Saturday, November 13, 2010

Forest Service Documents on 2010 Gathering

A kind brother has put together a page of documents he FOIA'd from the USFS.  On this page there are also links to other documents as well.  Great reading if you're into the gathering/USFS relationship and legal issues.

Click here to visit his page.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Friend's Photos from Pennsylvania

There's a crazy bunch of rotating photos posted on the Key West Gallery from this year's gathering.  Check it out by clicking here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cleanup Letter from USFS

Click here to see the original cleanup letter from which the above text was excerpted.  To see the conditions and objectives as outline in the operation plan, click here.

A big shout out to our awesome cleanup crew!  


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Copies of Documents

The great folks at the Free Assembly project have put up a page with various documents including the operating plan, rehab plan and the incident plan showing org charts, etc. Good reading. Click here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

On Why

This year at the gathering in Pennsylvania, I meet a brother who had been reading this blog. His feedback was that this blog provided lots of practical information but didn't explain why. I thought about that comment and he was right, I don't always get into the whys on this blog. So on the new blog for the 2011 gathering, I'm going to try to address the why. However, since there were a bunch of whys asked at this year's gathering that went unanswered, I'll try to do them here.

Shanti Sena Council - someone wanting to discuss Shanti Sena issues during Vision Council was told this wasn't the place or time. He asked where the Shanti Sena Council for issue de jur was and no one responded.

Why? - Most Shanti Sena Councils happen as the situation is happening. Sometimes they happen a bit later after people have had a chance to calm down. It usually depends on the issue. If the issue is someone trying to do something that is contentious, then the council happens then and there with who ever is there. There is no list of people who attend Shanti Sena Councils. All family who sees an issues unfolding can choose to take part (or not) in the scene or the council on the scene.  July 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 there is Main Council which is a great place to bring up any issues of concern including things like sanitation, Shanti Sena issues, domestic issues, etc.  Even if Main Council may not "resolve" the issue, talking about it helps educate everyone on the issue we as a family are facing. It also allows sharing of many ways of lovingly handling issues.

People keep wanting to call the cops and many of us keep saying no.

Why?  - One of the purposes of the gathering in my opinion is for us to learn how to resolve our issues peacefully.  We are responsible for our gathering. That doesn't mean that everyone at the gathering needs to deal with every issue, but that some bellies have to deal with everything that needs dealing with.  It means we use creative imagination to finds ways to maintain "Peaceful Respect" which can including, but is certainly not limited to oming, bubbling blowing, drumming, playing sports, sharing food, teaching and learning, counciling, walking with people, and the list goes on and on. As far as I'm concerned, the only time we should involve the cops is a death of any kind, any crime where the victim wants to press charges, and rape (provided we have a victim or a victim's parents willing to press charges). When people pose a danger, we can tail them by keeping 3 or 4 kind gentle people following them around the gathering (at least 25 feet away). This will insure that no one gets hurt. It also tends to discourage people from staying at the gathering. 

No Soap in or Near the Creek (including Dr. Bronners)

Why? - Biodegradable means that the substance in question will break down and biodegrade in the soil.  There are organisims in the soil that make this happen.  Nothing biodegrades in water, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces and pollutes the water (Yes even Dr. Bronners).  By the way, in most desert ecosystems the soil is too dry to support the organisims necessary to biodegrade anything including kitchen scraps.  When gathering in the desert, please take out all biodegradable items and compost them in your own personal compost pile.

Cops arresting brother at Main Circle

Why? - The cops write tons of BS tickets to people on their way into the gathering for things ranging from failure to use a turn signal to minor amounts of marijuana.  Most of these tickets require a mandatory court appearance. If you do not show, the judge issues a federal bench warrant for your arrest - which means anywhere in the USA if a cop runs your ID, you're going to jail.  My personal perspective is that if we keeps things mellow, liked happened at Dinner Circle on July 2 and 3, the cops either leave with no one or leave with someone (like happened on July 2).  When things don't stay calm, other people end up getting arrested for interfering with an officer and that charge is generally far more serious than the failure to use turn signals.  The goods news about July 2 was that the brother who they took out during Dinner Circle had gone to court and done everything he was supposed to do. Because this family stayed calm, the cops were able to stay calm and verify their warrant, which they did and then they let the brother go.  If people had been all upset and in their faces, that brother would have spent the weekend in jail and missed the 4th.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Reporter Versus Gathering

What happens when you've been exiled from the Internet, society, and Walmarts nationwide? You end up here at The Rainbow Gathering. It is difficult to describe what actually goes on at these technology-adverse gatherings, or what this has to do with videogames. See what happens to Jon Carnage when he visits, the gathering in Pennsylvania.

Link to source.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Clean Up

Seems there are a bunch of folks who came to the gathering in Pennsylvania and got the wrong idea about cleanup. Some people didn't realize that they were not supposed to have personal campfires, not supposed to leave their are behind and were supposed to make their campsites look like no one had been there. For some before and after photos of the amazing family who stayed to clean up someone else's mess, visit and take a look at what was posted yesterday and today.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cleanup is Continuing

There are still people on site, and despite the lack of bankers and money to take trash to the dump, cleanup continues. Ignore rumors of cancellation and send rakes. there's likely only one trash run remaining, all the other trash runs were paid for out of an individual's pocket and arrangements are being made for reimbursement to be made at a later time. as stated, despite these facts, cleanup continues.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thank you letter to local communities from the USFS

Forest Service offers thanks

POSTED: July 24, 2010 on Times Observer Website

An Open Letter of Thanks:

On behalf of the Allegheny National Forest and the National Incident Management Team, I would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to all local communities for your assistance during the 2010 National Rainbow Family gathering. Hosting such a gathering takes a lot of community involvement and quality partnerships to achieve a safe and successful event. With your assistance, we were able to meet that objective.

Your support was invaluable and made our management of this large gathering much easier. We recognize the impacts to businesses, public services and to local residents from the thousands of additional visitors to our area. It is our hope that the positive experiences with this gathering outweigh any negatives that may have occurred.

I would also like to extend my thanks to you for welcoming the employees from other National Forests across the country who came here to work with Allegheny National Forest employees during the event. Your hospitality was highly recognized and very much appreciated.


Leanne M. Marten, Forest Supervisor

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Looks like Cleanup is Done

Got a call from a friend at the site. He said people were going to be pulling out Thursday or Friday.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Need Video Of False Dog Hits on Cars

Unless we have video proving that the supposed drug dogs at the gathering were "hitting" on vehicles that had nothing illegal in them, there's a good chance that a brother will be spending years in jail. If you or anyone you know has footage of this or were a victim of this and can make a stated, please email me.

Cleanup Report July 20

Main Meadow July 20 - Note Plants Growing

Record time clean up nearly done. One more trash load then micro trash the 2 pile areas. Rehab 95% done thanks to many as well as the Fat Kids. We are under 30 people and 10 or so cars. The F.S. Are very very happy and want the totem pole for their main office bldg. But its first come first serve on that.. We could duff more trails and kitchens but it is sooo humid here we may be out soon. A few people will need stay till the 27th for a ride. But we beat last years record and last year beat Wyo. And Wyo at the time was the fastest GOOD clean up that I remember since 91. Main meadow is green. And now time for the final clean sweep and re duff the supply trail. Main trail was completed yesterday.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cleanup Report from July 10

This report came from Allegheny Outdoor Adventures: We are a group of environmentally conscious "explorers" interested in trips that might include, but not limited to: caving, hiking, backpacking, camping, mountain biking, canoing, kayaking, rafting, tubing, rock exploring, rock climbing, rappelling, swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, winter camping, orienteering, bird watching, X-Country skiing and Geocaching in the Allegheny National Forest & Allegany State Park Areas.

Check out their report here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vision Council Consensus

Consensus reached on July 7:

"The Vision Council of the Rainbow Family of Living Light on the land in Pennsylvania consent that the 2011 Annual National Rainbow Gathering be in Washington State."

For information on the 2011 gathering, click here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Local Visits Gathering on July 5

From the article:

"On July 5th, some friends and I went to the "Rainbow Gathering" to check it out. Here are some photos and some random thoughts of the whole thing!"  Read the rest of the story here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Parking Information!!

Please refer to THIS MAP while reading the following information.

An email has gone out to a lot of people saying that parking on FS552 is full up, and that folks should go park on the back road, near Back Gate/Supply.

I just spoke with someone on site (June 29, 1pm) who says that they do not know if FS552 parking is full, but that parking along 119 still has quite a lot of parking. This means you can still come in the front way, but that you will have to walk a bit further (or catch a ride) to get to the trail head. 119 is the long Forest Service Road in toward the Gathering, and 552 juts off of 119 like a little cul-de-sac and the trail head is there. So, if you choose to park on 119, you will need to park and then walk down 119, and turn onto 552 to get to the trail head.

The other option is the Back Gate/Main Supply road which is FS209. People have been asked in the past not to use this road unless they were with a kitchen, but it is now open to all, now that parking at the front gate is tight. This is a narrow road and turn-around is tight, so it was the opinion of my informant that if you have a bus or a trailer, you would prefer to park on 119 and walk to the front gate.

Driving from one gate to the other is estimated to be about 40 miles.

A-Camp is located at Front Gate also, and those wanting to avoid that are advised to park on FS209. There is a sort of Bus Village at Front Gate, but my informant was guessing it was mostly full.

Back Gate has some meadow parking but it is hilly and those sleeping in their vehicles would not find level ground. Best parking is along the side of the road.

Be advised that both roads have soft loamy shoulders, and all drivers are advised to get out of their vehicles and check the hardness of the shoulder before parking. Folks are finding that their wheels are sinking a couple hours after parking in some places and need a tow out of their spot.

Directions to Both Gates Here:

Front Gate (FS119 and 552):
(Borrowed from
From the North via Warren, PA: I86 East to US62 South, follow to Warren PA. Continue on Market St 0.3 miles, Turn right at Pennsylvania Ave (US6, Business Route, West), travel 0.2 miles Turn left at Hickory St Bridge, proceed 0.1 mile, slight left at Crescent Rd, 0.4 mi, Continue very briefly (150feet) on Mohawk ave, continue onto Pleasant Drive(SR3005). Follow signs toward "Hearts Content Recreation Area" Follow Pleasant Drive for 11.1 miles. Make a left on SR2002. Keep following signs for "Hearts Content". Drive 5.8 miles, passing "Hearts Content". Make a right onto FS 116, make an immediate right onto FS119, follow for exactly 5.8 miles to FS552. Follow FS552 to designated parking areas. Welcome Home! This is the recommended way in from the north, obviously there are alternates. Here's the google map version

From the East, via Sheffield PA: Go to Sheffield PA, One tenth of a mile from the end of Route 666 (where it meets Route 6) there is a Uni-mart gas station.Turn onto this road and cross over the bridge. Continue onto High St (State Road, SR2002)and follow for 11.2 Miles. Make a left onto FS116. Make an immediate right onto FS119, follow for exactly 5.8 miles to FS552. Follow FS552 to designated parking areas. Welcome Home!

Back Gate (FS209)
From the town of EAST HICKORY, take HIGHWAY 62 to Route 666 East.
Turn LEFT of Yellowhammer Road, also called State Route 4006
That will become BRECHT RD. also called T330
That will soon become Forest Service Road 209
Stay on FS209 to HOME.

From Sheffield, PA Take 666West
Turn right on Yellowhammer Road and continue as above to HOME.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Effects of Rainbow Gatherings on Local Residents - Part Two

This video includes interviews with townsfolk and merchants of stores and lodges near past Rainbow Gatherings. They were asked for their honest opinion of how the event went, the effects it had on their business, and what advice they would give to people in towns near future Gatherings.

The Effects of Rainbow Gatherings on Local Residents - Part One

What exactly IS the Rainbow Gathering?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cell Service on the Site & What To Do in an Emergency

Cell Phones

Many folks have been asking about whether there is cell phone service from the site.

Without speaking to the finer points of whether we should USE cell phones at the site, let me just report that folks whose phones use the CDMA network (including Verizon, US Cellular, etc) are finding that they get good reception up on the road, and sporadic service down in the site.

People on the GSM network (ATT, Sprint, TMobile, etc) have spotty reception on the road, some texting capabilities, and not much at all down in the site.

Anyone on one of the Tier 3 networks are going to find no service past the last good size city.


What To Do In An Emergency

The CALM/Shanti Sena folks are a little concerned about the ability of any person on site being able to call 911 and have an ambulance or even a life-flight helicopter come out on an emergency call, without doctors who are already on site being able to arrive on scene first to determine if such measures are necessary.

Remember that calling 911 is only to be used in an immediately life threatening emergency. If you find yourself in a medical emergency, (or threatened in any way), please call out loudly for help from Shanti Sena, and someone with a radio will be at your side quickly to bring assistance. They will asses and determine the best course of action, if evacuation is necessary and if so, which method to use.

Parking at the Gathering & The Hike In!

I received a call yesterday from a friend on site with some good advice about arriving at the Gathering.

The directions to the Gathering will land you on Forest Service Road 119 taking you to Parking on FS 552.

Most parking is along the side of the road. The Parking Crew (and the Forest Service) is asking all vehicles (who do not park in a lot) to park on the west side of the road, which is the LEFT side of the road as you drive in. Yes, this will involve crossing over the center line and parking on the opposite side of the road, going in the wrong direction.

ADVISORY!!! It is strongly advised, before parking, that you get out of your vehicle and check the softness of the side of the road. make sure the ground where you wish to park is HARD. There have been a lot of people who pull over the proper distance off the road, everything looks great, they park and walk away, and return a couple hours later to find two wheels have sunk into the ground, requiring chains and a bigger vehicle to pull the car out. The issue is NOT so much mud, but just soft, spongy ground. However, more rains may exacerbate this problem.

Please make sure your vehicle is legal, remove all hanging things from your rear-view mirror (the latest reason to pull you over) and that your tags are current and your brake lights and turn signals work. Please drive the speed limit for everyone's safety!

Supply is located on FS209, and people are being asked not to drive on this road unless they are a kitchen bringing in their equipment. Kitchen vehicles may park at the closest spot above their kitchen and hike stuff down through the trees. The same issues with soft shoulders apply here. I've also been told that no large vehicles should attempt to drive up FS 209 to the supply camp, as they'll get stuck.

The hike in from the parking area is a "long but refreshingly easy" walk in.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

News Articles About Pennsylvania Gathering

Thought you might be interested in reading some of the local news about the Rainbow Gathering out of Warren, PA, a town very close to this year's National Gathering. There are comment sections full of debate after each article.

They’re Baaack! - By KARA WHITE - Posted: June 23, 2010

No Cause for Alarm: Rainbows tell Residents, 'Don't Be Scared' by Brian Ferry - Posted June 23 2010

Rainbow Family Crowds Erie's Federal Courthouse to Answer Infractions - by LISA THOMPSON - June 25, 2010

Feel free to post more links as you find them in the comment section below this post.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Shitting in the Woods

If you're not clear on the concept, don't just shit randomly in the woods. There are shitters in the vicinity of all the major camps/kitchens. Mostly we have slit trenches. Make sure to cover your shit after using the shitter - break the shit - fly - food connection. Shitters should have a can of ashes or lime at them. If they don't, it's your job to fix it. Go to the nearest kitchen and see what they have available.

Don't pee in the shitter unless you're pooping as well. Pee in the bushes, under a tree where people aren't likely to walk or sit. DO NOT DROP TOILET PAPER ON THE GROUND. Sisters - bring some wash clothes. They make great reusable wipes for peeing. Rinse it out at the end of the day and when it's dry you can use it again. Our cleanup crew hates having to pick up little pieces of toilet paper left under bushes. We are all the cleanup crew and it's easier to not litter in the first palce.

All dog shit needs to get into the shitter and get covered up. If you brought a dog, you are responsible for your dog and make suring other dog parents are being responsible for their dogs.

Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after using a shitter. COVER YOUR SHIT. Your ability to successfully shit in the woods is necessary to keep us all safe and healthy.

Just an fyi, the shitter shown in this photo is an example of a very high tech shitter for the gathering. Be prepared to straddle and squat. Toilet paper is not always provided at a shitter. Many people bring their own.

Seed Camp Versus Gathering

While the dates of the gathering are announced as July 1-7 or July 1-4, the reality is that you can't put a date on when the transition from Seed Camp to Gathering takes place. Many years I'm sitting at Dinner Circle with a friend and we look at each other and said, today is the first day of the gathering. That day can take place on June 25 or July 1 or .... It varies year to year.

During seed camp, the ratio of law enforcement to gatherers is very high and many people who come to seed camp become victims of overzealous law enforcment activity. Once the gathering starts, and especially closer to July 1, the number of people on the roads coming in increases significantly. During the early days of seed camp, you may have one car every couple of hours. Then all those cops with nothing better to do jump all over that unfortunate person and her/his traveling companions. Closer to July 1 you may have multiple cars an hour or even a minute coming in with the same amount of law enforcement staffing. Now of course, someone is going to fall victim to law enforment insanity, but the odds of any one car getting caught up in the madness are dramatically less.

Food for thought.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Serving as Witness

The USFS LEOs are doing their best to arrest as many people as possible to justify the almost one million dollars a year they spend on coming to the gathering to arrest people. If this sounds like circular logic, it is. Most year's the arrests are for marijuana possession (mostly very minor amounts), interfering with an officer (i.e. talking to an officer), or the very dangerous broken turn signal.

Many times, the only evidence that keeps someone out of prison is the evidence collected by other gathering participants via still camera photos or video footage. Time and time again, charges on our family have been dismissed because someone cared enough to video the incident. Now before you go all gung ho on video taping, I'm hearing rumors that video taping officers in the line of harassment (or duty as they call it) is illegal. I'm trying to sort through the rumors as best I can on this fact.

That being said, please bear witness to your brothers and sisters. Obtain as much information as you can and write it down as it's happening. If you don't know the person, bring everything you collected to INFO. Write down their name, license plate number, their camp, the names of the officers involved, as much detail of what happened as you can - all this will be helpful.

It is terrifying to be arrested in a place you don't live, but even worse if your friends and family don't know what happened to you. Let's make sure we are there with love, legal assistance and proof of what really happened for every belly the cops drag out of our gathering. The courts usually believe the word of cops over hippies and punks, so we need the evidence to prove our side of the story.

To gain a better idea of the costs and staffing associated with this year's gathering, it can be helpful to look at costs and staffing for the 2008 gathering. Thanks to a FOIA request, that information is available here.

By the way, the photo shown above was from this year's gathering.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Words of Wisdom

Courtesy some good brothers and sisters.

Informational Videos about the Rainbow Gathering

This post is geared more toward the people who live in and around this year’s Gathering site.

Many folks who live in small communities and hear that the Rainbow Gathering is coming to a forest near their town, get very concerned and hear a lot of conflicting information about what to expect. This wonderful pair of videos were created to inform townsfolk and merchants about what to expect. They are entitled,

The Effects of Rainbow Gatherings on Local Residents. Part 1 and 2.

This first video is a short 4 minute introduction to what the Gathering basically is, and looks like:

This second video is 9 minutes and includes interviews with merchants and business owners who lived in communities near where the summer Rainbow gatherings have occurred in the past. The merchants are asked to describe the experience once it ended and to give advice to the people who live in towns where future Gatherings will take place.

The individuals who are in this video represent only themselves and should not be considered leaders or spokespersons for Rainbow Gatherings.

Mud Camping Joy

I live in an arid part of the country so I really enjoy camping in the wetter parts of the country where the rains come regularly, bushes grow like crazy and mud is everywhere. However, I find that camping in wet conditions requires a bit of planning to insure happiness.

I really, really, really like my tent and everything in it to stay dry. If you have one of those cheapy tents with a small rain guard that only covers the top of the tent, your tent and things in it are going to get wet unless you bring tarps to cover the tent. Most tents can handle a little bit of rain on the sides, but we might have more than a little bit of rain this year. The better tents have rain flies that reach the ground and insure an inch or two gap between your actual tent and the rain fly (much better).

When you look for a spot to pinch your tent, look at the way the water flow is going. If you pitch your tent in an area that floods when it rains, you will not be a happy camper. I usually tarp under and over my tent in these conditions, plus the good old trench around your tent that you learned as a scout always comes in handy. Also, having a spot in front of your tent that is under a tarp and has dead wood on the ground will give you a place to get out of your muddy, wet clothes before you go inside your tent. This makes me happy as I hate sleeping in mud.

Trails at gatherings can get a bit muddy when it rains a lot. There is a reason that most cities have sidewalks, but that's another story. If you want to be happy walking around the gathering, visiting kitchens, going to workshops, or dancing around the drum circle, foot wear is critical. Tennis shoes don't cut it - the mud will suck them off your feet. Flip flops don't cut it - they will break in two steps. Bare feet are not advisable. The mud is going to have dog pee in it, plus what ever creatures live in the mud in the Allegheny National Forest are going to find their way into your feet. Heavy duty solid leather hiking boots, snow boots, rain boots that reach your knees. These are the types of shoes that will make you happy. Make sure what ever boots you wear have excellent and deep tread or you'll be slipping and falling in the mud.

Make sure to bring a rain poncho or what ever good rain gear you have. Many people find that a small tri-leg camping stool makes life nice when you're tired of standing. Alternatively, having a small tarp that you can sit on when you feel like sitting down is very nice.

Keeping the trails functional is the job of each and everyone of us. When you come across an especially muddy part of a trail, find some down dead wood and lay it on top of the mud to provide a way for people to pass. Or find duff (dead and decomposing bark, leaves, and wood in the forest) and fill in the mud.

Cop Movie (Rerun)

Earlier this year on this very blog, I wrote a piece on how to minimize your negative experiences with law enforcement. A couple of years ago I wrote another version on that. I strong recommend that you take the time to reread these posts so that your journey home will be great.

For your ease of use, I've included links here. You will be a happier gatherer if you read these articles.

Playing the Game

LEO Harrassement

Tips for a safe journey home & a Positive Gathering

Friday, June 18, 2010

Town Hall Meeting June 22

A town hall meeting has been scheduled from 7:30 to 9:30 PM on June 22 (new date). The meeting will take place in Sheffield, Pennsylvania at the "Lions Den" ...the local lions club hall. 4 W Main St Sheffield, PA 16347

The purpose of a town hall meeting is for participants inthe Rainbow Gathering and the local community to talk, ask/answer questions, and address concerns.

This is an open meeting. We strongly encourage all individuals in the communities surrounding the gathering to come meet with us and ask what ever questions are on your mind. We strongly encourage gathering participants to attend the meeting. The best way to make sure we have a positive impact on the community is to meet the community face to face. Person to person communication is very effective. As always, no experience necessary.

It would be great if we can show the clean up video and the merchants video at the meeting. Hopefully someone can scrape up the equipment. The hall costs 30 dollars an hour and we have it for 2 hours so we will be passing the hat at the meeting to cover the rental.

We welcome all media to attend the town hall meeting.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this meeting, please email me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Directions from I 80 iyour heading east

UPDATED 5:30 PM on June 17.

Two sets of Directions from two different people.

Set # 1 Heading east on i80. Exit Wesley go north to franklin then get on 62 north towards tidioute. Go 100 feet
East of gas station. Sign info tba. Turn right on road going up the hill towards hickory creek area. Drive 2.5 to 2.8 miles. Exact mileage tba. Turn left on fs119 and continue to fs552. Go to parking. This info came from a scout who will verify mileage and name of turn off from Tidioute tomorrow. Roads are as good this way as other ways.

Set #2 This info, which came from a sister who actually drove parts of it.
I would suggest Eastbound I80 folks take Shippenville exit, take 66 North to 322 West to 208 East to 36 North to 62 North & continuing on 62 North /6 East all the way to Warren (which might be the safest bet since Heart's Content Rd has a sign saying "Warren 17 miles" ) then taking Pleasant Drive to Hearts Content…OR having someone try up 62N past East Hickory & Tidioute almost to Irvine/Rocky Gap Area and trying that Right turn onto "Lenheart Rd" then right onto Pleasant Drive. I don't know if this route could potentially end up at a dead end like Queen Rd did. Taking 666 for us was THE LONG WAY – another 90 minutes more than we anticipated. I think straight into Warren would truly take less time because of better roads and straighter-shots (less little cutoff county roads)

Gathering with Kids (Rerun)

There's a great guest post by a good friend of mine on last year's blog on how to gather with kids. If you're coming home for the first time with children, click here and read on.

We are our brothers and sisters keepers

Just a reminder to folks that when we gather, we gather together, to look out for each other, love each other, feed each other and heal each other.

Last year at the New Mexico Gathering, someone allegedly reported to the cops that a hand gun had been spotted in a camp. That brother or sister did not understand the Rainbow way. This caused a major incident and if the US Marshalls had not been present to work with us to keep everything chill, we could have easily had a repeat of Kid Village 2008.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. If you observe something that seems off and you're not sure what to do, go to INFO - they will be on the Main Meadow and can make sure that the rights folks are sent to investigate the scenario rainbow style.

As to the "hand gun" turns out it was a cap gun used at a wedding to sound off the marriage.

Two year's ago on the Wyoming Gathering blog, my friend posted a great rap on peace and such things. Please take the time to reread it if you haven't already.

Please come to dinner circle at night, find out when and where the workshops are being held. Or check the workshop board at info. There are a lot of people with awesome information to share. Please learn, put in to practice, rework and share the wisdom this family holds.

For an old but great rap on Shanti Sena, click here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Updated Directions from the North

There are people working on Directions from I-80 but I still haven't heard back. In the meantime, these are the updated directions from the north. If you come up from I-80 and make it to any of the points listed here, please shoot me an email and let me know what worked so I can share the info with the rest of the family. We have an update on the Gathering Updates blog of how to get from I-80 to the gathering. Click here.

From the East, via Sheffield PA:
Go to Sheffield PA, One tenth of a mile from the end of Route 666 (where it meets Route 6) there is a Uni-mart gas station.Turn onto this road and cross over the bridge. Continue onto High St (State Road, SR2002)and follow for 11.2 Miles. Make a left onto FS116 (sign says Mayburg). Make an immediate right onto FS119, follow for exactly 5.8 miles to FS552. Follow FS552 to designated parking areas. Welcome Home!

From the West via Warren, PA:
I86 East to US62 South, follow to Warren PA. Continue on Market St 0.3 miles, Turn right at Pennsylvania Ave (US6, Business Route, West), travel 0.2 miles Turn left at Hickory St Bridge, proceed 0.1 mile, slight left at Crescent Rd, 0.4 mi, Continue very briefly (150feet) on Mohawk ave, continue onto Pleasant Drive(SR3005). Follow signs toward "Hearts Content Recreation Area" Follow Pleasant Drive for 11.1 miles.
Make a left on SR2002. Keep following signs for "Hearts Content". Drive 5.8 miles, passing "Hearts Content". Make a right onto FS 116, make an immediate right onto FS119, follow for exactly 5.8 miles to FS552. Follow FS552 to designated parking areas. Welcome Home!

Please drive slowly on all roads, especially on SR2002 and ALL FOREST ROADS as road conditions are poor in some areas and can be unsafe even at moderate speed.

Watch out of people walking on the roads.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Signs Needing a Ride from Kansas to Home

This is a message from some friends. If you can help out, please email.

Last year it was decided in Womyn's Council to do something to educate 'newbee' Rainbower's about some of the more important information and survival pass this on to the next generation and combat what has been perceived as increasing hostility and disregard for some of the more valued Rainbow traditions.

Mama XXX agreed to spearhead this effort and she and I devised an idea for a series of informative signs to be posted at Main Trailhead and the other major arteries going in and out of Main Circle. (think the old 'Burma-Shave' ads mixed w/ the Rainbow Rap and you get the idea...)

These signs are of CorePlastic and have metal stakes. They will be used year after year if properly maintained. She paid for them and I have done the artwork/lettering. They are boxed and ready to get to this year's Gathering.

I am BEGGING for your help in getting these signs to the Gathering. If YOU or ANY of your council/circle of contacts can get through Kansas I will bust my hump to get them to a responsible party for transport and posting. I'll even drive them to Salina/Kansas City/Lawrence (I-70) or Oklahoma City (I-40) if that what it takes.

Now, if you want to help with this, we need to have a responsible party deliver and set these up at the main trail heads as well as gather them up for retrieval at the conclusion. I realize this is a big job, but it'll go fast and even get you a lot of hugz...not to mention those ever popular Karma Points!

As a longtime Brother, I swear this is the only time I'll beg for your direct help. The signs are 18" X 24" - about 50 of 'em. Stakes are also in a box, around 24" X 36".

So, PLEASE use your connections and help me get this done. Heck, I even think you'll agree with most of them!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Directions to the Annual Gathering of the Tribes

Consensus has been reached.
From Sheffield Pennsylvania (south of Warren, Pennsylvania) go south on Highway 948 for 2 miles
Turn right onto Road 666. (There is a height restriction of 7'6" on Road 666 south of the turn off to Road 116.)
Continue to Road 116 and turn right
Go to Road 119 and turn left.
Drive 5 miles to parking.

Kitchens, please see the information on the Gathering Updates blog.

Welcome home.

I don't have real orderly information just yet, but if you go to the Gathering Updates blog, you'll see misc information. There are a few people out Monday and Tuesday trying to verify alternative directions more oriented to coming from Interstate 80 and/or the West end of the forest instead of the northeast. As soon as I receive confirmation, I will post the alternatives. Until then, keep in mind that just because roads exist on a paper map or mapquest, doesn't mean it's a good way to go.

Just an FYI, this is the site of the 1986 Pennsylvania gathering. We're on rerun mode.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where to go

If you're heading home today, please follow the directions to Spring Council below and pay attention to the various addendum post on the updates blog.

Until family on the land announces a site, PLEASE head to the Spring Council site. Once they are ready to announce a site, the information will be posted swiftly in all the usual places.

If you're not planning on coming home for another week or two, we will have directions to the specific site by then. The site will be in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania (where Spring Council is taking place).

Safe journeys!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Consensus from Spring Council

Here's the info I have at present.

word from spring council reached a consensus that "the 2010 rainbow gathering will be somewhere in the Allgehany [sp] National Forest".

About 30 people at spring council. Council continues...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

CALM is still short $$ for critical supplies

This family is full of hard working nurses, doctors and medics who will be on the land for the Rainbow Gathering 2010 dealing with all sorts of emergenices from twisted ankles to heart attacks. Every year they work themselves to a frazzle taking care of our health needs for free. No questions asked.

In April, I shared information on needs for CALM aka First Aid. Unfortunately, we came up short. Not enough people promised to bring the needed supplies and very little cash donations were made. There is still time to plug into CALM and make sure the needed supplies are available. To see my original post, click here. To make a donation, click here.

Advise on Rattlesnakes, etc

Today's guest post is from a great sister who has been gathering for many years. It started out as a response to concerns about rattlesnakes at gatherings. My two cents is that poisonous snakes exist everywhere in the USA. However, for those who aren't familiar with the east, here's a my take on snakes and east coast gatherings. It rains a lot more along the east coast than west of the Rocky Mountains. This leads to a lots of small shrubby plants growing in the woods. Small shrubby plants are good places for snakes to hang out. Enough said and on to our guest post by Carla.

************Guest Post*************

Please, folks, be very, very careful about any advice given by non-medical professionals about how to treat rattlesnake bites. Everything you learned in boy scout/girl scout first aid training is up for re-examination. Some of the things that were recommended a couple of decades ago can actually kill people. If you haven't had recent training, brush up!

Because I myself do not know the most up-to-date standards of emergency care for snake bites, I googled it. Several good sites popped up, with what looked like authoritative information. here are some contradictions among them but there are a few points that stand out. Bottom line: get the person to qualified medical treatment immediately!
  1. DO keep the person calm, and immobilize the limb as much as possible. You don't want adrenaline or movement to increase the heart rate and blood pressure, thus pushing the venom through the body faster than it is already going.
  2. DO keep the affected limb below heart level.
  3. DO get the person to the hospital immediately. Avoid any situation that causes delay. In the case of a gathering, EMS should be called. While a gathering evacuation vehicle can get the person out and down the road, transfer ASAP to a fully equipped ambulance with trained personnel is the ideal.
  4. DO NOT apply a tourniquet. Tourniquets should always be the LAST LINE OF DEFENSE in an otherwise imminently lethal situation, as the person will very likely lose the limb below the tourniquets due to lack of circulation. When a tourniquet absolutely MUST be used, do not loosen it intermittently. Doing so can cause a lethal drop in blood pressure. Also, when a tourniquet is loosened, it allows a massive influx of venom to the system that may stop the heart. Now, if you are bitten by a snake with a neurotoxin that kills within seconds or minutes, or if you just amputated your foot with your weed-whacker and are fifty miles from the nearest hospital, by all means try the tourniquet--what have you got to lose? But in a gathering situation? Probably not. If you are the first person to respond, get qualified medical folks to come to the scene to make these decisions
  5. DO NOT apply electric shock. This is an unproven treatment.
  6. DO NOT cut open the skin on or near the bite to suction out the venom. Snake bite victims often lose limbs to secondary infections, and this is a good way to make sure they get one.
  7. DO NOT apply cold or ice to the area.
  8. DO NOT provide the victim with alcohol.
  • Some sources say to wash the wound with soap and water. others say not to
  • Some sources say that a wide compression bandage above the wound can slow the venom. Such a bandage should go all the way around the wound, and should be loose enough to slip one finger under. Other sources say that there is no evidence for effectiveness--but there is no evidence that it harms
Other caveats:
  • While there are indigenous healers in other parts of the world who do use botanical treatments that actually work against the various harms of snake bite--including anti-inflammatory, coagulant, detoxification, and neutralization properties--those alternative treatments are not available in this country, and in any case need to be further researched before any recommendation could be made that they be considered as an alternative to standard anti-venom treatment. Click here for reference.
  • There are many people at gatherings who claim to be "healers" who have no training other than the books they have read, and no qualifications other than huge egos. There are also many very gifted practitioners who provide excellent emergency, first aid, and alternative treatments to gatherers in need of medical assistance. If you are bitten by a snake, ill, or injured, please use common sense when trusting your health and well-being to someone you don't know. It's okay to be skeptical, to want a second opinion, to ask what others know of someone's knowledge and skill level, and to request assistance with getting medical care in town.
In general about your health and safety:
  • Be assertive about your needs, your likes/dislikes, preferences, need for privacy/modesty, and respect for your wishes about what is done to your body. If you don't feel skilled enough in being assertive, make sure a friend accompanies you to any consultation about your health. This is true in both a gathering situation, and in a mainstream medical situation.
  • If anyone touches you during any massage, medical examination or treatment in a way that is inappropriate/coercive/assaultive SPEAK UP!! It is never okay for someone to manipulate, coerce, trick, or force another person into unwanted physical contact. Neither the mainstream medical profession nor the alternative healing communities want predators in their midst.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Begging for Dollars Round Two (Drinking Water)

Every year, thousands of people show up at the gathering without water filters. The water quality at a gathering can change within minutes. At 9 AM the spring water may be good, by 9:15 AM a dog has pooped on a crack in the waterline and everyone who drinks the water without filtering ends up with a case of the runs.

Last year some amazing family did a hydration station on the edge of main meadow so our family could be safe and healthy. This same group of amazing folks are planning on doing something similar this year. But new filters costs $$ and it's hard to buy filters in the areas around the gathering. Kicking in a few dollars now will help keep our families' intestines in good working order.

My promise is that any money donated on this website will go to people purchasing supplies such as water pipe, water filters and fixings to insure everyone has enough clean water to drink. Or donate via paypal here. If you want the names behind this project (and it's not me), email me and I'll share more detail. $10 donated know helps out in a major way.

It's up to us to make sure our family has clean and safe drinking water at this gathering. If you prefer to buy fixings, I can put you in contact with people who understand what we need to buy. I'm not this much of an engineer.

Spring Council Directions

*****Updated Directions*******. I received a call from a sister at the spring council site Friday, June 4 in the am (Cali time). The exit numbers on Interstate 80 have changed. The old exit and the new exit is listed on the sign. but if you're coming off I-80 - use New Exit #111. Then turn right on 153 and right on 219. From there the original directions are good. There is a lot of construction on the roads so be cautious. About 10 people are at the council site now. Hopefully more will be arriving shortly. Sheets Convenience Store no longer exits.

Here is another set of directions from downtown Ridgway PA, at the intersection of 219 and 948 (Main Street):
Take Main Street (948) West approximately 1 mile
Turn Right on Grant Street follow for 2.2 miles
Turn left onto Bingham Rd then in 0.6 miles turn left to stay on
Bingham Rd
In 1.6 miles continue on Forest Road 135 Approximately 5 miles

Spring Council June 4 - 6, 2010

Spring Council is when people get together and share the info on the possible sites available for the gathering, discuss the prons and cons of each location and then reach a decision of sorts. It can be a consensus or a migration by people to the site. It generally takes one to seven days for the process to play out. If you come to Spring Council, please be self sufficient and and prepared to feed and water yourself. Spring Council is happening at the site of the 1999 Annual Gathering of the Tribes.
Directions to Spring Council: Ridgway is about 115 miles North East of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Warning! These directions are based on the directions used in 1999. Things may have changed since 1999. Check back in a couple of days as I might have updated directions then.

From the North , Northeast & Northwest Hwys. 90, 17, & 6 lead to US 219 south to Ridgway.

From the South, East & West take Interstate 80 to exit 18 and follow US 153 north. At Penfield take US 255 to St. Marys and take PA 120 west to Ridgway. Heavy, large vehicles PLEASE use this route. Cars and small Vans only may use Interstate 80 to exit 16 and follow US 219 to Ridgway.

Warning: US 219 North is steep, twisty and dangerous for large rigs - DO NOT USE THIS ROUTE. If you are checking a map for another route coming from the south also avoid 949 north as it leads to Arroyo Road which has a narrow bridge with a 3 Ton limit.

In Ridgway at the intersection of Main St. and Broad you will see a Sheets Convenience Store on left go straight through 4 lights. Site is approx. 9 miles. Go up a steep hill and over a narrow bridge. Speed limit is 30 mph. You'll see a sign for Little Drummer, keep driving. There is a sign for ATV Timberline Trailhead. Then at the intersection of Arroyo Rd and Spring Creek Rd. make a right onto FS 136 (not marked, dirt road). Go north 4.5 miles towards Owls Nest. Welcome Home!!! Follow speed limits - 20 mph on dirt roads.

Until Spring Council reaches a decision, there is no answer to the question of where the gathering will be. However, given the large number of states scouted for this year's gathering and given that Spring Council is usually (but not 100% of the time) less than 100 miles from the gathering site, one can draw infererences.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Guest Post on Shanti Sena

This comes from a wonderful sister Medicine Socks bit I will add my two cents. I never support duct taping of people. Sometimes we need to restrain people to prevent them from hurting themselves or others and then rolling them up in a blanket or sleeping bag is much more loving than duct tape.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ On to the guest post ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

it's been a while, i'm too old, poor and crippled to involve myself in rainbow gatherings nowadays, so this qualifies as something like armchair quarterbacking...

but i was once all gung ho, a regular local folkielizer and all about dealing with the some major instances of weirded out shit that sometimes came up at the getherings i was part of...especially around kid village... so here's some shanti sena lessons i learned in the trenches

first of all, it means, translated literally, something like peaceful scene. at a gathering, if everything's mellow, if everyone is feeling alright and nothing much is going on, that is shanti sena. there is a marked absence of drama. no one has to do anything in particular about anyone except mingle and enjoy.

shanti sena also became a term for a clique of people who, at gatherings, styled themselves a kind of affiliated crew of plain-clothes, radio toting, duct tape weiding rainbow hippie police force. some of these guys and gals do a great job, others, well.... these people may have sincerely thought of themselves as peacekeepers, but some of their attitudes, imho were pretty obnoxious, kind of a weird mix of biker/hobo/ dope dealer/ ex marine/cop-brotherhood and some of em drank heavily and lived in hotels off campus somewhere... whatevah...they had dramas of their own, but at times they did deal with flarings of violence inside or dangerous situations with the LEO at the gates effectively enough...

then there's the people at gatherings who put their energy into constantly teaching & lovingly demonstrating basic rainbow, at councils, at dinner circles, in workshops and ongoing conversations with the newbies. if no one around seems to know what shanti sena is, or how to shit in the woods, or build a proper campfire, or help in a kitchen or where to put the "garbage".. to paraphrase mother jones, who said, "don't mourn, organize!"...don't bitch; teach teach teach
teach teach! *that* is true shanti sena, in my book, or what i like to call pre-traumatic stress prevention. the more you get these teaching memes out and get conversations going among gatherers about how to deal with a crisis if it arises, the more peaceful and calm the response will be whenever somebody yells shanti sena!

shanti sena is like that kipling poem, "if" If you can keep your head while all around you others are losing theirs... *that* is shanti sena. it involves remembering to breathe, and slow your heart rate down. it involves knowing how to get, and stay, clear headed in a crisis. and knowing how not to do *anything* until and unless you have effectively calmed and centered your own damn self, until you know as much about the situation you're addressing as it is possible to quickly assess,& until you're sure that you're coming from a place of alert, calm strength and compassion, and a fair degree of certainty that you can handle whatever's happening when something out of hand and really threatening is potentially unfolding. if you can't calm down, if you feel at all overwhelmed by the swiftness with which a violent situation is escalating... then it is quintessential shanti sena to get your overwhelmed ass out of the way... but if you're cool, and you decide to stay.... it helps if there's more than one of you, best if there are enough strong people to contain a really violent individual without hurting him (or her). once contained, you need enough gentle people to keep the vibe around such an action as calm as possible. not too many people, at that point!

people who can stay cool and focused are key.

then you have some decisions to make. is this someone who can be reasoned with, talked down, who may, once their grievance is understood and addressed, be willing to calm down and stay peaceful of his own volition? if that's the case, peer counseling can do wonders to diffuse a tense, angry, but essentially rational human being who actually *wants* to find a solution to whatever set him off. or are you dealing with a crazy? i'm sorry to be so blunt, but often shanti sena situations arise when someone at the gathering is, for one reason or another, experiencing a psychotic break, is operating on aggravated sleep dep, rampant ptsd and/or spasms of pure inexplicable violent impulse...& i've seen sad, bad things happen under these conditions... people trying to trail a raging psychotic & discretely babysit him without impinging on that person's freedoms get to watch a terrified, often violent and frighteningly delusional poor soul battle his demons for days on end, becoming weirder and more at risk as the days tick by of hurting himself or others... i know this seems like a cop out, but in my experience, i feel to this day we might have spared many a poor psycho and all those who got caught up in the babysitting movies a lot of anguish if we had just quickly secured & duct taped em, got to phone quick and got a parent or sibling or someone to come get their sick puppy & take him home or some other
mellower place than a gathering for a real crack up...

that said i know a few gifted healers who really do know how to help a body navigate the terrifying inner landscape of psychosis. there are shanti sena shamans, soul retrievers, spirit world energy workers, who understand intuitively what it's going to take to get a freaked out
freak through the worst of it, how to help him break down the old disfunctional precepts of his consciousness, how tto guide lost souls til they break on through to the healing side of their nervous breakdowns. if you can do that, boy... that's great... more power to you. you know who you are, and you are a boon and a blessing to any gathering. then again..

if you're one of those sorts who merely wishes you were an aikido master or a cop or a magical healer, please take your woo woo bullshit as far from the crisis as possible and go chant and shake your fake honky indian yaya sticks over there... please! shanti sena! keep the scene peaceful! over that-a-way!

Silent Prayer/Meditation for World Peace

(Photo from National Geographic)
The silent prayer/meditation for world peace is the culmination of our attempts to create a peaceful and harmonious gathering. Starting as the sun rises on the morning of July 4th, the gathering will become silent. As people wake up and get ready for their day, most people respect the silence. As people are so inclined they head to main meadow to pray for world peace, do yoga for world peace, meditate for world peace and all sorts of other mellow and silent manifestations of creating the energy of world peace and the healing of the planet. .

We hold this peace in preparation for the arrival of our children. The children's parade (meet at Kid Village a few hours before noon if you have kids and want them in the parade) will come into the center of the circle. Please hold the silence until all the children (even the ones at the end of the parade) have made it into the center of the circle. Our children our are future and deserve our respect. Oming can start when most of the children are in the circle. PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WIDELY.

At some point before breaking the silence we will om. Not a short 1-2 minute om, but a long drawn out 15 minute or 30 minute om. If we are all focused and om together, not in a hurry to get it down, but to be with it in the moment, we can create energy that will change the world.

Each of us has a crucial role to play in this sacred ceremony that is the core of the Annual Gathering of the Tribes. This is why I and so many people I know go to the gathering, dig shitters, chop wood and carry water. This is why so many people dedicate so much resources and energy to the gathering. Please if you choose not to participate, please be silent and let those who wish to create a sacred ceremony do so.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Calling all folks out scouting for a call

Individuals involved in finding sites for spring council and the 2010 gathering have asked for a call-in conference Friday, May 28 at 9PM EDT, as an opportunity for other individuals who have scouted across the states to offer any relevant input before any decisions on the spring ...

Please respect the purpose of this call as being for those people who have been scouting on the land. The conference lines usually have a maximum number of participants and we want to make sure all family who have been scouting can participate.

I strongly recommend that if you want to participate in this process that you call 908-I-Gather (442-8437) and leave your number. Or email for more information sooner rather than later.

As of today (5/24/2010), the info I have is Friday May 28th, 9 PM Eastern Time. 605-715-4920, enter code 409029# when prompted

Things can change rapidly on these Rainbow calls and if you want to be involved, you better involve yourself.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Playing the Game

Karin's Ideas on how not to pull the Go Directly To Jail Card

There is a game that is being played at the gathering every year, and if you don't know the rules, it can really make your gathering miserable. Just a quick hello to Law Enforcement reading this post, you already know the rules you are using, so read or don't read (makes no difference to me).


When you come home this summer, the roads leading into the gathering will have strategically placed teams of law enforcement officers from the United States Forest Service whose sole goal in being there is to bust you for something. Now of course, they're hoping for something large like an ounce of pot so they can prove to the powers that be that they are protecting the public from hardened criminals. However, they will take anything they can get. This means that broken tail light, a failure to use a left turn signal even though you're in a parking lot at 2 AM and no one else is around. The list goes on and on: beads hanging from your rear view mirror, lack of car seat for a five year old child who is really skinny, faint brake lights, etc. They will stop you, pull you over, and find something, almost anything and then write a mandatory court appearance ticket. While they do this, they will take a photo of you in addition to all the usual stuff.

If you don't show up on time at the mandatory court appearance, the USFS LEOs and the US Marshals will come back to the gathering, use the photo they took to search for you by face, arrest you and take you off to jail. (Yes for the most part, even a broken tail light will result in a mandatory court appearance when you are in the vicinity of a gathering even though back home that would not be the case).

This game doesn't stop at the road, but continues into the gathering. If you see cops, please put your dogs on leash and take whatever steps necessary to be 100% legal. If they stop you for smoking a joint, take the ticket and go to court.

This is the game. I recommend trying not to play. If, however, you do end up in the game, DO NOT BLOW OFF YOUR COURT DATE! Some years the courts are so overwhelmed they are will to take a $10 fine for some stupid infraction. I personally have had experiences ranging from paying a $40 fine with six months to mail in the money to having all charges dropped. Both of which trump spending a couple of days in jail. Therefore, let me say it again: Do Not Blow Off Your Court Date. If you receive a ticket and you're not sure what to do, go to INFO and ask who to talk to. Most years there are various lawyers who show up at the gathering and many of these wonderful brothers and sisters will go to the court dates and be there to provide free legal advice. Take advantage of what ever help people are willing to provide if you don't have your own lawyer.

If you blow off your court date, a federal bench warrant will be issued for your arrest and you can be yanked off the street at any time in the future and sent directly to jail, you won't pass GO and there won't be family around to support you. Please deal with it as right away. Many times if there is a fine, you won't have to pay it right away.

Karin's tips for a safe journey home:

If you plan on driving, make sure your car and driver is 100% legal-all lights work, valid insurance and registration, seat belts, car seats for children. Our government assumes that we are criminals. Please try to arrive during daylight hours as the roads into gathering sites can be tricky and we want you to arrive home safely.

If you will be sharing a ride, please meet the folks you'll be riding with at a local coffee shop, make sure you feel comfortable traveling a long distance with them, and establish the ground rules. If you are coming via bus, plane or train, try to connect up with a ride from your destination before you get there. If you are planning on hitchhiking, please travel with a buddy, only bum rides during the day and if you get a bad feeling from a ride, PLEASE don't take it. There will always be another one. Make sure you know the laws regarding hitchhiking in the state we will be in this summer.

*Always* say no to requests for search, no matter what they tell you. It is not illegal for cops to lie to you, and they often will do so to get your consent to search. "You might as well give us permission, because if you do not, we will go get a warrant and you will be here for hours." This is a bluff. Don't fall for it. Their time is much more valuable than yours.

If they insist on searching over your objections, don't prevent them physically in anyway - but continue to repeat "I do not consent." Ask for names and badge numbers, write down time, place, and what happened in detail. Every little thing matters in a court of law, even the things that don't mean much to you or me. If you can, take pictures, videos, and/or tape recordings. If you are not being detained, but can observe and/or record family being detained, please do so. the 5 minutes of video you provide may help keep your brother or sister out of jail.

Also, if they ask you if you have contraband, and tell you that if you have just a little bit and give it to them that they will not search you, tell them no. Never, never, never incriminate yourself. That means don't consent to anything, don't give them anything but your license, registration, and proof of insurance, don't admit to anything. When approaching the Gathering site, remember that you're coming as friends in somebody else's back yard. Treat the local folks with the courtesy, respect and concern that they deserve as members of the Family of Humankind. Be Loving and Kind. Don't be rude, steal, trash the town, disturb the Peace, or try to "shock" people. Be mindful of others' sensitivities. Remember the original Golden Rule when dealing with BOTH Babylon AND Rainbow: Treat Others the Way you want to be treated! Please, make your journey a safe one. Don't be under the influence while driving.

Let's all get home safely.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Gathering at the Movies May 20

We Love You was filmed at the 2008 Annual Gathering in Wyoming.
Author Michael Niman who wrote the book People of the Rainbow: A Nomadic Utopia and Consulting Producer on We Love You is hosting a screening of We Love You at Ani DiFranco’s performance space in Buffalo on May 20th. After the screening Michael Niman will lecture on the history of harassment the Rainbows have experienced by Federal Authorities.For details on the screening, click here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Informal Scouting Rendezvous

Scouting has moved up north. The next informal rendezvous will be held at the 1991 annual site, in granville vermont, may 10th-11th. Directions: Take Vermont 100 to Granville Vermont, head west on FS 55 (West Hill Road), make the third right onto FS207. If you come to join the scouting effort please be self-sufficient and ready to travel.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rites of passage (Guest Post)

Today's Guest Post courtesy of my beautiful sister Turtle. Enjoy!

Viva La Familia!

For those of you who are not aware of it, at last year's N.M. gathering there was a call from the Family (both old and new) for a creation of something that our young tribe has been sorely lacking and desperate for!

Rites of passage.

Lets face it, everyone is getting older, times are changing and I personally have heard alot of disenchanted youth in the Family calling for a more substantial tribal way of life. They (the youngers) don't know exactly what it is they are needing, they just know something crucial is missing at our gatherings, something cohesive and tangible that will exercise them, MOVE THEM! Ignite their souls!

Meanwhile, the olders are having councils focused on how they (as older people) can help bridge the widening rift between the seasoned gatherers and the youngsters. With substance abuse seeming to be more prevalent during gatherings, the cry has been called by the oldsters to look at our tribe and find solutions (and quickly) that will show the youngers that we appreciate them and need them, healthy and whole, in our tribe! .

The answer: Rites of passage pertaining to every crucial aspect of Gathering in happy, healthy ways. From scouting to cleanup. From legal liaison to ALL WAYS FREE and guide making. All of you out there who have worked and sweated to glean knowledge from every person and way so that we may live free, happy and high, NOW IS YOUR TIME TO PASS THE SACRED INFORMATION ON!
People who know the ways of;
  • Kitchen focalizing
  • Parking and road crew
  • Front gate
  • Welcome Home stations
  • Recycling
  • Clean up
  • Info. booth
  • Magic hat/Banking
  • CALM/MASH medicine
  • Santi Sena
  • Council focalizing
  • Main supply
  • Water
  • Scouting
  • Fire patrol
  • Shitter digging
  • Oven baking
  • Drum circles
  • Leagal laisons
  • Public Laisons
  • Dinner circle focalizing
  • Bus village focalizing
  • Trade circle focalizing
  • Kid village focalizing
  • Town Criers
(what else)? the list goes on....

Those of you who know these ways, well, then you are the ones I'm talking to!

Pass it on folks!

Please take the time before the next Annual Gathering to brainstorm what vital information would make up a "class agenda" pertaining to whatever particular aspect of gathering that you are saavy on. Go so far as to write an outline on what you would try and touch on throughout a series of days if you were to have an "apprentice".

Then give serious thought to a particular "rite of passage" that could be given to an apprentice when the time was right. What exercise of the spirit would be most benificial to a newby under your tutelage? If the newby passes thet challenge, what can be bestowed on them that might bring honor and pride? An apron in the kitchen? A pair of gloves for shitter digging? A special hat? What?? I don't know..but you will!

Then prepare yourselves mentally and physically to reach out at next years gathering and find that special someone. At least one person, maybe more! But know that however many, you will be interacting with them consistantly! Patience and understanding!

If someone does not have the ability to "get around" so good, ask some of us middle folk (not youngers, but deffinately not olders) to help you find someone to be your apprentice. It will be someones distinct pleasure, I am sure.

Lastly, please take this endeavor VERY SERIOUSLY! This ain't no joke folks! By approaching this new stage of gathering with dedication and compassion, not only will you ensure the continuation of our gatherings and our tribe but, most importantly, you can change a young person's life, forever. We all have our personal stories of how and when the Great Spirit called us to the Family and we all know how much it changed our lives. Now, we must live for the youngers, the future of us all!

We must live for our 7th generation within the Family.

We must strive to survive!

Viva La Familia de ArcoIris!


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Parking Lot Crew

The gathering only works because each of us pitches in to take care of everything that needs to be done. One project that needs some young energy is the Parking Lot Crew.

The joys of working parking are staying up all night and helping family park safely and legally so when they go back to their car it hasn't been towed.

You get to stand on a dusty road, flag down people who don't want to stop, help them find Handicamp if necessary or which ever parking log is closest to where they are going.

While you're doing this critical job, the USFS Law Enforcement Officers drive up and down the road and almost run you over. Some of our A-Camp brothers and sisters show up to help and you have to make sure they don't get run over. The kitchens forget to feed you. Some days you're out there in the pouring rain or the blazing sun.

The parking situation can change daily as the cops change the rules. You have to find the owners of people who parked in the wrong spot so their car doesn't get towed. Then there's the people who don't listen to your advice and drive off the road and need your help getting them towed out. Or they have a flat tire, or a dead battery or they locked their keys in their car.

Then there are the emergency evacuations. Coordinating with CALM, finding drivers, and making sure people who need to get to a hospital get there safely. Sometimes you'll be all alone. Sometimes there will be 5 people talking to you at once about their emergency.

So why help out in the parking lot?

Because it is so amazing to see all our beautiful family come home. Because the person who is having a horrible gathering because they parked where you told them not the park and now you've gotten them towed out and they are grateful to you. Because you helped someone get to the hospital and maybe saved their life. Because you prevented someone's car from getting towed.

We always need new folks helping out with the parking scene, especially our younger family who can be up at 4 AM and park that weary family with the crying baby who just drove for 36 hours to be with you! Because you can keep that campfire burning and provide a cup of Joe for a tired traveler.

If you're interested, drop me an email, or just show up and tell who ever is parking cars that you want to be someone hero.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rainbow Guide

The Rainbow Guide is a freely printed, non-commercial directory of Rainbow friends, tribes, communities, individuals and co-ops world over, and has been in public circulation for many years. The Guide helps the Family to connect with each other throughtout the year. Copies of the 2010 Rainbow Guide will be available at Info at this year's annual gathering.

To submit an entry online, click here. Entries will be accepted up to and including May 28, 2010. No entries received later will be included. Anyone who wants to send paper submissions can send them to:

Rainbow Guide
3015 Oklahoma St.
Muskogee, OK 74401

The guide also needs photos and/or artwork. Send them to the address above or click here to email them. Since the Guide is free & non-commercial, contributions to cover printing and mailing expenses are always deeply appreciated not never required. To see full size images of these and other examples of the Rainbow Guide, click here.