By guest blogger Max Kane of Wisconsin
Photos by Alex Lewin
PRE-HEARING EVENTS ERUPT AS RAW MILK SUPPORTERS HAND MILK SUZANNE THE JERSEY COW AS SHE GRAZES PARK GRASS IN DOWNTOWN BOSTON
An affirmative message was sent to food regulators around the U.S. as a raw milk freedom rally, centered at the Boston Common (a park area in downtown Boston), proved that unprocessed food supporters have the courage to stand up for their Rights. A large group of activists, from as far west as California, joined a pure jersey cow named Suzanne to show opposition against the cease-and-desist orders issued by MDAR (Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources) to MA raw milk buying clubs. Suzanne, belonging to a herd owned by popular talk radio host Doug Stephan, stood patiently across the street from the state capitol building while thirsty people lined up to milk her. California's celebrity/rock-star raw dairy farmer Mark McAfee was first in line for the milking.
[left to right in foreground: Doug Stephan, Max Kane, Suzanne, Mark McAfee]
McAfee did not hesitate to quickly summon Max Kane of Wisconsin to "grab the other side of the bag". McAfee and Kane were squeein' away while giving an oral explanation of milking to the media. A dozen cameras captured the event as the line for fresh warm milk continued to grow. Many others jumped on the "handles" to milk. Signs and banners proclaiming farm freedom and consumer rights circled the event as a hired band provided music. Inspiring speeches led by Mark McAfee, Max Kane, and David Gumpert iced the rally's cake.
The supportive crowd paused for a picture in front of the capitol building, and then continued to march to a scheduled MDAR milk hearing two blocks away. The hearing's purpose was to receive public comment on newly proposed milk regulations in MA. With hopes to avoid getting a good old-fashioned education at their own hearing, MDAR pulled some of the language from the proposed regulations only days before the hearing. The bait-and-switch had no effect, as farm to consumer freedom supporters packed the hearing and overflow rooms anyway.
[raw milk drinkers provide feedback to Commissioner Soares]
The main room erupted in applause after each testimony. Despite the fact that MDAR removed language, the department still maintained that the buying clubs are illegal. This leaves the issue somewhat unresolved as MDAR has yet to retract the cease-and-desist orders they issued.
[Ed: Max Kane is an outspoken citizen-activist from Wisconsin. He has stood up for his rights on numerous occasions, even at great personal risk. I have blogged about Max and his story here.]