Citizens of Idaho, and visitors from as far away as Texas, gathered on the steps of the Capitol Building in Boise, Idaho at Noon on Saturday, 30 April 2016 to collectively voice growing dissatisfaction with what is rapidly becoming a crescendo of unlawful Federal overreach in land disputes, unjust incarcerations, suppression of Constitutionally guaranteed rights, and in the case of R. LaVoy Finicum, questionable (at best) use of lethal force. Billed “The Resist Rally” and organized by the III% of Idaho, a couple of hundred citizens stood in breezy, but otherwise pleasant weather, with flags, banners, and signs for the purpose of continuing to bring light not only to the politically-motivated imprisonment of four Idahoans, but also of other defendants now numbered in the dozens spread across two cases.
It took the Federal Government nearly 700 days to bring an indictment against 19 defendants in what is commonly known as The Bundy Ranch Standoff. The US Attorneys, citing lack of preparedness to bring the cases to trial by the original May 2016 date, have moved to classify the case as “complex” meaning that each defendant will be tried in a single, large trial sometime in early 2017. Despite waiting nearly two years to indict and apprehend the Idaho defendants, prosecutors for the US Attorneys still had not provided the defendants evidence due to them in discovery. Rally goers made it clear that they see this as a suppression of right to a speedy trial, guaranteed under the 5th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
Further aggravating protesters is the possibility of a complex trial depriving some of the defendants of due process. A substantial portion of the case being prosecuted by the US Attorneys alleges a massive, multi-faceted conspiracy by the defendants to answer a call-to-arms from Cliven Bundy to impede Federal Officers in the execution of a lawful court order. At least three of the Idaho residents who traveled to Nevada on the day the standoff ended have repeatedly insisted that they traveled there because of lawless, heavy-handed conduct exacted by the Bureau of Land Management upon protesters in the days prior. Additionally, they were present to protest the BLM’s decision to cordon off “First Amendment Zones” miles away from the Bundy Ranch, as if to imply that they possessed the jurisdiction to confine the expression of First Amendment rights to a small, secluded area. They have repeatedly insisted that at no point did they engage in a conspiracy to threaten, assault, impede, or otherwise interfere with Government agents lawfully executing District Court orders.
Brandon Curtiss, President of the III% of Idaho, indicated that efforts to reach Idaho state legislators and Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter had largely been unproductive. Few (if any) state or federal legislators have attempted to be actively involved in the proceedings, or at least encourage the U.S. District Court in Nevada to ensure that Constitutional Rights are being upheld. It seems as if once the hype of the actual event subsided, local, state, and Federal government entities seem content to just accept the narrative released by mainstream.
Curtiss said: “We need to make the change on the ballot. […] We need people right here to get on the ballot. Sitting back in the shadows […] isn’t going to get it done anymore. We’re not extremists, we’re not anti-government. We love our government the way our Constitution set it up.”
Curtiss also encouraged all liberty minded patriot groups to set aside their differences and work to collectively raise voices that cannot be ignored. The implications of a conviction on any of these charges could set a very dangerous precedent going forward. Every elected official who took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States should be gravely concerned with how these cases related to the Bundy Ranch and the Malheur Refuge are proceeding. There may be disagreement about various details of both incidents but there should be no contention that the government is wrongfully using the vast, long arm of codified law to bury these men in an avalanche of litigation for the purpose of intimidation and to secure a plea. Their denial of pretrial release, confinement in solitary, overall lack of relevant or substantial criminal history, and now a delay to suppress their right to a speedy trial; the combination of which constitutes an egregious misuse of the penal system and detention facilities. Delaying the trial is a go-to strategy whereby public interest wanes with the passing of time. This is the purpose of holding Resist Rallies, that these men, and the injustices heaped upon them, might not be forgotten.
A young woman stood in front of the crowd and sang Freedom’s Cry, written by R. LaVoy Finicum’s daughters. Save the noise of the wind, a pin drop could have been heard. The original song can be heard here.
Liberty-minded patriot groups and individuals alike are encouraged to lawfully, peacefully protest the continued detention of political prisoners in high visibility areas every last Saturday of every Month until they are released or exonerated. All of them. Idaho has several citizens unjustly detained for a litany of embellished crimes. Their right to a speedy trial and due process under the 5th and 6th Amendments is being compromised. Meanwhile, their families struggle to stay afloat and provide adequate legal representation.
Please Consider helping the families of the unjustly incarcerated:
- Eric and Andrea Parker: https://fundrazr.com/21728c
- Chelsea Hamel, daughter of O. Scott Drexler: https://fundrazr.com/e172Pf
- Lynn Stewart, for Steven Stewart: https://fundrazr.com/SteveStewart
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.