Ryan Bundy’s opening statement might just make the hair on your arms stand up in a Declaration of Independence kind of way…
by Tim Brown of Freedom Outpost
Sometimes, in the process of covering so many things and in the attempt to provide as much information and commentary as possible, we simply are not able to provide all that we wish to do so to the public.
However, that does not mean other stories and commentary are not important. In fact, many things coming out of alternatives media today are vitally important for those coming off the government-controlled media.
One of those items that didn’t hit the mainstream media, and sadly didn’t hit much of the alternative media, was the opening statement of Cliven Bundy’s son, Ryan, as the trial of the century began nearly two weeks ago.
In light of that, I’ve been meaning to post his opening statement because it is certainly on that Americans should familiarize themselves with and quite possibly, should a fair history book be written, may go down in a Patrick Henry-esque fashion.
So, without further ado, here’s Ryan Bundy’s opening statement (H/T Gary Hunt)that was delivered to the jury in the Bundy Ranch trials on November 15, 2017. Read and remember.
Thanks to the jurors for being here. I told you a little about myself at voir dire, but I’d like to introduce myself a little more, and tell you about my heritage and how that affects my case. (Projects a picture of his family – AND leaves it up throughout his statement!) [Note: the picture shown above.]
This is my ID! Not my driver’s license. This is who I am, a man with a family and I’ll do whatever it takes to provide for them. I want you to picture in your minds…you’re out on the land… I’ll take you to our ranch, you can see all the beauty of the land, the fresh air, sunsets and sunrises, the brush, you’re on a horse in front of the cattle – place yourself there – feel the freedom – out of the congestion of the cars – that’s how I was raised, playing in the river, we were called river-rats and that is where my life began and I hope ends.
My family has been on that land 141 years, my pioneer ancestors settled there in 1877 – there was nothing there. They carved out a living… they brought a horse and wagon and some provisions… this case, the government mentioned is “not about rights”, but it is – those rights do mean something – rights are created through beneficial use. When my ancestors arrived, undoubtedly the horse would need a drink, so they led him to the water and that is beneficial use. The horse and perhaps a cow that had been led behind the wagon need to eat some brush in the hills, that is beneficial use. That established rights. The water rights are real! So real, the State of Nevada has a water rights registry including livestock watering rights. A law was created to protect those rights. The water rights that my father owns were first registered in 1891 by the State of Nevada – the State of Nevada is important, a sovereign state, its own unit, which entered the union in 1864. It entered equal to the original states, it is its own entity and state laws are important.
My family and I are charged with some grievous things and they are not true and evidence will show they are not; force, manipulation, extortion, violent—my family is not a violent family and I am not a violent man. For 20+ years we turned to local law enforcement. Rights are real property. The fact is that we create government to protect rights.
To have rights you must claim, use and defend… man only has rights he is willing to claim, use and defend. There is a difference between rights and privileges. Rights you own. Privilege is afforded. Like renting or owning a house. Government asserts there are no rights, only privileges and unless we pay, we can’t be there. The State of Nevada says differently. These are my father’s rights. Everything we have comes from the land. That is wealth, not the dollar bill. The things we use all come from the land. Who controls the land, controls the wealth.
We create government to preserve and serve us. These are some of the beliefs of my family. That we have said we will do whatever it takes to defend is not a threat, it is a statement. Being right here before you today is part of doing whatever it takes. The Founding Fathers pledged whatever it would take… their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, to defend rights. With the evidence you will see that is what we were doing; there was no conspiracy to impede, to harm… but, to protect our heritage that our pioneer ancestors established. We were attacked, surrounded by what appeared to be mercenaries, snipers pointed directly at me. You will hear a report from a sniper that he was keeping watch of me in my van, with my wife and two of my daughters with me.
Our ranch – children are always welcome – it is a place to play, play in the river, the pond, chase or hunt rabbits, burn your toes in the hot sand in summer—always free. Never before did we feel like someone was always watching. In early spring of 2014 we felt like someone was always watching… the dogs were watching the hills, when you are always with a dog you get to know what they are saying with their bark… you can tell by their bark what they are seeing… surveillance cameras on one hill, but the dog looking at another and growling… (tearfully) This is not what America is supposed to be. Supposed to be a land of liberty. The Founding Fathers fought and bled so we wouldn’t have to and now we find ourselves in a similar situation.
They say this issue is over grazing fees… it’s terrible, terrible, he must be a freeloader – it’s only rhetoric – I’ll tell you why – You don’t pay rent when you own your home! We own those rights! Not the land, I know we don’t own the land, but access…you and others have rights on that land. We own water and grazing rights. We don’t pay rent for something we own.
The BLM was formed in 1960. Our rights were established in 1877, long before BLM. The original states own 100% of their land and all states were to come in on equal footing. The crux of the issue is, are we a state or not? They say grazing is a privilege they can revoke and charge fees. If it is only a matter of money it is no problem. In fact, Mr. Whipple showed a copy of a check made out to Clark County. If the whole purpose is to show we owe a fee, then we’ll pay to the proper owner of the land. That was not the only check written to Clark County, we sent several. Also, in Clark County, there were 53 ranchers who owned rights. There is only a single one still out on the range. The BLM is not gaining revenue, it’s not important to them. My father could see they were there to manage him out of business. It’s not about grazing fees. In the BLM office there were signs that read: No more Moo by ‘92 and Cattle Free by ‘93! If it were only about the grazing fees, the fees would have been under $100,000 over 25 years. It is rumored, it may not be seen in evidence, but it is rumored that they spent $6 million on the operation. Who spends that and court costs rumored to be over $100 million to collect $100,000?
What is this about? The court orders. They say my father had an opportunity in the courts. The court wouldn’t consider states rights. They have forgotten they are servants of the people. We the people are the sovereign and ultimately, we the people are the government formed to meet needs that are better met by a group than by individuals. We are not slaves. We need to remember that. I think that’s forgotten. The definition of freedom is lost in America. When we have to have a license or ask permission to do everything, we are subjects.