The police presence at the Rainbow Gathering this year was quite unsettling. There is always some type of police presence near the Gathering and sometimes within the Gathering, but this year seemed to be heavy on that presence (at least in my limited experience – this was my 4th Gathering since 1998). On our way in to the Gathering on July 2 and out of the Gathering on July 6, through the mountain dirt and gravel roads, we saw people pulled over and dogs searching cars in numerous spots. There were reports of people being cited for things like not using turn signals to turn onto dirt roads from other dirt roads, not applying brakes properly on curves, and not adhering to the 20 mile per hour speed limit, even if they were just one mile over that limit.
During the evening meal circle on Thursday, July 3rd, I noticed federal law enforcement walking around the circle:
These officials had on black gloves.
Shortly after that there was a commotion from the forest at the edge of the meadow. People were screaming that the police had opened fire in Kiddie Village. What we learned was this:
Apparently an undercover police officer had identified one individual who had been offering him marijuana and when the undercover office called for reinforcement to arrest the individual, the individual resisted arrest. This resulted in other Gathering participants surrounding the police, from what I hear. I was not in the area nor did I witness the actual incident, so I am not sure exactly what happened, but from eye witnesses I heard nothing of Gathering participants throwing sticks or rocks as the news reports indicate, in fact, quite the opposite. What I did hear from a friend who was there and witnessing it all is that the police opened fire at peoples’ feet with pepper spray pellets and rubber bullets and then fired the same projectiles directly at people’s bodies. The reports indicate that they did this with children in the area and one child was hit.
Here is a photo of my friend’s left side from being hit by the police shooting:
There were many more reports and accounts of police brutality.
Fortunately, people who witnessed the event provided documentation.
Here are links about the incident as told on live radio to We The People Radio Network which had a reporter attending the Gathering with equipment like a satellite phone on which she could call in about this particular incident and other Gathering happenings:
and has posted this photo:
and a link to a blog that had a post on the incident and also has really nice updates on the Rainbow Gathering:
and has this audio:
I have not yet seen anything appear on You Tube.
Here is a link to Pinedale Online which has been reporting regularly on the Gathering:
Its photo page is here:
Here is a link to a blog that has been offering updated information when possible:
I will update this particular post as I obtain more information. I was part of a recording myself by an individual gathering audio information on his recorder.