From Michael Schmidt in Edmonton:
As we slowly move towards a resolution in the Alberta Cow Share court drama it becomes once again obvious that there is a dangerous disconnect between public policy makers and those demanding food sovereignty or basic food rights.
Food rights have never been recognized or even been an issue until farming changed to the industrial model. Farming was in Canada the core economic activity feeding and co-creating other spin-off industries.
That has been reversed.
Now there are business managers, tractor drivers and computer specialist running Canadas agricultural sector intertwined with and driven by the chemical and pharma industry. Agricultural research is financed by the industry and contractual dependencies have reinstated the feudal system our forefathers once escaped.
Historical, social and cultural aspects of Agri-Culture have become irrelevant and reduntant.
No doubt that this has left a trail of destruction in our Canadian landscape.
Barns are falling, rural areas become green deserts and the art of farming is replaced by the war to control everything.
This became once again painfully obvious when Eric and I reflected on the hopeless struggle to maintain a farm if you do not want to cave in to the modern Monsanto Feudal system.
You are bound to be a haunted man.
He broke down in tears telling me his story when he as an 11 year old boy picked up his father who had collapsed on the barn floor because he was loosing his farm.
Nothing has changed Eric says: now even when we have willling people wanting our food from the farm we get charged and harrassed by Government agents “protecting” us from the danger of real food.
It is deeply disturbing to watch the tears in Erics weathered face.
It is also deeply disturbing for me to experience once again this other side of the coin: individuals who represent and defend the policy of Government.
It’s only milk some say, well tomorrow it’s meat and the next day it’s eggs and the next day it’s vegetable. It’s not about milk any more it has never been about milk.
The disconnect of legislators and the bureaucratic power structure has become our worst nightmare.
Once again we find ourselves confronted by the polarization of society where humans struggle in their search for freedom and others struggle in their own world of enforcing unjust laws.
There is no doubt in my mind that unjust laws need to be broken. However there are many brave souls which are to be broken because too many agents just “do their job”.
The horrors of World War II have been at the center of the Nuremberg trial.
One of the main lessons coming from there has been that just following orders is no defence.
Judith also broke down several times during our negotiations with the proscecutors, she has a hard time understanding what is wrong by giving people what they want.
I noticed a glimpse of softening in the eyes of those trying to uphold the law.
Yes they have no choice so it appears.
But we at least have a choice to bring about change because we have nothing to loose but our own future, and that is a lot.
Cheers to Judith and Eric for their courage.