August 9, 1988

Rainbow Legaliason Letter
short hip-story of the "permit process":

1972- near Granby Colorado, upwards of 50,000 people: this gathering was not "permitted"; in effect the State of Colorado, U.S. Forest Service brought many measures against the gathered people: captioned by a "blockade" and a date in Federal District Court, Colorado: ruling in the matter was that the World Family Gathering sponsored by the Rainbow Family Tribe was not a "legal event". Blockade was "broken" by the Peace Walk of the People.

1973-1976: permit consisted of a District Ranger "somehow" filing a permit, without any"true" approach to the "Council" :

1976- Montana: our "laision council" was started up, primarily to deal with the law enforcement, negotiating with local townspeople, other "diplomatic" scenes. In 1976, this "crew", with their understanding of the Council's Will, signed a permit, would not pay the $25.00 fee. Another person, voluntarily paid the fee, out of his own pocket.

Reasons: to pay a "head Tax" for the "right to peaceably assemble" would violate our Constitutional First Amendment Right to Freely Assemble.

(2) monies from the $25.00 fee (or more) go to the General Fund: onto the Pentagon....Our People "peaceably assemble" to "petition Peace"--Our Assembly: Gathering: presents a "lifestyle", an open sharing of values, ideas, manifested in a variety of ways. Work is a form of Prayer...when a person "works" in a kitchen at a Gathering, that person (generally speaking) will be doing that work as a form of "prayer" or "petition". Either spiritually promoting Peace through sharing work, or politically expressing a desire for a community of peace through sharing work. All actions consciously performed in a positive way at such Gatherings promotes Peace.

Note: there were many persons who strongly objected to the signing of any permit.

Also, it was suggested by the U.S. Forest Service District Ranger that a "performance bond" was being considered: this item proposal was dropped prior to the signing of the "permit".

Reasons given by "laision group" as to the signing was "to promote Peace". Threats of further harassment by Forest Service were part of the reasonings. Video surveillance, wearing of weapons openly, were part of the negotiations: both by Forest Service and other Law Enforcement and Government personnel.


The Agreement (early Operating Plan) was that Only One Camera, held and photographed by the District Ranger, No Weapons openly displayed.

Our Agreement was to Clean Up the site, Peal with our health and Sanitation concerns, deal with the social situation: working with local storekeepers etc.... Both the Forest Service, ather Law Enforcement And Rainbow Family Kept the Agreement.

1977- New Mexico--1978- Oregon--1979- Arizona: Rainbow Family and Forest Service worked out Operating Plan and signed Permits: many persons in Family objected to the signing of the permits on Constitutional Grounds, Individuals in the Family, paid the permit fee, sometimes.

1980- West Virginia: many things happened that eventually lead to a "climate of fear" in West Virginia. Two of our Sisters, folks on their way to the Gathering, were executed by "unknown persons".

A "Permit" was signed Under Strong Protest on the 2nd or 3rd of July, over the objections of many, many people, This was the last "Permit" signed by Rainbow Family.

1981- Washington: no "permit" though one was issued by Forest Service: without Family signing.

1982- Idaho: An Operation Plan Agreement was successfully negotiated between the U,S. Forest Service, represented by Gene Reynolds, Supervisor, and the Rainbow Family Tribal Council. This document was approved by our Tribal Council, signed in "formal" fashion before our Gathered Council: Originals were exchanged.

Forest Service unilaterally issued Rainbow a "permit". Letter sent to U.S. Attorneys office by Rainbow Legal Laision concerning the video surveillance, weapons warn within our parking lots, and the taking of license plate numbers.

1983- Michigan- good relations between Rainbow People and Forest Service. Operating Plan is successfully negotiated. Rainbows and Forest Service keep their word. Dollar Costs of Gathering are minimal. Previous Costs far years of heavily Enforcement are very high. Over $180,000 estimate at Washington Gathering.

1984-California: began on unusual note: August 1983 new "reg" is placed in Federal Register, 36 cfr 251,50 et. seq., 60 day comment period. This new Regulation was objected to by two groups of people, Rainbow Family and it is our understanding- the K.K.K. of Texas.

This Rule was Administratively placed in the Federal Registry, with no Oversight committee viewing it, nor was any social impact analysis nor economic impact analysis done on the effects of the Regulation. It was noted that the Regulation would effect only a few small groups in society, naming the Rainbow as one of them.


June 24, 1984, this Regulation went into effect. The regulation did two things:

(1) it finally recognized that the)e are such things as "peaceable assembly on public lands for purposes of expression" A significant step.

(2) it set up precepts that place the Operating plan agreement in a minor role bureaucratically, while placing the Authorization i.e. the political procedures in the ascendant. Hence, the current situation legally and politically concerning the Gatherings.

Three major Court cases have arisen from this Regulation alone, with untold costs both to Forest Service and Rainbow Family Tribal Council.

(1) Gideon Israel/Rainbow in Arizona U.S. Federal Judge Bilby ruled that the Regulation "is unconstitutional - however the Judge added no weight to the ruling, by issuing no opinion With the Judgement. Judge Bilby "bound" the Forest Service and Regional Rainbow Family Council i.e. Gideon "accepted" a ticket for the Tribal Council, so that the case could go to Court-to negotiate some sort of operating agreement, otherwise, he would not rule in the case.

Forest Service and Regional Rainbow Council negotiated for High Creek: this site was considered to be acceptable, by Forest Service standards--however, since it had no drinking water, was a potential historical archeological site, other reasons, it was not an acceptable site for such a Gathering, even though the People Gathered there, protecting the history of the place as much as possible.

Forest Service did not appeal case. Ruling issued stands.

(2) State of North Carolina -Health Department- vs, Rainbow Family: 1987, in U.S. Federal District Court Dave Santelle presiding, This case lead to a Negotiated Agreement between Rainbow Family Tribal Council and State of North Carolina signed in Federal Court July 2nd, under strong protest by Rainbow Council Ratified on July 3rd, under strong protest by Rainbow Family Tribal Council. A quote from one individual "this is being done with a gun to our head, ratify it if you want (referring to Council) but I object".

On July 7, in the early afternoon U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and North Carolina State Troopers crossed over the bridge into Assembly area, demanded under threat of arrest that the Welcome Center at that point be "torn down" immediately,


During the entire course of the North Carolina Gathering, the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement prevented ingress and egress of our People into the Gathering Area, This caused us undue hardship, prevented us from gathering materials: bringing good water on board, even during a time of "health crisis".

On July 8th, an agreement was signed between Rainbow Cleanup Council and U.S. Forest Service concerning ingress and egress to the Gathering site. The Forest Service continued to harass, intimidate etc, our Cleanup Crew, This caused the Cleanup to go very slowly, however,` even though the Cleanup Crew was harassed, subsequently "busted", morning of August Ist, reports from our People were a good cleanup, Some Rainbow People have returned to site area, saw the cleanup results--only remaining marks are of some disk work done in main Council areas--reports are the Forest Service used disks.

(3) Court case in U.S. Federal District Court Justice William James Justice presiding. Justice Justice judgement is the regulation even the current updated May 10,1988 version is unconstitutional.

During the course of the Texas Gathering, a "health certification process" with involvement by the State of Texas Health aid the U.S. Dept of Health. Health standards submitted by U.S. Health was the U.S. Army Field Training Manual. These standards were modified to the Gathering situation. Rainbow Calm/Mash/Temple (our health people) and various Health Dept worked out these modifications on site.

The Environmental side of the Gathering! was not dealt with by any U.S. Forest Service personnel until July 8th, when local District Ranger finally appeared on site.

Environmental damage was done, in many areas, by U.S. Forest Service vehicles.

The many costs, problems, situations involving Forest Service and Rainbow People, or other Persons or Groups who may, in the future, be assembling on Public Lands, need a solution. We, in the Rainbow Council know that Solutions become self-evident, if we all, Forest Service, other Government agencies and Rainbow People negotiate in a constructive fashion.

Enclosed are various informational pieces concerning the various Gatherings, situations etc,..

What we, Rainbow Legal Laision Persons, would like to propose: (note: all our efforts must subsequently be brought before Rainbow Family Tribal Council, July Ist, 1989, Nevada, for Consensus.)

Proposal:Special Operations Agreement


Special Operations Agreement

This proposal covers the Various problems encountered by Forest Service and Rainbow Council:

(1) In the first Paragraph of this agreement we would like to see covered the First Amendment Freedom Issues:

A statement Similar to this:

Rights of the People to Peaceably Assemble on Public Lands (National Forest Lands)are recognized by the U.S. Forest Service. Forest Service duties and obligations as regards these events are to insure that all citizens' and participants' rights and liberties are protected.

Specifically, the Rights of Association, Assembly, Expression, Petition, Religious Freedom. These Rights are "Of subject to conditions of authorization or non- authorization, It is the Constitutional duty of every Forest Service or other Government Personage to uphold and protect these Rights and Privileges.

(This statement is very similar to the oath of office of all Government employees, so this should be an easy in to the Regulation

(2) In the second part of this Regulation the Environmental, Health, Sanitation and Social Concerns will be dealt with:

(A) Forest Service, represented by the District Ranger, would work in cooperation With Rainbow (or other groups) to insure environmental protection, good clean-up, protection Of wildlife etc.: in previous Years, at Gatherings like Oregon ('78), Michigan '83) Missouri ('85), others, the relationship between Forest Service and Rainbow has been good. Our record for "great" clean-ups was superb. In 13 Years of Gathering, only North Carolina '87) was deemed, by the Forest Service not to be up to our usual good clean-ups.

We have spent many long hours consulting with Forest Service, in Federal Courts as previously noted) and in long discussions among our own people as to why, after all these years, that a Clean-up was "Of considered great. Rainbows' conclusion is the degree of harassment, intimidation etc. by the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement, denying us ingress and egress to the the Gathering Site, prior to the Gathering, during the Gathering and after the Gathering, throughout the entire clean-up, was the chief cause of there being such a long, slow clean-up. Rainbow states, for the record, that our people did a good clean-up, even through a "bust" The land has been viewed by our people and it has since recovered nicely. Our conclusion is that the Regional Policy of Seeing our Gathering as a Law Enforcement problem rather than as an Assembly of responsible people exercising our basic freedoms, was the problem.


A similar situation shaped up in Texas ('88), however, the federal Justice Justices' Order, with its accompanying "certication process" for health, sanitation seemed to cause the Forest Service Law Enforcement to "back-off" to to a degree, once the blockade of our Gates was "lifted".

Forest Service Law Enforcement continued to harass, intimidate, do active video surveillance, wear weapons openly, drive their vehicles in and through the Main areas of the Gathering: doing extensive environmental damage and inhibiting the free exercise of the people's rights as citizens to enjoy their freedom of expression. It is extremely difficult to stand up to express your opinion of Government Policies, that you may disagree with, when a government Camera is Recording all that you do or say.

Environmentally-oriented Forest Service personnel who know the territory i.e. District rangers are the key to the solution to the environmental problems.

(B) Health and sanitation: over the years Rainbow has worked with State (recently, Texas-Federal Health officials) maintaining a good working relationship (exception was North Carolina, '87). Generally speaking, our Rainbow standards are better, stronger, more suited to the natural environment. Example: in Texas (88) Federal health wanted us to correspond to U.S. Army Field Training Manual, while State health officials simply wanted to insure a healthy, sanitary Gathering. Field manual wanted us to install urinals (in the woods?) while leaving our latrines uncovered. Rainbow standard is a covered latrine, with flip-top covers (anyone who is in the woods at night who steps in a latrine (shitter) finds not only an unpleasant situation but an unhealthy one.

Rainbow is more than willing to work out consistent, workable health, sanitation policies (standards): our Calm/Mash/Temple crew, among others, are currently;y working on a Gathering Field Manual to include these standards.

(C) Social Concerns: Rainbow, and we are sure, other groups, are willing to deal with the local populace ourselves. Traditionally, we do so anyway. Oftentimes, even when the Forest Service Law is "Controlling" our Front Gates, local trouble-types have been allowed in while local good folks have been prevented from entering the Gathering. When Rainbow people Operate our gates, we have immediate contact with the folks who are on their way in to meet us. We can avert any problems up-front. This year in Texas many local people who wanted to attend the gathering did so in the face of harassment by Forest Service Law, while in one incident, a jeep with two "drinking" local trouble-types were allowed easy access to the Gathering, subsequently, one of our people was hurt...No Guns.


Our gatherings are open and free to all, however we are a private Gathering open to the public on public land.

Usually, excepting North Carolina and Texas, Forest Service has issued road closures leading into our main gathering sites. Standard Forest Service Policy.

As justice Justice pointed out in his Order (civil order no. L-88-68-Ca) Forest Service has many ways to enforce environmental laws and regulations, other than cfr 351, 261, etc. With the Special Operations Agreement: with the rights and liberties protected and the Health, Sanitation, and social Environmental concerns dealt with, the only things that would need to be worked out would be the "on site" specifics.

Obviously, Rainbow Family Tribal Council, represented by the Rainbow Legaliason Group desires to reach a peaceful agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, which uis why we initiated this Get-together. We have genuine concerns, and we know Forest Service has concerns also.

Our willingness to negotiate is evidenced by our presence. There are certain specific points we would like to repeat:

(1) Rights and Freedoms of the People to Peaceably Assemble on Public Lands for the purpose of Expression to be protected/Encouraged.

(2) Healthy, Safe, Positive Gatherings with good environmental relationship happen when cooperation on all sides is in evidence.

(3) No guns, no weapons, No vehicles, No Video (or other types) Surveillance, No taking License Plate numbers.

(4) Open, free ingress and egress of our people and our invited guests, family, friends, folks. We Operate Our Own Gates.

(5) Forest Service environmental personnel, perhaps one Forest Service Law, with additional back-up from local law is sufficient to insure a peaceful, secure event. This year, when an arrest was made of one Kim Ramsey, for Eagle Feathers, Neosho, aka Kim, was handled roughly. This type of handling was of the same nature as the arrest of Jim x Lynch C.O. in North Carolina '87, obstruction: neither arrest needed rough handling. Our people are peaceful. Better ways of dealing with these situations, It must be noted that Billy Ball, Forest Service Law, released Neosho into the custody of Barry Plunker, Rainbow Custody Shanti Sena (Peace Scenes group). If we have trouble beyond our means to deal with, we call in the law: this is a long-standing agreement, through many gatherings.


(6) We will not sign any Permit, now or int he future, but we will, as we have in the past, work out and carry through with an Operation Plan Agreement.

(7) This option: Special Operations Agreement is something our people, this legaliason group feels, will agree to.

(8) This Rainbow Legaliason Group, formerly established at the Texas '88 Gathering is composed of Volunteers. Some of theses Volunteers, and other Volunteers will, through the course of the next several years, continue to establish negotiations, peaceful relationships. All negotiations or agreements reached by the Legaliason Group are subject to Consensus Approval by Rainbow Family Tribal Council in session July 1, 1989- Nevada

(9) Rainbow Legalison people will maintain contact with the Forest Service throughout the year and during the gathering. The names and faces may change but the flow of information will be consistent.

(10) What is wanted and needed is a Consistent Forest Service Policy that deals with the various concerns and protects our Rights and Freedoms.

Gatherings like those sponsored by the Rainbow People are the Crest of the Wave of the Future of Public Land Use. The Day of the Individual Camping out in many forests is already drawing to a close. Large group camping, encampments, peaceable assemblies is the next logical step. We realize that this meeting would not have happened unless the time had come for Forest Service and Rainbow People to begin active peace talks. Many times in the past we have met Forest Service People who treated us with respect. It must be noted that these gatherings cost less in all ways, Forest Service and Rainbow. We like the positive approach.

Thank you for time and patience,
Rainbow Legaliason
for Rainbow Family Tribal Council

Good Working Relationships:
Dennis Martin, Gordon Rhinehart Oregon ('78)
Gene Reynolds, Idaho ('82)
Mickey Hall, Joseph Zylinksi, Michigan ('83)
Mike Lee, California ('84)
Bruce Platt, Missouri ('85)
Jon Serfass, Bob Burton, Pennsylvania ('86)
and a host of other Forest Service People who have worked good with us through the years, thank you.

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