At a crucial point at Bundy Ranch, unarmed protesters on horseback rode down to confront heavily-armed BLM, who then pulled back their forces. That’s right, the protesters were not carrying guns. Among those opposing BLM were mother-daughter Utah farmers Symbria and Sara Patterson, “pillars of the local food community in Cedar City Utah.” They don’t even own guns. And were at Bundy Ranch because they are tired of intrusive government regulation, like having to comply with meaningless federal “organic” food regulations when their own standards are much stricter or having bleach dumped on their food because it was transported across a state border. (BTW, I used to live in Cedar City, know the Pattersons, and can vouch for their reliability.)
BLM, by all accounts, treated the cattle horribly.
Sara chimes in. She milks the family cow, as well as several goats, and says she was appalled at how the cattle were treated by the BLM. “The conditions in the corrals were disgusting,” she says. “There was no water. There were dozens of dogie calves separated from their mothers. The cows were all full of milk because they had been separated from the calves. Two cows had died, and two more had been crippled and had to be killed.”
Unarmed nonviolent protest worked at Bundy Ranch.
Symbria believes that violence is doomed to fail. The government has air power, surveillance, and lots of technology. “This isn’t like it was in the American Revolution,” she says. “They could slaughter us.”
She instead uses the examples of the horsemen who confronted the BLM.
“I asked them if they didn’t have guns,” she tells me. “One man said, ‘Oh, we have guns, we just chose not to bring them.’”
That, she says, is why the protest succeeded.