community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
Forest Service and Rainbow Gathering go Head to Head
by Karin Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2005 at 12:49 PM
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The United States Forest Service has erected a blockade at the Rainbow Gathering in the Monongahelia National Forest east of Elkins, near Alpena to stop the flow of gatherers heading home.
The United States Forest Services wants an individual to sign a group use
permit for the gathering. As the permit application states, it's a felony
to falsify information on a federal document and the person signing must be
a "duly authorized representative" of the group. The Federal government has
created a Catch-22 situation. No individual can be duly authorized by a
non-hierarchical free assembly open to all peoples. Any person that is
terrorized by the United States Forest Service into signing will be
committing a felony.
Despite various alternatives offered by individual gatherers to the United
States Forest Service over a number of years, the Incident Command team
continues to try to enforce a regulation targeting corporations and
non-profit groups on a public assembly event.
As people stream into the area to attend the annual Gathering of the Tribes
and are turned away from the gathering site, they are bound to pile up in
adjacent areas. As of June 13th, approximately 115 people were at the
gathering site behind the blockade and countless others are wandering the
back roads of West Virginia with no place to land. As the days go by, the
number of wandering gypsies stranded near Elkins, West Virginia is bound to
The only way to get the facts on this situation is to go to the gathering
site and talk to the people behind the blockade. There are some gatherers
with information on the situation holed up at the Stuart Camp ground.
A rally is scheduled for Thursday, June 16 at the entrance to the Gathering site.
Drive slowly & carefully on these WV roads, they have no guardrails, and
are steep drops.
From Elkins, WV, take 33 east past Bowden to Alpena (approx.13 mi). At the
Alpena Lodge & Cafe (the only thing there) take a left (north) up County
Rd. 12, also known as Galdwin Rd and CR26 in some areas. CR12 goes thru
the countryside and dives down toward the Glady Fork (approx 5 mi). At the
bottom of the hill, just before CR12 crosses the Glady Fork River & turns
into CR10-Sully Rd, take a hard (120%) left on to FR 162, which is Bus
Village. Go to the gated end of Bus Village (FR162). Just beyond the gate
is a meadow on the left. At the back right of this meadow is Easy Street, a
gentle grassy ancient railroad bed, which goes off to the left. Follow Easy
Street up to Main Trail and take a right to Main Circle, which is the third
meadow on the trail.
From the East, from Harrisonburg, VA take 33 west into Wavy past Franklin,
WV and Seneca Rocks. Stay on US 33 past Wymer to Alpena, take a right on
CR12 and follow the above.