Musician Jordan Page chats with Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook about gun rights, Oath Keepers and his single Arm Yourselves.
Musician Jordan Page chats with Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook about gun rights, Oath Keepers and his single Arm Yourselves.
Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook followed up with Oath Keepers president Stewart Rhodes to provide an update on the Oath Keepers’ presence in Ferguson.
Cook asked Rhodes, “what is the media getting wrong about your group?”
“One of the first things they said was that our presence was inflammatory,” answered Rhodes. “And it’s quite the opposite. There were actually no shots fired and interesting enough, no arrests made while our guys were on the streets. And we protected several black owned businesses again like we did last year.”
“The point of us being there is, (a), lead by example and show the people of Ferguson this is how you prevent arson, this is how you protect against looting, etc. And (b), protect your community so that you don’t have this false choice that’s being presented to the American people- that the only way to stop arson and looters is to trample on the First Amendment Rights of the protesters or to have a hyper-militarized police state. The American people are being given a false choice,” said Rhodes.
“The American people are being given a false choice.” – Stewart Rhodes, President of Oath Keepers
Rhodes said that there have been increased instances of business owners more actively protecting their property during the unrest. “There’s a growing number of businesses doing exactly what we did, stand up and do what the police can’t do. The police cannot or will not protect the people’s actual businesses from the looters and arsonists. The best answer is for the folks in Ferguson to do it themselves, it takes away that false choice,” said Rhodes.
Cook asked Rhodes about his thoughts on St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar’s comments about his group’s presence being “unnecessary” and “inflammatory.” Rhodes responded that their presence has actually had a “calming” effect and many of the protesters realized who the Oath Keepers were and that their presence was meant for protection.
“I think Chief Belmar, like all too many police officers, have this idea that only the police should have firearms. It’s a threat to their turf. It’s a turf battle. He’s kind of a small minded man and looks at it like that,” said Rhodes.
“What we are doing is leading by example. And we want to see the people of Ferguson to stand up for themselves and take care of their own security so they won’t need a heavy police presence.” said Rhodes.
“Frankly they need a new police of chief there,” said Rhodes. “I think a lot of the problems go away with better leadership.”
Cook asked about the criticism Oath Keepers have received for offering to protect independent journalists while major media outlets have provided themselves with security teams. “If you’re a mainstream media journalist with a professional security team, that’s okay. But if you’re alternative media like Alex Jones or some other small group who has us along to help protect them, then it’s somehow extreme. So it’s a double standard, it is,” said Rhodes.
Rhodes advised that “the people themselves need to step up and take care of their own neighborhoods and suppress the thugs. The few thugs who are causing the problems, it’s up to the experienced veterans in Ferguson to step up.”
As previously reported by Truth In Media in an exclusive interview with Stewart Rhodes, Oath Keepers helped Ferguson businesses from the arsonists and looters ransacking Ferguson, Missouri last November.
Oath Keepers are back in Ferguson and their presence has gained world-wide attention.
Oath Keepers is an organization focused on defending the Constitution and includes former police officers and ex-military. Members of Oath Keepers kept guard of four Ferguson businesses last year at the permission of the business owners.
Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook spoke with Oath Keeper member Sam Andrews to dispel the myths about why Oath Keepers are in Ferguson. Andrews also shared with Cook troubling experiences regarding what is really happening between protesters, Oath Keepers and law enforcement entities, which has been ignored by the mainstream media.
The media is trying to portray Oath Keepers as a racist, all white group. This is not true, according to Andrews.
“We have people from all different races on our security team. We’re not racist and we wouldn’t tolerate anyone in our organization who is a racist. If we found out that someone was a racist we would kick them out of our organization. So that should dispel myth number one,” said Andrews.
“The second myth is that the police are doing the right thing. The truth of the matter is Chief Jon Belmar of St. Louis County Police has been breaking our state law, threatening to disarm people, and violating people’s rights. They’ve been breaking Missouri’s revised statute 44.101. I would encourage everyone to look up for themselves. It prevents the police or any government official from disarming anyone during a state of emergency. Yet Belmar continues to threaten to do that and continues to try to intimidate anyone who is armed,” said Andrews.
“The third myth is that we are out in Ferguson to hurt people. And that’s the opposite of the truth. We are there to protect people. We’ve been guarding African-American people, Asian people, white people, people in mixed marriages, Korean people, Chinese people. It’s just ridiculous that the media continues to try and put forth this lie that we are racist and white supremacists. That’s not true at all,” said Andrews.
“We’re a cross-section of America. We’re made up of people of all races, all political persuasions,” said Andrews.
Andrews went on to explain how he’d been told by various area law enforcement agents including highway patrolmen, sergeants, lieutenants, captains that the Department of Justice gave direct orders to police officers to not arrest arsonists and looters.
While suspects of committing violence have avoided arrest, according to Andrews, innocent protesters have been attacked, as well as Oath Keepers and journalists.
“They fired rubber bullets, teargas, made threats to disarm us, tried to arrest us. Gave us an illegal order to disperse when no one’s breaking the law. They have broken so many laws with Department of Justice directives,” said Andrews.
Andrews told Cook that a St. Louis Post-Dispatch journalist was attacked, beaten and taken to a hospital Sunday evening. “That’s why we agreed to offer help,” said Andrews. Many journalists had no protection, according to Andrews, and the Oath Keepers assisted despite death threats from “radical organizations” as well as threats of arrest and disarmament by the St. Louis County police.
Andrews said that the presence of the Oath Keepers has been well-received by the area community. However, Andrews explained that response from the highway patrol and St. Louis County Police to the presence of Oath Keepers has been negative, and he said that they had lied to the protesters by spreading false claims that the Oath Keepers were members of the KKK. Andrews told Cook that the Oath Keepers received several death threats throughout Tuesday.
Cook asked Andrews what he would say to the protesters in Ferguson.
“The first thing I would say is ‘Black Lives Matter.’ The second thing I would say is that the Oath Keepers are there to protect your rights. We care about you, regardless of all the lies that the media and some other instigators have tried to propagate. Black lives matter, we care about you, we love you and we are there to protect you,” said Andrew.
“We love the people of Ferguson and they deserve to be protected and the St. Louis County police is not doing the job.”
Listen to the exclusive interview with Sam Andrews from Oath Keepers:
Annabelle Bamforth contributed to this report.
Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel recently made national news as he is the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in the county in which an ongoing dispute rages between local gold miners and the Bureau of Land Management. However, his recent comments about a state-level gun control proposal may present some clues as to where his loyalties lie in the local BLM mining dispute. The Oath Keepers, a group of ex-and-current military and law enforcement professionals who have sworn to disobey orders that violate the US Constitution and who have sided with local gold miners in the dispute, also staged a protest earlier this week at the Josephine County Jail against Oregon Senate Bill 941, which would expand background checks on gun sales to include private transfers between individuals. OregonLive notes that the bill passed the Oregon Senate this week. Next up, the proposal faces a vote in the House, where it is expected to pass.
According to The Herald and News, Sheriff Daniel responded to the Oath Keepers’ protest by saying that he feels that the proposed law might violate his county’s charter, which protects gun rights, and that, because those who violate it would only be charged with a Class-B misdemeanor, he will not and can not enforce it if it were to pass. Said Daniel in comments to The Daily Courier, “I can’t enforce that law, so therefore it won’t be enforced. It doesn’t fit on my scale of priorities… I have felonies going on daily in Josephine County. That’s my priority.”
After the protest concluded, Sheriff Daniel met with Josephine County Oath Keepers representative Joseph Rice, who was tepidly optimistic about the Sheriff’s response to the protest. The Oath Keepers group is pushing for Sheriff Daniel to ignore the law if it passes, citing constitutional concerns over gun rights.
Sheriff Daniel told The Herald and News that he had expressed to Rice that he felt like he was caught in the middle of a dispute between his county’s citizens and the state and noted that, in this case, state law might supersede his county’s charter. However, he maintained that, even if it does pass and becomes law, he lacks the resources to enforce it.
Oath Keepers representative Joseph Rice stood firm on principle and said that Sheriff Daniel is “trying to sit on the fence” and “trying to have it both ways” in how he is discussing the gun background check proposal, while cautioning that he understands the Sheriff’s concerns and wants “to be fair with him.”
Senate Bill 941’s text notes that it would require that individuals buying firearms from private sellers obtain a criminal background check through a professional gun dealer.
Earlier this month, officials with the Bureau of Land Management sent a letter ordering local miners working at the Sugar Pine Mining Claim in the Galice Mining District near Merlin, OR to vacate the property that locals have mined for the past 139 years. Raw Story notes the fact that the owners of the claim subsequently contacted the Oath Keepers of Josephine County, an organization of ex-and-current military and law enforcement professionals who have sworn an oath to refuse orders that violate the US Constitution, who then called for militia members from around the country to gather at the mining claim in order to ensure that the Bureau of Land Management respects the miners’ Fifth Amendment right to due process.
As armed Oath Keepers began to gather at the site on Tuesday, SWAT vehicles were seen staging nearby, raising fears that a Bundy ranch style standoff might take place.
The dispute centers around the Sugar Pine Mining Claim itself, which Congress set aside for local miners in 1876, allowing them to establish their own rules and regulations. KDRV-TV notes that the Bureau of Land Management says that the claim does not allow the miners to sidestep its regulatory authority as the claim has changed hands in the past, but locals say that the claim’s community regulatory system has been grandfathered in and that, absent intervention through a specific process by the Department of the Interior, BLM lacks the authority to regulate the mines. The Galice Mining District Executive Committee said in a statement, “Under the 1955 Surface Resources Act, claims of this age have exclusive surface rights unless the Department of Interior utilized a mechanism outlined in that Act to sever those surface rights. Demands to BLM to produce evidence of their surface authority in accordance to the 1955 Act have thus far garnered only ‘because we say so’ answers and numerous stonewalling tactics. The Stop Orders came after several months of back and forth maneuvering from both sides, and are clearly retaliatory in nature.”
The stakes are high, as The Blaze notes that the Galice Mining District has already yielded over 10 million ounces of gold, with experts saying that 90 million more ounces are available to be extracted.
An unconfirmed report cited by The Shasta Lantern claims that “local BLM officials have threatened to burn the buildings down if they are not removed by [April 25].” Locals fear that the Bureau of Land Management will attempt to seize the property before the owners of the mines get the opportunity to defend themselves in court.
Arizona State Militia member Blaine Cooper said in a YouTube clip that he posted while on his way to the Galice Mining District, “That’s what being an American’s all about… We don’t allow our neighbor to be enslaved or beaten or tortured by government jackboots because they want to steal our land and our resources to keep us under their thumb.”
Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel has been attempting to mediate the dispute between the two parties and said he would step in if the tensions escalated.
Jim Whittington, an official with the Bureau of Land Management, said that BLM does not intend to seize the land without due process. Said Whittington to KDRV-TV, “We’ve sent them those letters. They also have the right to appeal our notice, that it requires either a plan of operation or notice, and some informal contacts with their lawyer… it sounds like they may appeal. So if they appeal, that starts another administrative appeal process.”
Oath Keepers representative Mary Emerick said, “We defend the Constitution… And we are here just to make sure that they receive their Fifth Amendment rights which is due process… Sometimes that’s going to take days or even weeks, and we are preparing for this to potentially last that long.”
A statement on the website of the Oath Keepers of Josephine County which calls for help from Oath Keepers from around the country says, “NOTICE: This is NOT a standoff with BLM. We are NOT promoting any confrontation with BLM. This is a security operation for the protection of Constitutional Rights. If you have a different agenda outside of the above peaceful mission statement, we don’t need your assistance. Please DO NOT make any type of threatening phone calls to the local BLM or USFS as it undermines our mission, professionalism and is unwarranted. Thank you.”
Update April 16, 3:54 PM: The title of this article has been slightly modified to improve its readability.
At a January 17 meeting of a New York chapter of the Oath Keepers, an organization of current and former military and law enforcement personnel who have sworn to disobey any orders which violate the US Constitution, Fulton County Sheriff Thomas J. Lorey told local pistol permit carriers that they would soon receive invitations to renew their permits, a step that is now required every five years under New York’s new anti-gun law the NY SAFE Act. Sheriff Lorey then told the audience, “I’m asking everyone that gets those invitations to throw them in the garbage because that is where they belong… They go in the garbage because, for 100 years or more, ever since the inception of pistol permits, nobody has ever been required to renew them.” Video of the Sheriff’s comments can be seen in the above-embedded video.
Reason notes that Sheriff Lorey himself signed his county up to receive the invitations early, but not because he intends to comply with the program. Having noticed that the bureaucracy running the program was, according to Albany Times Union, struggling to implement the renewals, Sheriff Lorey now seeks to capitalize on the situation by attempting to create a mass expiration event which would overwhelm bureaucrats and disrupt the implementation of the law. Said Lorey, “Let’s have everybody’s permit expire the same day and let ’em see what they’re going to do with it.” He also told his constituents that he would refuse to enforce the law that requires them to recertify their pistol permits, protecting them from being punished for their civil disobedience. He reassured those in attendance that his likely successor would be a judge who also opposes the permit recertification program and said that he believes that NY State Police lack the resources to enforce the rule.
Sheriff Lorey called the pistol permit renewal program a “little device that helps them revoke your permit if they suddenly get mad at you” and decried it as a scheme to force citizens to pay to keep a right to which they are already entitled. The NY Safe Act requires pistol permit carriers to recertify their permits with a county clerk or sheriff, however, Reason points out the fact that the New York State Sheriff’s Association and five sheriffs from across the state have sued to block implementation of various components of the law.
According to Albany Times Union, the New York Sheriff’s Association said of the NY Safe Act, “[We sheriffs] are entrusted with the critical responsibility of ensuring law and order. In very real and direct ways, the challenged laws increase disorder. Law enforcement’s work is made more difficult attempting to enforce unclear laws that harm, rather than promote, public safety. The laws appear willfully blind to legitimate safety interests, and instead are tailored to impact, and negatively impact, law-abiding firearm owners.”
You might have seen them on the news. The people protecting Ferguson businesses from the arsonists and looters ransacking Ferguson, Mo. But here is the real story about the organization protecting those businesses. They’re called Oath Keepers, and they have ex-police and ex-military keeping guard of four Ferguson businesses since late Monday night, Nov. 24, at the permission of the business owners.
They’ve been shown in the media before, but the report was incorrect, according to Stewart Rhodes, national founder of president of the Oath Keepers, who stressed that the group is not just business owners.
“We are not. We are military and police veterans who are volunteer security for local businesses. We have Iraq and Afghanistan combat vets in the rooftops, along with retired cops, guarding the shops,” he said.
The four businesses include Natalie’s Cakes and More, a bakery that was featured on Fox News, a beauty supply store, a dentist’s office and a Chinese restaurant.
In addition to their work keeping businesses safe, and the people living there, the group has also seen some totally bizarre interactions by the federal government and the state highway patrol.
According to Rhodes, “We had an alarming incident that happened last night with our team spotting what looked like a fed three-man sniper team moving into a nearby house on higher ground, and then pointing their rifles at our team of American combat veterans, while our team was guarding the buildings against looters.”
Rhodes said the team even observed the state highway patrol snipers deploy onto the roof of a nearby fire hall and point rifles at them.
“Our team leader called Unified Command to find out what was going on and then local police responded,” he explained.
He said that the local police were unaware of what the federal government were doing and that there was no coordination. “The local police are on our side and expressed gratitude for us being there, but the Feds are trying to run us out.”
The federal government is trying to badmouth this organization of ex-police and ex-military, even called them a “domestic terrorist” group.
“The local cops told the Feds it was crazy to label us terrorists, when all we are doing is guarding against arsonists,” said Rhodes.
Sam, a team leader in Ferguson, told BenSwann.com’s Joshua Cook in an exclusive interview that they aren’t there to protect property. They are protecting the people living in the buildings from firebombs. They are willing to use lethal force to protect lives allowed by state law.
Rhodes told Cook that law enforcement wants to remove their group from the rooftops by citing an obscure state law regarding paid security firms. Rhodes plans to organize a protest if local officials try to remove them.
Sam told Cook, “Buildings to the north are burning every night, buildings to the south are burning every night. Since we have been here no one has thrown a molotov cocktail through the windows or caught the building on fire.”
Listen to the full interview below:
Ben Swann will be anchoring on RT on Monday at 4pm and 5pm eastern from Ferguson.
Clark County, Nev., April 10, 2014- On Tuesday, Nevada Governor Sandoval released a statement condemning some of the actions of the Bureau of Land Management in the Bundy Ranch standoff, but this is of little consolation to constitutional Sheriff Mack.
Sheriff Mack says that actions speak louder than words and that Sandoval , while speaking about support, is doing virtually nothing within his power to assist the Bundy family. He goes on to admonish the local county Sheriff for not using his power to stand up to the feds in support of the Bundys. Sheriff Mack will be flying into Nevada to stand in solidarity with the Bundy family, as will Oath Keepers founder Steward Rhodes. Oath Keepers has also put out a call to all able-bodied members to come to the Bundy ranch in Clark County, Nevada to assist in supporting the family and keep the peace.
Here is a statement released by Oath Keepers founder Steward Rhodes this morning:
We need a presence there immediately to help prevent the feds sparking another Ruby Ridge or Waco incident in the Bundy stand-off.
Nevada State Rep. Michele Fiore (a strong patriot who has attended many of our meetings) is on site right now at the protest site outside the Bundy ranch, and she is helping us assemble a coalition of Nevada state legislators. We are also working with WA State Rep Matt Shea to put together a delegation of other Western State Representatives to go there to support Rep. Fiore and her coalition, and we are working with Sheriff Mack to bring a delegation of current serving CSPOA Sheriffs to stand vigil there. We need Oath Keepers to also show up and stand vigil and support this family and the patriot legislators and sheriffs who are taking the lead in defending them. This is critical. The goal is to stand vigil to prevent another Waco or Ruby Ridge, and to put pressure on the Nevada Governor to honor the oath he took by standing up for this family and for the state of Nevada.
I fly to Vegas tomorrow. Sheriff Mack is coming too, along with the current serving Sheriffs he is rallying to the cause.
All who can make it, need to be there. We need numbers – boots on the ground. The more the better.
For those who are coming, please rally at the public protest site near the ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada. To get there, take I-15 North, toward Mesquite, and get off at exit 112. Go right two miles (you can only go right). You will see tall flag poles and signs. Can’t miss it.
Per Ammon Bundy, here are some rules:
First, NO MILITARY CAMMO. This is a protest by rural Americans. Dress accordingly. (from me: Oath Keepers can wear Oath Keepers polos if you have them, or OK T shirts, but please no cammo. Let’s respect the Bundy family request).
No open carry of rifles. Any rifles people may have with them need to stay in the vehicles.
When you arrive at the protest rally point, ask for Ammon Bundy, Cliven Bundy’s son, to check in. If he is not there, he will have designated another family rep for you to check in with. DO NOT go past that first rally point/protest site with the flags that the family has set up on private land. Beyond that is the road to their ranch, and no one is to drive to the ranch without express permission and escort by Cliven Bundy or his sons. Please respect their need for security and privacy.
No volunteer is to give any media interviews. Refer all media first and foremost to the Bundy family members present, in particular Cliven Bundy, Ammon, or one of the other sons. And/or refer them to one of the current serving Nevada State legislators who will be there, such as Michele Fiore (she is gathering a coalition of Nevada representatives), or one of the current serving Sheriff’s who will be coming. We are there to support them, and let them handle the media.
If any media ask to interview Oath Keepers, please refer them to me, but I will likely just refer them to the family until we do a press conference once Sheriff Mack arrives – and even then, the focus will be on the coalition of current serving Western State Legislators and Sheriffs that we are helping to gather. They and the family will be the main effort, and we are there as support.
BRING CAMERAS. Film everything. The more cameras, the better.
Bring relevant signs about honoring the oath, respecting property rights and free speech rights. We are there to stand up for rural Americans who are under attack and to pressure the Governor and the Clark County Sheriff to do their duty.
Ammon said volunteers can camp on private property that is on the side of the road at the main protest site the family has set up (the first gathering place you will come to with signs and flags once you get off I-15 at exit 112 and go about two miles). Again, please ask the family members present where to park and where to camp if you want to camp.