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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Prominent Supporter Of Malheur Occupiers Kicks Off Speaking Tour In Oregon

Gavin Seim, a prominent supporter of the group that occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is kicking off a nationwide speaking tour in Oregon. He's asking fellow activists to pressure the government to release the occupiers who are awaiting trial in Oregon and Nevada.

About 100 people packed into a rented room in Salem to hear Seim speak. The political activist from Ephrata, Washington, has a big online following with millions of views on his YouTube channel. He calls judges "tyrants" and "terrorists" and says federal courts are operating outside the law.

Seim said he wants Oregonians who support his views to speak out against the incarceration of the Malheur occupiers.

"The legislative assembly should be protested. The commissioners’ meetings should be disrupted,” Seim said. “There should be any and all manner of peaceful action to make these people know that we're not okay with what's happening."

It was Seim who live-streamed the surrender of the final four occupiers at the refuge. More than a dozen are still being held pending a trial that's expected to start in September.

Seim suggested that supporters of the occupiers pack federal courtrooms and attempt to record the proceedings en masse as an act of civil disobedience.

He’s planning another stop on his Oregon speaking tour on Tuesday evening in Prineville.