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Bundy thanks supporters, blasts sheriff for not giving protection

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Updated: 4/15 12:59 pm
BUNKERVILLE (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- Several hundred supporters gathered near the Cliven Bundy ranch Monday afternoon for a pep rally.

Bundy thanked the gathered supporters, including members of a few militia-type groups, for helping to free about 400 head of his cattle, which Bureau of Land Management Rangers had impounded last week.

"If the sheriff and state government had done their part to protect us, we would not have needed you," Bundy told the crowd.

Bundy said he felt Metro should have disarmed the BLM staffers.

Bundy's supporters arrived from states all over the country; the protest grew daily from the start of the BLM action on April 5.

Saturday morning, the BLM announced from Washington, D.C., that it would end the cattle roundup because of concerns over public safety.

Several hundred Bundy supporters clogged Interstate 15 on Saturday afternoon as they drove to a BLM cattle holding area about 7 miles west of Mesquite to force BLM and law enforcement to release the cattle.

Bundy has refused to pay grazing fees for the past 20 years and has lost in court twice, being ordered to remove his cattle from some 600,000 acres of land in northeast Clark County.

Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie issues a release on Saturday about the Bundy-BLM situation, saying in part:

“I want to stress to all of you that as the sheriff of Clark County I cannot interfere with the federal government when it is operating on federal land,” Gillespie said. “And because this is BLM property, it is in [federal] jurisdiction. But when a group of protesters threaten civil unrest or violence in this county -- it is my job to step in and ensure the safety of citizens.”

Gillespie said he worked diligently to de-escalate the situation. He worked chiefly with Gov. Brian Sandoval, Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto and U.S. Attorney Dan Bogden.

Business owners in Mesquite reported that they had received threats related to the BLM-Bundy dispute.
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