Rainbow Worriers

hippiesTwenty years after a bunch of crunchy granola types gathered on Vancouver Island to prevent local residents from clearcutting the virgin wilderness of Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island residents have prevented a bunch of crunchy granola types from accessing their virgin wilderness — even though this time they just wanted to hang out. Cue Elton John’s Circle of Life.
Plans for a Rainbow Gathering at Raft Cove Provincial Park, a remote surfing hotspot near Cape Scott, hit a road block after B.C. Parks rolled up the welcome mat and gave a hundred or so hippies the boot over the weekend.
The Rainbow Family of Living Light has held camps in off-the-grid locations around North America for more than 40 years that, for the uninitiated, are a bit like Burning Man for people with less disposable income and artistic ambitions. Or like Wreck Beach without the cops and lookie-loos.
The government stepped in after complaints from Islanders over a since-deleted Facebook page that indicated two thousand long-haired freaky people were planning to descend on the 787-hectare park and its two outhouses, although it’s common knowledge that only about 10 per cent of people who say they plan to attend something on Facebook end up doing so.
Three years ago, residents of the equally remote Vancouver Island enclave of Tahsis unsuccessfully filed a petition in the B.C. Supreme Court to stop a two-day summer music festival on the site of the town’s former lumber mill. The concert ended up losing money, quite possibly because potential visitors heard loud and clear they weren’t welcome. The event hasn’t been attempted since. At this rate, tourism businesses in the north end of the Island might want change their marketing slogan simply to: “Please just send us a cheque instead.”

(This post was first published in Kudos & Kvetches  © Copyright (c) Vancouver Courier)

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