Witnesses for both the defense and the prosecution, set to testify in the controversial trial over the Occupation of the Malheur Refuge, are terrified by the idea of possible retaliation from the community, if Judge Anna Brown allows the BLM to move forward with their plans for providing a “live feed” of the trial, to what one Portland Paper (OPB) is calling the “VICTIMS” of the standoff.
In a frantic call to GMN this morning one witness expressed their concerns by saying, the Judge obviously doesn’t understand the dynamics of the situation in Burns, which brought hundreds of protesters there in the first place. The Government has gone to great lengths to protect informants and FBI agents from public scrutiny in fear of their safety — Why then are other witnesses not being allowed the same protection?
Burns Oregon is a community divided and the deck is stacked in favor on the “anti-Bundy side” making the life of over 40% of the population in Harney County a living nightmare.
Children are being bullied, business owners are being threatened and the fact they are going to add fuel to the fire by broadcasting this trial to what many perceive as aggressive employees of the United States Government is horrifying, said one witness.
“We are terrified; These people running the show in Portland are failing to protect the very people they say were terrorized by the occupation.”
The witnesses are quick to point out that it’s not just those who will be testifying for the defense who are concerned; Those set to testify against the Occupation are also expressing deep concern over their well being as the government prepares to put them on camera and blast their testimony out to a community thats already on the edge.
” I never wanted to testify in this trial, says another witness and the government is forcing me. What happens to me if somebody gets the wrong idea?” explained a witness for the Government
After the Occupation ended the media and the Judge lost interest in Burns and Harney County in general, and the witnesses say this ruling shows the complete disconnect between the court and her attorneys assigned to represent their best interest on both sides in this trial. Witnesses took note that not one Defense Attorney objected to the governments request for a live feed into Burns leaving them all to questions just who this trial is for, and just how much they care about them as human beings.
Whether you fall on the side of the government in this one, or the Occupiers, witnesses on both sides agree that a live feed of this trial is irresponsible and creates a terrifyingly dangerous potential for them in Harney County and definitely puts lives in danger.
GMN spoke to an attorney close to the case, but not representing any clients involved, and his opinion was as follows;
If you are going to allow a live feed it is appalling that it is going to be for those who are so openly bias. If we are going to allow a live feed for the obviously anti-protestor group then what is stopping the court from allowing the whole of America to watch this proceeding?
It is unfair that once again the government is allowed to run the narrative and does not allow for others on the supporting side to have an opportunity to watch in support of these witnesses who have so much much to lose in Harney County.
I too was shocked that not one Defense Attorney objected on behalf of the safety of their witnesses.
A message from Harney County went out to Judge Anna Brown and various Attorneys involved in the case this morning;
I just want to express my concern in regards to the news of a trial being live streamed to the local BLM office. I personally have a HUGE problem with this. Those of us who have been subpeoned will only be showcased as “domestic terrorist” sympathizers allowing the already bigoted community of government workers to ostracize, alienate, and ridicule us more than they already have. In my opinion this is a gross abuse of power by the judge and just shows an assignment of elitism to the government workers they have so loosely characterized as “victims”.Unless you have lived in Burns, Hines, or Harney County it is difficult to understand what is really going on here. In January our community suffered from a spiderweb of fractures that have just grown deeper as the months have passed. Many of us have suffered in our businesses because of our actions and expression of our opinions during the occupation. The spread of hatred has even boiled over to our children who are suffering at school at the hands of these “victims” and their children.Despite my feelings and or the reason I was supeonead, my concern is for the safety of my children and the ability to maintain my home and business in Harney County. My kids have to go to school with the wives of many BLM employees. My business is dependent on locals. What will Judge Brown offer as a solution when my children are slighted of an opportunity because their teacher is married to a BLM employee who watched my testimony live in the comfort of his office and he didn’t agree with me? What will Judge Brown offer as a solution when my business is forced to close its doors because of lost contracts with either government agencies or locals that have relation to disgruntled BLM employees?It is my opinion that allowing and condoning the live stream of the trial to the local BLM office is is a blatant disregard for the safety and wellbeing of all witnesses that have been subpoenaed ~Witness Signed