Attend Pitchfork Protest Rally in Virginia
York County May Zone Out Family Farmers & Homesteaders
Anthony Bavuso, one of the oyster farmers
targeted by York County, eating an oyster.
Wednesday - May 14, 2014
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
The Next Battle for Virginia Property Rights Is in Liberty Landmark York County
The York County Supervisors are getting ready to rezone the land owned by as many as 4,000-7,000 landowners in York County and REMOVE existing farming rights. This is not just about property rights, farming rights, cleaning the Bay and oysters. It is about stopping the abuse of power by the local elected officials. Your voice and presence WILL make a difference.
Attend the rally and/or the Planning Commission Meeting to follow at 7 p.m. to show your support for farmers' rights! See event details on Facebook.
Sign the Change.org petition to defend property rights!
Please share this alert with friends, family and neighbors in Virginia.
Following the Virginia General Assembly's passage of two new laws with overwhelming statewide majority this year limiting how counties may require permits for agricultural and aquaculture on land zoned for it, York County has announced that it will probably eliminate the existing right to conduct agriculture at least in the York Point area of Seaford, and has targeted local oyster farmers for "special use" permitting in contravention of these recently enacted state laws.
What: Pitchfork* Protest Rally
Who: Farmer Martha Boneta, York County oyster farmers Anthony Bavuso and Greg Garrett, Virginia Delegate Brenda Pogge, Virginia Delegate Gordon Helsel, Delegate Rick Morris, Lois Smith (President of Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association), King George County Supervisor Ruby Brabo, and Mark Fitzgibbons (constitutional attorney) will be at the protest.
When: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 14 - Planning Commission Meeting to follow at 7 p.m.
Where: York Hall, 301 Main Street, Yorktown, Virginia [ directions ]
Why: This grassroots protest will call attention to efforts of the York County Board of Supervisors to take property rights from its citizens.
*Note: You do not need to bring a pitchfork or sign to participate.
The "Pitchfork Protest" has come to symbolize citizens taking action to protect their property and other constitutionally protected rights, especially against zoning abuses and overreach by local governments.
The York County Board is hastily attempting to evade laws before they take effect: the On-Farm Activities bill (SB 51) on July 1, 2014 and the Virginia Zoning bill (HB 1089) on January 1, 2015. The York County Board of Supervisors is looking to rezone and eliminate agricultural uses for certain properties, and is attempting to require "special use" permits for oyster farmers despite the new law prohibiting counties from demanding such permits. Of course, the York County Board of Supervisors has no intention of granting the permits to the two oyster farmers it has been fighting; the Board has already rejected their requests.
Below: View of Greg Garrett's oyster farming operation in York County
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit [EIN 20-8605130], defends the rights and broadens the freedoms of family farms and artisan food producers while protecting consumer access to raw milk and nutrient-dense foods. Learn more About Us or read the FTCLDF 2012 Summary. Membership benefits include the possibility of representation in court; the Fund typically pays for all court costs. The Fund is not an insurance company and cannot guarantee representation on all legal matters. Your membership fees and donations help to keep local food sources available and preserve family farms facing unjust enforcement actions.
Please forward this alert to others who are concerned about protecting locally-sourced nutrient-dense foods and preserving sustainable small family farms and artisan food producers as well as defending the rights to sell and to access the foods of one's choice from the source of one's choice.