I think the standoff in Harney County Oregon could lead to a very good resolution and set a very good precedent for activism going forward.
The various militia have very little popular support but they do have strong internal discipline and leadership.
The federal government has lots of power but little willingness to oust the militia. This is because the Malheur refuge doesn’t mean that much to the feds. Nor does the federal government place high priority on the comfort of residents in Harney County who are living with the stress of frequent intimidation and harassment from armed militia members. However a violent confrontation that leaves people dead would really be a black eye for the Obama administration. Clinton really lost a lot of respect from people after Waco.
The local population appears to be demanding simply that the feds step in and make things less comfortable for the milita. By cutting off power to the refuge for example. While this might help I think a more powerful approach would be to deal directly with the militia. The militia claims to be representing the people and seeking redress of local wrongs against the rural people in Oregon. I say– hold them to it. Start talking to the militia about the real local needs and request that they begin to bring those needs forward publicly.
By all accounts most of the people in these militias are regular folk just like the citizens of Burns and the rest of Harney County. Maybe they have some quirky religious beliefs and a strange penchant for firearms (stranger and a bit more obsessive than even your average American.) Nonetheless they have ears which no one has been asking them to make use of. Other than their charismatic leaders. And that’s the heart of the problem, in my opinion.