YOU can. Get active! Help out! Hitchgathering is self organised.
As usual, there will be a Hitchgathering starting from the beginning of August this year -- come hitch to a beautiful spot to meet a bunch of other funky people to hang out, play music, do workshops, cook on the fire and celebrate the hitchhiking way of life together! After a lengthy and slightly messy decision-making process, it was decided that this year's beautiful spot in question will be at La Framondié, France. As always, please subscribe to the mailing list or use this article's discussion page to join the discussion.
The overview over the other location proposals and all the info pertaining to the decision-making process can be found at Hitchgathering/2021/Archive.
COVID-19 at the gathering in La Framondié
UPDATE (Wednesday, August 4th): Hi everyone!
We had a meeting again this evening to discuss the situation. Almost all of us got tested today and one more person tested positive, but unrelated to the first positive case. This person is leaving tomorrow and also came from the european rainbow close by, like the first case. Everyone else got tested negative.
Right now we have a quarantine area with a seperate dry toilet for when more people test positive. The person who is positive now has their tent in a different place than the quarantined area and will stay there though.
The general feeling in the group is that we would like everyone to get tested before arriving, or, if that's not possible, to get tested here. A quick test/antigen test is ok.
A large part of the group feels uncomfortable being within close distance of people who weren't tested. That makes it difficult and impractical to accommodate people who don't want to get tested.
Right now we're 10-15 people, though some will leave tomorrow. If anyone has the possibility to get free tests somewhere to refill the supply here it would be greatly appreciated!
Everyone here at hitchgathering :)
There as been a COVID positive test on August 2st at La Framondié where the main gathering was scheduled to happen. You probably have already been following the events as they unfolded.
As it has been pointed out by F. on the mailling list, the possibility of having Coronavirus cases is something I and some others personally realize to have overlooked for an event this size. We, the people present at the time, reacted in a hurry as some were afraid of a bad progression in the area. Some hitchhikers have left the place, and it has been pretty much agreed collectively to call the gathering at La Framondié canceled.
Debate has now been happening with the collective there to look for a way to maintain a smaller size get-together. As we realize that between the people staying there, Coronavirus propagation is now something really likely to happen, we have decided to implement proper quarantine policies, while maintaining a way to stay together.
What this concretely mean, is that anyone getting here should be concious of the risks involved, including serious respiratory illness that could happen to anyone (some more than others). You decide your risk balance in life.
The measures we have taken are:
- 1.5 meters distancing, hand washing and indoor masking for everybody. Also, all use separate plates and spoons.
- Testing for people presenting symptoms. Testing the first day and after seven days for contact cases.
- Quarantine only for people having symptoms and testing positive (10 days minimum after beginning of symptoms, and 24h after the end).
- Quarantine includes, separate, sleeping and cooking place, toilets and water tank. All while even more keeping up with what is stated above. If it happens one more person tests positive, the facilities will be used together and can be washed.
That said, if you still decide to come, mood is nice now pretty much everything seems decided.
- 1 Main Gathering – La Framondié
- 1.1 Date
- 1.2 Location
- 1.3 Misceallaneous
- 1.4 Infrastructure
- 1.5 Nearby
- 1.6 Organizing
- 1.7 Activities
- 1.8 COVID-19
- 2 Pre or post gatherings
- 3 Promotion
- 4 Online event
Main Gathering – La Framondié
The gathering is "officialy" starting August 2nd 2021. As agreed with the owners of the spot, the gathering will end around August 16th with August 23th being the date where everything must be clean and everyone has left.
Some people have to get there before to help build the toilets and kitchen that we'll be using. Some pregatherings will very probably happen before too.
For more informations, **including access**, see La Framondié.
It's a large area of forest in one of the least densely populated parts of France, and there's a collective of about 8-12 people living there. They do gardening and steward the forest, and for the future they are quite interested in offering more activities, camps for children, etc. During the gathering, we will help them by building the infrastructure for ourselves so they can use it afterwards.
- Tools: We can borrow tools from them and they have a lot.
- Language: Locals speak French and some speak good English, especially in the collective in La Framondié. Please respect the people there as they are hosting us and this is their living space.
- Weather: No rain in summer apart from very rare storms. Forest fire risk, dry climate and mosquitos. Bring sun protection.
- Dogs: Don't bring dogs. If really necessary, contact the people living there to ask (you can go through User:Swaden.
- Helping: be prepared to help with cooking, wood collection for winter, phytoepuration and buildings for us, participating in assemblies.
- COVID-19: The people living there are not at all worried about us bringing them Covid, or anything in regards to that.
- Of course transphobia exists in France, but probably not more than in most places.
- If you remember them from your childhood, it's very close to where Kaplas were invented!
We can't be more than around 50 people otherwise it would be kind of a mess to handle camping and food collectively in La Framondié. All that's lower stands for 50 people and if we end up being 10, it will obviously be different regarding access to kitchen, toilets, etc.
Camping would happen in a somewhat dispersed way -- to have a central camp and then camp in the forest around where you can find the space. There land is generally steep, but there are ancient terraces, and it's also possible to shape the terrain with a shovel to make it more amenable for camping.
In the forest. No shelters are provided. There is virtually unlimited space for hammocks in the forest. Tents cannot go anywhere since the place is on an incline. There are flat spaces near the houses that could be cleared and are flat. Depending on the people, there is space for tents in these or more lonely in the forest. Overall room is for 15-20 tents. We can for sure build primitive shelters and the collective there would love to build wood cabins on platforms.
They have a very big berber yourt (50 people) that we will build in the beginning on the main square so we can have a meeting spot to do activities. Otherwise there is no shelter for 50 people to meet all at once but smaller groups can under the wooden roof.
Bring enough to feed yourself for around 2-3 days before we set up a proper cooking and dumpster diving routine as our presence shouldn't impact the people living there. We can feed a maximum 10-20 people from trash behind small shops in Requista. Albi, Rodez and St-Affrique can feed a lot more people. There is a big Carrefour near Requista which could also feed more.
We can't use their kitchen. We are therefore cooking outside, except for the first days with less people during the time we setup an outside kitchen. Try to bring pots as we can only borrow a little. They have a gas stove on a tripod with paella pans but no gas. We'd want to gather wood collectively: lots of dry wood and possibility to cut wood, simply not in only one spot.
Cars can be borrowed as long as they're respected and fuel is payed collectively. Bicycles are the same (5 available) but some needs to be fixed and the way in and out of La Framondié is pretty steep.
There is one old dry toilet that is available to put back in service. We can't use theirs as we might be too much people. We might have to build another one the first days. They imperatively have to be underneath the water spring where water is taken.
Showers and swimming
We can bring or build solar showers. Otherwise there is a small waterfall nearby (with leeches included which mean free ) or the Tarn river. In anyway no soap and industrial products that could damage the flora and fauna. The Tarn river is 25 minute down and 45 minutes up and we can swim in it.
Drinkable water from a spring at the taps in the house. Bring water containers for yourselves as the camp will not necessarly be close to the taps.
There is from the grid. We will pay collectively for the electricity we use by taking measures from the electricity counter.
Unreliable 4G but stable at some spots. Crashes sometimes. No WiFi.
Next town: Réquista (6km)
- Supermarket (Carrefour market), no info yet if dd works
- ATM, bank
- Post Office
- Albi (48km), population: 50.000
- Rodez (54km), population: 25.000
- Réquista (6km): pharmacy, doctor, dentist
- Saint Affrique(41km): hostpital
- Albi (48km): hospital
- Rodez (54km): hospital
A.P. on the mailing list proposed to ask questions to locals since someone they know lives nearby. Rom. will be there around mid-July. User:Swaden got there around June 10th to ask questions and possibly bring some stuff.
What we have
- drinking water
- wood for construction
What we could bring
- boats, scuba gear and a plan for building a raft for the river :-)
things you can bring
Games, instruments, tools,
Think about workshops you could organise! (It's very low-key.) So far, there are ideas about making circles about DIY gear-making and rounds of what-is-in-my-backpack, lockpicking workshops, herbal walks, making jellies from plants. At past gatherings there were many great workshops such as womens' circles, how-to for political marriages, clay oven building, capture-the-flag... etc pp.
There will be games, music, dumpsterdiving, occasional skinnydipping. Massage circles and hopefully many, many workshops. Late-night joints and bottles of wine passed around, discussions on how to -- you know...
Knot and lockpicking workshop
I'll bring some sythetic ropes (also hanf three stranded rope) so we can all study together decorative and useful knots from beginner to more advanced. I also have some lockpicks and locks that I'll bring only if there seems to be an interest since it's kinda heavy. Swaden (talk).
The people there mentionned a guy named Henri who builds funny wooden toys and could come with them.
One of the people there love mixing techno and we might make a party once.
(10.6.) curfew is supposed to be lifted be 30.6; gatherings over 6 people still banned, entry: test or proof of vaccination/recovery, sworn statement
User:Swaden will bring around 5 COVID-19 quick tests (they're free in Switzerland) to use in case for more anxious/at-risk people or if someone starts having symptoms. User:Mrmagicmax will also bring some from Austria (if he doesn't have to use all of them on the way)
Pre or post gatherings
Kesselberg, 2nd week of July
Anybody is always invited to the anarchist bastion and forest village of Kesselberg-upon-Berlin anyway, but particularly in the 2nd week of July, hitchhikers are called to congregate there. It could be possible to join a potential pre-gathering at Langenwerder towards the end of July from there together, or move towards France already. Ask for a Carlos.
La Vieille Valette, end of July
Another anarchist village of unsurpassed charm and beauty in the Cevennes. Would be very much worth making a stopover on the way to the Tarn.
European Rainbow in the Pyrenees, end of July/beginning of August
Some people might also like to meet at the European rainbow beforehand. Please add info here.
C. proposed Kesselberg, an anarchist bastion in a forest in Germany for a pregathering. He said there is a group called Ecotopia doing a bike tour and that we could meet with them. Some people of the mailing list are part of the organisation so communication is easy. Like he said in his mail, I think it's a good idea to have pregatherings so people can met in smaller groups and have already a little bit of connivance before reaching the main gathering. Doing this is nice but we need to coordinate correctly. --Swaden (talk) 18:47, 24 March 2021 (CET)
We can organize easily small pregatherings at the infinity of forest cabins available in Switzerland, Sweden or Norway.
Stickers are available, see the top of the page!
Some people have proposed the idea of conducting an online event for people not able to attend the gathering.-->