Protesters gather outside Bohemian Grove

About 45 people showed up Wednesday near the entrance to the Bohemian Grove in Monte Rio, marking the first protest against the summer encampment of the wealthy and powerful Bohemians.

The protesters, whose presence was reported at 6:45 a.m., were standing on the right shoulder of the road and were not breaking any laws, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.

"Everybody was peaceful and law-abiding," he said.

Bohemian Grove Through The Years


Two CHP officers remained at the scene along with Sonoma County sheriff's deputies. By 11:45 a.m. the protesters were gone, he said.

Sloat said he did not know who had organized the protest,and protesters issued no public statement.

The encampment, expected to draw 2,400 male members and their guests, begins Friday and runs through July 31 at the Bohemian Club's 2,700-acre enclave along the Russian River.

The protest appears to be related to a YouTube video announcing the launch of "Operation Bohemian Grove" at dawn on Wednesday, saying the first step would be "occupation" of the intersection of Bohemian Avenue and Railroad Avenue.

The video, which opens with the sound of an air raid siren, says that participants should block the entrance to the grove "until the presence of the police state requires you to move."

"Do this in a peaceful non-combative way," it says.

The grove encampments, which date back to 1878, include corporate titans and political leaders. No women, other than grove employees, are allowed.

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