A pair of local Oregon brothers launched a fundraising campaign Sunday against Ammon Bundy and the group of armed ranchers that have been occupying federal lands at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Center for more than two weeks. The ranchers have said they want the federal government to relinquish land for private use, and the brothers' fundraising campaign aims to force the Bundys to leave by raising money for organizations, such as a gun-control lobbyist and wildlife conservation, that are against the Bundys' values.
Zach and Jake Klonoski of Eugene, Oregon, launched their fundraising campaign called G.O.H.O.M.E, an acronym that stands for Getting the Occupiers of Historic Oregon Malheur Evicted. "The more pledges we get, the more pressure there is for them to leave,"Zach Klonoski said Sunday, the Oregonian reported. "Otherwise we're going to continue funding groups that they despise," he added.
— SPLC (@splcenter) January 17, 2016
The rancher occupation began the night of Jan. 1 as a protest against two ranchers who were sentenced to return to prison after serving a sentence for burning federal lands. Led by Nevada rancher Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan Bundy, the group wants the federal government to relinquish lands so that ranchers can graze their cattle and log more freely.
While some locals have supported the occupation, many residents and activists in Harney County have met the group with fierce opposition. With the cost of paying law enforcement overtime, closing schools and providing supplies to emergency workers, one judge estimated that the occupation had cost the local government between $60,000-$75,000 per day.
At the time of publication, the website for G.O.H.O.M.E. had been live for a few hours and had received nearly $4,000 in donations. In addition to gun control and wildlife organizations, the money raised will also go to the Paiute people, a Native American tribe that has claimed the land the ranchers are occupying is sacred ground to their ancestors.