In a recent post on his “The Complete Patient” blog, American raw milk journalist David Gumpert explains in some detail why the United States does not treat raw milk farmers as political prisoners, the way Michael Schmidt is now being treated in Canada.
“Why doesn’t America have a Michael Schmidt equal, a farmer who is a political prisoner? After all, raw milk availability has been just as contentious an issue in the U.S. as in Canada. There have been surprise raids, court suits, and trials. We have the same Big Dairy influences as Canada. And we have the farmer candidates—Alvin Schlangen, Vernon Hershberger, Amos Miller, Mark McAfee—who have been threatened with criminal charges
Yet they are all walking around free and continuing to make their raw dairy products available, while Michael Schmidt continues to be hounded and even thrown in jail.
Michael Schmidt was sentenced November 6th to 60 days of jail time for obstruction of a peace officer. Citizen Beverly Viljakainen raises some questions about whether justice was done in the court proceedings leading up to that judicial ruling.
The case has been widely reported on in the news media. Here are links to a few recent media reports:
Radio interview with lawyer Karen Selick
Owen Sound Sun Times
Video clip from CTV London
92.3 The Dock
SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO’S DIFFICULTIES WITH DAIRY FARMER MICHAEL SCHMIDT
by Beverley Viljakainen, November 11 , 2017
1. Why, during the 2017 obstruction of a peace officer trial, were erased e-mails between the chief investigator of the 2015 raid on Glencolton Farms and the arresting officer of the local municipal police unit deemed by Justice Minard to be irrelevant when he supposedly had no way of knowing what they contained? This when both correspondents knew they would be laying obstruction charges and in no way considered the case closed. It is quite possible that the contents of these e-mails would have provided evidence crucial to the defence’s case, especially given that the arresting officer was under the erroneous impression that the five men eventually charged were members of an organization called Freemen of the Land, information possibly used to obtain the search warrant. When the defence questioned the grounds upon which the warrant was obtained, the Justice disallowed it, saying that Mr. Schmidt was on a “fishing expedition” and wasting valuable court time.
2. Why, after several months of a criminal trial supposed to get at the truth, did someone at the Walkerton Court House instruct the Offenders Transport driver, who was taking now-convicted offender Michael Schmidt to prison in Penetanguishene, to advise its staff that Mr. Schmidt was a Freeman of the Land when there is absolutely no evidence to support this claim? The admittance staff member greeted Mr. Schmidt with, “So you are a Freeman of the Land” and readily explained how he had come to know. Continue reading
Michael Schmidt in front of the Walkerton Court House at an earlier stage of the Obstruction trial on August 25th, 2017.
Raw milk activist and farmer Michael Schmidt was convicted yesterday (Oct. 19th, 2017) in Walkerton court of obstructing a peace officer. The charge arises from a raid on Glencolton Farms on October 2nd, 2015 in which investigators were prevented — by the crowds of supporters — from leaving the farm with equipment which they had seized. They were eventually allowed to leave once the equipment had been removed from the truck.
This court case has dragged on for many weeks and months, with multiple adjournments, most recently until this past Tuesday Oct. 17, when Michael Schmidt filed an 11b motion to have the case thrown out, since it was taking an excessive time to have justice rendered. In considering Michael’s motion, the judge discounted several months of time required to hear the 20 defense witnesses, on the basis that their testimony had been useless.
Sentencing is set for Wednesday November 8th. Regarding a possible appeal, Michael is currently reviewing all options. Michael says:
“There is already an outstanding appeal in regards of the denial by this judge to have access to West Grey police records which got strangely enough deleted. They relate to communication about who to charge. These e mails were always at the Center of many heated exchanges between me and the judge. The other appeal I am looking at is the 11 b application. He dismissed the validity of ALL our witnesses which is astounding and never heard of. I am currently getting all transcripts. The biggest surprise was that he acquitted John Schnurr. But it highlights that they wanted to get me at all costs.”
Blackburn News is reporting on this story.
The Dock reported on the story.
Owen Sound Sun Times coverage can be read here.
This just in via Michael Schmidt:
The CFIA kill-team want the last word. They are scheduled to slaughter the last Shropshire lamb at the Wholearth Farm, Hastings, ON. Today Thursday Aug.24. (CFIA are regularly escorted by multiple OPP & armed Nat.Resources personnel.). The 4 month old lamb’s only ‘crime’ is symbolically being the last innocent survivor from the wrongly-accused flock of heritage Shropshire sheep that ‘went missing’ in April 2012.
Here’s a link to the National Post story about how the sheepnapping court case involving Michael Schmidt, Montana Jones, the CFIA, and other parties ended: http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/shepherd-wins-six-year-legal-fight-to-keep-flock-of-rare-sheep-from-government-slaughter
Some backstory from Montana Jones: Continue reading
Activist farmer Michael Schmidt and the remaining accused will be in court at Walkerton this Friday for the judge to hear closing arguments in a case dating from the October 2015 standoff at Glencolton Farms.
According to Michael’s wife, Elisa van der Hout, proceedings are expected to start around 9:30 am in Walkerton. The court has already heard several days of arguments in this case, which whas dragged out over the course of several months.
These court proceedings are open to the public.
Read these earlier posts for more background on the case:
Michael Schmidt at the Walkerton trial on obstruction charges — questions re email deletions and police escalation
News from raw milk “obstruction” trial
One acquittal, more court dates, for five accused in Walkerton obstruction case