Yesterday, Ammon Bundy gave an interview with Jacobin about his seizure of a federal building in Oregon, telling the magazine that he and his fellow militia members are “preparing the camp for a long standoff against federal agents for when they show up.”
Bundy, the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who made racist remarks during his own standoff with the federal government, also spent time criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement, which he says was responsible for “lots of looting and violence towards businesses and innocent citizens.”
He insisted that he and his allies “are not terrorists” and warned of the prospect of a violent attack on his group by law enforcement:
I do think the government has violence on its mind. That’s why they have taken so long to show up. I believe they are planning something for us to finally get rid of us once and for all. If they use force against us we will fight back to defend ourselves. I hope we don’t have to do that. I hope this all ends peacefully and the government does the right thing for once.
He also compared himself to George Washington, saying that just as Washington challenged British rule, he is leading a fight against the U.S. government:
George Washington is inspiring to me for what he did to help found this country, and all of the founding fathers by how they took a stand against the British. I don’t have any faith in our government anymore. I don’t believe they can help at all and will only make things worse for our country in the years to come.
Bundy may want to hit the books and learn a bit more about what Washington thought of armed insurrections after the U.S. became an independent nation.
For example, Washington hailed the quashing of Shay’s Rebellion and pointed to the insurrection as a reason to create a stronger federal government than the one established in the Articles of Confederation. “If three years ago any person had told me that at this day, I should see such a formidable rebellion against the laws & constitutions of our own making as now appears I should have thought him a bedlamite — a fit subject for a mad house,” he said.
As president, Washington put down the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion, leading “a force of 13,000 — larger than any American army amassed in one place during the Revolution — to quell the uprising,” declaring that the “insurgents” seek to “shake the government to its foundation” and deriding the “treasonable opposition” for “propagating principles of anarchy” and refusing “submission to law.”