Bundys acquitted as authorities go after Standing Rock. - Grist


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Reuters/Jim Urquhart

Bundys acquitted as authorities go after Standing Rock.

A jury handed down the not-guilty verdict on Thursday in Portland, Oregon. Ammon and Ryan Bundy, along with five co-defendants, were tried on conspiracy and weapons charges following a 41-day occupation of Malheur Wildlife Refuge in rural Burns, Oregon, last winter.

It’s a verdict some Burns locals found shocking, but anti-government activists applauded the decision. The defendants’ takeover of the wildlife refuge came after the Bundy family’s dispute over federal grazing fees in Nevada and long-standing battles over who should control public land.

“We’re so grateful to the jurors who weren’t swayed by the nonsense that was going on,” defendant Shawna Cox told reporters outside the courthouse. “God said we weren’t guilty.” The Bundys remain jailed due to pending charges in Nevada.

Meanwhile in North Dakota, police arrested at least 141 people and used mace and rubber bullets against hundreds of others in an attempt to break up a Dakota Access pipeline blockade.

In Portland, Jarvis Kennedy, a Burns Paiute Tribe council member, watched Bundy supporters celebrate. “What if I did that with my Native brothers and sisters, and we went and occupied something, do you think we’d be let running around free, going in and out of it?” Kennedy told NPR. “No, we’d be locked down.”