Oregon brothers launch anti-Bundy fundraising campaign – OregonLive.com
BURNS—Critics of Ammon Bundy and his followers occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge have launched a protest designed to line the pocketbooks of Bundy’s opponents.
The campaign, founded by a pair of brothers from Oregon, is known as G.O.H.O.M.E, an acronym that stands for Getting the Occupiers of Historic Oregon Malheur Evicted.
Brothers Zach and Jake Klonoski launched the fundraiser Sunday. They hope to convince Bundy and crew to leave by collecting money for groups whose mission is antithetical to the occupiers’ beliefs. Recipients of the donations include a gun control campaign, a group that supports the wildlife refuge the occupiers want to privatize, an organization that has labeled Bundy and company as extremists, and the Native American tribe whose members claim the refuge as their ancestral land.
The fundraising campaign will continue as long as the occupation does.
“The more pledges we get, the more pressure there is for them to leave,” said Zach Klonoski, a Portlander who works for Mayor Charlie Hales. “Otherwise we’re going to continue funding groups that they despise.”
Sixteen days into their armed standoff at the remote bird sanctuary 30 miles from the nearest town in Eastern Oregon’s high desert, Bundy and his comrades have said they won’t leave until the federal government relinquishes the land to area residents for the purpose of logging and grazing cattle.
So far, they’ve received little pushback from law enforcement aside from verbal requests that they pack up and leave.
Federal agents, state police and sheriff’s deputies from across the state are filling up hotel rooms in Harney County’s largest town, Burns, but have made just one arrest in connection with the standoff. They handcuffed Kenneth Medenbach Friday in the Burns Safeway parking lot after Medenbach drove one of the refuge’s government-owned vehicles into town.
Zach Klonoski said he and his brother, both Eugene natives, followed the 2014 standoff at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch. When the elder Bundy’s sons launched another standoff in Oregon, “we were not very happy,” he said.
The idea for an anti-occupation fundraising campaign came from Germany, where residents in the small town of Wunsiedel used a similar tactic to deter neo-Nazis who hosted an annual march through town to honor Hitler’s regime.
Minutes into the G.O.H.O.M.E. campaign’s launch, it had amassed more than $500 in donations.
“We feel Oregonians generally oppose the occupation,” Klonoski said, “and we want to provide them with a peaceful and meaningful way to express their anger, frustration and opposition.”