Sunday, July 02, 2006

Hippies declare war

Not really, but the Rainbow Family is being unusually militant this year: "Hippie group founder urges suit vs. feds."

In a totally American way.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- A founding member of a hippie movement called the Rainbow Family suggested Saturday that it launch a federal lawsuit against a growing crackdown on their annual gatherings.

Barry Adams, known in the Rainbow Family as Barry Plunker, told a council circle at the first day of this year's weeklong gathering at Routt National Forest that federal pressure has gone too far.

Dozens of Forest Service officers, county deputies and Colorado State Patrol officers are manning checkpoints and patrolling camps as thousands of hippies flood the forest about 30 miles north of Steamboat Springs.

Under federal rules, any gathering of more than 74 people in a national forest requires a permit. Officials have said that in a fire, the narrow dirt access road would become clogged and campers would be trapped.

The clash between Rainbows and federal officers at national parks has become such an annual tradition that the Forest Service in 1998 established a national response team to deal with the group. Members defying federal orders typically are issued citations for camping illegally. . . .

The Forest Service estimated that by Friday night about 6,000 tie-dyed hippies were camping in makeshift villages. That number swelled dramatically Saturday, the first official day of the gathering. . . .

Rainbows formed drum circles, exchanged beads, batik and crystals, and lined up at communal kitchens for meals. Everything is free, from meals to yoga classes to massage. Hugs are doled out at every turn and members greet each other by saying, "Welcome home."

Adams, 61, was drifting with a group of fellow hippies in the 1960s after his service during the Vietnam War when he decided to fulfill a vision of holding a giant gathering based on peace and love. Since the first Rainbow Family gathering in Colorado in 1972, he said, the federal government has denied permits and has done what it could to block the annual gathering. . . .


  • Barry Plunker? Please let it be because he plays the banjo.

  • Did Barry ask David Lane about this? He's not mentioned in the story.

  • "Manning checkpoints and patrolling camps . . ." It's a hippie gulag!

  • Mmmmm, communal kitchens.

  • Didn't the feds have an Incident Management Team at Waco?

  • An old lesson: never, ever, piss off a hippie. They'll rip your nads off and play hackey-sack with 'em.

  • Local color: "6000 tie-dyed hippies."

  • Humorous elision: "6000 tie-dyed hippies . . . swelled dramatically Saturday . . ."
  • Happy Independence Day.

    Earlier Rainbow Gathering foolishness here, under "Happy news."

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