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Back in April, a whole bunch of excitable folks with rifles and Gadsden flags started converging on Josephine County in southwest Oregon to protect a small gold mining operation from the tyranny of an out-of-control Federal Gobvernment bent on trampling individual rights beneath the jackbooted heels of oppression. Or, in sane-people terms, the Bureau of Land Management had sent the guys who owned the mining claim a letter telling them to stop development of the mine, because the BLM contended that surface rights to the parcel of land belonged to the federal government, not the miners. The letter sent one of the mine's two owners, Rick Barclay, into a panic, because he was sure the Feds would show up at any moment and burn down the cabin and other buildings on the mining site, the way the Feds always do, and so Barclay asked the local chapter of the paramilitary anti-government group Oath Keepers for help, and pretty soon self-proclaimed "Constitutional Activists" from all over the country were streaming into Oregon, ready for an armed standoff with Federal Jackboots and maybe, this time at last, a real start to the Second American Revolution.


Now the armed radicals of the Oath Keepers have declared victory over the Federal Government and gone home.

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After a month of these guys hanging around a campsite near Grants Pass, Oregon, with no federal thugs to stand off with, an "Interior Board of Land Appeals administrative law judge" has issued a stay in the case: Until the miners' appeal of the BLM's claim is resolved in court, the miners won't dig any gold, and the BLM won't try to enforce the order telling the miners to dismantle the operation. It's a nice boring administrative decision that probably would have occurred even without a bunch of guys in full camo wandering the woods with semiautomatic rifles, but the Josephine County Oath Keepers are pretty darned chuffed about their big victory, as their website proclaims:

Mary Emerick, spokeswoman for the Josephine County Oath Keepers, told Talking Points Memo that the group was already in the process of "standing down" -- gotta use military terms to prove that you're legit -- and that it was now safe for the brave freedom fighters from outside Oregon to head home: "We’re pretty much downgrading our operation, although we’re a local group so we’ll still be in the area even if we move out of that site for now." She added that the group also would be intervening in some "pretty remarkable" disputes that other local property owners had with the BLM, although she didn't elaborate on the exact nature of those intolerable acts of tyranny. Probably because of the need to keep OpSec, you know.

"We have quite a lot of them so we’ve spent some time vetting those to make sure they’re honest and documented situations," she told TPM. "So we have some plans to take some actions related to that."

And while they're waiting for the next call to arms in defense of imaginary threats to Liberty, those Oath Keepers who haven't already gone home redeployed to their home areas of operations will engage in an Information Support Operation to win the Hearts and Minds of the people of southwest Oregon. According to their website, Oath Keepers Founder Stewart Rhodes will take some time off from trying to hang John McCain for treason so he can march with other brave patriots in Saturday's "Boatnik Parade" in Grants Pass, where the group will hand out pocket copies of the Constitution to bewildered powerboat-racing fans who simply have no idea how threatened their essential liberties really are.

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After the parade, the victorious Patriot Heroes will return to their "staging area" at "Camp Defiance" for a celebratory barbeque.

[TPM / Register-Guard / JoCo Oath Keepers]

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