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After Tense Standoff With FBI, Remaining Occupiers at Oregon Wildlife Refuge to Turn Themselves in Upon Arrival of Rev. Franklin Graham


Four occupiers remain at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, which armed protesters took over in early January.


UPDATE 12:59 a.m. ET Thursday: The live phone call from the refuge has been turned off but may resume around 8 a.m. PT.

UPDATE 12:08 a.m. ET Thursday: Refuge occupier Sean Anderson adds additional confirmation that FBI will not advance tonight, but will allow occupiers to meet at checkpoint with Fiore and Graham later Thursday morning.

Anderson says occupiers will put their weapons in their vehicles when they turn themselves in as they march toward the checkpoint with American flags.

Anderson added that turning themselves in to the FBI is "going against everything we believe in," but said they will "proceed with our surrender" once Fiore and Graham arrive at the refuge.

UPDATE 11:42 p.m. ET: After several hours of attempted negotiation, Fiore says the FBI "will not make any moves to escalate anything tonight." She says the bureau is allowing her and Rev. Franklin Graham to arrive Thursday at 8 a.m., which she requested the FBI negotiator to confirm.

At this moment, however, nothing has been confirmed by the FBI.

Additionally, Fiore, who offered to bring the refuge occupiers McDonald's food on her way to Burns, encouraged occupiers to rest for the remainder of the evening.

"Nothing will happen tonight. So if you want to stay on watch, get some shut eye and take turns," she said.

UPDATE 11:04 p.m. ET: Occupier David Fry says more vehicles are moving toward their encampment and fellow occupier Sean Anderson echoes, adding that "they are probably snipers."

"They're going to kill us because of these ranchers, that's what they're going to use as an excuse," Anderson said.

FBI negotiator, identified only as Mark, reportedly says they just need to give up.

UPDATE 10:43 p.m. ET: One Oregon occupier, prior to huddling in prayer hoping the FBI will give them until Thursday morning to surrender, said that if the FBI does not give them one more day to work the situation out, they will stay there and die, "no concessions."

Moments later, occupier Sean Anderson said that if the FBI wants to get him tonight, "They're going to have to f****** kill us."

UPDATE 10:23 p.m. ET: The FBI is apparently attempting to negotiate with the occupiers by listening to the YouTube audio feed and responding in person, per Oregonian reporter Rob Davis.

However, the occupiers seem unmoved.

One person in the encampment could be heard saying, "It doesn’t matter. We're going to die here, and our story can get out that way."

UPDATE 10:09 p.m. ET: After several hours of a standoff with the Oregon occupiers and attempts from Fiore to negotiate with the FBI, officials have reportedly told occupiers that "no one will be allowed on the refuge" until the occupiers "come out peacefully."

Occupiers, who have been screaming at the FBI, could be heard saying, "Helicopters are coming now," which the Oregonian confirmed.

UPDATE 9:51 p.m. ET: According to Oregonian reporter Molly Young, the FBI has moved closer, within 50 yards of the occupiers encampment.

"They are rolling forward. They are rolling forward now," one occupier could be heard saying on the live YouTube feed.

In addition, occupier Sean Anderson is claiming to be on the phone with evangelist Rev. Franklin Graham.

UPDATE 9:45 p.m. ET: The FBI has released the following statement on the current situation:

At approximately 4:30 p.m. (Pacific) on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, one of the occupiers rode an ATV outside the barricades established by the militia at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. FBI agents attempted to approach the driver, and he returned to the encampment at the refuge at a high rate of speed.

At this time, the FBI has moved to contain the remaining occupiers by placing agents at barricades both immediately ahead of and behind the area where the occupiers are camping. Negotiations between the occupiers and the FBI continue. No shots have been fired.

“It has never been the FBI’s desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue, and to that end, the FBI has negotiated with patience and restraint in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully. However, we reached a point where it became necessary to take action in a way that best ensured the safety of those on the refuge, the law enforcement officers who are on scene, and the people of Harney County who live and work in this area,” said Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

Wednesday marks day 40 of the occupation of the refuge.

Further updates will be released as appropriate.

UPDATE 9:35 p.m. ET: Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, from the Portland airport, is on the phone with occupiers offering to negotiate with FBI.

"Why [is the FBI] refusing to have a peaceful resolution?" Fiore could be heard saying at one point.

Original story below

The FBI has encircled remaining occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, which armed protesters took over in early January.

Les Zaitz, senior investigative reporter for the Oregonian, posted the following tweet:

There also is a live phone call from the refuge. (Content warning: Because of the nature of live news, reader discretion is advised):

Gavin Seim, the YouTube user who posted the live phone call, is a “friend of David Fry,” one of the last occupiers, according to the Oregonian.

This story has been updated.

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