Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Weekend Contributor
It appears that the militia groups who arrived in Nevada to support Cliven Bundy with his standoff against the Bureau of Land Management have become a cause of concern for some residents, workers, and businesses in the area surrounding Bunkerville.
Horsford talks Bunkerville militia presence with Rachel Maddow
KLAS-TV/News NOW (Las Vegas) reported on April 29th that hotels in Mesquite had suffered financial losses of more than $100,000 due to concerns about armed militia groups patrolling in the area. News NOW learned that Mesquite police were investigating death threats made to hotel workers following a bomb threat earlier in April.
Evidently, the threats multiplied as armed militia groups continued to pour into the area surrounding Cliven Bundy’s ranch. One city leader in Mesquite said that “the entire Holiday Inn Express was evacuated for hours following a bomb threat related to the Bundy saga…” News NOW obtained a police report which showed that the Holiday Inn Express had received at least nine threatening telephone calls after the hotel allowed BLM rangers to stay there. Hotel workers were told to kick out the BLM or they “would not be standing in the morning.” One hotel worker, who refused to go on camera, claimed that he was told by an anonymous militia member that he would be “dragged out in the parking lot and shot”.
“We are not a playground for armed militias,” Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., said during a meeting with area leaders about the militia. Horsford said that he had been contacted by residents of his district who were concerned about the armed militia groups from out of state who were still present in their area. Horsford was told by residents that militia groups had set up checkpoints where residents must prove they live in the area before they are allowed to pass…” He was also told that they had set up a “persistent presence” along federal highways, and state and county roads.
Rep. Horsford wrote a letter to the Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie asking him “to look into complaints that militiamen had been present in Bunkerville-area schools and churches and had set up armed checkpoints on state, federal and county roads, seeking proof of residency from motorists.” Horsford said in his letter, “We must respect individual constitutional liberties, but residents of and visitors to Clark County should not be expected to live under the persistent watch of an armed militia. Residents have expressed their desire to see these groups leave their community.” Horsford added that his constituents were being forced to “‘live under the persistent watch of an armed militia,’ that answers to no particular authority other than its own, and is accountable to no one.” He urged the sheriff “to work with local leaders to ensure that their concerns are addressed in a manner that allows the community to move forward without incident.”
Note: A News NOW crew that was in Bunkerville last Tuesday said it did not find any roadblocks in the area “with militia members checking on people trying to pass.”
The StarTribune reported that Bundy’s neighbors and local authorities have grown weary of the Nevada rancher’s unresolved dispute with the BLM. Bundy has denied that any militia members had set up checkpoints on public property. A group of militia members, however, was reported to have stopped a neighboring rancher who was trucking cattle to Arizona. Bundy said the milita members were just helping his son. “They wanted to ensure that Bundy cattle weren’t being rustled.”
Militias’ Ongoing Presence in Nevada Creates Fear and Friction
Cliven Bundy’s Home on the Range (A Mark Fiore Video)
Congressman: Bundy Militia Has Set Up Road ‘Checkpoints’ In Nevada (Talking Points Memo)
Bundy Ranch ‘Militia’ Considered Using Women As Human Shield (Talking Points Memo)
Businesses lose thousands in Bundy ordeal (KLAS-TV/News NOW)
Nevada Congressman Seeks Probe Of Armed Militia Operations At Cliven Bundy Ranch (Reuters/Huffington Post)
Ongoing Militia Presence Raises Fears Among Locals Near Bundy Ranch (Southern Poverty Law Center)
NV lawmaker presses sheriff to probe Bundy militiamen (FOX 5/KVVU-TV)
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