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News :: Human Rights : Organizing
Unduly Unauthorized Unrepresentatives of the Rainbow Gathering Hold 2nd Press Conference
02 Jul 2005
On Tuesday July 5 at 9 AM, a second “Rainbow” court is scheduled for gatherers who missed the first court date. Once again, the Cranberry Mountain Visitor’s Center is being transformed from an educational nature facility to the court of a federal magistrate and more people will be tried for camping in the woods.
At the first court appearance on June 28, some individuals plead no contest to the charges and were fined or promised to perform community service.

If the upcoming proceedings are anything like those of June 28, gatherers who plead not guilty to the charges will have no time to prepare their defense as their trial will start immediately and testimony by the USFS will be allowed while testimony by individual citizens was not admitted.

According to media reports of the June 28 proceedings, encampments of as little as twenty campers that have contact with other campers in the national forest can be cited for failure to organize themselves into a “group” as was the case with some of the accused who were found guilty by U.S. Magistrate John Kaull. This chilling precedent could apply to any family who camped in the woods and made friends with other campers a mile down the trail.

The press conference will be conducted on the front lawn of the Visitor’s Center if possible. Mounted USFS law enforcement officers, U.S. marshals and West Virginia state troopers prevented disorganizers of last week’s press conference from entering the center.

Once again, the Federal Government is spending large sums for money to prevent people from exercising their rights to peacefully assemble in the woods. Many taxpayers think the money could be better spent on schools and health care for our veterans.

Where is it happening?

The Cranberry Glade Visitors Center near Seebert, West Virginia. Directions: from the Washington, DC area, take I-66 west to I-81 south to I-64 west. At Lewisburg, about 12 miles across the state line inside West Virginia, take WV Route 219 north. Near Seebert, West Virginia, take 39/55 west to the Cranberry Visitor Center. Total travel time, about 5-1/2 hours.

For more information on what’s happening, email gathering_info (at) agr.welcomehome.org
See also:
http://www.welcomehome.org

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