Friday, February 5, 2016

Winning Hearts and Minds Out West


 Ranching Standoff

We at the Jolly Landsknecht have been following the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) occupation with a great deal of interest.  This blog is not going to punch the tar baby of the nobility of the cause or the legality of the occupation but rather look at one facet of the incident in a critical light.

Occupying facilities, government or private, is deep rooted in American history.  In the 1700s we were given the Boston Tea Party where members of the Sons of Liberty occupied the tea ships Eleanor, Beaver and Dartmouth and subsequently destroyed their contents.  In the early 20th century the American labor movement conducted “sit-ins” to protect what they perceived as unfair labor practices.  The Civil Rights era was partially defined by lunch counter sit-ins and the famous Rosa Parks protest.

The Vietnam War and its opposition generated many incidents of civil disobedience often involving the occupation of federal facilities.  On December 4, 1967, 500 protesters showed up at the San Francisco’s Federal Building where 88 draft cards were burned.

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