A Riveting, Inside Account of the Malheur Refuge Occupation
I cannot even imagine the grief one would experience at watching a child being led away from a courtroom, headed for federal prison. Roxsanna Ryan has felt that grief, as her son Jake was led away to federal prison last month. Before his sentencing, Jake penned a lengthy letter explaining his involvement in the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge; a side that was, of course, not covered by the mainstream news whores.
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Roxsanna Ryan is a woman of tremendous courage and faith. I have had the great pleasure of knowing the Ryan family for about 4 years now, and have always found them, without exception, to be polite, kind and very knowledgeable about the Constitution and their rights. For that reason, I was most saddened to see Roxanna read Jake’s letter in the video below. The video is very compelling, and a must watch. Below, I have reprinted a copy of Jake’s letter for your review. In addition, I have included a link to the Archaeological Damage Assessment Report; which is the genesis for Jake’s conviction and incarceration.
Jake Ryan’s Letter:
I was born and raised on a farm and have a deep conviction in the importance of family farming and the vital role it has in America and the world. Without ownership of private property by the people themselves, we are lost. We are slaves to an ever growing tyrannical machine. Private property is the heart of America and the very foundation of our constitutional republic. As I was growing up I learned about the Constitution and how vital it is to be free. Part of freedom is having Liberty and private property comes with liberty. Growing up with five brothers I learned to be athletic, adventurous, and free to be who I want to be. Being around guns taught me self-control, awareness, responsibility, and that all human beings have an inalienable right to self defense. This is protected by the Second Amendment which states; “a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” A gun simply is a tool that can be used for good or for bad.
As I got older, I was in many community productions and school plays, teaching dance and drama classes. I learned to love life more and more. Being around many people, I realized that we as Americans have forgotten what Liberty truly means. We have let tyranny plague our children, our families, our nation, and our world. We have stopped defending our neighbor, the weak, the different, and the oppressed. Since we have stopped living as free independent human beings, everything that is beautiful, good, full of life, are simply being taken away. It’s being choked out by tyranny….. “The World will not be destroyed not by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything”… If we do not change the path we are on, our destiny will be to die in the shackles of slavery. You might be wondering, what does this have to do with the Harney County Resource Center? Everything. Liberty is a part of my soul and to see people free to live a life of adventure is worth standing up for. This is where the Hammonds and the Bundys come in. Through my own personal research and being friendly, I come to know good friends and farmers and average every day people that have been abused, thrown in jail, lied to, fined, and harassed by the federal government. In effect, they have been pushed out of existence with their land being stolen by our own government. A government that is supposed to protect our rights, not shackle us into tyranny. When I heard about the Hammonds, I thought to myself, “another good family, a rancher getting thrown under the tyrannical bus. Have we the American people forgot that it is the rancher and the farmer, who provide for people all over the world. Meat, fresh produce, lumber, paper, honest jobs, all the things that make Americans who they are and what they have comes from the land. The best stewards of the land are those who live off it. It is the very basis of which made this nation. So when Ammon and Ryan Bundy said “enough is enough” and that they were standing for their neighbor, their fellow men, and when no one else would, the people began following them. They did their research, found out the truth. The people tried through legal means to rid the government of their tyrannical ways. They sent letters, wrote redress of grievances, called committees, and began protesting. With over 10,000 signatures from 50 different states asking the state and local representatives and sheriffs as well, to do an investigation into the Hammond’s case. From my understanding, all this was done prior to entering the Harney County resource center. They tried all the legal means they knew how and had no response….“Real Patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it is wrong”….This protest was then acted upon by threats, lies, charges, false media, show of force by police, Federal officers, military vehicles, roadblocks, and in the end the murder of LaVoy Finnicum. So when I arrived at the Harney County resource center, I only saw good men and women standing for what is right, spreading the truth, and helping and defending those in need. Many of the farmers, ranchers, and families that lived in Harney County were there. Before arriving, the government had painted the picture of Ammon and Ryan Bundy as being militiamen, terrorists, armed white men, terrorizing and putting fear into the people of Harney County. This was all lies. I experienced the complete opposite. I saw them giving hope to families that had none, helping, and giving them a voice. I saw within the first two days that the media truly did lie. When I first arrived I saw no signs saying “no trespassing”, “Federal property” or “no firearms.” No Federal Officer, BLM worker, or employee ever came up to me and said otherwise or stopped me from coming in. Instead, I saw on the front gate “Harney County Resource Center, visitors welcome.” I did not unlock or force my way into any building or the resource center in any way. After being there for a couple of days I saw how unkempt the place was, except for the areas in which they had already cleaned. The parking lots by the firehouse and kitchen house were like giant mud pits. People were having a hard time getting in and out. The inside of the firehouse was not finished. There were bare two by fours, wires exposed, tools laying all over, and open boxes of highly flammable liquids and flares sitting next to each other on the floor. The batteries to the vehicles and heavy equipment were completely dead. Anybody who runs equipment knows that one must routinely start the machinery in order for the batteries to maintain power. A full day was spent removing garbage, cleaning, and organizing the building next to the new firehouse. It looked as if there had been no one there for weeks. I got to see first hand what Ryan, Ammon, Lavoy, Shauna, and others were doing which was making a huge positive difference in the lives of the people there. I continued to learn that it just wasn’t the Hammonds they were helping and giving a voice to but all the people in Burns, the farmers, and ranchers of Harney County and anyone who was being abused by the land-stealing overreaching government officials. Around this time I met LaVoy Finicum for the first time; we shook hands and in that brief moment as we stared into each others eyes I felt and saw the passion he had for his family and Liberty, not knowing it was the first and last to see him. … “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say that there are twenty gods or no god; it neither picks my pocket nor brakes my leg.”.. (From his book, Only By Blood And Suffering page num.72) They were putting on meetings, classes, talking to people, teaching the Constitution, teaching the proper boundaries of the federal government, and how far out it was. They were bringing forth documents, titles, leases of farmers, and Ranchers that they had lost due to the government overreach. I learned that the reservoir or lake was actually man-made. It was dammed up for the purpose of flooding the beautiful fields of the farmers. After that fences were erected blocking the families access to land itself or private property. The other factor that was not new to me was the rich mineral deposits that lie under much of the ranchers and farmers land; in my state as well as others. These rich deposits are wanted by such men as Harry Reid, to be sold to foreign entities. It all made sense as to why there was heavy equipment, fence supplies, fire starters, buildings full of machinery supplies and lots of it. I had to ask myself, this was necessary for a bird watch refuge? People were flowing in and out of the Resource Center from the town of Burns, from all over Harney County and all over the states. They brought supplies of food, blankets, clothes, that the people needed. There at Harney County resource center I was meeting people all the time, learning, helping getting meetings on, and so forth. Like I said I love to be around people, especially good honest hard-working people. I felt right at home. While the government media painted a picture of the opposite; dangerous, heavily-armed, terrorizing the city of Burns, forcing their way into areas…. “Evil rarely looks evil until it accomplishes its goal; it gains by appearing attractive, desirable, and perfectly legitimate. It is a baited and camouflaged trap”. Did we have military dressed men walking around the public schools. No! Did we erect military barriers up and around Burns, No! Did we have militarized vehicles roaming the streets in and around the Town and county? No! Did we block and set up militarized checkpoints and roadblocks? No! Did we have drones, helicopters, planes flying around the county? No! Did we have FBI posing as militiamen or as supporters and informants trying to put fear and create violence? No, we did not! The government did all of that. “Everything that government does is only made possible by violating someone’s rights.” by I remember going into town because someone was scared to go by herself to get medicine for some of the kids at the Resource Center. I agreed to help. We went into town and it was like a ghost town. We obtained the medicine, and headed out, actually taking the wrong turn. This put us going by the airport and to my surprise spotlights, tents, barriers, and Bearcats had all been erected by the government; it looked like a military base. So I ask… who was putting fear into the people? Harney County Resource Center is miles away from Burns and any other towns or communities. All of this was prior to the shooting and the arrest that took place as. Ammon, Ryan, Ryan Payne, Shawna Cox, Victoria Sharp, and Mark McConnell headed for the meeting at John Day where over 400 people waited to be taught by them. This was the day of the twenty-six, the day of his birthday. It started out another beautiful day, where learning, befriending strangers, finding out the truth, and living life there at the Resource Center as usual. I was in the bunkhouse saying my goodbyes to Victoria Sharp later in the afternoon. Then I ate some food and went up for guard duty in the tower, this was 18:00. Our shifts were supposed to be 4 to 6 hrs. long. I believe hours went by before hearing chatter coming over the radio. The first report I believe, was someone had been shot. From that point on everything changed. I wasn’t sure who had been shot, if it was one of the Bundy’s, Victoria Sharp, Shauna Cox or Lavoy. Both of us was starting to get sick to stomach, especially me because of Victoria, who had come in a couple of days earlier with her family. I grew very fond of her, she was beautiful, knew the truth, could stand up for herself, had a beautiful family which reminded me so much of my own family. She became like family to me. We heard a lot of different reports; 2 people had been killed, shot, gunfight, Lavoy was murdered, etc. After finally discerning the truth, I asked for a cell phone to call home.
I told them through a shaken voice, gut-wrenching stomach what had happened. We even heard reports that we were going to get taken out, rounded up, surrounded, etc. So I said goodbye to my family, not knowing if I would ever see them again. To remind everyone, we were still in the tower. This is around 23:00 by then. One of our radio batteries went dead, so I agreed to go down and get a new one. As I opened the door to the bunkhouse it was like walking into a madhouse. I went directly through to get the battery. As I came back I decided to stop for a moment to try to understand what was being said. Entering at the tail end of the discussion I only heard that the majority wanted to leave and do something crazy while the others wanted to peacefully stay to continue to bring the darkness into light, to help the Hammonds, to give a voice back to the hundreds of ranchers and farmers who had lost their homes. A vote was taken and I voted with Jason for a peaceful end. Their was women, children, and men crying and yelling. They were in fear of their lives, it was a mess. So I went back up the tower. My good friend’s back was giving him pains, so we decided it would be best that he went down and I stayed. This was around midnight, long past our shift. So there I was all by myself, not knowing what to think and sick to my stomach. I started noticing lights in groups moving. Once they got closer I watched them through the spotting scope. From the tower one you could see all the way to the Burn’s airport. Everything about this was wrong. We were getting surrounded; big spotlights set up at the airport, militarized camps set up, militarized drones flying over-head 24-7, helicopters, death threats, radio calls telling us we were going to be raided; being told their was snipers on us. As I witnessed the conveys of lights coming on all the main public roads leading in and out of the resource center thoughts of pain, hurt, sorrow, cold, exhaustion and the fact that we still had women and children in the center. The image of Waco and Ruby Ridge terrorized my mind all night and I truly thought that it would happen again. The nagging question was how could I stop another or help stop another Waco so that innocent woman, children and men would not die on my watch. Night lasted forever. The convoy of lights started getting closer, and I noticed that these convoys consisted of militarized vehicles; Bear Cats, armored vehicles, swat vans, black SUV, cop cars, trucks pulling trailers with spotlights, generators, equipment, etc. I was calling the events out all night to the men below. That was my job for we did not want another Waco to happen, one murder was already one too many. We had to step up security for protection of the woman, children, and ourselves for self defense. The number of vehicles per convoy was 12\15. As I watched the beautiful sunrise come up, I noticed the excavator was being used, so I went down from the tower never to go back. Once on the ground I started talking to whoever was left. We were all tired, hungry, cold, scared for our lives. Our general talk was what to do; do we abandon what we came for in the first place, which was to help the Hammonds go free, to spread the truth, give the people of Burns a voice, peacefully protest the wrongs, the abuses or do we just drop all of our property, go to the checkpoint and cross our fingers we wouldn’t get shot on sight or thrown in prison never knowing when you’ll see your loved ones like so many other thousands of innocent people. No! We wanted to stay true to the reason we had come in the first place; a peaceful protest against the unjust incarceration of the Hammonds. We needed some form of self-defense… for crying out loud do we not have a inalienable right to self-defense . So Duane started digging a trench with the excavator, the only self defense we could think of. For just maybe we could throw ourselves against the dirt or into the hole and hopefully it would slow down or stop the bearcats and the military grade vehicles from crushing us. I wanted to help not only for my own fear of death but for the people around me; good honest people who had become my friends. For anyone who knows me knows I love to help, to be peaceful, and to do everything possible for a peaceful resolution but the thing that warms my heart the most is putting a smile on someone’s face. Remember what was happening all around us from military drones, road-blocks, Burns being under complete government control, death threats. We had learned since the first chatter over the radio that it wasn’t a shoot-out or a traffic stop: there was shooting from only one side, the government. A traffic stop is a cop stopping for a blasted infraction of some kind, which this wasn’t. Not forgetting the shooting of Ryan Bundy’s shoulder, the tear gas being shot into the truck, the bullets shot into the truck, the way Victoria and Shawna were treated and the rest of them being hauled off to prison. I grew up learning the truth, doing my own research on the murders, horrible abuses, like Waco, Ruby Ridge, Wounded Knee, Renn Bodeker, Schaffer Cox, Gordon Kahl all of which prove that the government can’t be trusted and none of us did. They had given us no reason to! Right before leaving the tower I noticed the only media van that was left was quickly packed and left. With no media there we felt even more fearful that they would soon come for us. I went back to the excavator to see if I could help, for I knew how to run one from work. This was around 9:00. I helped finish an already-dug hole but before anything I made sure there was nothing to damage. The whole time I did not see one artifact, not one, all I saw was dirt and a couple of rocks. Part of my work is rock picking which includes going through rocks slides and digging through the earth for rocks. The first trench was about 7-8 ft. deep and about 30ft. long. This was on an edge of a roundabout a little ways from the entrance of the Resource Center on a old once used road covered in sagebrush. Then I walked the excavator near the entrance and dug a swift 4-5 deep trench around the same length. There was a fence between the trench and the main gravel road. I made sure not to damage or touch anything else. It took me about 2hours, not including walking the excavator. I piled the dirt along the edge on both sites so it would be quick and easy to push it back in the trenches, if we made it through the day and night. Also the piled dirt would offer added protection, for we were being completely surrounded both in the air and on the ground. Not only that but cell phone coverage was suddenly blocked. Both sites are hundreds of feet away from any body of water, buildings, septic, etc. Consider these facts; 1 both sites were right between 2 main gravel public roads which meant the second trench was dug in already disturbed soil; 2 over a period of time of running a excavator you learn what disturbed or moved earth looks like and both trenches were disturbed soil; 3 there had been a ton of excavation done for all the buildings including the old ones: septic lines, septic tanks, power lines, telephone lines, roads, building the dam, etc; 4 there was a big mining pit or gravel pit that you could walk to from the trenches across the main gravel road right into the pit; 5 the heavy equipment, fence supplies, septic tanks, pipes, trench supplies, a huge pile of gravel, swamp boats, four-wheelers, tons of fire equipment, fire trucks, etc. And yet they say we are guilty of “depredation of Federal Property” because we dug a trench for self-defense. The definition of depredation: “act of attacking or plundering” another definition: “destruction, ravaging, devastation, ransacking.” To say we did it otherwise is insane, you would have to be dumb in the head to do that, that’s like saying you’re going to piss off the tyrannical government by poking a hole into their deadly black hornets nest while you are standing directly under it. Had I moved and ran the excavator prior to the murder of LaVoy? No!….The Indian artifacts is another big lie, it is a sad joke how the government uses the Indian’s legacy for their own gains. The massacres, slaughtering of the buffalo herds, stealing of their children through the De Facto corporations!..Ever since I was a little kid, I loved the Indian culture; being taught to be in harmony with their ancestors, respecting mother earth. Some of my best friends are Indians and it’s sickening what’s happened in their past and even in the present day now. And yes that includes Standing Rock and yes that includes the protesters being charged with the same charges… No other thought came across my mind when I got into the machine other than self-defense and hoping to stop further conflict on both sides! I felt like I had no other choice. After I parked the machine, I got out and walked down to where everybody else was, we talked as thoughts raced over our minds; timed elapsed us. And then the two mountain man showed up looking like they were living in the mountains for years. They were very suspicious, they were trying to cause something to happen. They told us they had several men, special forces coming in to help us. It was late in evening, when I was in the kitchen house that I noticed that personal belongings and all sorts of guns were sprawled out in the main living room and gone through and so happened they were in the living room at the same time. So leaving the building walking passed the old brick office building, I noticed that the door was kicked in or busted in. I know for a fact that door was not otherwise damaged what so ever previous to the mountain man showing up. After that, they left just as fast as they came. As the late night came rolling in we started to huddle around the campfire..by this time the FBI have been having conversations only because David Fry got cell-phone coverage back on and if it wasn’t for him doing the live feeds we probably would of got taken out for sure; for they don’t want their dirty messes on video, especially live feed. So as they tried to convince us that they were the good guys through deceit and lies David Fry kept his cool the whole time, that gave me a smile on my face. The next thing I knew I was talking on the phone to someone in the FBI; he told me, if I left now it would be better for me, that I would have no charges against me and promised that I wouldn’t be arrested, I would be free to go with all my property; previous to this Duane Ehmer and Jason Patrick had left and later that evening when David Fry got the cell-phone going again we heard they had got arrested. Of course not believing him, I was done talking. During those conversations their was another guy’s voice helping the FBI, his first name came up, first time hearing it, Mark. Now at this time their was only five of us left, six had left earlier. Then to my surprise someone, a dear friend was on the line; it was a hard conversation to have and that’s when I decided to leave. I believe this was around one in the morning now. Packing my property up I then turned around and starting saying goodbye, this was the hardest thing I’ve done; I felt like I was abandoning the cause and running away and leaving the four that were left.. So heading N towards the Narrows to catch a ride. Barbra Berg was somehow staying at the Narrows and like being a runner for both sides, so not knowing who she was she drove me to the Narrows, she was staying in a camper like a RV park with a restaurant slash rest-stop. It was between the FBI check-points. So I brought my guns in and some other ones that I brought to hopefully give back to the rightful owners and layed them out on a bed. I left my main backpack and some other stuff in her vehicle.
Going east, Barbra Berg went back to the County Resource Center to try to convince the rest to leave, to my understanding. I was lost in thought but had this feeling to trust no one and hide my guns and other ones safely. Not listening to that voice I crashed on a couch and slept for about hour; with her coming back I decided to leave all my property, not trusting the government to keep their word, we set out north towards the check-point. We stopped about 50yards before the nazi-checkpoint. She didn’t want to go any farther, didn’t blame her. So getting out and getting blinded by the spotlights, they were yelling commands even before I got out of the vehicle. Now remember this, when I was gathering my property back at the center, Barbra was saying she needed to grab bags, I believed for one of the Bundy’s and a Mark McConnell so thinking he was just another supporter (Mark McConnell) for the cause I decided to help, so we went through the old brick office building and it looked someone or a group went through it, it was a disaster, people’s belongings were strewed all over. So coming back to the checkpoint; so there I was walking to a tyrannical regime with my hands up, once at the concrete dividers they check me from head to toe for any weapon’s of mass-destruction. I was amazed how much equipment, manpower, armored militarized vehicles, and harmed to the teeth. Disappointed they marched me into a tent. The whole time I only noticed two guys wearing marks, the rest looked like mercenaries. They interrogated me for more then a hour; one of the guys was the same FBI guy that did most of the talking over the cell-phone, along with this other guy that was sincerely pleading with me to be a good slave and answer all their questions; his name was Mark McConnell and that was only the second time seeing him, the first time I saw him is when I met LaVoy Finicum and he was on his cell-phone the same day of the meeting and the murder of LaVoy Finicum. Then finding out he was to drive me out to Burns. They were going to arrest me on the spot if I didn’t give my soul away, knowing who I was already because they were in direct communication with my mom cause I could hear her in tears, plus they knew what my name was in the cell-phone conversations; another point is because I didn’t have my driver-license, they couldn’t prove who I was or if I was a good slave without an ID of your person; which is tied to De-Facto corporations. So much for their promises. So once they got a confirmation they decided to let me go with Mark. As we were walking out of the barricade, walking by a bear-cat, I looked up to my right and their with a grin looking down at me, a man fully-decked-out pointing his rifle down-wards towards Burns (looking like a 308cal. Sniper rifle) wondering to myself “what the heck is he pointing at” and sure enough their in front of us to our right was an older couple in their car. Never in my life, I’ve seen so much fear and lost hope in people’s eyes. It drained my soul seeing that. Never before did I want to kick someone’s block off. My mind raced as we headed back towards Burns, was all this in vain! Is there going to be justice for the Hammonds! HThe Bundy’s and everyone else, is there going to be justice for LaVoy Finicum, his beloved wife and beautiful family. The next day we found out the Narrows was raided at gun-point including the camper she was staying at; they didn’t touch her car. I called Barbra Berg and she confirmed it, she witnessed it. “You don’t have freedom because you are hyphenated American; you have freedom because you are an individual, and that should be always be protected.”
In Memory of LaVoy Finicum
Article posted with permission from North West Liberty News