Saturday, June 25, 2005

Rainbow Gathering 2005 WV

the latest news can be had via the public archive of a listserv:
http://www.welcomehome.org/pipermail/gathering_info

and here: http://groups.google.com/groups?oi=djq&as_ugroup=alt.gathering.rainbow


http://www.ashevillecommunity.org/hawker/rainbow/commentary.html

Posted 6/18 by Hawker to AGR
To: AGR
Subject: Welcome Homeless, or Random site info
So we are not "Welcome Home" but sitting here Welcome Homeless.

Things seem to be getting a bit depressing at the site. The last of the kitchens inside the gathering all got tickets yesterday. Some folks from CALM doing a walk through yesterday also got tickets. The same mandatory appearance on the 28th "use and occupancy" tickets that everyone else got. This seems especially strange since there were not 75 folks on site at the time so I don't see how that rule applied anymore. The mood seems to have changed yesterday from "hold our ground" to "we just want to gather so lets move to another site". While many folks are arriving, many are leaving as well. There are a bazillion ways into the site and kitchens are setting up here are there through stealth tactics of going around the FEDs. Still if caught it's a ticket. As a result there are several other campsites including one at an old strip mine that folks are also starting to gather at. The central meeting point seems to be the Krogers in town since we are all over the place in many campsites.

A council was called for today to discuss moving to a new site. I was not there unfortunately but herd back from someone who was. Yesterday as I was leaving the site I spoke to two scouts who have been checking out FS proposed sites for two days. Up until yesterday they felt that none of the sites were workable. They had a site that they found in early spring scouting that was possibly workable and one of the FS proposed sites shown yesterday was deemed workable as well. It sounded that these sites had some things better than the existing site, but in general were not as nice. I got a spotty cell call from site that council had decided today to move to a new location and that location will be announced tomorrow. The call dropped out then, but I assume the site will be in Pocahontas county not Randolph or Tucker where the current site is. I'll post more info just as soon as I know more.

The idea of not holding our ground saddens me as we are setting a dangerous precedence by moving. If the FS knows they can manipulate us now they will try it again. I don't like this. The environmental concerns seem to be BS. Every local resource ranger and environmental ranger (and knowledgeable local) tells me each one ranges from total BS to valid but not for here. I think it's similar to the BS salmon issue in Idaho. The problem was real, but not for the stream we were in. An unnamed ranger told me the site we chose was perfect. It's a very popular camping spot and heavily encouraged to be used because it's a good site. Three weeks ago there were hundreds of cars there camping. Another person told me a group annually gathers there with about 3000 people. None of this would happen if there were real issues with the site. I also found it interesting that three weeks ago when I was on site the signs all said 21 day camping rule. Yesterday those signs have been replaced with 14 day signs. This in an effort to have a reason to kick us out before the 1st, however the change was only made for Rainbows (didn't we win the last targeting one group court case we had).

The town has been great. Everyone has been so friendly and helpful, including the law enforcement and other officials. I have attended meetings with the local hospital, EMS/EMT, Health Dept, State emergency management, environmental team, town council and more and everyone has been friendly and helpful.

On another note. My E-mail account has been receiving almost 300 e-mails a day. I can't possibly respond to all these e-mails so If I don't respond to you, or give you a form letter, short letter, etc, sorry I'm just a bit overwhelmed by the amount of e-mail I am getting. If I get a good question I may answer publicly with your question so others know as well,.
I'm getting allot of emails about Cell phone access. 1st cal your cell company and ask them what code to type into your phone to update your PRL (Preferred Roaming List) first. It's a couple of digets (different for each cell carrier) that helps you get a tower when you roam.
I have US Cellular, a CDMA Tri Mode phone. It works up to close to the site.
I have been told that Cellular One works better. I think they are TDMA. Folks with TDMA based phones get coverage on the ridge above the gathering, mine is not as good.
Cingular GSM and SPRINT phones do not even work from Elkins much less site. Older Cingular that come from the AT&T lineage (TDMA) work from town.
Along 3rd street in Elkins are many free 802.11 Wi-Fi hot spots with easy access.


HawkerPosted 6/19 by me to AGR
To: AGR
Subject: Let's Gather. Ignore All Rumors. More info
Woza, what a day. My phone has been ringing off the hook all day.
First the facts, then the commentary. It's hard to get all the truth because I am not there and many stories conflicts with each other. I have spoken today with several folks on site and many others and am trying to piece together the real story.
As for the new site. My directions from folks on site are slightly different than Rob's. It is in Cranberry Glades. The directions are take 219 70 miles south of Elkins to Mill Point. Turn Right on 55/39. Go 6 miles to Rd 150. Left 6/10 of a mile to 102. Left on 102. This would seem that the directions for folks not on site already (coming from Elkins) are : Interstate 64 to 219 (exit 169). North on 219 to 55/39 and follow the rest of the directions.
Also as I understand this there never was a consensus to move the site. I last spoke to the scouts Friday Night. At the time they had just found this new site. They said it had some good points, but a major road went right through main meadow. They also said they didn't want to move and were upset that they heard folks wanted to move. Given this I don't understand why most rumors now are the scouts said lets go when others said no. I won't know the real story till I am able to talk to them. Kid Village called a council for Saturday. I was told that there was lots of shouting and arguing and no consensus. Then KV and the scouts just left to the new site. I spoke to no one on site who wanted to move or who thought that they should move, yet they are moving since the feel beat by the FS, Scouts and KV.
Re: The stolen water pipe rumor. Here is what I know. There was a stash of water pipe at the back door. It was NOT all the water pipe, perhaps 1/5th of it at best. I personally saw this water pipe on Friday. On Saturday there were horse tracks all around it but it was not there any more. This is the water pipe that was stolen by the FS. AFAIK the big stash is under cover and safe where I left it, but i have not confirmed this. I left the rest with a responsible person who made effort to keep it hidden as they were concerned about it being stolen already.
I was told that several folks will call me tonight or tomorrow morning from site with more updates and info. I personally am meeting with one of the scouts in a few hours and will upload topo maps to Rob and my site as well. I may not be able to host maps myself anymore because the bandwidth is costing me too much as I have exceeded my bandwidth contract (to many 3MB topo maps and 400k JPGs I guess). If someone wants to donate for the bandwidth I will replace it, otherwise I will just give Rob the info for welcomehome.org.
Some folks are gathering/staying in other sites including the strip mine (RJ) near Elkins and other campsites trying to re-group and figure out what to do. There are also other sites that are better that the scouts found, but didn't use because they liked the Elkins site, so why are we not going to them? This site is a set up. It was chosen by the FS because it was closer to there camp in Snowshoe resort and because it is easier for the FS to drive into the site. I am being told that the parking lot crew is signing the permit for this FS chosen site and is trying to make sure there are not the kind of issues we had last year (no nudity, dogs on leashes, drive ins by the FS etc) but my trust for the Tim Lynn and the FEDs is 0. They have already lied to us on several occasions this year alone and broken several promises.

O.k. So the commentary (or more blatantly commentary).

WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE DOING PEOPLE! This is dangerous precedence we are setting here letting the FS know they can whip us into submission. Now they think they can run things every year. There is no telling what they will try to pull next year. In addition we need to NOT be in Pocahontas county. There is no support system there. The town doesn't love us like Elkins did. The Emergency Management system there has only BLS not ALS (Basic/Advanced Life Support) for emergencies. Elkins has ALS. They are only volunteers so it impacts them more than the larger more established town of Elkins. We loose all the work and time we have done working with local businesses and agencies as well as understanding the site and how to best use it. Buisness owners who stuck there neck out to help us now get screwed and loose $$$ (they bought extra supplies for us). This happened because the site was mostly populated by young, inexperienced kids who lacked past knowledge on how to fight this as well as the support of enough people to maintain the site. In addition most of the experienced folks were hiding in town, other campsites or the back door rather than teaching the kids how to fight and encouraging them. By the time folks, myself included, started working to motivate folks and teach them how to reclaim the site moral had been to far lost and we had been beat. There are plenty of other ways into the first site from many angles. They can't stop us all if we just keep showing up there.
We need to ignore all rumors, including those of a moved site and return to the original site, where we can safely gather in a good location. When enough folks show up then we can reclaim the site from the federalies.
Hawker

Back to Rainbow 2005 page
Now Quit-yer-bitchin and come together to pray and heal the family on the land soon!I love you all and will see you soon!Hawker

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