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Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, 54, was a neighbor of Cliven Bundy, though he lived in Arizona. Finicum was a rancher whose cattle grazed on BLM land, and he maintained that he owned grazing rights on that land through natural law. Finicum wrote a book entitled Only by Blood and Suffering: Regaining Lost Freedom. The Finicums are foster parents to a number of children, who have all been removed from their care due to their involvement in the standoff; Finicum complained that this took away his and his wife's main source of income. Finicum was dubbed "Tarp Man" by MSNBC for sitting outside at night in a rocking chair, covered completely in a blue tarp and a rifle underneath. When asked if he would rather be killed than arrested if the occupation turned violent, Finicum replied, "Absolutely ... I have no intention of spending any of my days in a concrete box." On January 26, Finicum was killed while resisting arrest at a roadblock on U.S. Route 395 in Grant County, Oregon, a day before his 55th birthday.
Mr Finicum cut a distinct figure too, with a wide-brimmed hat, spectacles and ear muffs plus a green and brown camouflage jacket, which stood out somewhat on Oregon's icy plains.
There was more snow than sagebrush in the spot he had picked for his revolution.
One-on-one, the rancher from Mohave County, Arizona, listened carefully to my questions and replied with a smile. It was a pleasant change from conversing with some of his over-bearing, over-excited fellow militiamen.
"What's important for me is my family, my kids and individual Americans," he told me. "I want them to live freely. I want them to have access to their natural rights, their property rights."
Was it not right to do so through the law, rather than in an action like this?
"Well, it is the law. The constitution is the supreme law of the land and it's been violated. We have exhausted every avenue."
He was aware, he said, of how the occupation might end, although he insisted a raid by a SWAT team "would be a silly thing."
"The federal government has complete ability to come here in a moment and just wipe us all out," he said.
"Let's make no mistake about it. The federal government has great resources and great abilities. There is no illusions as who is most powerful. This is America. Our military force, our forces are top notch. We are just citizens, sir."
He will be now be called both a terrorist and a martyr. No doubt the circumstances of his death will be disputed for years to come.
Whatever the truth of his final moments, LaVoy Finicum leaves behind a large family, reportedly of 11 children. At one point during our conversations, I asked Mr Finicum how long it would be before he needed to get back to his ranch and his cattle.
"I have a 17-year-old daughter," he said. "Thank goodness she's a firecracker, I hope she can hold everything together. I'm a small producer. She'll be able to do it."
Protester LaVoy Finicum, an Arizona rancher, said they’re being careful not to damage buildings or property. He claimed the protesters accessed the buildings after they found a set of keys. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service disputed that claim.
Finicum said he plans to stay “until the constitution is upheld.”
Let me be very clear, Dave. I believe in government, okay? We need government. I believe in the federal government. We need the federal government. Um. But, the federal government needs to adhere to their most important responsibilities, which are clearly outlined in the constitution. They need to protect our borders, defend our nation. The things of the state, need to be handled by the state government. The things of the county, need to be handled by the county government. So, uh, most definitely, I uphold governments, both federal, state, and county, and so, yeah I really, I really do believe in government, and I do want to uphold that, and so, please don't get me wrong.
Oh I don't want to die! I have children and grandchildren! I want to go home! I want to ride, and take care of my cows, and spend time with my kids and my wife! I mean, hell that's not what I intend to do, but uh, I most certainly love freedom, and if freedom is not more valuable than life, then, do we really deserve it?
Me personally I want to leave as soon as possible but I will stay as long as necessary, to help these ranchers resolve their plight, just as a neighbor, one neighbor to another neighbor; so, as long as necessary, and as soon as possible.
Dena: And you're hoping not to fire your gun?
Finicum: No, we're not...No, no, no firing guns, nobody's gonna fire their guns. I want to keep everybody safe. You know, law enforcement's lives are precious, they have family members, they have loved ones just as we do, and so there's never any need of that.
[Arianna] Brown remembered her father for the family board games he would play until late in the night, and for never missing his children's basketball games, even if he might bring a book about the Founding Fathers.
Finicum was described as a tireless, faithful man with a glint in his eye and a fondness for pranks. A prolific singer of questionable pitch. A man who was a hero to his 11 children and his younger siblings — whose embrace they could count upon at any hour, and who yet had nobody to hold onto as he died in the snow along a desolate stretch of Highway 395.
"I said before they even killed him, anybody should walk 10 miles to shake his hand," he said.
Found an interview on OPB's Think Out Loud from January 5 2016: soundcloud.com...