COUNT TO AN ESCALATION
‘FARM WARS’ – A FIGHT FOR EVERY CENTIMETRE
In Bunkerville, the first big showdown between the federal police and the heavily armed militiamen – including many members of the so-called Oath Keepers – takes place. The confrontation lasts for almost a week, and is symbolic of the deep divide running through the American populace at the time. The situation is tense and several times things threaten to escalate: while militia members, government workers and police officers engage in a stand off, a pregnant women is tasered by federal agents during a scuffle.
A GOL MINE ECOMES A NO- GO AREA
After the government accuses the owners of the Sugar Pine Goldmine at Grants Pass of operating their mine without the approval of the federal authorities, the Oath Keepers dig in and prepare for conflict. Not only do they create a no-go area for government officials, they also build a five-acre camp where they store equipment, plan operations and recruit new members. Only when the government backs down do the Keepers pull back – only to start marching again in August during a conflict over a mine in Montana.
OATH KEEPERS PATROL IN FERGUSON
The actions of private armies are not just limited to disputes with the government: in August 2015, on the anniversary of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown*, severe unrest erupts once more. Once again, the Oath Keepers are involved. Armed with AR-15 rifles and Glock pistols they patrol the streets and post lookouts on rooftops, thus worsening the already riled-up atmosphere. After three weeks they retreat, but promise to return the next year with even more people.
MISSOURI, AUGUST, 2015
OREGON, APRIL, 2015
NEVADA, APRIL, 2014