by Los Angeles People’s Media
Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM
In April 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) acted on a court order to seize the cattle of southern Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Hundreds of western men and women traveled to Bunkersville, NV to stand with the Bundy family against federal tyranny. Several reporters from Los Angeles People's Media went to the site of the #BundyRanch #RangeWar to interview supporters about the stand-off.
As tensions between Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management skyrocketed in early April 2014, comparisons to the battle of Lexington and Concord were made—some were preparing for a second American Revolution. Mainstream media remained silent on the arrests at the property as well as property destruction at the hands of the BLM. To witness the truth from the people on the ground, livestreamer Patti Beers (@PMBeers) carpooled to Bunkersville, NV to join the hundreds of volunteers at Bundy Ranch.
On Saturday, April 12, 2014, the Bureau of Land Management formally announced retreat and released the 300-400 cattle who had been rounded up during the previous week. The Bundys invited everyone to a barbeque the following weekend, to celebrate the temporary halt to the federal pressure and thank everyone from their support. At the patriot party on Friday, April 18, @PMBeers interviewed one of the many LDS members who came out in support of Cliven Bundy.
He explained the history of Mormon relations with the federal government: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, LDS, or Mormons, were chased out of the United States in the mid-1800’s. There was an extermination order in Illinois on us. We left the United States and we went to Mexico. It was called Mexico Salt Lake City. Right as we moved out here there was a Mexican-American war going on and the area turned into the United States again. We were back in America. We never got out!”
The Mormons were run out of the United States into Mexican territory, but “as they were traveling the war got won, and the United States got pushed all the way to the Pacific Coast.”
As a result, “as a culture we have a little distrust for the federal government. They didn’t protect us. They were actually letting us be persecuted. We have a natural suspicion. We’re not a terrorist-type people, but we have a little suspicion of power over us.”
In addition to having a natural distrust of state authority, the Mormon religion teaches humility and moderation. “In the Book of Mormon, which is another book of scriptures (whether that all really happened or not, we still read it, and it’s still something that helps us), all through the book, there are stories about people getting righteous, and then they get free. The stories are about people being wicked and getting put under enslavement, then getting humble and breaking out of it and getting free. Then they get wealthy again and they get prideful... Up and down and up and down…”
“These little children here, like the Bundy children, every little person as they grow up hears these stories. As you get rich and wicked you will lose perspective and you will end up being enslaved. Then you humble out, you call up on God, you start looking for true principles, and you become free again. The message there is we need to be humble. I’m just trying to tell you a little bit of culture here.
“We think the Constitution is scripture. It’s inspired by God, and if it’s inspired by God, that sounds kind of like scripture? If God inspired it, it must be more than just a little news article. We take it seriously.”
From the photographer, “I would like actual democracy as a representative republic was great 200 years ago when people had to stay and work on their farms and could not travel to vote and did not have technology to participate in the democratic process.”
This man at the ranch said, “Well, that's Anarchy.”
“ I was so happy to see someone use that word correctly for the first time,” concluded the photographer.
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