Hugh Betcha suggested that it sometimes seems on this blog as if it’s still 2007, and I think he has a valid point.
Certainly one attitude that was strong back then was the sense that judges would uphold the banner of food rights. How could they not? American and Canadian judges seemed, in the end, to uphold all manner of civil liberties for those accused of serious crimes, limiting home searches or questioning of suspects by police. Why not something as basic as setting limits on the executive branch of government at both the state and federal levels to interfere with our access to the foods of our choosing?
I’d say to Hugh Betcha that most of us have come to realize that we’re not in Kansas any more, as it were. Rather, we’re in an ever-more-autocratic country. Actually, we’re in an ever-more-autocratic world.
That helps explain the rise in protests world-wide that the New York Times chronicled recently. The article noted that even in countries where economic growth remains strong, like India and Israel, growing numbers of ordinary citizens “so distrust their country’s political class and its pandering to established interest groups that they feel only an assault on the system itself can bring about real change.”
Raw Milk Advocate suggested following my previous post that the key to changing the “let-the-government-decide-what-foods-we’re-allowed-to-eat” approach currently being upheld by TPTB is to lobby for legislative change. The reality, though, is that the only way to gain such change will be to fight for it, to mobilize citizens into active protest on this issue.
The worldwide protest movement has already arrived in the U.S., on Wall Street, where hundreds of people from around the country have gathered to protest the power of America’s banks in grabbing resources via bailouts and favorable treatment by the country’s all-powerful Federal Reserve Bank.
How does the Food Rights movement fit into all of this? It’s probably too early to say for sure how it fits in, or even whether it fits in at all.
I do know that more and more people who value nutrient-dense foods our regulators, legislators, and judges are trying to deny us are becoming increasingly upset and agitated. That’s what’s behind the dissension Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy Co. has been trying to work with among herdshare operators in California, in his effort to try to negotiate with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Many farmers rightfully don’t trust the CDFA to negotiate anything meaningful. It’s what is behind Michael Schmidt’s hunger strike, which he announced in the wake of an appeals court conviction for violating Canada’s dairy laws. It is what is behind Max Kane, a Wisconsin food rights activist, undertaking his own hunger strike in support of Schmidt. It is what was behind a group of farmers and raw milk drinkers crashing a City Council committee meeting in Portland, Maine, after the city arbitrarily banned raw milk sales from a farmers market; retail raw milk sales are legal in Maine.
There will be protests next week in Los Angeles, in connection with a criminal court hearing scheduled for Thursday for “The Rawesome Three”–James Stewart, Victoria Bloch, and Sharon Palmer. There may be a protest at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday morning, along with a rally Wednesday evening, at which Mark McAfee and I will be among the speakers. Then, there will be a protest outside the courthouse in Los Angeles on Thursday morning.
More details to come on the Los Angeles activities. And there are certain to be more protests nationally. Legislators will only be convinced to act if they detect serious public support for change. And real in-the-streets protest seems to be the way to go, around the world.