Why We Don't Sign Permits

The Rainbow Family World Peace Gatherings have occurred without permits since 1981. Our chief position has been that we do not need anyone's permission to gather, and that we sign away our right to peaceably assemble when we sign permits. We have always sought full cooperation with everyone impacted by the Gathering. We have always left sites in a condition at least as good as we found them, usually better; we did have a hard time in North Carolina because the Forest Service busted our cleanup crew.

As always, no one person is qualified to speak for the Family and there is a tradition that any contacts with the authorities have at least two family members present, so that one may act as a "fair witness". We are all "liaisons" for the council, and anything we say or do for the Family is subject to the approval of the council.

A common request from the authorities is that we post a performance bond. This is something we have never done, since it constitutes requiring insurance to go to church. The Family holds that Rainbow is not a sue-able entity, or is even a legal entity at all - judges aren't too hot on this idea. A good model to cite might be the Mennonite community in Pennsylvania, which conscientiously objects to having auto insurance, which is mandatory in PA. They have a deal with the government whereby they simply pledge, as a community, to make good on any liabilities incurred. Rainbow has a spotless record on making good on liabilities.