We are planning an event in Ocala Florida on July 24-28,2020. This event could change if my court case gets moved back again. This event is to raise awareness about the current class-action lawsuit against city Ocala for making homelessness a crime. We are also addressing our case with the federal government with our right to peacefully assemble and the abuse of law and power and harrassment, at this year's Ocala Rainbow Gathering. We will have live music, workshops and debeates on homelessness, drug addiction and the Let My People Go Bill. We are starting a tiny house villiage called, “Open Lodginig” named after the ticket the city of Ocala is issuing the homeless for camping.
We really feel the Rainbow Family has been impacted by the camping ban and could be a part of this class-action lawsuit. Open Lodging is the ticket being issued for camping in the city of Ocala. Rainbows hitchhike in and out of Ocala on their way to and from the Ocala Rainbow gathering. They most likely wouldn’t know about this lawsuit, because they would have left town after being released from jail. So, if anyone has received an open lodging ticket, please contact us and we can get you in touch with the ACLU, who is suing the city.
So to catch everyone up to speed we got in a little altercation with the feds at this year's Ocala Rainbow Gathering. Someone signed a permit agreeing to bring in porta potties and that we couldnt dig holes. To make things even more questionable, they are not revealing who the person was that signed the permit.
What is a Rainbow Gatherings?
Rainbow Gatherings have been going on since 1972 in National Forests all around the world. They range in size and have had as many as 25K-30K people, at the National Rainbow Gathering. This year's National Rainbow Gathering will take place in Idaho around the 4th of July weekend.
The Rainbow Gatherings are spiritual gatherings of people from many different tribes and religious affiliations from the Hare Krishnas to Christians. We operate a Jesus Kitchen/Nomads Land.
There is no official leadership or an official organization. They have been exercising the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of religion for almost 50 years. The government added that you needed to have a permit to peacefully assemble with more than 75 people. Most Rainbows are against signing this permit because no one person can take responsibility. The Rainbow Family operates on a consensus basis and it has never consented to signing this permit and honestly, it will never happen.
In 2018-19, Ocala Rainbow Gathering permits were signed. They came in two years in a row trying to kick us out of the woods before the ending date of the gathering. The first year, everyone complied, and in 2019 we organized a prayer gathering at our Jesus Kitchen to pray about what we should do. Should we fight it or comply? As we were gathering, some Rainbows came running in saying we could stay. Our government has a history of not following through with treaties. Look what they did to the Native Americans and all the broken treaties.
We have had a Jesus Loves You Kitchen in the Ocala Rainbow Gathering since 1997. We have joined arms with the local church, as well as ministries from all around the nation.
This year, the forestry department came in and put up signs saying we were not permitted to dig any holes at the Ocala Rainbow Gathering, including compost holes, latrines, or holes of any nature. We heard Rainbow rumors that there was something in the permit about having to provide porta potties. I’ve been attending Rainbow Gatherings since 1995 and this was something that has never happened before to my knowledge.
One of my Rainbow names is Goldy Plopps or Shanta Shitzy and I encourage Rainbows to dig shitters throughout all the gathering, even knighting people to dig latrines with a plunger. I also check out other camp’s latrines to see who has the best latrine in the woods. So the posting of signs prohibiting digging really got my attention.
I went down to the forestry department and asked for any paperwork showing it was illegal for us to dig holes. They said they would have someone call me and no one did. I then called them asking for the information. They never returned my call, so I then took 15 Rainbows with me to the forestry office. We wore adult diapers and prison uniforms or shirts that said: “Let My People Go”. I felt this was a harmless show of our sincere protest. We again asked for written proof saying digging latrines was not allowed, and requested solutions. They STILL didn’t have any information for us. At that point, we did a prayer/trash clean up/action in front of the forestry office and along the highway in protest to the harassment.
When I arrived back at camp, I learned the forestry department had told someone else that we needed to fill in our latrine. They came back the following day and asked me if I had complied with their request. I told them absolutely not. It was a health violation, and would have endangered my family, our ministry team (Jesus Kitchen), the Rainbow Family and every LEO officer in the woods. FYI this was at the beginning of the Corona virus scare.
This ticket was issued on Valentine's Day. The ticket I was issued for digging was spelled “whole” not hole. I’m not sure if that's a case for dismissal or if she hasn't written too many tickets for digging holes. I feel that they came after me because of our action at the Ranger Station. We were just trying to get answers in a humorous way, but I feel like we stepped on their toes, or perhaps our group intimidated them, which was not our intent.
We also let the Rainbow Family know that Jesus Kitchen would pay any latrine tickets for those who either went into town and cleaned a bathroom or cleaned property in front of a local business. We did this because us not being able to safely go the restroom in the woods would have an impact on the community. Hopefully, these things would help ease the tension between the Rainbow Family and the locals.
We feel like if we were the Boy Scouts, ROTC or military, they would not have had any issues with the latrines and they were just harassing the Rainbow Family. In fact, there is a bombing range very close to where we gathered this year. I'm sure these bombs had a bigger impact than the poo bombs the Rainbows were shooting in the ground. At almost every National Forest trailhead in Florida and around the county, it clearly states that you're to dig a hole and cover your poop.
We then went down to the Federal Court building in Ocala dressed in prison uniforms, with a few hippies, a llama and an alpaca, to draw attention to our action. There we met a homeless man who informed us of a class-action lawsuit against the city of Ocala for how they are treating the homeless. Their solution to homelessness is jail. In a nutshell, I believe the hippies are being harassed in the Ocala Forest and the homeless are being harassed and persecuted by the City of Ocala.
This harassment has gone on for years. They have a task force that has been assigned to the Rainbow Family and feel there are many violations and profiling that have occurred on many levels.
So we are considering suing the permit holder/whistleblower for not providing the porta potties that were evidently part of the signed contract. We don't know this for sure because they are not disclosing the name of the permit signer. They are not providing it because of potential retaliation from the Rainbow Family. This is the same procedure for an informant or what we just experienced with the whistleblower in the impeachment case against the president. We are considering suing the federal government for harassment and health endangerment.
On that note, we are encouraging no one to sign permits for any upcoming gatherings. If any are signed, we encourage people to gather in a different site. We should also check to make sure there has been an archeological study done wherever we're gathering. They tried to pull that card at this year's Ocala gathering. This was the same spot we had gathered in on multiple occasions. We should also consider gathering in the closest big city if they start harassing us or giving out tickets for illegal gathering.
I really think these two movements should join in this fight together. Both cases are appearing in the same Federal Court. www.LetMyPeopleGoBill.com.
Open Lodging tiny house villiage
We would like to establish a tiny house village in Florida, as well as other strategic locations around the nation. This village/camp would be a city of refuge for prison re-entry, drug rehab, homeless people, Rainbows and travelers. We would provide job training, jobs, and counseling. We’re looking for partners in the local churches and non-profit groups that have the heart to help. We are also looking for people to help us purchase property or give donations of land.
A number of the groups we work with and the people they serve have been impacted by some of the new laws that are making it illegal to be homeless. With this economic recession, we could end up with a lot more people on the street.