Ammon Bundy, an anti-government activist who led the 41-day armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge back in 2016, expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement and for defunding the police in a recent Facebook video.
He said in the video that he had considered attending, near his home in Boise, Idaho, “a rally with the Black Lives Matter in support of defunding the police because yes the police need to be defunded.” He decided not to attend the rally, citing concerns about potential violence from fellow “Patriots” who have criticized his stance on the issue.
Anyone who doesn’t understand his support for the movement “must have a problem,” he said.
“You must have a problem in your mind if you think that somehow the Black Lives Matter is more dangerous than the police,” he said. “You must have a problem in your mind if you think that Antifa is the one going to take your freedom.”
Four years ago Bundy led a group of “Patriots” who tore down fences and bulldozed over federal land considered sacred to Native Americans, causing close to a million dollars in damage to the bird refuge property and buildings, according to the Obama administration. The occupation began as a protest of the federal government’s treatment of ranchers Steven and Dwight Hammond, but turned into a weeks-long confrontation with local and federal authorities. Bundy was later acquitted for leading the occupation.
Bundy went on to blame Conservative talk show hosts for adding a negative connotation to certain key phrases like “defund the police,” which he called “the right thing to do” as police have become “a huge authoritarian bureaucracy” that will “take way our liberty.”
He criticized his followers for supporting law enforcement and the military “even when they’re doing terrible things across the world.”
“I’m not saying that everything they’re doing and every person in it — don’t get me wrong – are doing that, but there needs to be a defunding of government in general, and especially the police forces because they’re the ones who are actually going to seek and destroy us.”