Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Nevada Governor: Free Speech Area

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has inserted himself into the escalating standoff between cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and federal officials by blasting the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over their creation of a ‘First Amendment Area’ outside of which free speech is banned.
Image: First Amendment Area (YouTube).
The ‘First Amendment Area’ set up by BLM agents is a crudely taped off piece of land inside which supporters of Bundy, who is engaged in a long running dispute with feds over grazing rights on a 600,000 acre expanse in northeastern Clark County, are allowed to express their free speech.
However, protesters have completely ignored the area, instead staging large demonstrations on Bundy’s ranch. The only presence inside the ‘First Amendment Area’ are signs which read “1st Amendment is not an area” and another that states, “Welcome to Amerika – Wake Up” alongside a hammer and sickle logo.
“Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution,” said Sandoval in a statement. “To that end, I have advised the BLM that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others and that the ‘First Amendment Area’ should be dismantled immediately.”
“No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans. The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly,” asserted the Governor.
The Bundy family responded to Sandoval’s statement by saying they were disappointed that he didn’t take a more firm stance to back them in their dispute with the BLM, but they were pleased with his sentiments regarding the ‘First Amendment Area’.
“Whenever you designate an area, then you’re restricting it everywhere else. When you designate an area like that for first amendment rights, you [don't] give the people any rights. You [take them] away, and every other location,” said Ryan Bundy.
The Bundy family came face to face with the consequences of violating the free speech zone on Sunday when Dave Bundy was arrested for taking video footage from a state highway of BLM agents rounding up his family’s cattle. Video footage later proved that armed snipers had their guns trained on the family during the incident.
On Sunday, Cliven Bundy promised to launch a “range war” on federal officials after they began rounding up his cattle. Authorities are justifying the move by pointing out they are simply enforcing a 1993 rule change which prevents Bundy’s livestock from grazing on the land in order to protect the endangered desert tortoise.
Bundy and his supporters see the spat as something entirely different, portraying it as a clash between out of control big government and patriotic American family farmers.
With Bundy’s ranch under constant surveillance from armed agents ensconced inside what Ryan Bundy described as a “military compound,” some fear the standoff could lead to a Ruby Ridge or Waco-style tragedy.


Anonymous said...

This is not going to end well for the rancher and the protestors.

I agree, the govt cannot limit free speech to a small area.

I think that the rancher should be allowed to use his own land for grazing.


Trigger said...

Is this going to be another government sponsored massacre where the government wins by default because they killed all the witnesses who could testify in court?

This is really oppressive and scary because the next step is to bring in the tanks and armed soldiers to intimidate these citizens and shut them up to prevent a lawsuit or court case against the Feds.

ugggggggg said...

"Feds"?? Lol hemp hemp hemp

Skeptical said...

Isn't it interesting that wind farms can be established on BLM lands and the army can expand into their lands but a rancher can't run his cattle. I guess he can't pay the politicians well enough to get them on his side. It looks like an environmental group contributed more funds than the ranchers association. That is how it works, isn't it?

Sus said...

I question the writing of this article and the attributed labels.

First, it is not at all unusual to confine demonstrators to a certain area to create order and prevent clashes and violence. When demonstrating against a school or place of business, for example, picketers must stay within a designated area. They can't march through the halls or aisles. Rounding up cattle and having people in the way or directing said cattle differently is foolhardy and dangerous.

Second, the area had tape to show where to demonstrate. The only person I see labeling it as a "free speech area" is the rancher and his attorney. It's a matter of semantics.

Now to the grazing land...nowhere does the article state it is the rancher's land. It sounds like he has been letting his cattle graze on federal property...a park. The government used to let ranchers do this and still do in some western states. Too many hooved animals can destroy an area, and the article says it's endangering a turtle.

The rancher was to follow the law by removing his cattle from the grazing land. I can bet he had many chances to do so since the law was enacted in 1993. The federal government is now protecting your land and removing the cattle as they are entrusted to do. I am certain readers would want cattle removed from your backyard.

Polo said...

Nevadans are behind this gentleman 100% even though, technically, it Bundy is in the wrong. We have so much land out here that is federal land. NOT a "park" in any sense of the work. This land is only good for grazing. The land is too rough and their is not enough water to develop. This is why cattle farming is still so prevalent in our area. The beef is really good. Our BLM should compromise and offer him 400,000 acres to use. The tortois issue is a farce. As the BLM the date of the last tortoise study. Farmers need a break. Lastly, remember, there is so much land here that people can still stake gold or silver claims legally.

Polo said...

Sorry, I meant "not a park in any sense of the word."

Polo said...

Good grief. I need to wake up. Ask the BLM when the last tortoise study was conducted. I cannot find a single study.

Lemon said...

“Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution,” said Sandoval in a statement. “To that end, I have advised the BLM that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others and that the ‘First Amendment Area’ should be dismantled immediately.”

"me" is repeated. "countless others" is not to include all, or 'everyone'. Who is it not offensive to? The Govenor is not "blasting" the BLM. He is treading carefully and using softer language than "blasting". It is only "offensive", not illegal, or immoral, or unconstitutional.

Anonymous said...

The issue of "we've been doin' it fer 100 years is moot.

Not overly environmentalists, the endangered species and other programs designed to save land is a good one.

This cowboy is wrong. It's like going over to the neighbor's home and taking a cup of sugar instead of asking.

Redneck agendas pitted against crazy liberal agendas.

Why can't they just put up a fence? Wouldn't that be easier than starting a war?

Just because it's public land doesn't mean one single person can utilize it. That's like saying there's a public park. I can set up and dig the turf and take it back to my house and plant it.

Thin line between free speech and trampling on others is the issue.

They are forcing the calling of militias (dangerous)into the area by design.

If we all acted as they did 100 years ago, we'd be shooting at each other constantly. That's what this is about...not freedom of speech, property rights, or anything other than antagonism.