PRESS RELEASE: Forest Service Called “Rogue Agency”

(by Colorado Legal Eagles)

For immediate release, July 11, 2008

Forest Service Called “Rogue Agency”


[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 back.

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 be tolerated.

We urge all concerned citizens to contact the following people and demand that these attacks on Rainbow stop at once.

Mark Rey
USDA Undersecretary
1400 Independence Ave. SW, 217-E
Washington, DC 20250
Phone: 202-720-7173
Fax: 202-720-0632

USFS Chief Gail Kimbell
Phone: 202-205-1661

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
Phone: 703-605-4690

USFS Law Enforcement and Investigations
Senior Special Agent Gene Smithson
Phone: 703-605-4502


wordpress counter
wordpress blog stats

May 10, 2009. Uncategorized.

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: