Justice

Federal Government Weighs Options To Expel Oregon Militiamen

The federal government is considering its options  on how to oust militiamen occupying a remote government-owned building in southeastern Oregon.

Authorities told reporters they plan on cutting power to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon in hopes to freeze out the outpost's armed anti-government occupiers.

Related: 3 Things You Need to Know About the Crisis in Oregon Right Now

An official told the Guardian that without power, the militiamen would be driven to surrender, because a lack of power — and heat — would expose them to the "flat-ass cold" temperatures in the state's southeastern quadrant. The official told the Guardian that while the FBI is leading the case, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a liaison agency, planned to cut the power in the building the militia sleeps in.

"After they shut off the power, they'll kill the phone service," the official said. "Then they'll block all the roads so that all those guys have a long, lonely winter to think about what they've done."

The militia said they planned to be there for years in order to have their goals met: for the federal government to drop their case against two local ranchers, and for the government to relinquish control of the vast swaths of land it holds in the west.

Also: The NRA Just Responded to Obama's Move on Guns

Up until this point, the law enforcement's response to the standoff has been notably mild. Some have said the lack of aggressive tactics represent a racial double standard in law enforcement, since the band of militiamen is largely white. Links!

Ammon Bundy, a spokesperson for the group — which has been building fires for warmth — told the Guardian that they were "ready and waiting if the power would be shut down."