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Malheur Refuge Occupiers Go Silent

Bradley W. Parks/OPB

After 30 days of near-continuous digital broadcasts on YouTube, Periscope and Facebook, the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has gone offline.

David Fry, one of the four remaining militants who has frequently posted videos of the group on YouTube, said Sunday morning that they had lost access to the Internet. 

Fry’s videos have been the only visual public record of the final stage of the occupation, after the FBI erected checkpoints and the press withdrew Wednesday morning.

One of the last videos showed the group inhabiting a makeshift tent, sitting in folding chairs, with a fire burning in one corner.  One of the men, Jeff Banta, appeared to have a handgun tucked in the pocket of his parka.  A white truck was parked in the background.

Fry also told OPB Sunday morning that the FBI made it so the occupiers can’t make outgoing calls on their cellphones.

By Sunday afternoon, the four militants remaining at the refuge, who have regularly spoken with media, appeared to be unwilling or unable to answer most incoming calls as well.