“It’s their food…” The people’s food.
Last week, multiple Canadian agencies swarmed Glencolton Farm targeting raw milk producer Michael Schmidt. Supporters and farm share owners alike showed up and agents were compelled to unload the nearly-stolen goods and leave.
It should be noted that Canadian mainstream outlets posted egregious untruths about the incident. This wasn’t a protest – this was a milk run. Owners of the products were going there to pick up their milk but were blocked by agents and threatened with arrest.
We posted our report the day it happened, while agents were just driving away. We didn’t have access to footage until now.
Instead of recapping the event details and explanation of farm shares, I’ll let the biggest raw milk producer in the U.S. succinctly describe the historic event, as Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures does it so well:
Condensed camera footage showing confiscation of computer equipment, an angry farm share owner and Schmidt finding out that a finance agency was involved:
It is unfortunately typical for computers to get stolen during raids and rarely if ever returned. This assumes guilt and crime where neither are true. There is no reason for Schmidt to have his PC removed as he is not a criminal. Although raw milk is illegal to sell in Canada, he is the caretaker of animals that belong to owners and they consume their own food. U.S. and Canadian agents always like to smear the co-owners and co-ops as though they are commercial, retail food establishments.
Extended footage with clips of Michael Schmidt talking about serving families on the farm. He said: “That’s all I want to do. I don’t want to fight. But – if there’s injustice – you bet. I’m fighting.”
While it’s unfortunate to have to even think of fighting for or defending something as basic as food freedom – especially the freedom to access your own food – there comes a time where one needs to act according to conscience and not bow to unjust laws. Schmidt and others refused orders – agents aren’t used to peaceful resistance. Schmidt said that some items were taken before people rallied but that they are supposed to be returned.
AltHealth Works wrote a great addition to the raid events, reminding readers of past raids.
For example in 2013 a small organic farm was raided in Texas for minor violations including “grass that was too tall, bushes growing too close to the street” and similar issues. Police seized 17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants among other things. And in July 2014 in Michigan, officials dumped out thousands worth of organic food including raw milk, even cracking several perfectly good eggs one-by-one.
In Ontario, Canada raw milk became illegal in 1938. But Schmidt, who grew up in post-war Germany, has a distrust toward authority and strong personal beliefs on the health benefits of raw milk. He has been raided, taken to court, rallied and went on hunger strike (inspired by Gandhi), and he is not giving up, even refusing to pay thousands in fines because he maintains he has done nothing wrong.
On Tuesday night, he even spearheaded a rally against oppressive raw milk regulation and raids that was dubbed a “milk-in (see details here).”
Schmidt is just one person against Canada’s $12-billion dairy industry, and it is people like him that can make a change if supported by fellow citizens.
The reporter goes on to say that Schmidt and other farm share owners are not fighting existing laws but wish to be exempt from dangerous raids as it is their food and it is not publicly distributed or sold. The local F.M. station conducted a great interview with Schmidt where he was free to share his thoughts during the aftermath.
The series of events on the day of the raid are typical of food and farm raids. But very rarely are people able to mobilize so quickly in support and stop it in its tracks. People power indeed!
Photo: Michael Schmidt/Facebook
This article (Raw Footage of the Raw Dairy Raid on Michael Schmidt) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Heather Callaghan and Natural Blaze.com.