After asking his colleagues to go home last week, Ammon Bundy is now asking the authorities to leave.
The Oregon protest leader released an audio statement Thursday from jail, defending the continued occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Four members of the protest group are believed to remain inside the refuge.
“Taking over the refuge was not only right, it was the duty of the people to do. When government officials are acting in contrary to the people, they must not get away with it,” Bundy said.
“Go home Oregon State Police. You have already killed enough. Go home FBI. It is time to end this.”
The weekslong armed occupation of the refuge near Burns took a violent turn last week when authorities shot and killed another key protester, LaVoy Finicum, on a desolate stretch of rural highway.
Authorities have said that officers opened fire when Finicum reached toward a loaded handgun. The occupiers have said Finicum had his hands in the air when he was shot.
Eleven people, including Bundy, were arrested — 10 in Oregon and one in Arizona.
All the defendants face a federal felony count of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats.
Shortly after his arrest last week, Bundy released a statement through his attorney asking the remaining occupiers to go home.
“Let us take this fight from here. Please stand down. Go home and hug your families,” Bundy said in a statement. “This fight is ours for now in the courts. Please go home.”