We’ll be updating this post as new information trickles in:
Oct 4, 7:40 am Setu Sharma posted: “Did anyone notice this history in peaceful protest/civil disobedience happened on October 2nd? Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi who started this peaceful and very powerful method of protest against oppressive powers?” (from FB)
Michael Schmidt has spoken in the past about how Gandi’s model has been an inspiration for his work.
92.3 The Dock – Standoff at Schmidt Farm Ends Peacefully
National Post – Story from Friday Oct 2
4:52 am Saturday Oct 3 — Marianne Else posted this video:
8:58 pm Oct 2 – David Gumpert’s reading of what went down and why and what it all means, from his “The Complete Patient” blog:
“For the first time since the latest raw milk wars began in 2006, people had stood up to the enforcers and physically blocked them from stealing their food. In Canada, of all places, where everyone is always nice and polite….except when they aren’t.
According to a Canadian news report, authorities did make off with one or two of Schmidt’s computers, before sympathizers blocked the driveway.
While this little drama was unfolding, there was more good news for Schmidt: enough money poured into his crowdfunding campaign for his legal defense in the sheep-napping case to prompt author and naturopathic physician Ron Schmid to match the contributions, and put the campaign over its $50,000 goal; Ron Schmid wound up donating half the total. By this evening, contributions were still coming in, and will be accepted, until the campaign ends tomorrow.
While the media report on the cases against Schmidt—the raw milk and sheep-napping cases—as if they are discrete events, the reality is that Canadian bureaucrats are throwing pretty much everything they have at the activist farmer, nearly without regard to which case is involved. When I spoke with Schmidt on Wednesday, he agreed. “I take that as a good sign,” he said. “It means we are heading in the right direction.””
6:00 pm – Margo Mackintosh posted:
“Police left Michaels farm after the crowd there refused to let them leave with confiscated milk products and pieces of equipmemt. The did take out a cooler with some milk samples in it earlier but they had a huge cube truck and wanted to leave with a bunch more. A tractor was parked at the end of the driveway and all there (including children) refused to move off the driveway to let them through until they emptied the truck. We were threatened with arrest and criminal charges. Nobody left.
I counted 11 police officers but there were more that seemed to come and go. Now think about this…..our Ontario tax $ paid for this and for the long trial resulting at the Supreme Court. Someone today told me that legal trail to the Supreme Court of Ontario cost us taxpayers a million dollars. Really? I can think of lots more places for our tax money to go than down the drain trying to prosecute one farmer for providing healthy food to knowledgeable and willing farm share owners.
The whole thing is ridiculous!”
5:15 pm – Michael Schmidt posted:
“Farm share members are happy. Many pick up their milk. People power.”
4:30 pm – Liz Reitzig posted:
“Update: Michael just texted that the equipment and products the agents confiscated were just unloaded from the trucks. The people have their products back! And no arrests so far. Super news!”
3:40 pm – Michael Schmidt posted on FB:
“We won. They are leaving and all the confiscated stuff stays.”
2:53 pm – Michael Schmidt posted on FB:
“Stand off. Nothing leaves the farm until we get the assurance that premier Wynn respects the right of people to drink their own milk”
2:20 pm – Karen Selick posted just now that:
“Michael says as many as 50 people might be arrested today. There are about 20 bureaucrats from different departments swarming the farm, protected by 5 or 6 police officers.”
Michael Schmidt is asking for people to come to witness what is taking place, and to bring their video camera if they have one, to document what is happening.
American raw milk activist Liz Reitzig posted the following on Facebook today at about 11:45 am:
“URGENT: Michael Schmidt is getting raided right now! Agents are on the farm right now. Michael is requesting anyone who can please come to the farm immediately with video recording equipment. 393889 Concession 2 West Gray Durham, Ontario CA Please share. Very urgent!”
Just last week there was a raid in Thornhill at the Glencolton Farms distribution point. Samples of all of the available dairy products were taken. More details about that, in this story.
Montana Jones posted the following on Facebook, along with the three photos above:
“URGENT! Anybody living near Durham drop what you are doing and go to Michael Schmidt farm. Another RAID is in progress and he needs more people to show support, to videotape proceedings etc. Michael offers a cowshare for members of a co-op farm and the authorities are seizing THEIR dairy products, records, etc! Government typically raids on Fridays because it’s less likely to get into the news, and fewer people are on social media then—so get over there to stand beside him! It is 5 hours away for me and I am not allowed to see him except in lawyers presence due to our bail conditions. MAKE THIS NEWS and share!”
Liz Reitzig reports:
“These are the agencies conducting the raid on his farm today: Ministry of Natural Resources Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Police departments, Regulatory Compliance Unit of Ontario, Ministry of Finance, Dairy Inspection branch working for the dairy farmers of Ontario.”
This is looking like a large-scale coordinated effort, probably something that has been in the works for some time.
And in answer to someone’s question, Liz wrote:
“Michael Schmidt has a farm where multiple people own the farm and he milks the cows that provide the owners with fresh milk. He is being raided because, in Canada, raw milk is completely illegal and the “authorities” will stop at nothing to keep raw milk away from people who want it.”
Karen Selick posted at about 12:30 pm:
“Another raid is happening on the farm operated by Michael Schmidt for the Glencolton Farmshare. It’s another raw milk raid designed to deprive farmshare owners of the food they have voluntarily chosen to consume. There is scientific evidence that the consumption of raw milk by children reduces significantly their risk of asthma and allergies. Who are these bureaucrats to make cost-benefit analyses for parents who don’t want them to?”
There is a folk tale about an inventor in ancient China who made and flew an airplane. The emperor had the airplane destroyed and the inventor put to death. They weren’t ready for something like that which could upset the established order of things.
That’s a bit like what Glencolton Farms represents in our time. It’s like something from the future — the future of agriculture, the future of ways for people to work together, and the future of disease prevention.
Do those who are heavily invested in the status quo feel threatened?