Letter from Rainbow Legaliaison 3/29/93
P.O. Box 27217
Washington, D.C. 20038
March 29, 1993
Reply To: 2700
2250 Highway 50
Delta, Colorado 81416
Dear Mr. Hill,
Thanks for sending a copy of the Forest Service's Rainbow Gathering
1992 report in response to my request. Hopefully it will promote
some common understanding. Immediately, there are two points
which I find difficult to understand.
First, the report appears to be inherently dichotomous. On the
one hand it claims, "managers need to remember they are dealing
with PEOPLE. They need to find common ground and work from
there.... Work with them versus against them." Pg. 43. On the
contrary there is also strong emphasis on "proactive management,"
maintaining "a strong law enforcement presence" (pg. 5), for
"proactive response" (pg. 7, emphasis in original), "(l)aw
enforcement ... proactive, not reactive management needs to be
emphasized." Because "proactive" could serve as a convenient
euphemism for "first strike," or "harassment," the dichotomy
arises in trying to understand how a "proactive response" is
other than an "us versus them" management approach.
Forest Service expenses are also a little tough to understand.
For example on pg. 7 the total sum is given as $396,208.
Simultaneously on pg. 34 the figure is put at $483,000. In
either event, the money seems to have gone largely to "proactive"
law enforcement. If economy is to be a Forest Service concern,
it would certainly seem that a considerable savings could be
accomplished by scaling "law enforcement" more realistically.
"For comparison, arrests made in Delta County in 1991 for the
period of June 15 through July 15 totaled 81. In 1992 the total
number of arrests for the same period is 125." Pg. 32. "The
Rainbow Family gathering represented a doubling of Delta County's
population." Pg. 33. Apparently this "doubling" of population
resulted in only a 50% increase in crime. These figures seem to
indicate that 1) the average "Rainbow Family member" is at least
twice as law-abiding -- particularly considering the strong,
proactive law enforcement task force arrayed against them -- as
the average Delta County resident, and 2) the wisdom of spending
small fortunes on "proactive law enforcement" is questionable.
NOTE: "Proactive" is a new word. It has only begun appearing in
dictionaries within the past few years. I do not understand why
"proactive" is necessarily a "good" idea.
Second, I was personally troubled by the report's speculative
finale: "Recognize that Rainbow legal activity may have
alternative motives." Pg. 43.
My association with the Rainbow Family is almost exclusively
limited to "legal activity;" which has been directed at
developing strategies to AVOID going to court. Recognize that
there wouldn't be any "legal activity" on my part except for the
Forest Service's ongoing attempt to "violate the 'freedom of
religious expression' clause of the First Amendment" (pg. 2), by
amending 36 CFR 251 and 261.
Please also recognize my personal legal activity is motivated
solely by a sincere impression that certain elements influencing
Forest Service policy have been -- for whatever well-intentioned
purposes -- attempting to stifle the constitutional right of
peaceable assembly on public lands under the guise of "proactive"
law enforcement; which, I believe, is not a "good" idea.
Because the success of my legal activities on behalf of the
Rainbow Family will depend on my ability to achieve some degree
of understanding with the government officials with to I am
communicating, an official government report purporting "that
Rainbow legal activity may have alternative motives," is
pejorative, and, at least in my own case, untrue.
Specifically, I would appreciate it if you could help me
understand 1) how "proactive" law enforcement contributes to
management which is not "us versus them," and 2) why the Forest
Service's official report appears to conclude with a gratuitous
swipe at "Rainbow legal activity."
Thanks for your prompt attention.
In service to peace through understanding,
cc: Secretary Michael Espy, DOA
Lamar Beasley, USFS
Marian Connolley, USFS
Cathy Way, White House, Domestic Policy
Don Arbuckle, OMB, Forest Service Desk
David Sentielle, D.C. Circuit Court
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