Well...we arrived on the 19th to a cold and gloomy Mississippi gathering. We didn't se any cops on the way on thursday afternoon but heard they had set up a road block at the watch tower. The whole gathering had an uneasy air about it all day thrusday and friday. There were about 50 to 70 people there at that point. Saturday the sun came out and the gathering started getting much better. I heard all the rumors about things the cops were doing at the check point but never witnessed much. Saturday afternoon I made a store run and had to go thru the cop check point. They didnt mess with us on the way out but detained me and asked for my drivers license. I never got searched but I did see a car load of purple haired kids being jacked up and searched with dogs. The cops found some joints and roaches and wrote the kids a ticket. The driver went to jail for DUI. Also Little Hawk was arrested for DUI.
Just as we got back down to camp we heard word that about 20 cop cars headed to Co-op kitchen at bus village where they lined everyone up and searched buses and bodies. One brother, White Hat, was taking down the cops' badge numbers and a cop snatched the paper away and tore it up. A brother with a video camera was filming and the cops got the camera and took the tape. Also saturday two cops came down into the gathering, one wearing an m-16 military rifle with a large scope.
Down in the gathering everything was pretty normal. The main topic of discussion at every fire was the cop situation. I think that fact alone is something that really took a lot of energy out of the gathering. Saturday night we had a huge circle of about 120 people and we drummed until about 2 am. Sunday found everyone feeling a little better and it was very kind. We heard a rumor before we left that the cops were planning to come in and arrest everyone there for gathering illegally. I never heard whether this happened or not.
From what I hear there were many arrests made but I don't know who they were or how many. There are four kitchens set up and the food is great! Welcome home kitchen, Confusion Cafe', Jah Love, and Co-op. I estimate about 150 folks are there right now camping ( although a lot will leave sunday probably)
If you are planning to go the the gathering just be prepared for possible search and harrassment. There are about 15 cop cars and about 30 cops with dope dogs at the fire tower and they are stopping every car and surrounding it. Never consent to a search! One sister said that when she pulled up the cop just walked up and opened her door and asked if he could look around...they were searched and all thier stuff gone thru. They try to intimidate you into a search of you stuff! I did notice that the only people being searched are ones with dread locks or any other offbeat look like blue hair or whatever.
Peace Love and Happiness!
Let's fight this bullshit! We will never win a physical battle with these people...but we can sue and win in court! I realize that we will never be free from cops at gatherings. They are a fact of life when you have that many people in the woods. The thing we have to change is the blatant violation of our civil rights. Maybe someone should talk to the ACLU and get some help from the big dogs.
Love you guys!
-=] RiverMan [=-