For immediate release, July 10, 2008
Click here for
Forest Service Exposed as Rogue Agency
Contact: Colorado Legal Eagels
[Big Sandy, WY] - According to the Associated Press, the US Forest
Service (USFS) is going to try to ban campers associated with the
Rainbow Gathering from "its land".
The Colorado Legal Eagles would like to remind the USFS that "this
land is my land", not yours. National Forests are public lands,
and the USFS are agents of the federal government charged with upholding
the U.S. Constitution and protecting civil rights. Yet year after
year, these federal agents conspire to deprive campers at the Rainbow
Gathering of their Constitutional rights under color of law. The
USFS is a rogue agency and out of control. These vicious attacks
on the rights of all citizens must stop.
Rainbow Gatherings have been held every year during the week of
July 4 since 1972 in different National Forests around the country.
Attendees of this week-long camping event gather to pray for peace,
commune with nature, and celebrate life. The Gathering's culmination
is a huge prayer circle that takes place at noon on the Fourth of
July in the main meadow of the camp.
The federal government has been trying to make Rainbow Gatherings
illegal for years.
Each year, the federal harassment and intimidation tactics become
more violent, aggressive and militant. Since this year's Gathering
started on July 1 in southwestern Wyoming, the feds have cited hundreds
of people for minor infractions of the law and traffic violations,
requiring them to appear in federal court. This not only wastes
tax dollars on the process of arrest, but adds hundreds of cases
to an already-overwhelmed federal judicial system.
For no reason other than harassment, and without probable cause
or warrants, almost every vehicle entering the Gathering site has
been searched. Roadblocks are set up and people, their possessions,
their camping gear, and the contents of their vehicles are all routinely
searched before they are allowed to pass.
For no reason other than intimidation, the federal agents are outfitted
in military fashion and armed with M16s, pepper bullet rifles, tasers,
mace, and night sticks. They routinely march through the Rainbow
camps, looking for trouble. On July 2, a man was tasered while handcuffed
and lying on the ground. On July 3, federal agents stormed through
Kiddie Village, an area of the Gathering filled with children, spraying
pepper bullets indiscriminately, injuring both children and adults.
There are also reports that one federal agent pointed his gun at
several children and a baby.
Reports that the campers threw "sticks and rocks" at
the agents during the incident have not been substantiated by a
single eyewitness. This propaganda is used every year by the feds
to justify their harsh tactics. In Colorado in 2006, video evidence
later proved the feds were lying.
The Rainbows have their own peacekeeping teams, who, through years
of federal attacks, have become highly skilled in keeping crowds
calm and preventing them from being incited to violence. Rainbow
peacekeepers urged both the crowd and the feds to remain calm during
the July 3 incident at Kiddie Village. However, several people who
tried to help by standing as buffers between the federal agents
and the campers were shot repeatedly with pepper bullets in the
The USFS calls the Rainbows a group of "eccentrics".
In reality, the Rainbows are arguably one of the most self-sufficient
groups of people in the country. After the Katrina hurricane, Rainbow
kitchen, medical and communications volunteers were among the first
responders to the devastated area.
Rob Savoye, a member of the Rainbow Emergency Management Assembly,
says, "When we got to (Hurricane) Katrina, they were excited
because we brought instant relief with mobile kitchens, a fully
trained medical staff and a functional communications center. We
were treating people in the streets in August two blocks from the
French Quarter and feeding the National Guard. We can coordinate
as individuals. We don't fall apart in the chaos, we just fall together."
Every year, the Rainbow Gatherings receive rave reviews on how
well they cleaned up after the Gathering, even from the Forest Service.
This blatant Federal propaganda about the Rainbow Gathering and
the feds violent attempts to erode civil rights under color of law
must be exposed. This unlawful behavior is appalling and will not
We urge all concerned citizens to contact the following people
and demand that these attacks on Rainbow stop at once.
1400 Independence Ave. SW, 217-E
Washington, DC 20250
USFS Chief Gail Kimbell
Call the Wyoming Representatives and Senators
* Sen. John Barrasso (R)
* Sen. Michael Enzi (R)
* Rep. Barbara Cubin (R)
And your own reps in DC
Capitol Switchboard TOLL-FREE:
USFS Law Enforcement and Investigations
Director John C. Twiss
USFS Law Enforcement and Investigations
Senior Special Agent Gene Smithson