Gov. Brown: Burns protesters ‘need to decamp immediately and be - KPTV - FOX 12

Gov. Brown: Burns protesters ‘need to decamp immediately and be held accountable’

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Oregon Governor Kate Brown is calling for an end to the occupation of a federal wildlife refuge near Burns by armed protesters.

Thursday afternoon Gov. Brown’s office released a statement, noting that while the protest began as legal, she now sees it as unlawful and wants it ended.

“To members of the Burns-Paiute Tribe and residents of Harney County who seek a return to normal life: I hear you, and I agree that what started as a peaceful and legal protest has become unlawful. "

Brown continued, describing the protesters as “outsiders” who need to leave and be held accountable.

"It was instigated by outsiders whose tactics we Oregonians don’t agree with. Those individuals illegally occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge need to decamp immediately and be held accountable.”

The message came one day after a community meeting held in Burns, where many residents voiced displeasure at the standoff and the protesters, and cheered when their sheriff said he wanted the group gone.

"I'm here today to ask those folks to go home and let us get back to our lives," Harney County Sheriff David Ward said Wednesday evening.

Thursday afternoon, Sheriff Ward met with leaders of the group, including Ammon Bundy, and asked them to leave the refuge.

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