PRESS RELEASE: Fourth Barrage of Rainbow Tickets to be Heard Monday

Contact:  Website:
Email: rpcrew1 at
John McCall, Attorney at Law, (505) 256-1998


Albuquerque, NM (July 5th, 2009)- On Monday, July 6th at 9:00 AM approximately 76 more attendees from the Rainbow Gathering are expected to appear in New Mexico Federal Magistrate Court, 333 Lomas Blvd, Albuquerque for mandatory hearings on tickets issued by United Stated Forest Service (USFS) Law Enforcement Officers. About the same amount of cases were heard at each of the Rainbow gatherers’ court dates held on the past two Mondays and last Wednesday, also in Albuquerque. Reports indicate that most tickets were paid. The tickets are primarily for minor traffic violations such as “dirty license plate.” Gatherers must travel 240 miles round trip from the Gathering site near Cuba, NM to appear in court or federal warrants are issued for their arrest. Interested parties are encouraged to attend.

This year’s annual Rainbow Gathering is happening in the Parque Venado area of the Santa Fe National Forest from July 1 through 7. Clean-up runs from July 8 to completion. Rainbow volunteers who arrived early to set up were met with intense harassment by the USFS National Incident Management Team (NIMT, also known as “Incident Command Team”) who exhibited a range of behavior from aiming pepper ball rifles during a nighttime raid of camp to issuing tickets at daily illegal roadblocks where people, their belongings and their camping gear were searched. Interestingly, the NIMT denied establishing any checkpoints or roadblocks in a June 28th press release:

Even more interesting, an early report indicates that as of July 2nd, the day after the most recent court hearing, the roadblocks ceased. Some attendees believe the officers who were conducting the checkpoints have moved into the Gathering and are now proceeding with daily shows of force in camp including walk-throughs and stand-arounds in which up to one out of every three officers is seen carrying pepper ball rifles, and officers routinely videotape their surroundings. US Marshals accompany the NIMT on their patrols which seems to help keep them under control.

Campers are enjoying their reunion as well as the forest, which is dotted with breathtaking blooming blue irises. The event began on July 1st with a single clap of thunder at 12:05 AM, seemingly welcoming the gatherers “back-to-nature.” There had been slight precipitation about every other day until on July 4th when it poured. Still the gatherers joined hands and prayed for peace in silence all morning in a huge meadow until the silence was broken with prayer and celebration. Soon the rain stopped, the children paraded to the center of the circle where they were rejoiced, and 250 watermelons along with peaches and plums were shared.

One highlight of the day was a late afternoon double rainbow which stretched across the sky and lingered for maybe a half an hour, becoming more vibrant by the minute. A long-time gatherer described the sight as “the most stunning, spectacular rainbow I have ever seen…the space between the two rainbows was darker than the rest of the sky, it was just astounding…it was as spectacular as the Northern Lights!” Gatherers felt truly blessed. Another highlight was a swinging Dixieland jazz band playing at a home-made theater decorated with red and white contrasting panels.

Tickets issued at illegal roadblocks may be contested in court because they are in violation of the Fourth Amendment. (See US Supreme Court ruling at
Attendees continue to enjoy the Rainbow Gathering, and all peaceful people are invited to attend.

Travel advisory for getting to camp: Have all paperwork and be sure vehicles are in good repair. Have nothing on the dashboard or hanging from the rearview mirror. Keep windshields and license plates clean, especially when driving on unpaved roads. Obey all traffic laws, watch for stop signs, and use turn signals, especially at all unpaved intersections. Follow guidelines of the parking crew who will greet you at the front gate. Media personnel are especially welcome. Pull into the designated Media Parking area and check in to be escorted through the camp. Tours begin at 12:00 pm daily from the Media Parking area.

Travel advisory for getting around camp: most of the Gathering is no more than a ¾ mile hike from the parking lot. Wear good shoes and bring a large water bottle and a reusable plate and cup if you wish to partake in the free food and drink. Throughout the gathering, keep up to date with the latest developments in parking restrictions by checking at the Info booth and Main Circle announcements. Many gatherers love interacting with the media and will gladly be filmed. But in respect for people’s freedom of religious expression, it is requested that anyone taking photographs or film images ask permission from each individual to be included in the shot.

Directions to the Gathering (from Cuba, NM): Take State Road 126 east for 13 + miles to FS Road 103 on left, go 2 miles to FS Road 69 on left then drive 9 miles to where FS Road 69 meets FS Road 70.

NIMT press releases and statements are on the Forest Service’s website,

This press release is provided as a service of the Rainbow press crew, an unofficial affiliation of volunteers. Additional press releases are on the Rainbow press crew’s website,

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July 5, 2009. Uncategorized.

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