Definition of sedition from the U.S. Code: “If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire ... by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”
Whether or not you agree with their grievances, the seizure of Malheur National Wildlife refuge by armed white men fits this definition to a tee. The lack of response from the federal government is glaring. Much of our media has labeled these armed white men “militia”, “protesters” and “occupiers.” They are demanding that public land be returned to private ownership – land that was stolen from the native Paiute people during the mid-1800s by the U.S. government.
What if these armed men were the present-day Paiute demanding their land back? What if they were people of color? Muslim? Would the Harney County sheriff hold a meeting with the group to encourage them to peacefully leave, as he did on Jan. 8? Would negotiation come before physical violence? Based on the past and recent history of our country, the only honest answer is a resounding no.
In any other case these armed men would be labeled “terrorists” by the media, they would be subject to the full power of law enforcement (and perhaps National Guard), and they would be violently removed, arrested, and possibly killed.