Rebels of the Week: Lemonade and Raw Milk Freedom DayAugust 22nd, 2012
It’s a basic moral axiom. Good people disobey bad laws, or perhaps a more accurate formulation is, good people disregard bad laws. A good German hides a Jew in their attic. A good American sneaks a slave to the North. A good Christian protects a Witch from the Inquisition. Because as unjust law is no Law at all.
Last weekend activists from the Raw Milk Freedom Riders and Lemonade Freedom Day gathered at the reflecting pool on Capitol Hill to violate the onerous regulations against raw milk and lemonade stands in what became a weekend long marathon of civil disobedience, and this week’s Rebels of the Week
They called it a celebration of food freedom and voluntary exchange. On Friday they hosted a “Know your Rights” Workshop where attendees learned about the history of peaceful non-compliance, and how to assert their rights when confronted by agents of the State. On Saturday over 100 parents, children, and activists from all over the country gathered to host a picnic where Farm Fresh foods were shared and traded… and these dangerous illicit beverages were bought and sold without permits.
As far as beverages go, milk and lemonade seem like the most innocuous of things for the government to crackdown on, but that hasn’t stopped them. In the last couple years or so we’ve seen an epidemic of jack boots shutting down kids’ lemonade stands and SWAT teams raiding raw milk dairies.
The primary speakers included rebels Pete Eyre from Cop Block, Liz Reitzig of Raw Milk Freedom Riders, Bradley Jardis of Free Keene, filmmaker Max Kane, journalist John Moody, Kristin Canty of Farmageddon, Rob Fernandes of Lemonade Freedom, Eddie Free of Fr33 Agents and Derrick J of Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree.
Robert Fernandes and Liz Reitzig describe their effort as a fight for fundamental liberties to buy, sell and consume as they see fit. Rob Fernandes said, “This event is about more than just lemonade or raw milk. This issue is about the right to self- ownership. You own your body. You have the right to do what you want to do with your body, just as long as you are not harming someone else or someone’s property.” Many of the activists expressed their willingness to be arrested over it. Eddie Free stated, “I hope the state will stand down and let us act like the free people we are.” At this event no arrests were made, but at a similar event last year 6 arrests were made, which Liz Reitzig says “We proved without a doubt that laws are arbitrary and arbitrarily enforced. Last year, people were arrested at the same spot for this same activity. This year we were ignored. It’s not about enforcing the statute.”
A lemonade stand is a quintessential symbol of entrepreneurialism. When a child opens a lemonade stand they are learning how to operate a business, and how to be a productive member of society. Access to fresh milk, which was all milk less than 50 years ago, is the most basic of human needs. It is an infant’s first nourishment. If these freedoms can be so easily infringed, there are no limits on the State’s abrogation of liberty.
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