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.


  1. How Many piggies does it take to screw up a peace maker? Six. One to Tase him and five to beat him when he's defenseless and unconscious.

  2. The thing is this - the police are mis-using an anti wiretap law, or eavesdropping laws (depending on state) to apply them out in the field doing their job. An of duty Maryland cop made some national news on this issue by pretty much attacking a gut on a motorcycle wearing a camera on his helmet. He arrested the guy, even though the video shows this cop out of control, violent, reckless, and overall dangerous.

    It goes like this -- depending on the state, it is illegal for a participant in a conversation to tape a conversation, or video tape, without the consent of both parties, or by a third party. In the Maryland case, the guy with the recorder did not have the consent of the police officer. In Oregon, as at the gathering, a third person is doing
    the taping without consent of either party.

    The reason it is not a crime in any instance is because the crime requires the taping to be of a private conversation, while these are all
    public encounters. Without an expectation of privacy there can be no crime. Whatever is public may be recorded, which is why all these video cameras everywhere are legal.

    To make it even more revealing about the insanity of our police state, the police record people in public all the time, claiming it is legal to record anything that is in public. According to the police, they can
    record you, you can not record them.

    They are profoundly mistaken. The one in Oregon was dismissed, and he is
    suing. That is the trend in all the states.

    Some links to more info:

  3. Just want to say that in Federal land even a little bit of Marijuana is illegal. Having your medicinal marijuana card is useless. If you really want to smoke that stuff then stay in your house and do whatever you want. In federal land you CAN be arrested for a minimum amount of Marijuana so if you have it with you in National Forest Land then don't be complaining that you got arrested for a small amount.