HUNDREDS of hippies, a number of them British, were kicked out of one of Andalucia’s main natural parks yesterday (Thursday June 8).
The free spirits, members of the Rainbow Family, were illegally camping and making fires at the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, in Benaocaz (Cadiz).
“There were about 200 of them and around 100 officers took part in the eviction. We parked the vehicles at the village and walked up the mountain for over an hour as the camping site was not accessible by car,” a Guardia Civil who participated in the operation told the Olive Press.
The officer says that the commune had been denounced by both the owner of the land and the National Park.
“The finca where they were staying is used for stockbreeding. They had opened the fences so animals could escape.”
The agent continued: “They had set many fires, a major one which they call ‘the sacred fire’ and several others around the site. This is really dangerous as we are talking about a protected area which cannot be accessed by fire engines.”
The eviction operation lasted hours as a number of campers attempted to prolong it as much as they could.
“When we arrived and told them they had to leave, many of them grabbed their backpacks and started to walk down to the village. However, some others told us they had a lot of stuff and that they were about to have lunch. We were understanding and we gave them plenty of time to eat,” the officer explained to this paper.
He added: “But the last group had a more belligerent attitude as they gathered around the so-called ‘sacred fire’, refusing to leave. They told us that since its creation, the Rainbow Family had only been evicted one time, in Austria, 40 years ago.
“We insisted that they could no longer be there and most of them eventually started leaving.
However, after stepping down the land, two campers attempted to return to the site. They struggled with the officers, pushing them, so we arrested both.”
The Rainbow Family is an international hippie commune inspired by the lunar cycle that was established in Oregon (USA) in the 1970s.
It is not the first time they have settled in Spain, as the group was in La Rioja, in northern Spain, two years ago.