News Release

On the Ground at Oregon Shootout

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 7.58.33 AMARUN GUPTA, arun.indypendent at gmail.com, @arunindy
Gupta is an investigative journalist who has written for dozens of publications including the Washington Post, the Guardian,The Nation, and Salon.

See his pieces covering the situation in Oregon for The Raw Story, which reports: “Arun Gupta was on his way to cover the community meeting when he was told the road was closed due to a crash — and law enforcement officers told him alternate routes might take hours to reach the meeting in Grant County. Gupta soon learned rumors of what happened — here’s his account from Harney County:”

Gupta said today: “We were minutes behind where the shooting took place at approximately 5 p.m., on Highway 395. But we didn’t know it. We were climbing the mountain and saw police lights ahead. There were at least two police cars, a car across the road, and a few cars ahead of us stopped. We thought it was an accident as an ambulance came into view. A cop told us to turn around, said it would be hours. …”

In his most recently posted piece, “The Oregon militant leaders are captured or dead — but anger toward the government lives on,” Gupta writes: “I saw LaVoy Finnicum [Tuesday] at the Malheur Refuge. He waved both times he saw me, the last as he drove in his pickup truck. I wanted to talk to him but I was rushing from one interview to the next and figured I could catch him later. He said weeks ago he would die before he was arrested. A few hours later he was shot dead.

“Ryan Payne also drove by in his pickup truck. He stopped, rolled down his window and chatted. Like the Bundys and others, Payne is adroit at talking to the media. He didn’t want to be pinned down, and threw out platitudes loved by the right, such as, ‘The government is best that governs the least.’

“Payne said he was going to the Grant County, Oregon, meeting Tuesday night to start up a new chapter of the ‘Committee of Safety.’ The first began in neighboring Harney County, Oregon, last month. The Bundys and Payne established it as the first institution in their armed revolt against the local, state and U.S. governments.

“Payne claimed all he wanted was a constitutional system of government, but when pushed he could name very few federal agencies that would remain in his vision of the United States. Most would be abolished, even the Departments of Defense and Commerce would be radically changed.”