Critics accuse US authorities of double standards as police adopt wait-and-see approach to armed men in building.
A group of self-described militiamen continue to occupy a federal building in the remote high desert of the US state of Oregon in protest against a prison sentence for local ranchers accused of burning government land. …
Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, were convicted of arson three years ago and served time – the father three months, the son one year. But a judge ruled that their terms were too short under US federal law and ordered them back to prison for about four years each. …
Commentators and activists online have criticised the media for failing to cover the situation accurately, and have also accused the security services of a soft approach to the armed occupiers.
Debates have raged on social media under the #OregonUnderAttack , and newspapers have battled to reach consensus on how to describe the armed men.
“As of Sunday afternoon, The Washington Post called them ‘occupiers’. The New York Times opted for ‘armed activists’ and ‘militia men’. And the Associated Press put the situation this way: ‘A family previously involved in a showdown with the federal government has occupied a building at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon and is asking militia members to join them,'” The Washington Post said .
The Hammonds, who are set to turn themselves in on Monday afternoon, have made it clear that they don’t want help from the Bundy group.
“Neither Ammon Bundy nor anyone within his group/organisation speak for the Hammond family,” the Hammonds’ lawyer W Alan Schroeder wrote to Sheriff Ward.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies