Mothers, Farmers face possible arrest in Canada with raw milk trial; court proceedings set to begin March 16

Raw milk trial in Canada–Famous Canadian dairy farmer, Michael Schmidt, his wife, Elisa Vander Hout, and son, Markus Schmidt are each named in an application for injunction for permanently ceasing production and distribution of raw milk in Ontario. Also targeted are the individual herdshare owners as “Jane Doe and John Doe.” Join March 16 Peaceful Demonstration Courthouse in Newmarket (Near Toronto) to prevent ban on even “counselling” raw milk distribution. If you are not able to be there, consider a donation to help cover legal expenses.

The application for injunction reads, in part,

“An interim and permanent injunction restraining and enjoining the Respondents and any and all persons having knowledge of the injunction Order from directly or indirectly, by any means whatsoever:

Offering for sale, selling or distributing, delivering or counseling others to offer for sale, sell, deliver or distribute unpasteurized milk and unpasteurized milk products…” (page 4, (b) and (i)

“An Order that any police service or peace officer be authorized to arrest, or arrest and remove, any person who has knowledge of this order and who the police service or peace officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe is contravening or has contravened the provisions of the Order, and for greater certainty, such a police service or peace officer retains his or her discretion to decide whether to arrest or remove any person pursuant to the Order.”

Page 5 (d)

By implicating “Jane Doe” and “John Doe,” for the first time, the Canadian government is allowing it to pertain to anyone involved, including mothers. Canadian mothers are now explicitly threatened with arrest simply for participating in a herdshare. This is a new low, even for Canada, to hold raw milk trial in such a way.

As one raw milk proponent, and farm owner, Angela Kang, says, “What is safe raw milk to me? It is my direct, unadulterated connection to the Earth that feeds my family and me. It is as intimate of a relationship as my relationship with my God. We are supposed to be a country of peace and tolerance and acceptance. No government in a free country should interfere with this.”

If you are anywhere near Canada, join the mothers, farmers and community in celebration of food rights as they gather to celebrate the connection they have with their food.

The rally organizers say the purpose of the rally is to bring this message home for Canadians. “We envision farmers peacefully feeding their communities so we and future generations may be nurtured by the gifts of the land. And in turn nurture the earth through our inherent connections. The goal of this rally and celebration is to bring this vision to the front and stand empowered to proudly participate in our communities through peaceful food production and food distribution.”

Background:

For 22 years Canada has relentlessly pursued Michael Schmidt and his dairy’s few dozen herdshare members in a desperate effort to end food choice and end access to raw milk once and for all. Among its actions:

  • 3 armed raids on his Michael’s farm;
  • Confiscation of the majority of his farm land;
  • Planting of spy cameras around his property;
  • 4 raw milk trials for allegedly violating Ontario and British Columbia dairy laws;
  • Hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines

Through it all, Michael has refused to bend:

  • He endured a 39-day hunger strike in 2011 that had him on the verge of death until the Ontario Premier agreed to meet with Michael;
  • Last October, several armed government officials from multiagency task force raided Glencolton farm, attempting to confiscate the families’ food and destroy their ability to feed themselves, Michael and dozens of supporters blocked Ontario agents from confiscating raw milk and dairy equipment leading to criminal charges against them.

Unable to break Michael through endless intimidation and court actions, the Ontario government has resorted to new and chilling tactics:

  • It is trying to jail Michael and four other farmers for blocking the theft of their milk and equipment last October;
  • It has filed applications for injunctions against Michael to prevent the dairy from not only distributing raw milk to herdshare members, but even “counselling others to…..distribute unpasteurized milk.”

The March 16 rally is in advance of a court hearing on issuing the injunctions, which could lead to jailing of ANYONE—farmers, moms, dads—who even encourage the distribution of raw milk.

Currently, the government of Ontario is searching for one raw milk proponent they want for arrest. “George” was allegedly present on the farm the morning of the raid on October 2, 2015. Now, he is facing charges for obstruction of justice as he was one of the ones who allegedly prevented the multi-agency task force from removing the products from the farm. A satirical facebook page has been set up called “find George” to help the West Grey Police find the man they want to charge. So far, there have been several sightings, but none have led to his arrest.

What can you do?

Contribute to their legal defense for raw milk trial as they are expected to be in court numerous times.

Follow the case here and here for regular updates

Join the rally for food freedom. Witness the raw milk trial on March 16, 2016

Raw Milk Trial and peaceful rally

Contributions for this article from David Gumpert.

Liz Reitzig

Food is the Foundation of Liberty. Nourishing Liberty is where we plant seeds for ideas to grow and flourish A place to be inspired by each other, to join together in peaceful activism, to build community.

Wherever you are in your personal journey toward clean living and local food, thank you for joining me in mine. I look forward to sharing it with you.

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