Demonstrators rally for 1st, 2nd amendment in Harrisonburg

Published: Jul. 15, 2017 at 7:03 PM EDT
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"Mainstream media doesn't report a lot on this. You don't hear a lot about it."

Those were the words of Robert Kapp as he held an American flag outside the federal courthouse in Harrisonburg on Saturday afternoon.

The Broadway man was among a dozen or so other demonstrators who came out to show their support for four men headed to trial in Nevada. They're facing decades in prison for bringing assault-style weapons to a confrontation that stopped government agents from rounding up cattle near a ranch owned by Cliven Bundy in 2014.

Kapp, who said he started becoming interested in activism a year-and-a-half ago, said the case represents an intrusion on the rights to free speech and firearms.

"Our rights, our freedoms, our liberties are on trial right now," said Kapp."The government is trying to take away our right to defend ourselves and to make a stand against them. A lot of laws are really aren't just. They're not fair. Many of them violate the Constitution and our basic rights."

The group handed out pocket-sized versions of the Constitution to those passing by on N. Main St.

Kapp said the feedback from drivers ranged from positive reactions to some using obscene gestures.

"Just because it's going on in Nevada doesn't mean it's not going to happen here," said Kapp.

The armed standoff between the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and supporters of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy gained nationwide attention three years ago. The government obtained court orders directing Bundy to pay over $1 million in fees for use of federally owned land.

On Monday, jury selection began in the retrial of the four men. In a previous trial, a jury found two other men guilty on some charges, but failed to reach verdicts on the rest.