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Re: hippie bashing,farming etc.



Mark,
first a correction, it was me (Olafur) not Paul that said:

>>... Hippies are at the very bottom of the social heap .....................
>> .... "harassed permies" is social consequences of a war rhetoric gone awry.

>
>Mark agrees!  But I feel a solution is fairly simple ...
>

Well Mark, 
I thought so to for the 20 years that I've been here in southern Oregon.
Though, a few years ago all that collapsed. I agree with your approach and
it is well taken, but in our case all that was blown away when the bashing
began. One person can whip up an enormous hysteria with lies and
distortions, only to serve his own interests. That is what we got going. 

We have practised almost all of what you suggest. We helped starting the
local library, I have been on the board of the local community center for
almost ten years. Have outstanding contact with many of the old timers and
are generally considered fair and well liked. We even have a party for all
the locals that produce their own farm products, crafts or art in the
region. In fact, it has been so successful that, as the timber industry
fails, we are becoming the new financial factor that produce something out
here in the woods. That's the problem! The good-ol' boys around here made
their money on the forest - but it's all gone, they have raised cattle on
the farmland for generations but can't make that financially viable anymore
- so what's left is to divide the land up into little lots and sell it for
housing development. However, when we are showing that agriculture actually
can make money - even pretty good money, sustainably, that is threatening
to them cuz then they can't argue anymore, that "rezoning (farmland into
housing development) is necessary cuz farming ain't worth it". 

The economic power paradigm is shifting away from exploitation of the land
towards sustainable agrarian solutions. In our case it's not the rednecks
but the developers that is screaming dirty hippies, to rally emotional
support from unsuspecting retirees from California that recently moved
here. Hippies and oldtimers do see eye to eye - we have many things in
common - government intrusion into privat affairs being one of them. And
many of us 'hippies' has been here well over 20 years so they all know
we're ok. We are country agrarians and have been so for at least as long as
we've been hippies (for me that happened mid 60's). 

Most of us have higher education behind us and have carried on with
grassroot reseach and development of organic agriculture and sustainable
living by living it.
Organic agriculture is now big industry - it did not exist 30 years ago. I
don't know how it came about elsewhere but here in Oregon it was hippies
that were the midwifes in the birth of organic agriculture. We are not, nor
were we ever the
potsmoking-floorspitting-beerdrinking-longhaired-dirtytalking-groupsexloving
monsters as Nancy Reagan defined us, but are rather sincere horticulturists
with a mission beyond most peoples grasp.   

>Go native when you move to the country.   Participate in local events and if
>possible occupations.  Help your neighbors garden and farm, learn about
>local history,  meet the family of friends.   Try not to tred on local
>coustoms, find points of common agreement before bringing in new or
>contriverial  ideas.  Know and use the name of historic farms, local
>landmarks and points of intrest. Be an example of comunity leadership.
>Become involved with the schools or with less formal educational activities.
>Do your best also to meet other local newcommers and build these comunities
>together.  

>Have parties, big ones. ...

>If your neighbors like and know you there is little
>chance that you will be harrased by the law. 

At our 18th annual neighborhood gathering and barter fair
60 police officers (special riot forces) came uninvited
onto private property without due cause - patrolling, with their
guns and tear gas canisters (we have a no weapon policy),
to protect us from ourselves. They made one arrest for the sales
of 1/8th of one ounce of marijuana. Up the river were the national guards
with three helicopters and a military force of significant proportions.
We have never had any legal problems (exept the 1 arrest) in 18 years.

All our neighbors know us well - we are educators not criminals
everybody knows that - so what can I tell you.
The neighbors have been trying for years to stop our party,
last year a Federal Magistrate told them, the County and the state of Oregon
that the rules and laws that was used in trying to stop the party
were unconstitutional. 10,000 people came and we had a good time.
Need I say that the cops tried to spoil the party but failed.
They spent well over $500,000 for that eighth of pot.
  
So, your approach seems a bit na´ve - as if we don't know manners.
Many of our new neighbors are elderly and they have no interest
whatsoever to meet us, they have weekly meetings to run us out of here

They are the city folks - we're the country folks

I have much more to say but will stop here.

peace
olafur

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