by Beverley Viljakainen
Three of the five men charged with obstructing a peace officer during the October 2, 2015 raid on Glencolton Farms comprised the defence at the trial that began in Walkerton on March 6, 2017: Robert Pinnell, Michael Schmidt and John Schnurr, each representing himself. Robert Pinnell was acquitted during the second week of proceedings and the trial was adjourned on March 23 until additional dates and court space can be arranged, to be finalized on April 12. It is anticipated that another three days will be needed, the judge’s ruling to be handed down thereafter.
As one of Michael’s witnesses, I was unable to be in the courtroom until after I testified, but I did spend some time in the waiting room in support of those inside. The rather large police presence, both inside and outside the courtroom, was not missed on anyone. Each day there were usually four OPP uniformed officers, heavily armed at the waist, sitting or standing across the back of the courtroom, while three others sat in a small meeting room adjacent to the waiting room until it was their turn to relieve those inside. It felt like a very them-us situation and I began to wonder if they felt safer in there? Was it a status thing? Were we who were waiting in the larger area the proverbial ‘other’ to them? Suffice it to say that, for me, it was a very strange way for a police officer to spend his or her working day and there were a lot of them having to do just that. Continue reading
Court report just in from farmer Michael Schmidt:
Ken McPherson, formerly a detective with the West Grey Police, addresses the crowd at the standoff October 2, 2015, from which the obstruction charges, now being tried in Walkerton, are related.
Six weeks after the standoff at Glencolton Farms on October 2.2015 five arrest warrants were issued. As a result Michael Schmidt, John Schnurr and Robert Pinnell turned themselves in at the West Grey Police Station. They got arrested, fingerprinted, mug-shots were taken and then they were released.
Enos Martin a local farmer never got notified. They violently arrested him three times on the same charge, twice on the same day and a third time weeks later in front of his crying wife and young children. He ended up in hospital filed a complained to charge the officers for assault. His charges got dropped.
The arrest warrant for George Hugh Bothwell was made public by West Grey Police in the Owen Sound Sun Times. No success.
A facebook page FIND GEORGE achieved only humorous postings and George Hugh Bothwell was not to be “found”, despite Geo happily living and farming at home.
Ken McPherson is the West Grey Detective in charge of investigating the failed spy camera affair, was in attendance as a peace officer at the raid October 2. 2015. He laid the charges and issued the arrest warrants for the 5 accused.
He suddenly resigned from West Grey Police and deleted all his e mails on the police computer according to a response from the Police department after a Freedom of Information request had been filed. Continue reading
The latest from that Michael Schmidt:
As Trial Nears for One Farm, the Supporters Take Action on Raw Milk Policy and Access
Toronto, Canada– September 23, 2016—Raw milk itself is on trial, say supporters, at a Monday September 26, two-day hearing at the Ontario Court of Justice. The past year has seen an unprecedented rise in consumer awareness, demand, and action to obtain this food. Raw milk drinkers cite a number of reasons for drinking raw milk from health reasons and taste, to political. For some immigrants, raw milk is a staple food in their native country.
The Ministry of Health does not think anyone should be able to access raw milk or drinking the beverage. The hearing will be held in the court building at 50 Eagle Street, West, Newmarket, Ontario.
In January of this year, York Region, The Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry Health filed an application to get an injunction against the distribution or sale of raw milk against Michael Schmidt, Elisa Vander Hout, Glencolton Farms, Agricultural Renewal Coop and anyone who provides, distributes or recommends raw milk. The hearing is to determine if the applications can be converted into an action. If successful, this would change the dynamics of the procedure from a hearing to a proper trial. People interested in procuring raw milk want this case to appear before a jury. Our Farm, Our Food Coop, one of the many organizations in support of consumer choice, has filed a motion to intervene as an added party to the proceedings, which would give all members a voice to defend their right to the foods of their choice. Continue reading
April 16th had earlier been scheduled as a date to consider the question as to whether the two applications for injunctions (ie from York Region Public Health, and from the Milk Director) would be heard separately or together.
However the Glencolton legal defense team has since decided that they will consent to the request to have the two applications considered together, and thus the April 16th court date will not be needed.
All of which means that the next court date for this case will be on Thursday May 12, presumably at Newmarket Court, at 50 Eagle Street. Mark your calendar.
The main hearing of the applications is not scheduled to take place until September 26, 2016
QUEENS PARK, TORONTO: An estimated 80-some food rights supporters converged on Queen’s Park for a rally and food rights declaration signing today. Elisa and Michael Schmidt started things off by speaking briefly about recent developments in the ongoing raw milk saga.
Michael Schmidt speaks to the crowd, prior to the signing of today’s Food Rights Declaration, flanked by his wife Elisa and farm share member Mascha Perrone. Nov. 26th, at Queen’s Park in Toronto.
Michael then read the text of the Food Rights Declaration, which was also printed on both sides of the milk truck, which had been brought to Queen’s Park for the occasion. After that, folks were invited to sign both a smaller copy of the declaration to be presented to Premier Wynn and then the large copy on the side of the truck. Continue reading
From Kirk Scott on Blackburn News:
Photo of Michael Schmidt, John Schurr and Robert Pinnell is from Blackburn News.
“Four people along with Michael Schmidt have been charged related to the raid on a Durham area raw milk operation last month.
Provincial officials along with police raided a raw milk operation near Durham on October 2nd.
A large crowd of Schmidt supporters showed up and the raid was called off.
Now four men along with Schmidt are charged by West Grey police with obstructing justice.
Schmidt and two of the four others showed up at West Grey Police headquarters this morning for fingerprinting and mug shots.
Schmidt says if police are trying to intimidate his supporters, it’s liable to backfire….”
Read more on Blackburn News.