The hassles for Wheeler's came about when the nighbor through whose land ran the only access road to Wheeler's,
decided that "this land ain't big enough for the both of us", and
set about using the law to intimidate, harrass, and eventually
evict the people.
There were many court appearances, where terms like "building
codes" "red tags" and "illegal dwellings" were used to disband
the people, destroy their homes and drive them from the land.
Finally the people had to "hit the road".......... again.
It's an ironic thing - when Freedom is outlawed only the outlaw
can be Free.
"First came overhead flights to take photos of everyone's homes.
Then came 'building inspection' day in April, 1970, with inspectors
with aerial photos finding everyone's hidden cabin and red-tagging it.
Funny thing was that about a month later there was an earthquake
that cracked the wall of the courthouse and knocked the concrete
off the front of the welfare offices. Our little "unsafe structures" merely
shimmied and shook, but not one was damaged.
All in all there were four busts at the ranch.The first came like a
Vietnam flashback, with armed men swarming onto the land looking for
runaways and pot plants. Bill tried to defend one girl and had his
third eye opened by a pair of swinging handcuffs. When he spit blood
over the MP, he was briefly busted.
Another bust was even worse. Special units in protective
gear held people in their beds at gunpoint, supposedly in
'hot pursuit' of some San Quentin escapees. The brothers had been
on the land, but received a warning in time to leave. A few other folks
were temporarily busted, but the judge dismissed all charges.
Another bust included day-glo helicopters and 150 cops arriving
swat team like."
Again, all cases were dismissed, but no peaceful resolutions here. It was the Law, which
spent many hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' dollars harassing the Ridgefolk."
From Home Free Home Coyote remembers:
"I was walking out my front door, just waking up, and I started to take a leak. I looked up and saw this Day-Glo-colored helicopter disguised as a giant dragonfly.... Well, I stopped pissing right on the spot... got back into my bed and got out again and walked back outside. It was just too mindblowing for me, that giant dragonfly, so I figgered I'd just start the day all over again. I heard this amplified voice say. 'All right, don't make a move! This is the Sonoma County sheriffs!' I looked up, and this door opened in the dragonfly and these guys were sliding down this rope with rifles and shit. I was flipped out! I don't know, but I think they might have been more stoned than us or something, man! I walked back into my house and rearranged all my American flags. Then I put my marijuana plants out in front and just went for a walk. I ended up in Occidental with Damian and we got drunk as skunks. We saw a sheriff's van go driving by with a bunch of clean-looking freaks. Somehow they didn't look like Wheeler's people."