Eviction of the Civil Guard to the group of hippies Rainbow Family in Benaocaz (Cádiz).EL PAÍS
On May 20, the Cadiz village of Benaocaz saw its neighborhood suddenly grow by almost a sixth. The 680 inhabitants who live all year round in this white municipality of the Sierra de Cádiz were joined by another 100 temporary neighbors, the Rainbow Family. The hippie group, which organizes regular gatherings in nature every year, announced that it planned to stay until the next new moon, on June 18. But the law has been stronger. More than a hundred Civil Guards have begun this Thursday the eviction, after the court of Ubrique has issued an order for usurping with their settlement a private property, located in addition to a protected area within the Natural Park of the Sierra de Cádiz.
"They're having a good attitude. They are collecting calmly and, for the moment, it is being peaceful. Of course, this is going to be long, "explained from the Civil Guard of Cádiz to EL PAÍS. The agents have been presented this morning with important deployment, integrated by different units that have included even a drone to make passes in the settlement area. The civil guards have cut off all possible access to the site to prevent the campers, among whom are minors and babies in an unspecified number, from returning. The group had settled in a protected and steep natural area known as the Fuente Las 9 Pilas, located between Ubrique and Benaocaz, three kilometers walk from the latter municipality.
It is precisely that location that has played against the Rainbow Family itself. The group chose privately owned land without permission from its owner, according to owner Rodrigo Mangana. "From the first moment I told them that there was no camping there. I didn't ask them for money, they offered it to me. I have denounced them to the Civil Guard, "explained the affected to the program Hablando Claro of La 1, a few days after they began their settlement in an area that Mangana usually uses for its cattle to graze. That complaint, added to others produced a posteriori by illegal camping and fires in a protected area, is what has motivated the judicial order, issued by the only court of Ubrique, as explained by the same sources of the Civil Guard.
The Rainbow Family, at a meeting organized in 2021 in La Rioja
The Rainbow Family, which has already set up similar camps elsewhere in Spain in previous years, such as in La Rioja in 2021, soon became the monotopic of conversation in a small, quiet town like Benaocaz. "We had already gotten used to it. There were those who were in favor and those who were against, but we were taking it well, "explains Mayor Olivia Venegas (Cs). In fact, in the locality they had already made the presence of outsiders, many of them foreigners, who used to frequently approach the center to make purchases or consume in the hospitality businesses. "They came down, participated and greeted the neighbors," says Venegas.
Last Sunday they even went further and staged a collective meeting in the Plaza de las Libertades. The video of them singing to the earth holding hands in a circle soon went viral on social networks. However, the group from the beginning has shied away from making statements to the media – especially television – and even tried to prevent them from accessing the site of the camp. There, the congregants set up stalls and tents, as well as bonfires. They were also accompanied by minors, although in a visit that the Department of Social Affairs of the town made days ago to the place, the technicians could barely see two of them.
In the eviction, the Civil Guard is proceeding to identify them with the idea of proposing them for sanction. In addition, it is also forcing them to remove and take with them all the belongings they brought. The idea of the group was to stay in the place until June 18, the day of the new moon. In fact, the group itself made it clear shortly after arriving that its intention was to complete the 28-day lunar cycle, in a settlement in which the maxims were the cult of nature, coexistence and the rejection of the use of technologies or mobiles. Many of these principles and norms are inherited from the first settlement, produced in Colorado (United States), in 1972. Since then, the family – already replicated in other countries – plans annual meetings like this. But in Benaocaz in the end it has been a judge and not the moon that has put the end point.
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