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
Word from the farm is that Michael has fallen sick, and so has gotten sick leave from court for two days. The trial is postponed until Thursday, March 9 and will go until March 10.
Michael is uncertain how far we will get, if at all, as fitting a five-day trial into two days seems a bit far-fetched.
For those of you who did not know, this trial is for the obstruction charges relating to the October 2015 raid on the farm.
Supporters are encouraged to attend the trial which will be in Walkerton, now on March 9th and 10th.
From Daniel McAdams, writing for the Ron Paul Institute blog:
Vernon Herschberger and family. Photo via Complete Patient blog. Click image to go there.
“The trial of Vernon Hershberger for the crime of selling healthy, unprocessed milk to informed and willing customers is sadly a damning commentary on the times in which we currently live.
This humble yet learned Amish farmer faces the ruin of his farm, his family, and jail time in a trial that highlights the utter depravity of the so-called authorities who claim the right to rule over the rest of us. Continue reading
Here’s the message Rawsome foods co-founder Aajonus Vonderplanitz sent out to people on his email list recently in connection with the Hershberger trial. Presumably, this represents his own views on the case, and the issues around it:
“Hi, healthy-food lovers,
I am in Baraboo, Wisconsin immersed in a real-life satirical trial, droning with irony. The trial is the persecution of our dedicated and brave farmer Vernon Hershberger. This jury trial is about food-safety but the judge ruled that food-safety cannot be discussed in the trial. The charges are about contaminated RAW MILK but the judge ruled that raw milk cannot be discussed in the trial.
Governments do not want a true and factual hearing on raw milk in this Hershberger-case because their raw-milk junk-science would not hold to rational jurors minds. Thankfully, we have four very good attorneys representing Vernon that are working diligently for him/us in the midst of outrageous and incoherent courtroom injustices. Of the first 2 days of trial, I estimate that the judge has illogically ruled 65% for the irrational requests of the State and 35% for rational requests of Vernon. Fair trial? Continue reading
Michael Schmidt continues with his review of the BC raw milk trial. Part 1 is here, if you missed it.
Photos from the operetta Milk Trial by Jury
I returned home to Ontario on a West Jet red eye flight. I was relieved that Nobody around me noticed, that I was out on bail for conspiracy to kidnap sheep.
Lawyers worked frantically to make sure that I can continue to play my role in the six act drama of our “little Chilliwack dairy”. No doubt it would be the best scenario in the “Hunt for Michael Schmidt” if I would be punished and locked up for 45 days as Susan Beach demanded before the “Sheep Heist Trial” even starts.
What an honor to travel 13500 km in less than 12 days to be on the BC stage of justice.
[Editor’s note: Michael had to return to Ontario after Act 3 of the trial, in order to obtain permission to go again out of the Province, since his original permission had been for only been for the trial’s anticipated duration of Feb 13-15th, and now it seemed the proceedings would take a few days longer than planned for.] Continue reading
by Susie Zahratka in collaboration with Kathryn Niflis Johnson
Canadian raw milk pioneer and advocate Michael Schmidt with Alvin Schlangen at one of the pretrial events in the US organized by the Raw Milk Freedom Riders. Photo courtesy of Michael Schmidt
Smiling faces, hugs, and children happily playing. Is this the scene of a family reunion, or a playgroup? No, this is the scene each day for four days outside the courtroom where friend, farmer and buying club manager, Alvin Schlangen, sits, listens and waits as a jury of six decides whether or not connecting families with nutrient-dense foods will land him in jail. Continue reading
From David E. Gumpert, on The Complete Patient blog:
“The principle of private food should get a test in front of a jury of ordinary citizens when raw dairy farmer Vernon Hershbeger goes on trial in Wisconsin on Jan. 7.
I should say the principle should get a test, because initial indications are that the state will work like the dickens to sidestep that issue in favor of a ton of fear mongering designed to scare the jury that raw milk is too dangerous to distribute publicly, privately, or any which way, and thus seek to justify both the state’s ban on raw milk sales and its relentless prosecution of Hershberger, a farmer who provides raw milk and other food to more than 100 members of a private food club around his town of Loganville. Continue reading
From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:
“Prosecutors seeking to jail Vernon Hershberger for distributing his farm’s food privately to members of a food club betrayed their nervousness yesterday when they filed motions intended to limit the evidence the Wisconsin farmer can present to a jury.
The lawyers for the Wisconsin Attorney General filed a series of “Motions in Limine“, which are designed to shield a jury from hearing information that could be prejudicial to one side or the other. Most commonly, such motions are used by defendants in serious criminal trials who want to prevent the prosecution from presenting incriminating medical or financial information. Continue reading
From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:
“I didn’t fully appreciate while I was sitting in court waiting for Vernon Hershberger’s hearing to begin Friday afternoon in Baraboo, WI, that the delay was due to some important negotiations taking place outside the courtroom.
It was over whether Hershberger’s son, Andrew, could videotape the proceedings. I was aware there was a problem when I went out briefly into the hallway, and Andrew asked me whether I might be able to video the proceedings, since I was a media representative, and was sitting in a special media section up front. I agreed, though suggested it would be preferable if he came in and actually did it, since he knew much better how to use the camera. He said he had been told he couldn’t go in. The court officers present indicated when I was there that they had to inquire with higher ups as to whether he could come in and videotape. Andrew told me he would stick his head in and let me know when a decision came back. Continue reading
Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring”, which kickstarted the American environmental movement, was prompted by a legal challenge to blanket pesticide spraying over populated areas. That was then. This is now.
(Youtube) – December 11th, 2011 – Legislation to Stop Geoengineering Long Island’s Sky Receives Huge Citizen Response this is 55 minutes of citizens asking their local government to enact legislation to stop this treasonous spraying taking place in their (and our) skies.. there was a lot more people speaking out than just this.
This marks a serious deviation from the past, where people have remained silent locally on this issue, and proves we are reaching a tipping point- a critical mass if you will on the issue- it will continue to gain ground and momentum, and can’t be stopped now. Continue reading