The Rainbow Family gathering preaches peace but has escalated conflict


Rainbow Participants will gather on Friday in the main square to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rainbow family meeting in the Adams Park area of ​​Ruth National Forest.
Rainbow Participants will gather on Friday in the main square to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rainbow family meeting in the Adams Park area of ​​Ruth National Forest. (David Williams to the Washington Post)
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Ruth National Forest, Colo. – In the high forest, there were hundreds of tents, many guitars and drums, a little nudity, marijuana screaming, hard cutting, many hugs and a very long line. For burritos.

In the cities below, there was little anger over what happened above.

The rainbow family, which claims to be “the largest non-member organization in the world” and descends into the national jungle every week for hippies to meet nature and pray for peace, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. this year. A.D. In mid-June, he announced in mid-June that he had chosen the far-flung territory of Ruth County in northwestern Colorado for the first meeting, which began on Friday and is expected to attract 10,000 people.

This ecology was not properly accepted in the region during climate change and extinction. Just a rumor that the team could vote Five decades ago, at a meeting in a neighboring county, the commissioners issued a statement saying, “Don’t do anything.” The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department on Friday called on the audience to “celebrate the great outdoors.” The meeting was filled with locals and social media. A newspaper in Steam Boat Springs has published a series of articles by environmentalists criticizing the site’s choice of large herds of elk and sand crane in a drought-stricken state.

As the crowd flocked here for peace, the authorities set up a federal court on the side of the road to judge the suspects.

“It’s basically a city,” said Michel Stewart, executive director of the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. “If you want to focus on rainbows and focus on praying for world peace, do it where it is, not a lot of environmental impact.”

But in a country that often seems to be divided, the Rainbow Assembly’s half-century meeting tells the story of many Americans. The US Forest Service, which has repeatedly emphasized that the meeting was not allowed, will clean up the area from the Rainbow Family. The event, although unpublished and chaotic, included a well-organized and firefighting consultation. A long-term neighborhood audience turned left but may include a few Trumpsters and QAnon believers. Modern political divisions do not control speech under any circumstances.

“You’ve got a whole human process,” said 70-year-old Ray, who was dragging a 100-pound cart from the parking lot to the main dinner area on Friday. And the climax of the event, the Fourth of July, a silent prayer of peace and meditation. He did not want his full name to be published.

Ray He said he attended the first meeting in 1972 and since then has been at least 35, although over the past two years, there have been disagreements over the size of the assembly and the art of gathering during the epidemic. Now, he said, he wanted to pass the torch to the young rainbows – and he continued to give points.

“There is politics here too. The right of the people of the United States and the United States to peacefully gather – this is supposed to be – to exercise “religious faith, freedom of religion,” said Ray Oregon, a retired health worker. “In my view, at a time when fascist control is tightening, to enforce those rights.”

Since the Rainbow family does not have a leader, he insists that no one can sign a permit application, which requires the Forest Service to collect more than 74 people. Despite occasional tickets to the event without the permission of the agency, a general agreement was reached with the rainbow in the face of the confusion that the agency would not be able to hold a rally on public land without causing serious conflict.

Instead, the forest service has reorganized its “National Event Management Team” to deal with crises such as forest fires. A rainbow gathering event commander was appointed, and 40 federal law enforcement officers were assigned to the event.

“We are leading the event. We will not support them in any way, ”said Russell Harris, now in his fourth year of emergency management. However, he added, “They generally work with us to protect the property. And they are very good at rehabilitation.

Ruth County, for its part, set up an emergency operation center, provided a delivery line for the event, and was trying to build more ambulances so that the only small town near the crowd could be left empty-handed. A mountain. Craig’s mayor, Ryan Hess, another mayor of the city, said staff had placed garbage dumps and portable toilets around the city to protect overcrowded commuters. But so far things have been “very flawless,” said Hess, the sheriff’s deputy.

That Rout County Commissioner, Tim Corrigan, echoed the sentiments of some locals. He said it was because of a rainbow in 2006. Collecting in another part of the county left bad memories of garbage, diving and transmission in Steamboat Springs. During this time, he emphasized that the forest service and the district were better prepared.

“The counties do not have zero authority over what happens on federal land, so we were not in a position to allow or permit this event,” Corigan said.

“Welcome home,” greeted the audience. There were no worries about social media wars in their presence; There was no cell service. Handwritten signs warn people to pick up rubbish, settle at least 100 feet from streams, and stay out of ponds. Campgrounds show water filtration systems, temporary bridges and cracked toilets, covered with lime and soil and served by Rainbows – in the community’s unique Lingo – to the “work” or “focused” on the camp.

A long rainbow and unofficial guide to the circus Maximus At a convention in Arizona in 1998, he hung on fire and said he had returned for the first time in 10 years. He was wandering around the camp, reminding people that a personal fire had broken out and that shovels and buckets of water should be near all common fires. (Forest Service does not enforce local fire ban this year.)

Maximus, wearing a black cowboy hat and a Pallaski firearm, said: “It’s not a police force in this case.” “Please, it’s a compulsion.”

The meeting was organized around large camps and shared kitchens serving coffee, tea and food. No money changes. In one business, children and adults sell jewelry, stones, glass tubes, and sneakers. There was a rainbow on the field called Granola Funk, where music, gang performances, and other performances took place. In a Christian-themed kitchen, one attendee said that he was a believer in non-religious meetings.

“I’ve never seen Christians do that,” says 25-year-old Gavin Boyd from Fort Collins Collo Carpenter.

Beneath it was a stunningly beautiful plain, cut off by streams and new paths to camp. At the beginning of the journey, a sea of ​​vehicles was parked on the plains, covered with tiny sunflower-shaped ears. Birds of a feather flock together. Unseen newborn calves may be disturbed by the noise, said Larry Descardin, president of Keep Routt Wild.

Desjardin last month called for a forest service meeting, citing endangered wildlife, soil, water and trees. However, Desjardin said that in 2016, he saw Mallah’s national wildlife conservation as more a threat to nature than the capture of right-wing extremists.

“Everyone owns public land. It’s something we should all be proud of. ” But people have a lot of rights when they say, ‘I have to go wherever I want and at any time.’

Forest Service, raising concerns, closed a large section of the forest south of the meeting place.

Maximus, a long-time rainbow, said that there were similar protests around the convention.

“Oh, I have a very important reason not to do it here. “Not in my backyard!” He complained.

Nearby, the rainbows sang the song of Simon and Garfenkel In the area of ​​fire, and cultural conflicts seem distant.

But they It was front and center that morning, on the road from the parking lot. There, the Denver Magistrate’s Court ruled in favor of the Federal District Court. About 100 people were charged with felony criminal mischief – a rainbow.

“Have you ever been to a better court than this?” Judge Michael E. Hegarti spoke to the group on the other side of the yellow police cassette, along with security officers. He was dressed in black; Most of the defendants were barefoot.

Many said they were dragged for petty reasons – an air conditioner hanging from the rear view mirror, a bike rack closing the license plate – and then marijuana, which they said was supposed to be allowed in Colorado, where recreational use is legal. . It’s not legal, it’s scary, on federal land.

He later told the group that he, a lawyer, was a “kangaroo court” and that federal law enforcement had used the event as a “training ground.”

“They are trying to do their job,” Hegarti said of law enforcement. “You people are trying to enjoy nature and to enjoy each other. And all that is good. And sometimes those things conflict.

Julie Bray and Shanda Johnson spent two days at the convention before it officially began. It was Tex’s first time, and they found themselves cold for the night – and said they weren’t ready for the rules. When a federal police officer pulled them in and asked if they had cannabis, Johnson said confidently, “Yes, it’s Colorado, yes!” they said.

They are now in court, and they intend to leave after their proceedings. Still, he said, the audience has lived up to their expectations.

“I read an article, and the article said that there are people from different walks of life – hippies and cyclists and Jesus Freaks, and ‘God, that’s where I want to go!” I thought. Johnson, 37, is a massage therapist in Abilly. “But I’m done.”

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