Oregon occupiers ask public for supplies: get glitter, sex toys

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – Gifts of sex toys, glitter and nail polish are not what the armed protesters who seized a U.S. wildlife refuge in Oregon were expecting when they put out a public call for supplies to help get them through the winter.

Occupier Duane Ehmer rides his horse Hellboy at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Occupier Duane Ehmer rides his horse Hellboy at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

The occupiers, who took over buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2 in the latest conflict over the U.S. government’s control of land in the West, had been hoping for snacks, fuel and warm clothes when they provided sympathizers with a local mailing address.

Instead, as they angrily showed online, they received sex-related toys and food that would be of little use as they braced for a long standoff with federal law enforcement agents who have kept watch from a distance.

A bumper sticker on a private truck is seen in front of a residential building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, January 5, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
A bumper sticker on a private truck is seen in front of a residential building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, January 5, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

“It was really mind-blowing to me that people would actually spend their money … on all this hateful stuff to send out to us,” one of the occupiers, Jon Ritzheimer, said in a Facebook video this week in which he displayed items including a large sex toy and a bag of penis-shaped candies.

“It’s really ridiculous,” he said, before sweeping the pile of packages off a table and onto the floor. “We’re going to continue to do work and do good for our country. We’re not going to be deterred.”

A Gadsden flag flies at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, January 10, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
A Gadsden flag flies at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, January 10, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

The occupation has drawn ridicule from critics on social media who have assigned the group nicknames including #YallQaeda and #VanillaISIS in a play on militant labels.

Some online opponents delighted in the potential to send the protesters an array of packages stuffed with glitter, nail polish, pedicure socks, and perfume.