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41 Days: An OPB Documentary On The Oregon Occupation


 

After 41 days, an armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge came to a conclusion on Feb. 11 after four remaining militants at the refuge surrendered to federal authorities.

David Fry implored law enforcement to shout “hallelujah” as he turned himself in to FBI agents the morning of Feb. 11. Audio of the final moments before Fry went into FBI custody shows agents fulfilling his request, letting out what sound like relieved “hallelujahs”.

Fry’s surrender effectively ended the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon and weeks of uncertainty for the citizens of Harney County.

OPB was there throughout, getting to know the residents of Harney County and the militants at the refuge. Now, OPB looks back at the nearly six-week occupation in an hour-long special.

What started as a community protest in support of a pair of local ranchers, father and son Dwight and Steven Hammond, ended with an Internet live stream of a 27-year-old Ohioan contemplating suicide, and finally surrendering.

One man died, and 25 other people are charged with crimes related to the occupation.

And after some of the most dramatic and contentious six weeks in Harney County history, the community now looks toward healing.

Timeline: The Armed Occupation Of The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

John Sepulvado / Juan Ramirez / Bryan M. Vance/OPB

Listen to the full OPB News documentary special here at the top of the page.

To revisit all of OPB’s coverage of the refuge occupation, visit our series page.

Music for the OPB News documentary is courtesy of Melissa Ferrick.

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