The rise of fascism scores another victory.

A federal jury in Las Vegas refused Tuesday to convict four defendants who were retried on accusations that they threatened and assaulted federal agents by wielding assault weapons in a 2014 confrontation to stop a cattle roundup near the Nevada ranch of states’ rights figure Cliven Bundy.

In a stunning setback to federal prosecutors planning to try the Bundy family patriarch and two adult sons later this year, the jury acquitted Ricky Lovelien and Steven Stewart of all 10 charges, and delivered not-guilty findings on most charges against Scott Drexler and Eric Parker.

So there you have it. If you’re right-wing enough and white enough and male enough you can hold federal law enforcement officers hostage at gunpoint and get away with it. Open season, folks.

“Random people off the streets, these jurors, they told the government again that we’re not going to put up with tyranny,” said a John Lamb, a Montana resident who attended almost all the five weeks of trial, which began with jury selection July 10.

“They’ve been tried twice and found not guilty,” Bundy family matriarch Carol Bundy said outside court. “We the people are not guilty.”

They’re┬ánot going to put up with “tyranny” – meaning, the “tyranny” of having to pay to graze their personal cattle on public land.

None of the defendants was found guilty of a key conspiracy charge alleging that they plotted with Bundy family members to form a self-styled militia and prevent the lawful enforcement of multiple court orders to remove Bundy cattle from arid desert rangeland in what is now the Gold Butte National Monument.

Bundy stopped paying grazing fees decades ago, saying he refused to recognize federal authority over public land where he said his family grazed cattle since the early 1900s. The dispute has roots a nearly half-century fight over public lands in Nevada and the West, where the federal government controls vast expanses of land.

All four men were photographed carrying assault-style weapons during the standoff near the Nevada town of Bunkerville, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Each had faced the possibility of decades in federal prison if they were convicted.

Jurors saw images of Parker and Drexler in prone shooting positions looking down their rifles through slots in the concrete barrier of an Interstate 15 freeway overpass toward heavily armed federal agents guarding a corral of cows below.

Defense attorneys noted that no shots were fired and no one was injured. They cast the tense standoff with more than 100 men, women and children in the potential crossfire as an ultimately peaceful protest involving people upset about aggressive tactics used by federal land managers against Bundy family members.

It’s not a “peaceful” protest if you’re pointing a gun. Being “upset” doesn’t change that.

The fasicsts will be having one hell of a party today.

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