and destroyed no property, an act of “domestic terrorism”; yet you would not use the label to describe BLM protesters blocking ambulances in Boston, Occupy Wall Street people destroying state buildings in Wisconsin, or protesters in Ferguson, MO destroying businesses and looting, I have to wonder whether or not you’re more concerned with how much a group of politically disaffected people fits your cultural values than you are concerned about whether or not they’ve actually hurt anyone.

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Alexander R. Cohen
Newark, NJ · 

What’s going on in Oregon reminds me of the style of insurrection dramatized in Les Miserables: The rebels throw up a barricade (or in this case, take a federal building), and the government either takes it or falls in the attempt.

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Ben Kissel
New York, NY

The Oregon Militia situation is the same as Occupy Wall Street only with more guns and less drums

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Tim Andrews
Down Under

It is beyond ridiculous that to log into any auskey-autheticated website for business dealings, the Australian government requires you to use either Firefox or IE. The fact that Chrome and Edge are not supported is beyond a joke.

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