Meet the Militia: The Zealots, Cowboys and ‘Rogue Infidels’ of the Oregon Insurgency
Who: Finicum gained fame as #TarpMan on Tuesday by stationing himself outside at night under a blue tarpaulin with a rifle, waiting, he said, for federal agents.
Where he’s from: Finicum hails from Fredionia, Arizona, near the Utah border.
Backstory: For an aging rancher, Finicum is PR savvy. His slick website, OneCowboyStandForFreedom.com includes this bio: “LaVoy Finicum is a Northern Arizona Rancher who loves nothing more in life than God, family, and freedom.” The father of 11 is a constitutional originalist. “We are living in a day when that supreme law of the land has been shredded by the very government that took an oath to uphold it,” he writes. “By their actions the Federal Government has become lawless and stalks the liberties of this land under the guise of social justice.” Finicum is also the author of a work of apocalyptic fiction — Only By Blood and Suffering: Regaining Lost Freedom — described as a “fast-paced novel about what matters most in the face of devastating end-times chaos.” It is blurbed by Cliven Bundy: “A book you do not want to read, but must…”
Distinctive markings: The oldest of the top militants. Wears earmuffs, camo jacket.
Style: Some men are cowboy poets; Finicum is a cowboy legal scholar. In the militants’ press conferences Finicum frequently lingers at the microphones, waxing at length about the constitutional abuses of the federal government. Finnicum seems disturbingly at ease with dying out at the refuge. “There are things more important than your life and freedom is one of them,” he said, adding he would fight arrest: “I have no intention of spending any of my days in a concrete box.”
Where he’s from: Utah, he’s said.
Backstory: The name Captain Moroni is lifted from Mormon scripture. In fact, several militants have said their standoff with the feds draws inspiration from this story. In the Book of Mormon, Captain Moroni is an ancient warrior who armed his people, leading a stand against the tyranny of a wicked ruler who sought to “destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted.” In a written statement the LDS church has denounced the occupiers: “Church leaders strongly condemn the armed seizure of the facility and are deeply troubled by the reports that those who have seized the facility suggest that they are doing so based on scriptural principles. This armed occupation can in no way be justified on a scriptural basis.”
Style: He told Oregon Public Broadcasting, “I didn’t come here to shoot, I came here to die.”
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