“Guardians of the Republic” Challenge Order to Leave Ferguson
Russ Chastain 12.03.14
Not long after being thanked by local police for their presence, Oath Keepers were asked to leave Ferguson. They are reportedly challenging that order after complying with it.
We told you a few days ago about how the volunteer law enforcement and military veterans of Oath Keepers were standing up for citizens in Ferguson, protecting people and businesses from arson and possibly worse. We mentioned that local police had thanked them, while Federals had apparently deployed sniper teams against them.
Well, I guess maybe the locals had a change of heart. On Saturday, they were told to leave by St Louis County police.
Oath Keepers representative Sam Andrews said that “[St Louis County Police] Chief Belmar has been ordering his men to do unconstitutional things like ID people that aren’t committing crimes, coming on private property, and ordering them off of private property when they’re not committing a crime. Chief Belmar needs to resign or start acting in a very constitutional way.”
When asked why Belmar told him to vacate, Andrews replied, “They claim that they had a St. Louis County ordinance that prevented anyone from securing a building or conducting a security operation without a St. Louis County license.”
He clarified that “We are all volunteers. As a matter of fact, no one has taken a dime. Everyone spent their own money to get out here and help the people of Ferguson.”
Andrews said Oath Keepers have encountered Molotov cocktails thrown onto roofs they were defending, and they responded by using appropriate fire extinguishers (formulated for fuels) to douse the flames, then cooled off the roof with buckets of water.
When an interviewer asked “What did you plan to do with [the semi-automatic rifles some Oath Keepers carried]?” Andrews replied:
“Well, in Missouri you’re allowed to use lethal force for three reasons; to prevent a murder, to prevent a sexual assault or a rape, or to prevent an arson – and a lot of people get confused about that last one, arson. It’s not about protecting the building with arson, it’s about protecting the people inside the building, and we just happen to have apartments… on the second floor with people sleeping inside.”
Andrews said they’ve received warm responses from locals, after some initial suspicion from locals. Early on, some residents alleged that Oath Keepers were KKK or police (neither is true). He said that one person, described as “Michael Brown’s relative,” approached an Oath Keeper and accused him of being with the KKK. The Oath Keeper removed his face mask, revealing a non-white face (native American and Filipino), and asked, “Really? Do you think they expanded their membership opportunities?”
What kind of government do we have, when it orders peaceful volunteer guardians to leave private property for no good reason? And is that what we want? Is that what our Founders intended?
It was later reported that Oath Keepers returned to their posts without further incident:
[Andrews] said the Oath Keepers active in Ferguson include former or off-duty police officers, as well as people with extensive military experience. He said all are unpaid for the work they are doing above a strip of stores and apartments two blocks from the Ferguson police and fire departments.
‘This is not America,’ he said. ‘We don’t tax volunteers.’