a different kind of coffee break with Gerry and Ray Coffey
Disease-Free Living Through Fitness and Nutrition
Genetically Engineered Foods
E-Mail Chat with V. D.
ALABAMA GRANDMOTHERS ARRESTED FOR CAMPAIGNING AGAINST GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS
Date:12/1/2002 1:48:03 PM Central Standard Time
To: [email protected]
Sent from the Internet
Dear Mrs. Coffey,
I heard part of your radio interview the other day about the Kroger incident. I Thank You for your courage and convictions. I have been studying law as part of my research for my doctorate. I have uncovered much information that is pertinent to you and everyone you know. the information I have uncovered is most likely unknown to your attorney because it is no longer taught in law schools. also, if you are willing to e-mail your mailing address to me I shall send to you a copy of a book that I recently found and which I believe is a good easy-to-read introduction to the information I've uncovered through my own doctoral research. the book is entitled The History of American Constitutional or Common Law With Commentary Concerning Equity and Merchant Law, by Dale Pond, et al. ISBN: 1-57282-010-1please read the following and allow me to send a copy of the above book to you to assist you all, and your attorney, especially with your current situation. please notice that I provide the legal sources for my statements which allow rapid and easy verification, especially by your attorney. i have additional research notes that i am willing to share. copies of Black's Law Dictionary Sixth Edition and older are indispensable; curiously, the newer editions are missing much important information. whatever you decide, i wish you all the best of luck.
Without prejudice: V. D. Ross, Ph.D.
American Citizen vs. U.S. citizen
Subj: Re: radio interview
Date: 12/1/2002 10:51:19 PM Central Standard Time
Dear Dr. Ross:
You must be a mind reader. The other day on National Public Radio I heard a segment about a Law Professor's students who had taken on real life criminal cases and got innocent people freed.
Yesterday, after the radio interview you heard, I mentioned using this potential resource to our lawyer, and suddenly you respond.
I greatly appreciate your interest and offer to assist us in this matter that affects us all. In fact, what could be of more basic concern than the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat? And when Big Business decides to tamper with the foods we take to nourish ourselves, I feel this is of grave concern to us all. I further feel the only reason the whole world isn't up in arms is because they have been kept ignorant to the potential dangers inherent in tampering with our food supply.
Never mind the possibility of Iraq concealing chemical warfare weapons, our real enemy is inside our borders masquerading as the "guys in the white hats."
When I initially became involved in the National Supermarket Campaign Against Genetically Engineered Foods, making a public spectacle of myself was the farthest thing from my mind. However, when faced with the decision to give up and go home and just say "I tried....," or be arrested, I thought about all the mothers and concerned others across the nation taking part in the Supermarket Campaign. I didn't want Alabama, often considered to be at the bottom of the totem pole in so many ways, to be the one State not represented. Little did I know we would be the only ones who attempted to stand up for our rights and be arrested for it.
Numerous things flashed through my mind when faced with the prospect of arrest:
* Would my record be tarnished for life? (As a former print and broadcast journalist, I used to report on people who broke the law, and now I was one of them.)
* Would I bring shame on my family and friends? ( Two of our offspring are in the military. How might my actions affect them?)
I tried to recall someone else who had taken part in causes and been arrested. Martin Sheen came to mind. Being arrested numerous times for campaigning for causes he thought just have not seemed to hinder his success. He is perhaps more revered as the U.S. President he portrays on NBC's top-rated "West Wing" than the real one who resides in the White House. (And certainly his compensation is more!)
I realized my own circumstances could hardly be compared to that of such a public figure, but no other example came to mind. Taking inspiration from Martin Sheen's example, I told the policemen I would not leave voluntarily so was ordered to get in the back of the police car. Meanwhile, the others who had been assisting handing out literature suddenly remembered they had other commitments, but my good friend, Jean Tune, said she would support me in whatever I chose to do, but kept asking me if I was sure I wanted to do it.
The severity of the situation hit home when I heard the burly police officer yell into his car radio: "I'M BRINGING IN TWO CAUCASIAN FEMALES, AND GET THIS, ONE OF THEM WAS BORN IN 1923."
Jean was horrified when she heard that, and said: "Gerry, we can still change our minds!" The police officer overheard her and yelled: "IT'S TOO LATE TO DO THAT! YOU TWO ARE UNDER ARREST AND YOU'LL PROBABLY HAVE TO PAY A $500 BAIL OR REMAIN IN JAIL UNTIL YOUR COURT DATE."
Jean gasped audibly. The widow of a prominent surgeon who hocked all of her land and took out a loan in order to start a Community Supported Agricultural program, she said she didn't even have that much money in the bank. And I certainly had no personal income of my own. I wondered how my spouse, a conservative, straight-laced West Point Alumni versed in Duty, Honor, Country, would react to his wife being arrested.
The dye was cast however..., and the entire episode of the arrest and experience at the Police Station would make a good story line for West Wing (or the former "Barney Miller.")
Thankfully a young lawyer has volunteered to help us pro bono, so perhaps we will have a chance to bring the attention to this matter that it deserves. I feel certain if we can alert the public to the fact they have a critical stake in this effort, they will unite behind us.
I confess I am not well versed where the law is concerned but some basic rights would seem to be inviolate, particularly here in the United States. That we are kept ignorant to the fact certain types of bacteria, fish genes, human viruses and other man-made organisms are injected into our food without our knowledge or consent, solely to increase the shelf life of an item, is reprehensible. Moreover, we have unwittingly become a participant and even end up paying for that crime against our physical integrity.
Since my arrest I have been made aware the Kroger Grocery store is private property and we were trespassing. It is unclear to me how they can have it both ways: ie., have something open to the public for the purpose of taking public moneys, yet declaring it to be private as their will determines?
I also fully realize the Press has taken this up not because of the seriousness of the subject but because of the novelty/comedic aspect of two grandmothers aspiring to change the way things are being done.
As the saying goes: "Call me anything but late for chow." If it takes the term "grandmothers" to get people's attention, so be it. If we can mobilize the grandmothers of the Nation and world to take up this cause, surely we can make changes for the good of us all.
I will pass on your information below to our lawyer, and FYI I am also including the first newspaper article about our arrest plus some comments from people supporting our effort. And please do send whatever information and/or book(s) you think pertinent to the following address:
Gerry Coffey, Wife/Mother/Grandmother/Councilor/Public Relations Officer
The VEGETARIAN UNION OF NORTH AMERICA and
The INTERNATIONAL VEGETARIAN UNION
28 Harbor View Court
Decatur, Alabama 35601
HEALTH IS (the ONLY true) WEALTH!
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