PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) – Three of four occupiers at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon in a protest against federal land control in the West surrendered on Thursday, but a fourth refused to come out, saying his constitutional rights were being violated and that he was “feeling suicidal.”
Jeff Banta, 46, of Elko, Nevada, and married couple Sean Anderson, 48, and Sandy Anderson, 47, of Riggins, Idaho, surrendered peacefully, according to a webcast of a phone call with the protesters webcast by their allies.
The protesters narrated the surrender, with the married Andersons described as emerging with their hands up, holding hands.
David Fry, 27, of Blanchester, Ohio, remained behind and said on the live audio feed that he had not agreed with the other three to leave.
“I’m actually feeling suicidal right now,” Fry said on the webcast. He later added, “I declare war against the federal government as a citizen of the Constitution.”
Nevada state Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, a Republican, and Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Christian evangelist Billy Graham, helped negotiate an end to the standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in remote eastern Oregon.
(Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York and Julia Edwards in Washington; Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)