Thursday, November 27, 2008

Grandma Brigade

Those of you who've been to gatherings in the last couple of years are familiar with "crusty corner." I love those kids, but we're ending up with a generation gap at the gathering and if we don't deal with it soon, we're going to loose our future. I spoke to various people about the generation gap in Wyoming and since and realize that the grandmas are guiding the way.

I call it the "grandma brigade" and it's our wonderfully cool, wise and loving grandmas hanging out with our younger family. I don't see this as grandmas giving unwanted advise to the younger generation, but just makeing friends, creating a connection and being a "grandma" to a bunch of kids who don't seem to have a lot of grandma energy in their lives.

In New Mexico, I'd love to see roaming gangs of grandmas kicking it at Phat Kids or Shutup and Eat It or Death Camp. Our grandmas are our strength and we desperately need them wandering around our gathering and hanging out at campfires, sitting with folks at trade circle and sharing their physical energy.

Grandmas of the gathering, we need you. Please come out and join the Grandma Brigade.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Possible Secretary of Agriculture

Tim LaSalle is CEO of Rodale Institute, a 60-year-old organization dedicated to researching and educating farmers and consumers about sustainable agriculture. He holds his doctorate in depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, a master’s in populations genetics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and a bachelor of science degree from California Polytechnic State University. For 12 years, he was a full professor at Cal Poly, where he taught dairy science classes and served as the president and CEO of California’s Agriculture Education Foundation. While at Cal Poly, LaSalle started and operated a conventional dairy near Templeton, California. More recently, LaSalle served in an executive capacity with various nonprofit organizations, including the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo County and the Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management.

Keep in mind that in our bizarre world, the Secretary of the Dept of Agriculture oversees the National Forests as well as farming issues.

Make your two cents heard here. YOUR VISION
Word on the street is that Sarah Palin came out of a blog posting, so anything is possible.
For those not in the know, check out Pacifica online It's a really cool place. Kind of Harvard meets Haight Street.
For a list of other possibilities, try these links
Yale Sustainable Food Project

Diet Detective
Yahoo News Article

And if you really want some play, visit the Executive Director of the Sierra Club's blog and give him some feedback as to the type of person we want for these key positions under Obama


Monday, November 17, 2008

Thanksgiving Council Directions

Dear Family,

You are invited to attend this year's ThanksGiving Council at "Frenchy's old place" outside Tres Piedres and Taos New Mexico.

Here are the directions:

From Taos: Past the traffic signal at the north of town go northwest approx 24 miles on Highway 64. One block west of The Colorado Road turn right and go 1/4 mile north. You're there!

From Tres Piedres: Go 3 1/2 miles eastward on Highway 64. Turn north one block west west of The Colorado Road and go 1/4 mile. You're there!

Days should be sunny and cool and nights will be F-r-i-g-i-d. Come prepared for cold nights. Bring water and those who can, bring firewood too. There is some indoor accomodation and some tipi/tenting for those with warm gear. There is space for live-in vehicles. As usual all donations will be accepted and used in a cooperative manner

We'll have Thanksgiving dinner and circle on Thanksgiving and start counciling Friday morning. That should continue thru Saturday and wind up Sunday sometime. Bring food to share, maps and all the best ideas for discussion. We become the Family we want to be by listening to each other!

There is no land line phone there, but some cell phones get service.

Travel safely and we will see you there!

Peace and Love,

New Mexico Rainbow Family

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Barack Obama and the Rainbow Gathering

Those of you who have been involved know the struggles we have faced to continue gathering due to Forest Service Regulations. If you're not quite up to speed, there's a lot of good information posted at Welcome Home and Wyoming Gathering Blogspot and Prop 1.

Well change is coming to the United States Forest Service and Barack has the opportunity to deal with us straight up by appointing people to the upper reaches of the Forest Service who support the rights of the people to freely assemble. Who believe that a gathering is a recreational event of individuals. Who believe that one million dollars of tax payer money is better spent on planting trees than harassing hippies.

So what do we do next?

The number one man in the United States Forest Service Law Enforcement & Investigations division (John Twiss) just stepped down. I have heard that the acting
chief is Dave Ferrell-a man with much experience working with Rainbow Gatherings.

The current Undersecretary of the United States Department of Agriculture is Mark Rey, a former timber industry lobbyist. Mr. Rey has been working with us for the last couple of years, but he leaves his post when Barak Obama is inaugurated as the President (January 20, 2009).

The two people who fill these positions are going to have an enormous amount of influence over our gatherings for the length of their appointments, which if we're lucky will be 8 years. Think about how bad things have gotten for us under the Bush Administration. Well it's time for a change.

So I am asking you to make your voice hear. Barack has a transition website up where you can easily make your voice heard. So what to do?

Visit YOUR VISION and tell your story about going to a Rainbow Gathering and how the United States Forest Service treated you and ask that Barack Obama appoint a new Undersecretary who supports the rights of the people to gathering, who will treat gathering participants like human beings, who recognizes that gathering on public lands is a legitimate user of our forests, who will stop the violence committed by the United States Forest Service towards people who gather to pray for world peace.

Send the same message to your United States Senators and your United States Congressional Representative.

The time is now. I call on Thanksgiving Council to discuss this subject. It is the most important peace of business in which we can engage.

I call on all Rainbow circles, and individuals and people with an interest in justice and the future of the Rainbow Gatherings to make their voice heard, nominate specific candidates for Chief Law Enforcement Offices and Undersecretary. The time is now. If we wait even two months, this opportunity will have passed us by.

If we do this in a thoughtful, positive manner now, in New Mexico we will have stopped the madness perpetrated by the federal government against our children, against our elders, against all our brothers and sisters. If we let this moment pass us by, the violence will continue to escalate at the gathering.

The time is now family. Please forward this information to all your circles everywhere: rainbow and beyond. We need 100,000 voices letting President Elect Barack Obama know that we need a change in our National Forests.

As an aside, on November 4, California voted to ban gay marriage and the shock has been felt around the world. Yesterday over one million gay and straight people marched in 300 cities in ten countries demanding equal rights. This movement was born of the pain we felt in our hearts at the discrimination against our brothers and sisters who are now being denied the right to marry because they are GLBT.

Here in San Diego, two or three amazing women in their early twenties started a movement 8 days ago that brought twenty five thousand people into the streets of San Diego alone yesterday demanding equality for all. All my faith is in my younger brothers and sisters. We need you and we need you now.

~ Sí, se puede

~ ~ ~ ~ Namaste

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanksgiving Council Directions Are Coming

I should have the directions by Thursday. Apparently the local family is still discussing the site they think will be the best one. Definitely in New Mexico.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Brain Drain

About a year ago I started thinking about the brain drain at the Rainbow Gathering. My two cents on why it's happening is that this ongoing conflict with the United States Forest Service and their extreme harassment of gathering participants has fueled it. I'll save the details on that for another day. On to the topic of today's post.

The Rainbow Gathering depends on fresh ideas and new perspectives. While the percentage of first time attendees in recent years seems as high as ever, the type of first time gatherer seems to be predominately people who come in a more searching/needing/learning mode. The percentage of first time gatherers who come with skills to share seems to be at an all time low. By skills to share, I mean people who are holistic healers, yoga gurus, master drummers, experienced activists, peace keepers and other types of light workers.

Last spring I began a project in preparation for the 2008 annual gathering that took place in Wyoming. I started researching people with the skills I felt we needed. I printed up postcards on my computer with a brief blurb about the gathering and links to a couple of websites. I sent these out to a few hundred people over a period of a couple of months to people I found online in Southern California and the areas in and around Wyoming.

How did I do it? I would pick a topic - say acupuncturists and google them say near Denver and in a completely subjective process, I would pick five or six and send them the postcard. I did this anonymously for the most part, although towards late May I started sending the info via email messages.

I have no idea if any people came to the gathering from the information I sent out. I did hear from two people in response to the email that they were planning on coming.

One of the limitations of this project was that I started very late and many people with great skills plan their lives months if not years in advance. I'm putting this out in the hopes that more people will pick up this project. We need more people with alternative healing skills at CALM. We especially need people who know how to video police abuse. We need some master drummers because frankly, the drumming in Wyoming was a bit sad. I'm sure you can think of a lot of areas where a few people with great skills and good teaching style could help us in our quest (what ever you consider that to be).

So in the hopes of getting started early this year, I'm putting this out and hoping some people will join me in continuing the effort for New Mexico in 2009.

Here's the blurb that I used last year:

XXXth Annual Rainbow Gathering of the Tribes
July 1 to 7, 2008 in XXX
Silent Prayer/Meditation for World Peace
July 4 dawn until noon

The Rainbow Gathering is a totally free, non-commercial gathering of people. We invite all people to come camp with us in a magical mountain meadow in XXX, chop firewood, haul water, cook food and participate in workshops on non-violent direct action, yoga, alternative healing, and make music, create art and dance until your feet fall off.

Some say we're the largest non-organization of non-members in the world. We have no leaders, and no organization. To be honest, the Rainbow Family means different things to different people. I think it's safe to say we're into intentional community building, non-violence, and alternative lifestyles. We also believe that Peace and Love are a great thing, and there isn't enough of that in this world. We have a strong orientation to take care of the Earth.

Please join us in creating the world the way we want it to be. or