Editor’s note: It turns out that Ammon Bundy does not have a Twitter account and did not tweet out a comparison to Rosa Parks. That fact was unearthed by the website Gizmodo after it fact-checked this widely circulated, but erroneous, report. The account @Ammon_Bundy was a parody.
As if this story weren’t strange enough, on Wednesday the leader of a group of armed Oregon militants compared their standoff to the works of civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who fought for racial equality.
“We are doing the same thing as Rosa Parks did,” Ammon Bundy, whose group, Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Saturday, tweeted early Wednesday. “We are standing up against bad laws which dehumanize us and destroy our freedom,” USA Today reports.
Twitter users were quick to point out that in 1955, Parks refused to give her seat to a white man, sparking a nationwide bus boycott.
“Nice try. Rosa Parks didn’t hijack a bus with an assault rifle because she didn’t want to pay the bus fare,” one person tweeted.
“You terrorists are no Rosa Parks and it’s an insult to her to compare yourselves to her,” another responded.
USA Today reports that Bundy and his armed band of bandits have declared the eastern-Oregon wildlife refuge theirs until two local ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, are released from prison on arson charges in a dispute with the federal government over land ownership. Bundy’s group of more than a dozen who have taken up refuge in the wildlife center for the past five days also noted that it is investigating property records to find instances when federal officials seized private property. It vows that it is not leaving until that land has been returned to the people who live in Harney County, Ore., where the protest is staged.
“This isn’t going to end until we get our public lands back,” Bundy tweeted Wednesday.
USA Today reports that the Twitter account was suspended briefly. The newspaper notes that Twitter didn’t respond to its queries as to why the account had been suspended, but that once the account was restored, Bundy tweeted: “Seditious Conspiracy is a serious federal crime as is aiding traitors #TwitterDidntWannaBeChargedWithTreason.”