Re: July AZ Rainbow Gathering: government gears for 20,000

Tom Boland (
Thu, 4 Jun 1998 17:54:46 -0700 (PDT)

What do homeless people, Rainbow Family and Food Not Bombs have in common?

All three groups are often commanded by authorities to move on or go to
jail.  And both Rainbow and FNB are often faced by the "permit movie", a
tool that seems designed to dissuade our presence - and block any means of
our survival not completely subsumed to the wage-rent economy.

We face a commmon threat to our right to gather, whether we be homeless,
Rainbow or FNBers.  To secure civil rights for all of us, all three groups
would do best by cooperating more.

Virginia asked if I still go to Rainbow Gatherings.  I do, and I've been to
about 30 in roughly the last decade.  I hope other folks on HPN and FNB
lists will comment on their personal experiences at Rainbow campouts and

I recommend Rainbow Gatherings to any activist or person who wants to see
alternative approaches to "communities of mutual aid".  Without chains of
command or physical force, virtually everyone has shelter, food, safety and
welcome at Rainbow Gatherings.

Shall HPNers and FNBers who go to Arizona Rainbow meet at the Gathering

>Do you still go to these Tom?  I've never been to one, but a few years back
>there was one in Wyoming and it went quite smoothly as I recall -- of course
>it was in Wyoming which has more wilderness than settled areas, so there was
>not much nearby -- but I do not remember any big deal things happening --

Aside from the pot and mushrooms, there is little in the way of crime,
despite officials' stated concerns about Gatherings.  Sometimes someone's
gear gets stolen, usually from parked cars.  Some rowdy drunks camp outside
Rainbow, since alcohol is not supposed to be inside the camp.  But inside
the camp is generally far safer and mellower than any city I know.

Virginia, you asked if Everybody's Kitchen started at Rainbow.  They did, I
believe.  They have a great kitchen-bus.  The crew reminds me of the Haight
Ashbury diggers, who fed folks from their bus, myself included.

>actually, I think the Forest Service ought to get off its attitude and just
>let it happen -- they usually do a good job (the Rainbows) of cleaning up
>the area, and aside from the drugs there is not much illegal activity that
>anyone can pin down -- and they should not talk about the homeless coming
>there as tho' they are bad news for the group -- usually they aren't

I agree.  Just as homeless people have a human right to a secure place to
sleep, and Food Not Bombs has a human right to feed humgry people, Rainbow
Family has a right to peacably gather in our National Forests, which are
the public's property.

Thanks for replying, Virginia.--Tom

>>     See also Rainbow Family unofficial Web site:
>> and
>>     Rainbow's unofficial Newsgroup at alt.gathering.rainbow
>>All indications are that the Rainbow Family of Living
>>Light will choose one of Arizona's six national forests
>>for its annual Gathering, a two-week freewheeling
>>confab set to begin June 28.
>>Earlier this month, Governor Jane Hull called officials
>>together to coordinate an effort by federal, state and
>>local authorities. The governor's office wouldn't say
>>who attended, citing law enforcement concerns. But
>>guests included reps from the U.S. Attorney's office,
>>the state Attorney General's office, the U.S. Forest
>>Service, U.S. Senator Jon Kyl's office, the state
>>Division of Emergency Management and local law
>>"What I can tell you is the governor's office is aware
>>that these folks are looking at coming here," Francine
>>Noyes, Hull's spokesperson, said. "We're trying to
>>monitor the situation, but beyond that now, there
>>isn't much we can do yet.
>>"We have a number of concerns about sanitation, law
>>enforcement, health and safety concerns, both for
>>the folks that would come, if they were to come, and
>>the people in whatever area they might come to."

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