Farmers, Others Criminalized for Feeding Communities
What: Two groups of activists known as the Raw Milk Freedom Riders and Lemonade Freedom Day, are taking their raw milk and lemonade to the lawn of the US Capitol to celebrate what they call their right to “voluntary exchange.”
Recent shut downs of children’s lemonade stands and swat-style raids on small farmers have inspired these mothers and other activists to take their message to the Capitol where they plan to risk criminal charges, and possibly jail, by gathering for a picnic with these illicit foods. Media are invited to witness the peaceful exchange.
When: Saturday, August 18, 2012 12:00 noon
Where: Lawn of the Capitol Reflecting Pool, Washington DC.
Who: Robert Fernandes, Founder Lemonade Freedom Day, Liz Reitzig, co-founder Farm Food Freedom Coalition and Eddie Free, National Individual Rights Activist.
Other Speakers include:
Max Kane, Currently fighting state of Wisconsin for the right to private contract
Derrick J, National Freedom Activist recently jailed for his peaceful activism
Pete Eyre, co-founder copblock.org
John Moody, Successfully challenged the state of Kentucky over private buying club rights.
Kristin Canty, Producer, Farmageddon the movie
Kathryn Dill, Liberty Activist
Visuals: Crowds with signs, Capitol building, Families with small children, Children with lemonade stands, Mothers distributing milk, Law enforcement
Background: National Lemonade Freedom day founder, and one of the main organizers of the August event, Robert Fernandes, began the tradition after seeing multiple news reports about children’s lemonade stands being shut down because they did not comply with regulations. FDA has engaged in several long undercover sting operations and raids against peaceful farmers and buying clubs over raw milk. FDA is also pressuring states to restrict raw dairy access.
These activists believe that people have the right to engage in voluntary exchange and peacefully obtain the food of their choice from the producer of their choice whether that’s raw milk from a local farmer or lemonade from the children next door.
Whether you are a liberal, conservative, or you just don’t care, there’s no denying that humans generally don’t like to be told what to do. We especially don’t like being forced to give away the things we’ve worked very hard to have, and we aren’t fond of being watched and cataloged. But, of course, that can only happen in Russia, China, or Iran right?
The natural state of any human is to wish for freedom, but so often we find ourselves descending into the gutters of tyranny. If you think that the US is somehow exempt from this principle, you may want to take a step back. Here are just 3 small examples of how freedom can slip through our hands, the moment we let down our guards. This list is by no means exhaustive…
1: Lemonade Stand Raids
It has been a favorite American pastime in the last century, and is often what creates that tiny entrepreneurial spark inside our children. In the middle of the summer, when the vacation has reached its peak and the hot sun is high in the sky, you can often drive down your suburban street and see a stand with a few 10-year-olds marketing Dixie Cups of lemonade for $.50 apiece.
However, your local bureaucrats want to force the little ones to get licensing or be subject to charges:
Police in Coralville, Iowa recently conducted a sweep and shut down a total of three lemonade stands. The stands were set up in conjunction with the annual bike ride across the state. The town requires vendors to have a permit during the event days. One stand in particular was operated by a four year old girl who made a total of $4 before the police shut her down. The mother was told that the cost of the permit was $400 and that the city’s ordinance was in place to protect the health of the bike riders.” [Roxanne Wilcox of BentonCountyEnterprise.com]
Sadly, it often doesn’t stop there, as Wilcox reports: “In some cases, they have been shut down all together and the parents fined hundreds of dollars.” Imagine being fined hundreds, because your 4-year-old daughter made $4. The message sent by the government? Work for a major corporation, or collect unemployment …your choice.
2: The Raw Milk Fugitive
Imagine if some 1784 Bostonian bureaucrat spawned a law, which stated that all people who have farms and gardens must have the proper licensing in order to eat and sell the food reaped from their own property. It would be hard to say, but I think tar and feathers might become a part of the story very quickly. Today, however?
Grazin’ Acres farm owner Vernon Hershberger of Loganville filed a motion to dismiss the case. In the motion, he cited provisions in the federal and state constitutions, as well as biblical verses. Reynolds denied the motion.
Hershberger is charged with the unlicensed operation of a food establishment, unlicensed milk production, unlicensed dairy plant operation and the violation of a hold order placed on his products by state regulators who raided his farm in June 2010.” [Tim Damos of WICSNews.com]
According to the story, Hershberger wasn’t even selling his products to the general public, but instead operated a ‘members only’ store. Technically, only partial owners were the ones purchasing their own milk.
This indicates the true motive on the part of the state. First, provisions in state and the US Constitution no longer matter in the court of law, but agency licensing regulations and ordinances take precedent. Second, you are no longer allowed to harvest bounty from your own property and you need the government’s permission to do so. Third, looking at the statistics of how many people ‘unlicensed food’ has killed, versus fast-food fatalities from preservatives and fat content …this is about government and corporate control and not common health and welfare of the citizenry.
3: The California GPS Tracker Grid
If you are a citizen of the Bay Area, you may one day be required to install a GPS tracking device in your vehicle, which will record how many miles you travel. This way, the government knows exactly how to tax you, and none of your personal travel and driving information slips past their far reaching view. The Soviets could not have dreamed for a better way to make sure their comrades are ‘paying their fair share’.
Although all the details are still being worked out, the so-called Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax could cost up to a dime per mile and also be based on the time of day a driver is traveling on the roads.” [CBSLocal.com]
Of course, Randy Rentschler of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission has the nerve to say:
We’re not interested in where they go. We’re only interested in the amount they travel,” said Rentschler. “But for some folks, that’s a distinction without a difference. Anytime you talk about getting information from people, whenever that conversation comes up, it’s another hurdle you have to overcome.”
You see, to them, our natural liberties and disdain for tyranny are nothing more than a ‘hurdle’ that they have to overcome. California and the Bay Area are often seen as pioneers of liberalism, so get ready folks, we may have to fight this on a federal level before long.
The only way the government can get away with these antics is when We the People see the convenience in looking the other way. Until we hold our politicians’ feet to the fire, prepare to watch your freedoms float away after being sold down the river.
In Celebration of Food Freedom and Voluntary Exchange
Please Join the Lemonade Freedom Day 2012 Facebook Event HERE
SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH THE LIVE STREAM BELOW ON FRIDAY 8/17 and SATURDAY 8/18!!!
DAY ONE: “Know your Rights” Workshop
Friday, August 17, 2012 2:00 PM-5:30 PM followed by Dinner
Learn about a history of peaceful non-compliance, how to peacefully stand up for your rights in confrontational situations and how to take responsibility for your freedom. Farm fresh dinner to follow.
SPEAKERS and RIGHTS TRAINERS INCLUDE
2:00-2:20–Liz Reitzig—History of social change through peaceful non-compliance. Who has used it and what were the results? How can these examples inspire the Food Freedom Movement into peaceful action?
2:20-2:40– Max Kane—Taking Responsibility for your freedom. What you can do to turn the tide and take responsibility NOW for your freedom.
2:40-3:00— Rob Fernandes–Commitment that leads to effective activism. What does it mean to be committed and principled, and how might that look in each of our lives? Creating a viral event with specific focus for maximum effect.
3:15-3:40—Bradley Jardis—Keeping it peaceful–Taking charge of your basic rights during a demonstration. Non-compliance from the law enforcement perspective. How law enforcement officers can join the ranks of peaceful non-compliers.
3:40-4:00—Kristin Canty—Being an activist mom. What it takes, why it’s important for moms to join the movement now. What we have to lose by not joining and acting now. Sacrifice as component to activism—we can only gain if we are willing to make sacrifices.
4:00-4:30—Derrick J— Let the World Know About Your Confrontation–The basics of civil disobedience in the age of livestreaming and cell phone cameras.
4:45-5:00–John Moody—Generating grass roots support when facing enforcement actions.
5:00-5:30—Pete Eyre And Clyde Voluntaryist—Police accountability and dealing with the court system–A careful review of how to assess the situation and your options. Lawyer or no lawyer? How to determine your course of action, what to expect in different situations, and how to win without taking a plea. Is one mentally ready and prepared to face the courts alone?
Space is limited. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to exercise your rights!
Suggested Donation $30
DAY TWO: Picnic in Celebration of our Freedom of Voluntary Exchange for the foods of our choice
WHEN: Saturday, August 18, 2012 12:00pm
WHERE: 3rd Street Southwest between Maryland and Jefferson near the Capitol Reflecting Pool, Washington D.C.
Join prominent National activists and food freedom proponents as we gather for a peaceful picnic to celebrate our right to peaceful exchange of food. We guarantee a fun, food-filled time and plenty of excitement! Please bring a picnic lunch or something to share!
Some speakers will include: Liz Reitzig Robert Fernandes Eddie Free Max Kane Derrick J Pete Eyre Kristen Canty … and more to be announced!
And just as we did last year, we would like to encourage everyone to go out and set up a lemonade stand in order to exercise your right to voluntary exchange. Please send us any videos or information about your stand and we will publish it here and add you to the map at lemonadefreedom.com. Lemonade Freedom Day isn’t just about lemonade or raw milk, it is about your right to participate in voluntary exchange. So, don’t just sit around and do nothing. Be a part of the solution. Take a stand and exercise your right of self ownership and voluntary exchange. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
UPDATE: 06/07/12 – Since this post was written, Mercury One has completely changed their Mission Statement. Therefore, some of the links in this article may not be functioning. I am not sure if their decision to change their Mission Statement had anything to do with this post, but it appears as though it did. Either way, after reading their updated Mission Statement, I still cannot support Glenn Beck’s Lemonade Stand Day for the same reasons mentioned below. I do not have any problem with standing up for the right to sell goods and services freely. That is what Lemonade Freedom is about. If Beck were to call for that, or if he was calling for donations to a charity to help the needy, or one that would support and defend victims of the state, or one that promotes the idea of liberty, then I would support it 100%. However, Beck’s charity is a far cry from any of those, and that is why I cannot support his initiative.
Lemonade Freedom is about much more than just lemonade and kids. Lemonade Freedom is about self-ownership, individual freedom, and the non-aggression principle. We encourage people to go out and exercise their right to self-ownership by participating in free and voluntary trade with others. I am a strong believer in Peace, Love, and Freedom. Not just for specific people in specific geographical locations, but instead, for everyone. We need to think outside of the borders and the flags that fly above us. We need to stop segregating people by borders, governments, flags, religions, beliefs, race, etc. We are all individuals. We are all humans. Mercury One seems to miss this important point by singling out specific governments and religions. I cannot support this. Glenn Beck’s Lemonade Stand Day is scheduled for June 13th. I encourage everyone who can, to go out and sell lemonade on that day. As I mention in this article below, it is completely up to you how you choose to use your profits. If you want to save it, then save it. If you want to spend it, then spend it. If you want to donate it, then donate it. That is what freedom is about. If you decide to donate your profits, then I encourage you to donate to a charity that helps truly needy individuals, or one that helps victims of the state, or one that educates people about freedom
Lemonade Freedom was started in 2011 in response to all of the kids’ lemonade stands that were being shut down by government bureaucrats and law enforcers. Today, Glenn Beck announced that he is tired of all of these crack downs on kids lemonade stands as well as other entrepreneurial endeavors initiated by kids. I think it is great that he is encouraging kids to go out and sell lemonade or baked goods. This is what I have been calling for, so obviously I support this idea. However, Glenn Beck has it all wrong.
Beck says proceeds will go to his very own charity organization, Mercury One. At first glance I thought it was a good idea. Beck wants to use the lemonade advertising proceeds to help others. Last year, on Lemonade Freedom Day 2011, we set up a stand in Elizabeth, NJ and donated the money we made to St Joesph’s Social Service Center. This is a center that helps poor and needy people, many of whom are homeless. We had a great time doing it, and we did what we could to help people who truly need it. And this is what Glenn Beck is trying to do, or is he?
After looking into the Mission Statements on his website, I am left with a different opinion. It starts off looking really good, covering issues such as Preparedness, Fighting Illness, Goodness, Youth Outreach, Education, etc. These are all very important issues, and there is definitely a need for charity in these areas. The site doesn’t go into any details as to what he is going to do in regards to those issues, or how the donations will be spent, but they are important issues to say the least. Some of the issues that his charity covers are “Faith”, “Israel”, and “Law Enforcement”.
Faith: Beck tries to paint a very broad picture of faith by mentioning “faith in a spouse, faith that the bridge we drive over will not collapse, faith that the food we eat will not poison us. Even atheism requires faith that there is no transcendent reality.” I disagree with this generalization all together. He is obviously trying to be inclusive here to everyone, but faith is a personal thing. Glenn Beck is a TV/Radio personality. Why would people turn to him for faith?
Israel: This is what Beck says about Israel:
An island of freedom and religious tolerance in a sea of oppression and constant threats of persecution, it is critical that Israel be supported not just by Christians and Jews, but anyone who holds dear the ideals of liberty, peace and courage.
The connection between the land and its people is thousands of years old and steeped with history, tradition, and holiness. With the hope of lasting peace and coexistence, Mercury One will defend Israel and the Israeli people against its numerous and determined enemies.
Beck claims that “anyone who holds dear the ideals of liberty, peace and courage” should support Israel. This cannot be further from the truth. Supporting any government is in direct contradiction to the idea liberty. Don’t believe me? Have you seen the growing police state lately here in the US? Have you been watching our liberties being eroded away by the very government that is supposed to protect them? The NDAA, TSA, The PATRIOT Act. etc? And of course we can’t forget about the kids lemonade stands. Wasn’t this supposed to be the point of Glenn Beck’s lemonade event? Does Beck think that kids here in the US should be selling lemonade so that they can support the government of Israel?
Law Enforcement: Glenn Beck claims to be infuriated with the “Nanny State and its continuing expansion across nearly every aspect of American life”. He wants kids to stand up and fight this nanny state. He wants people to donate to his charity, which he claims is a good cause in this fight. One of the mission statements of his charity is this:
Are we sufficiently supporting those who protect us, our families and the freedoms we hold so dear? The military, law enforcement and civil servants sacrifice much for the betterment of our lives and communities.
It is vital that those who have given their time, talents, energy and, in some cases, bodies get the help and moral backing necessary to do their jobs. Families of military and law enforcement individuals also bear a heavy burden – the fear that their loved ones may not come home, the loneliness while deployed and monetary forfeitures.
Mercury One will financially and spiritually support these critical citizens, especially when they and their families are in times of great need when the ultimate sacrifice has been made.
Are we sufficiently supporting those who protect us, our families and the freedoms we hold so dear? The military, law enforcement and civil servants sacrifice much for the betterment of our lives and communities.
Glenn Beck’s charity supports the very people who enforce ridiculous laws such as shutting down kids’ lemonade stands and raiding farms for selling raw milk. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I know the argument. I have heard it many times before. “But they are just following orders“. Well they shouldn’t. They should do what is morally right. Every person is an individual. Each individual needs to do what is morally right. If that means that they have to disobey immoral orders, then that is what they need to do. Disobey bad laws. The Nazi soldiers were “just following orders”. Could you imagine how different history would have been if those individuals disobeyed immoral orders?
Glenn Beck is sick and tired of the nanny state. He is mad because kids’ lemonade stands are being shut down by government officials and law enforcers. He wants kids to go out and set up lemonade stands. He wants the proceeds to go to his charity, which will then go to the very law enforcers who are shutting down kids lemonade stands. Glenn Beck’s answer to the nanny state and the government meddling in our every day lives is to start a charity that supports… the nanny state and big government.
So, while Glenn Beck is calling for kids to go out and sell lemonade and baked goods in order to support foreign government, law enforcement and military, (pretty much what taxes are for now anyway), I have a better idea…
August 18th is Lemonade Freedom Day. Whether you are a kid or an adult, get out there and open up a lemonade stand in support of FREEDOM. Don’t ask for permission. Don’t get a permit or a license. Don’t pay taxes. Stop giving your money to the very people who violate your rights. Stop supporting them. Then, I ask you to do whatever you want with the proceeds. If you want to donate the proceeds to a charity, or a special cause, then do it. If you want to donate the proceeds to useful organization, the Freedom Center of Missouri would be a good bet. They are actually fighting against the nanny state. They are currently fighting on behalf of two girls in Missouri who had their Girl Scout cookie stand shut down. If you want to buy a new toy or save for something in the future then do it. Lemonade Freedom is not just about kids or lemonade. It is about freedom. It is about self-ownership. You own yourself. You own the fruits of your labor. Go out and do what you want to do with your earnings, and have fun sticking it to the state!
Here is what they say about the event on their site:
We are calling on all freedom-loving parents and kids to set aside Saturday, June 2, to make a (lemonade) stand for property rights! Not only will participants have fun by practicing entrepreneurship, they will help spread the word about the Freedom Center’s fight to ensure that lemonade stands remain legal in Missouri – and throughout the entire country.
They are asking that the proceeds be donated to The Freedom Center of Missouri, so that they can cover their ongoing battle. Remember, it costs money to fight against these bureaucracies. The government has unlimited resources because they use taxpayer money. Organizations such as The Freedom Center of Missouri have limited funds. In order for them to be able to fight for the rights of others, they need funding.
For more information, please go to their website: http://www.mofreedom.org/2012/04/lemonade-for-liberty/
They have also created a petition.
If you believe that freedom means that little kids should be allowed to take part in this great American tradition, sign this petition to tell Hazelwood that Lemonade Stands Should Be Legal!
We need more groups like this who are willing to stand up for our freedoms. And if you don’t think that you will ever need this type of help, then I must warn you that almost everything is becoming illegal these days. One day, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a ridiculous law. Please watch “Illegal Everything” by John Stossel.
My neighbor’s kids had a lemonade stand set up at the end of their driveway. As it turns out they were selling iced tea and you had your choice of either sweetened or unsweetened. We pulled up and rolled down the window and asked, “How much?” For 50 cents I had one of the best, and one of the coldest, glasses of iced tea I’ve ever had! It was even served in a red Solo cup, just like the one made famous in the Toby Keith song.
As we drove off and headed to town, my wife Drenda commented, “Now that is genuine American free enterprise!” We talked about how lucky we are to live in a country where anyone can start up a business and with a little luck, and a lot of hard work, make a living.
Then we commented that in the adult world, that little lemonade stand would have to pass a Health Department inspection, where an inspector, whose salary depends on his finding violations, would come out and probably mandate running water be piped to the stand. Well, the owner might have to raise the price of the tea to 65 cents to cover that expense. Hopefully that will be enough to also cover the food-handler permit.
Soon here comes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make them put a label on their tea describing the ingredients, calories, and nutritional value. They could probably cover that expense by raising the price to 75 cents.
Even though it is a drive-through lemonade stand, here come the feds to make sure they build in a handicapped parking space with appropriate signage. The price might be up to 92 cents for a glass of tea now.
Of course before they built their stand they had to comply with the government regulation to get a study to make sure no endangered species or archeological artifacts were disturbed in construction. Boy, those engineers that do those studies are pretty expensive, so the price of the product might have to go up to $1.05.
Of course a large chunk of change has to go to pay workers compensation insurance in case one of the girls gets hurt while working the stand. Yet another check goes to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, that agency that makes it hard for a small businessman to fire a bad employee. And don’t forget the Environmental Protection Agency inspections that make sure we are disposing of our unsold product in a safe manner.
Wow, our 50-cent product is now up to $2.00! Perhaps it would be cheaper to just buy the tea from China, where it can be made cheaply without excessive government interference. Too bad the jobs will be filled by the Chinese, rather than Americans.
You know, come to think of it, Lemonade Stand Economics is what reminds me why I support less government interference, and more free enterprise.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your State Representative. I can be reached at email@example.com or (405) 557-7415.
The Superior Court of the District of Columbia dropped all charges Monday against three activists arrested in August for selling 10-cent cups of lemonade on the lawn of the Capitol building.
Will Duffield, Meg McLain and Kathryn Dill were arrested on Aug. 20 for selling the lemonade as part of National Lemonade Freedom Day — a nationwide protest formed in response to a recent rash of children’s lemonade stands being shut down by police.
Duffield, McLain and Dill pleaded not guilty on Oct. 4 to “sale of goods on U.S. Capitol grounds” — a crime that carries a maximum prison sentence of 180 days. Vending on the lawn of the Capitol is not allowed.
The three faced an additional 180 days in jail after being held in contempt of court for refusing to submit to a urine test for drugs.
The urine sample was part of a program to avoid going to trial. The court also demanded the three submit to weekly drug testing and a substance abuse class. The lemonistas said all of this was a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights.
“It wasn’t a violent crime,” Dill said. “There were no victims, except all the thirsty people at the Capitol who couldn’t get lemonade because we were arrested.”
When the three appeared at court Monday, there was a new judge, who Mclain described as “jolly and friendly.” The judge announced the charges against them had been dropped.
“It was very relieving,” Dill said. “I would have probably have lost my job, and Megan and Will don’t even live close to the area.”
The judge did not say why the charges had been dropped, but Dill and McLain speculated it would have been not only costly but embarrassing to take the three to a full jury trial.
The three had also been banned from the Capitol grounds, but that, too, has been lifted. The first thing the three did after leaving court was take a picture in front of the Capitol building.
Mclain said the three have no plans at the moment for future protests, but “the next time we see some innocent person being oppressed, we’ll be there.”