Sunday, March 11, 2012

Milk-Slinging & Cookies

I shared a long emotional embrace with my dear friend, James Stewart, Friday evening immediately following his release from an unlawful and torturous week-long detention at a Ventura County jail. It was the first chance I'd had to see his face not through the dehumanizing grates of a cage, since his ambush into handcuffs during open court in Los Angeles, on the morning of Friday, March 2nd at a routine appearance for "conspiracy" charges related to raw milk. (I feel ridiculous even just typing that last phrase.)
[Left] Scanned copy of pharmacy ID-photo, taken 2 days before arrest;
[Right] Photo by me, using my iPhone w/flash, taken day of release.

Neither image has been edited in any way other than cropping and scaling.

He was visibly thinner, radically dehydrated and obviously malnourished. In fact, the last real food he had eaten was a couple of the raw, superfood cookies I'd been so proud to share with him on our way into court that morning. Knowing now in retrospect that he was about to go so long without proper sleep and nourishment, I wish I had brought more food along. Of course, had the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, who'd reportedly issued the arrest warrant a full four days prior on 2/27, bothered to alert James that they had done so (or issued a simple summons to appear) - and therefore given him the opportunity to be prepared in confronting the charges - all of this drama and nonsense could have been avoided.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Courts of Raw

Something here smells sour, and it's NOT my raw milk.

James Stewart & Sharon Palmer, 2011.
Photo courtesy David Gumpert.
A new offense is afoot in the old games of legalized persecution against folks still brave enough to exercise their rights to privately contract with one another to obtain healthy foods. In what Natural News rightly called an "ambush", James-Cecil: Stewart of Rawesome Foods, and Sharon Palmer of Healthy Family Farms were again suddenly arrested at the close of routine court proceedings last Friday, March 2nd. The two had appeared in court, along with co-defendant Victoria Bloch, to settle on a preliminary hearing date for charges related to government raids on Rawesome back in June of 2010 and August of 2011.

Palmer's bail was set for $2 Million and Stewart's at $1 Million. Apparently, the two - along with Larry Otting - are being asked to answer assorted charges relating to an alleged conspiracy to defraud farm investors. While Otting had reportedly already made bail by yesterday, Palmer and Stewart will stay a sixth night in jail tonight. They are scheduled to appear in court again Thursday (3/8) in hopes of getting their bail reduced, and then being released soon after.  (Please read David Gumpert's article for more case details.)

Victoria Bloch with Weston A Price Foundation Chapter leaders in pre-arraignment demonstration.
Photo courtesy Friends of Rawesome.