Dec. 19, 2017
Liz Writes Life
Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA
The flu bug finally got me and I am not feeling well, so I decided to use Ryan Bundy’s opening statement from his Nevada trial on Nov. 15, 2017. It was quite long and it wasn’t easy to reduce down to 1,000 words, so it is worth checking out Redoubt News.com and doing a search for Ryan Bundy to read the entire statement. Ryan said some very powerful things regarding rights, freedoms and government. Here it is – and Merry Christmas!
Thanks to the jurors for being here. I told you a little about myself at voir dire, but I’d like to introduce myself a little more, and tell you about my heritage and how that affects my case.
This is my ID! (Shows a photo of him with his family.) Not my driver’s license. This is who I am, a man with a family and I’ll do whatever it takes to provide for them.
My family has been on that land 141 years, my pioneer ancestors settled there in 1877 – there was nothing there. They carved out a living … they brought a horse and wagon and some provisions … this case, the government mentioned is “not about rights”, but it is – those rights do mean something – rights are created through beneficial use.
When my ancestors arrived, undoubtedly the horse would need a drink, so they led him to the water and that is beneficial use. The horse and perhaps a cow that had been led behind the wagon need to eat some brush in the hills, that is beneficial use. That established rights. The water rights are real! So real, the State of Nevada has a water rights registry including livestock watering rights. A law was created to protect those rights. The water rights that my father owns were first registered in 1891 by the State of Nevada – the State of Nevada is important, a sovereign state, its own unit, which entered the union in 1864. It entered equal to the original states, it is its own entity and state laws are important.
My family and I are charged with some grievous things and they are not true and evidence will show they are not; force, manipulation, extortion, violent—my family is not a violent family and I am not a violent man. For 20+ years we turned to local law enforcement. Rights are real property. The fact is that we create government to protect rights.
Our ranch – children are always welcome – it is a place to play, play in the river, the pond, chase or hunt rabbits, burn your toes in the hot sand in summer—always free. Never before did we feel like someone was always watching. In early spring of 2014 we felt like someone was always watching… the dogs were watching the hills, when you are always with a dog you get to know what they are saying with their bark… you can tell by their bark what they are seeing… surveillance cameras on one hill, but the dog looking at another and growling… (tearfully) This is not what America is supposed to be.
They say this issue is over grazing fees … it’s terrible, terrible, he must be a freeloader – it’s only rhetoric – I’ll tell you why – You don’t pay rent when you own your home! We own those rights! Not the land, I know we don’t own the land, but access…you and others have rights on that land. We own water and grazing rights. We don’t pay rent for something we own.
The BLM was formed in 1960. Our rights were established in 1877, long before BLM.
Also, in Clark County, there were 53 ranchers who owned rights. There is only a single one still out on the range. The BLM is not gaining revenue, it’s not important to them.
The American public saw this and came not to impede or do harm. They came because they felt the spirit of the Lord, spirit of freedom and felt “we the people are not going to put up with that behavior”. It was not pointed out there were snipers on the hill, I witnessed that through binoculars and the evidence will show this.
You saw the video of them hip chucking my Aunt Margaret, 50+ years of and just finished with cancer treatments, the mother of 11 children. They call these BLM guys law enforcement, but they are just BLM employees.
Every incident they are charging us with happened on property that belonged to the State of Nevada. Even if BLM had authority to close public land, they have no authority to close State of Nevada public land.
Until we are willing to do whatever it takes, liberty will be, is being lost.
Extortion, violence, pointing guns – everything we are charged with, they were doing and thousands of people came running – the world knew about this – China, Ireland (they sent us a flag), New Zealand and other countries – why? Because America stood for freedom and has for years and the world is interested in seeing how America (emotional) will deal with freedom. The world wants to know. The American people said, “yes, we will stand for freedom. Government, you’ve gone too far and we will put a stop to it.”
Evidence will show my father and my brothers are innocent men. We need you to put on that paper that we are not guilty. You are the twelve to represent us, peers, equals, people…we the People.
Guns…lots of guns…scary…camo…freedom of speech…also, the right to bear arms, the second amendment…a militia was necessary. What is a militia? It is defined in the law. U.S. Code defines militia: “all able-bodied men 17-45 years of age”.
No one was harmed except Davey, Ammon and Aunt Margaret. You will not see in evidence that we ever harmed anyone! They attack and we turned the other cheek. We were peaceful—insistent? Yes! And, Yes! Demanding.
I had a sniper pointing at me, 200 armed men surrounding my home, my family (tearfully) Ryan Payne has been portrayed as a bad man. Evidence will show otherwise. He saved my life. He saved my life. Others came.
I invite you to our ranch. I recognize your right to use the land. We want you to come and enjoy it. I thank you for this time. Please find me not guilty and these other men not guilty. Stand up for freedom.
Thank you. Ryan Bundy
Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.