- Dec 11, 2018
Ammon Bundy, who led an armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon in 2016, hadn't been drawing much attention from news cameras or social media lately, until COVID-19.
In defiance of Idaho's stay-at-home order, which he claims is an affront to personal liberties, the militia leader — who was acquitted by an Oregon jury in 2016 — has been regularly holding in-person meetings in the Idaho farming town of Emmett where he now lives.
Bundy, in a cowboy hat and jeans, usually addresses a couple dozen people while glancing at notes on his MacBook.
"If it gets bad enough and our rights are infringed upon enough, we'll physically stand in defense in whatever way we need to," he said recently.
Bundy often strikes a similar tone as his father Cliven Bundy did in the days leading up to an earlier standoff near the family's Nevada ranch in 2014. The meetings are usually streamed on Facebook and garner several hundred followers and scores of passionate comments.
In Idaho, Far-Right Republicans Defy Coronavirus Health Restrictions
In the rural Northwest, far-right elected officials and the militia movements they're aligned with are calling for defiance of stay-at-home orders like the one issued by Idaho's Republican governor.