Editor’s note: the written testimony of Mr. Douglas Wollmar was used to give his spoken testimony and cited various sources including an article by Rady Ananda titled Home Rule takes a beating as Maine defeats food freedom bills. It is quite amazing how the alternative media is effecting real, positive change around the country and around the world – proving that single individuals can make a difference.
Bangkok, Thailand May 24, 2011 – While misguided youth light their cities on fire around the world, clashing with local police and battling with their fellow countrymen, all to the beat of US-funded opposition groups, real revolutionaries are quietly, pragmatically, and intelligently changing society. They do so not with placards, mobs, slogans, or aspirations for political power, but with the declaration, enumeration, and exercise of their innate sovereignty. While we naively hope for a political solution to met out an equitable distribution of wealth and resources within a system created by hording megalomaniacs, there are those amongst us that understand the only way to solve the immense disparity throughout this world is to stop paying into the system that created it in the first place, and to take responsibility for the world around us on a local level.
One such man is Mr. Douglas Wollmar of Trenton, Maine. Having been inspired by the “Food Sovereignty Ordinance” passed by the neighboring towns of Sedgwick, Penobscot, and Blue Hill, he himself pushed for a similar ordinance to be passed in his own town. An ordinary man and local farmer, neither a career politician nor a technocrat, Mr. Wollmar brought the issue up along with his impressive testimony, to see the ordinance pass in a 29 to 25 vote.
Having been shaken from his apathy and inspired by the message of Ron Paul during 2008, Mr. Wollmar has proven that anyone can make a difference when we stop depending on others and start depending on ourselves. Shortly after “Creeping Tyranny Meets Creeping Sovereignty: Declaration of food sovereignty just the beginning?” was published earlier this month, Mr. Wollmar contacted the Land Destroyer Report regarding his town’s own “Food Sovereignty Ordinance.” With the ordinance passed, he has provided his testimony to be shared – an example for us all to read, consider, and utilize in our own bid to join the real revolution.
Douglas Wollmar’s Testimony
My name is Douglas Wollmar and I am a small market farmer in Trenton.
I want to thank those who came today to support what has now come to be a movement that has drawn attention from around the globe. The towns of Sedgewick, Penobscot and Blue Hill, our Hancock County neighbors have started a movement and it is now time for Trenton to carry the torch. I believe it is not only Trenton’s right but its duty to support this ordinance.
From the Maine Statutes
Title 7, Sections 1-A and 1-B
“The survival of the family farm is of special concern to the people of the State, and the ability of the family farm to prosper, while producing an abundance of high quality food and fiber, deserves a place of high priority in the determination of public policy.”
Article I, § 2 of the Maine Constitution declares: “all power is inherent in the people; all free governments are founded in their authority and instituted for their benefit, [and that] they have therefore an unalienable and indefensible right to institute government and to alter, reform, or totally change the same when their safety and happiness require it.”
Maine is fortunate to have the infamous Home Rule system, which both constitutionally and statutorily allow local communities to legally pass laws in contradiction to state and federal laws. Maine’s strong Home Rule tradition is what has allowed towns to assert the power of self-government in all sorts of issues ranging from banning of genetically-modified (GM) crops in certain areas, to restricting corporate water extraction operations. Home Rule is what has
historically protected towns from overarching government regulation and control, as well as abuses by corporate interests.
A legal analysis prepared by Charles Bussell, concludes that Maine has strong enough Home Rule protections to pass such ordinances.. Bussel notes, “The statute makes clear that the power of municipalities in Maine is strong—their power is to be construed liberally with a rebuttable presumption that a municipal ordinance is valid.” Governance over local food production that is sold locally easily falls within Home Rule.
This ordinance overrides numerous provisions in the recently passed federal Food Safety Modernization Act Not just small farms are affected by government intrusion via hyper-regulation. Fire Dept Pancake Breakfasts,Hunters breakfast, bean suppers,Church suppers, potlucks, bake sales, Scout sales, lemonade stands, community picnics, and all traditional food sharing events must now follow strict “safety” protocols. All food producers must be licensed, and all food must be sterilized and packaged, according to the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
The FSMA now claims intrastate authority.
Food “safety” rules violate Maine’s constitutional requirement to support family farms
and Home Rule. The state Ag department has invoked food “safety” rules that small operations cannot afford. And that’s the point. Food “safety” is corpogov speak for destroying factory farm
competition from small, family farms.
From Rep Walter Kumiega from Deer Isle:
“The great push for food safety regulations from the FDA and USDA is misguided and, by hurting small,local food producers, will in the end make our food supply less safe, These regulations are needed to make large food producers more safe, although they are arguably a failure, since studies show a majority of supermarket meats are contaminated with diseases ranging from E. coli to MRSA.”
“Requiring someone with two cows or a handful of goats to invest ten thousand dollars or more to build an inspectable facility doesn’t make economic sense. Hand milking is a perfectly acceptable method and does not need the same facilities that a machine milking operation does.
Two years ago an administrative decision changed an exemption that was standard practice.
Prior to passage of the FSMA, Canada Health whistle blower Shiv Chopra warned it “would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.” It looks like he was right.
According to 16 Am Jur 2d Sec 177 & 178, the general rule is:
No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional statute and no courts are bound to enforce it… If any person acts under an unconstitutional statute, he does so at his peril and must take the consequences.”
Jefferson warned that long-established governments must not be changed for “light and transient reasons.” He added, however, that the documented record of a government’s “long train of abuses and usurpations, creates for its citizens a right and a duty “to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
From the Supreme Court, Marbury v Madison
“whenever a law is repugnant to the constitutions or the ideals or values which emanate from the constitution then that law is null and void on its face
If all else fails, we the people retain the right to revolution as reserved in the Bill of Rights (Articles 9 and 10 implicitly) and as Abe Lincoln reminded us:
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government they can exercise their constitutional right to dismember or overthrow it.”
A vote for this ordinance is a vote to keep the right to consume food of your choosing, to have pancake breakfasts, farmers markets and fund raisers.
Are you ready to lose that right?
The topic of who decides what is constitutional is a point of contention, but ultimately, as it should be, it is left to the people. It would be a contradiction of American principles for the final power to lie not with the people, but rather with nine unelected lifetime lawyers. In an 1804 letter to Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, noted that “…the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional, and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislature and executive also, in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic branch.” Jefferson would later add in an 1820 letter, “You seem to consider the judges the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves.”
It was understood by the founders that there were three equal branches, which were limited to their own sphere, but not one super branch and two sub branches.
For more information, please read the article describing Trenton’s recent passing of the “Food Sovereignty Ordinance.” Please also read the full text of the original Sedgwick “Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance of 2011.”