Re the recent closure of Raft Cove Park:
Our (locals’) concern from the get-go was the size and location of the park compared to the nature of the gathering. Last Wednesday, when I first heard about the World Rainbow Gathering, I found an Event page on Facebook to gather at Raft Cove Provincial Park. Over 10,000 were invited. 1,800-plus had responded “Going”. This fuelled the urgency to do something as soon as possible.
Out of gut reaction I created an Event page titled Protest concerning the World Rainbow Gathering at Raft Cove Provincial Park. Within 48 hours it received over 1,400 “Going” and close to 5000 “Invited”
We began a letter writing campaign to the Minister of the Environment, BC Parks and our MLA, Claire Trevena. No one had any information on the imminent arrival of the Rainbow Family descending on Raft Cove.
People also called the RCMP, BC Parks and other agencies they thought should be informed.
We’re pleased our elected officials quickly decided to close the Park. As of Monday morning over 100 people were still in the park but with the aide of BC Parks, providing a van to help transport them out, the park was expected to be empty by Tuesday evening.
Although some would make this out to be the locals against the Hippies, this is not the case. They consider themselves to be a family. So do the people of the North Island.
Logger, environmentalist, hippie, business person, Liberal, NDP, atheist and people of various faiths all came together for one purpose — to bring reason to the situation: the chosen site is inappropriate for the gathering.
Terry Ruth Eissfeldt