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News :: Human Rights
A STAND-OFF In the Woods; Rainbows Refuse to Sign Permit!
17 Jun 2005
Rainbows Blocked From Camp, contacting the feds' hotel, Press Release.
June 15-2005
Rainbows Blocked From Camp

(The Inter-Mountain/Leah Deitz)
MANDATORY COURT DATE — Rainbow gatherers, above, received tickets Tuesday for “Use or occupation of National Forest Systems Land without a permit.” The tickets come with a mandatory court date to be scheduled for June 28. From left are Stick, Leo, Sarah and dog Johnny Dank, Purple, Whiskey Fingers and Rockie. U.S. Forest Service officials have brought in a Rainbow Family Incident Team that is currently stationed at Snowshoe Mountain Resort. Several Forest Service officers and state police troopers gathered at the start of Forest Service Road 162, below, to set up an “informational check point” to warn campers that they would be issued a ticket if they tried to enter the site.

Group Selects Sully Road Site for July Gathering

By LEAH DEITZ
Staff Writer

Those chasing the rainbow shouldn’t expect to find a pot of gold along Sully Road near Glady Fork, the official “unofficial” site of the 2005 North America Rainbow Gathering.

Instead, a Forest Service task force called Rainbow Family Incident Team (RFIT) has established an “informational checkpoint” in what many locals, as well as gathering guests, are calling an intimidation tactic. Several Rainbows had gathered earlier this month at Little Black Fork where they formed what is known as a holding camp while they scouted the area for a gathering site. On Tuesday, campers “began the move” to the gathering site near Glady Fork.

However, Forest Service officials closed the road into the site after a number of Rainbows had set up camp. The roadblock that included stop signs, Forest Service vehicles and state police cruisers, along with numerous law enforcement officials, kept anyone else from entering or exiting the site. Representatives from The Inter-Mountain were told they would be ticketed if they proceeded past the checkpoint.

Several Rainbows stationed just outside the site in campers and cars awaited an opportunity to reunite with the rest of their group. “They (Forest Service officials) are trying to intimidate us away from this site,” Rockie, a 23-year-old camper said. “We were all ticketed because they said that there was more than 75 of us, but they refused to line us up and actually count us all.”

Forest Service officials passed out a notice stating: “To address public health and safety concerns and resource impacts, a free USDA Forest Service permit is required for any noncommercial activity involving 75 or more people. A permit application must be submitted at least 72 hours before 75 or more people have gathered.”

Glowing Feather, who has been to all but five gatherings, said Rainbow has its own “Shanta Sena” or peace keeper and Forest Service intervention is not mandatory. “This is an in-house regulation established by the Forest Service,” Glowing Feather said, noting that the Forest Service’s initiative is highly expensive. Currently, the RFIT is stationed at Snowshoe Mountain Resort and officials have traveled from as far as California, Arkansas and Arizona, Steve Stein, information officer for RFIT said.

Rainbow gatherers pride themselves on being gentle to the land as well as taking care of themselves without outside intervention, gatherers said.

“I could understand if we were burning down the forest but we are not,” Glowing Feather said. “I challenge you to come back and look at the site after we are gone.”

“We clean up after ourselves and others,” Rockie said. “We are not hurting anyone and we respect the land ... but the Forest Service wants to arrest us for inciting.”

According to a small group hoping to enter the site, Forest Service officials have been threatening to arrest gatherers if they do not find another location or sign a permit. However, the Rainbow is not an official organization with any official governing body. “There is no one person really speaking for the group,” Stein said. “The rainbow is a loosely structured organization with leadership aspects kept at a minimal.”

“They (gatherers) are not being allowed in because this is considered an illegal gathering,” Stein said. “Someone needs to come in and get a gathering permit.”

According to Stein, there will be issues such as privy location and kitchen sanitation that need to be addressed.

“When you create an instant city there are things that will need to be addressed,” Stein said, adding that Elkins has a population of 8,000 and this gathering could bring at least that many. However, Stein also noted that there are security and medical units within the Rainbow called CALM.

Henry Nefflen lives in the vicinity of the gathering site. He said he feels threatened — but not by the gatherers. “I have seen presidents come to Elkins and there wasn’t this many law enforcement officers,” Nefflen said. “The law enforcement has a path beaten down all along the road ... and since it is Forest Service land you would think they’d pick
up some trash.”

Nefflen is concerned about the price of Forest Service intervention. “This has to be costing a fortune,” Nefflen said. The site is located along Forest Service Road 162 on Sully Road near the Glady Fork River. Forest Service officials said they plan to enforce the current regulations and gatherers said they plan to find a way onto the site.

“We just want to go into the woods,” Glowing Feather said, noting that gatherers may have to resort to camping on the Forest Service lawn if they cannot get onto the site.


***Snowshoe Mountain Resort in Pocahontas County 877-441-4FUN and 877-536-9757 toll free! The federales' stay is costing taxpayers $65 a night + tax per room, group rate, and they’re reserved for a month. You know what to do!***


Press Release
June 14th, 2005

Rumor Mill from the Rainbow Gathering

Rumor has it the United States Forest Service has erected a blockade at the Rainbow Gathering in the Monongahela National Forest east of Elkins, near Alpena to stop the flow of gatherers heading home.

The United States Forest Services wants an individual to sign a group use permit for the gathering. As the permit application states, it's a felony to falsify information on a federal document and the person signing must be a "duly authorized representative" of the group. The Federal government has created a Catch-22 situation. No individual can be duly authorized by a non-hierarchical free assembly open to all peoples. Any person that is terrorized by the United States Forest Service into signing will be committing a felony.

Despite various alternatives offered by individual gatherers to the United States Forest Service over a number of years, the Incident Command team continues to try to enforce a regulation targeting corporations and non-profit groups on a public assembly event.

As people stream into the area to attend the annual Gathering of the Tribes and are turned away from the gathering site, they are bound to pile up in adjacent areas. As of June 13th, approximately 115 people were at the gathering site behind the blockade and countless others are wandering the back roads of West Virginia with no place to land. As the days go by, the number of wandering gypsies stranded near Elkins, West Virginia is bound to grow.

The only way to get the facts on this situation is to go to the gathering site and talk to the people behind the blockade. There are some gatherers with information on the situation holed up at the Stuart Camp ground.

Peace!

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Comments

West Virginia
18 Jun 2005
This is happening in West Virginia.
Re: A STAND-OFF In the Woods; Rainbows Refuse to Sign Permit!
18 Jun 2005
<I>As the permit application states, it's a felony to falsify information on a federal document and the person signing must be a "duly authorized representative" of the group. The Federal government has created a Catch-22 situation. No individual can be duly authorized by a non-hierarchical free assembly open to all peoples. Any person that is terrorized by the United States Forest Service into signing will be committing a felony.</I>

never thought i'd say this, but:
up the hippies!
Re: A STAND-OFF In the Woods; Rainbows Refuse to Sign Permit!
22 Jun 2005
Just wanted to say that I am from Pocahontas County and guess you all have decided to hold your gathering here at cranberry glades hope you get more repect here than you did in Randolph County. I dont see anything that you are doing wrong as long as you keep it clean and have fun hope you enjoy yourselves while here god bless.