LaVoy Finicum hailed as 'one of the biggest patriots' before funeral
Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, an Arizona rancher, traveled hundreds of miles last month to deliver flowers to a family in eastern Oregon.
He and other anti-government activists had flocked to rural Harney County to protest against the imprisonment of Dwight and Steven Hammond, a father and son convicted of committing arson on federal lands.
“I never thought I would be here standing on this little piece of soil,” Finicum, 54, said on the cold morning of 8 January as he stood outside the Malheur national wildlife refuge, talking to a huddle of reporters. “I came up here simply to put some flowers on the Hammonds’ doorstep, and the next thing my daughters know is that the media is saying that their father has just, with arms, taken over federal buildings.”
The media, he continued, was wrong to portray the occupation of federal lands as a violent act: “This was, is, has been and intends to always be a peaceful demonstration.”