TODAY, Michael Schmidt issued a starting statement to government and court officials today in his legal battle over raw milk. This letter came to me through The Bovine, but today I learned that Michael Schmidt is now a member of the Wisconsin Alliance for Raw Milk, sponsored by the Journal and U.S Connections for Natural Food and Healing. He has become an influential leader in North America–an icon– in the battle for freedom to access to raw milk, needed for so many for their health . . . and also the freedom to share and trade the product by the dairies that produce it to their neighbors and friends. As usual his letter is brilliantly crafted, full of heart and confidence, bold. Speaking the truth to power here is Michael Schmidt’s letter:
Dear Friends in Government and those who work for the Government
I have a certain fascination with trying to read the human face behind the facade of those who enforce laws. My attempt to meet all of you on a personal level has nothing to do with hoping to convince you to treat me better or be more lenient towards me. Let’s be clear, I do want to be treated like anyone else, otherwise we would deal with yet another injustice.
Meeting you as equals in a worthwhile dispute requires utmost respect for each other.
Do I think you have more power than I? No. You should be limited because of your duty to make sure that you are not violating basic human rights when you enforce laws. If there is any hint that a law is violating basic human rights and you keep enforcing it, then you are no different than those who enforce laws in Iran, in North Korea or in any other country with a dictatorship. Are you familiar with the human rights we all have?
The danger we are facing here is much greater than the brutal dictatorships in other countries. The rules and regulations imposed on all of us by fear, misled politics through the corporate lobby and under the banner of freedom and democracy are far beyond the limitations set by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
It is worrisome if you enforce laws without the ever present awareness that nothing is more important for a truly just society than upholding ones freedom. The grave danger we are facing in Canada, is the illusion of being free and that we too willingly give up our freedom for the sake of a promised security. I agree if someone chooses to seek the protection of the state, he or she has to be prepared to give up rights. Many people are willing to do that without realizing that they have to live with the consequences of being ruled by someone else. We need to be concerned when the State takes it upon itself to impose limitations beyond its mandate without proper communication especially when the limitations of personal rights are the consequence.
I and many others never gave anyone the permission to decide for us what to eat, what to drink and how to live. Neither will we impose on you our beliefs.
I do respect your personal rights and responsibilities.
Please do understand that in the future I can not and will not anymore co-operate in any actions and proceedings, which are imposed on us IF you are violating our basic rights.
Yes this might spell trouble and hardship for me and others.
I have spent the last three years giving everyone involved the benefit of the doubt. I now have moved on.
We have the choice to resist with love and determination. We are ready to enter into a new chapter of civil disobedience. There are many of us and there will be more to come as we proceed.
We are, as always, open for a constructive dialogue
Now readers, what may your response be?–Augie