Rainbow ‘observer’ responds to lassennews.com

Man, I’m the same age— not much of a gentleman, but surely a scholar.

I went to the first Gathering in 1972 right out of Yale, came back 19 years later.  With the same institutional biases, I looked for the people running this amazing multi-functional “Rainbow” Organization, could not find them, then discovered that there are no such people, and no such thing:

It’s an evolved tradition and creed of assembly:  Citizens come together voluntarily on common ground and Just Do It — all the work of creating, sustaining, and disappearing an expressive community over a few weeks, and leaving public land clean and restored.  This is not hyperbole … I worked on the first cleanup in ’72 and many more since.

I know the “water guy” well.  He has deep knowledge of headwaters hydrology, resourceful with mobile tools and tech, dedicated in service of health and safety. He owns the flatbed, hauls donated ABS pipe, gear and filters and works with others who have learned how … that’s all it is.  What you’ve ‘seen for yourself’ is personal responsibility, and the ability of people to organize their efforts in mutual support – not to be confused as callow proof of some shadowy conspiratorial “organization.”

It is deluded and demeaning to assume that such things can only be done by minions taking orders from bosses  This misses the point profoundly, and falls into the falsehoods of the real ‘Deep State’ cops and lawyers who can conceive of nothing else – who contrive to exclude citizens from public land and to stop peaceful speech in a traditional public forum.

Get it through your thick corporate skulls: No “Somebody” sent them, told them where to go or what to do.

Get over whatever cartoon you conjure about secret backing from some Soros or Caracas cabal:  It Just Ain’t So.

People agree on how to confer and cooperate, acting in consensus with peers and past learning. This is a challenging historic experiment in true public assembly exercised as a personal right, as the First Amendment intends.

The “party line” is simple:  “No one can speak for the Rainbow Family.”  This longstanding consensus elegantly affirms the reality that a transient get-together of friendly strangers cannot be a legal entity, that this dream-with-a-name has no vested authority or agent capacity for any official statement, contract, or Permit. The only parties with standing are the people there, equal and personally responsible, and everyone speaks for themselves — the legal fact you choose to disbelieve.

I am only a “mouthpiece” for PCU•Free Assembly Project – a research and advocacy organization taking on these issues in the public interest.  I have to observe and report accurately, in its mission to protect rights.  It is an “unincorporated association,” the minimal legal formation – which the putative ‘Rainbow Family’ is alleged to be, but is not.
I know the difference and legal tests first-hand, and witness the loaded 1st Amendment implications.

So I know what’s at stake for all of us.  We can “disagree” on our favorite tacos, but on this matter we need to concur on facts and elements of law to see their meaning, before drawing facile conclusions.

Heed the prescience of Eleanor Roosevelt: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Art. 20: (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

If you want a “story on the Rainbow side,” you can write up my correspondence as a vested but objective observer … (in-context, please). As for others – yup, “no leaders”, but there are knowledgeable people who will speak for themselves, with further first-hand news. Maybe I can put you in touch, with their permission first, of course.

Thanks for your attention in good faith.

Scottie Addision, PCU•Free Assembly Project, Special to lassennews.com.