PARIS, Va., Jan. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Farmers and property rights activists will gather in Richmond, VA on Monday, January 28 to hold the second 'Pitchfork Protest' on behalf of farmer Martha Boneta. The rally will precede a hearing on H.B. 1430, the Boneta Bill, introduced by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter of Woodbridge, VA. The rally begins at 3:30 p.m. with a press conference to begin at 4:00 p.m. at the historic Bell Tower on the grounds of the Virginia State Capitol.
Martha Boneta said, "I am grateful to Delegate Lingamfelter for introducing H.B. 1430. He is a champion of freedom. His bill protects the rights of all small family farmers in Virginia. And, I am thankful to the many people across Virginia and the entire country who have told me they support this cause and that they are praying for me and our freedoms." Mrs. Boneta is scheduled to appear on Fox and Friends, Sunday at 6:50 a.m.
One rally organizer Mark Fitzgibbons of FauquierFreeCitizen.com said, "The Boneta Bill is the most important farming and property rights legislation in memory. It amends the toothless Virginia Right to Farm Act by protecting the historic, traditional, and varied commerce of self-sustaining farmers and farming. It will ensure that county ordinances violating constitutional rights on farm land are declared void. Lastly, it adds 'teeth' by giving farmers remedies against counties that bully farmers and violate their rights to farm and earn a living. Farming and God-given rights must not be dictated or defined down by bureaucrats or special interests in Richmond. The bill is needed for farmers who want food freedom, not food stamps."
The first Pitchfork Protest in August 2012 was held in Warrenton, VA to support Fauquier County farmer Martha Boneta who was charged with hosting a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls without a permit and site plan. This shocking abuse of authority generated nationwide news coverage and grassroots outrage. Mrs. Boneta was also charged with selling farm products such as wool fibers from some of her 160+ rescued farm animals, postcard pictures of her scenic farm and animals, and other items from her farm even though she had a business license. She remains under threat of fines up to $5,000 per violation per day, and her tiny farm store that had been open only seven hours per week is closed as a result.
Speakers will include Martha Boneta, Delegate Lingamfelter, farmer and best-selling author Joel Salatin, Delegate Bob Marshall and others.
The Boneta Bill will be heard in a House Agricultural Subcommittee hearing starting at 5 p.m. in the 5th Floor East Conference Room of the General Assembly Building.
FauquierFreeCitizen.com is a citizen-based news service whose motto taken from Herman Melville is "Truth uncompromisingly told."
Contact: Mark Fitzgibbons