Press Release: Rural Texas Invades the Capitol

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 12, 2007

Contact: Judith McGeary, judith@farmandranchfreedom.org

TEXANS, TRACTORS, and CATTLE INVADE THE CAPITOL MARCH 2
Protesters tell Lawmakers: “Don’t Tag Texas!”

Horses, cattle, llamas and their owners will parade up the center of downtown Austin to the Capitol on Texas Independence Day. Farmers in their tractors will escort the marchers as they tell Texas legislators: Don’t Tag Texas. Freedom-loving Texans plan this protest because of two issues that threaten their way of life: the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) and the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC).

NAIS is a corporate-agriculture plan being pushed by the federal government. The Texas Animal Health Commission currently has authority to make it mandatory at any time. If it does, then anyone who owns even one livestock animal – even just a chicken or a horse – will have to register their premises with the government, individually identify each animal, and report movements to a database. This massive government program will have an immediate impact on rural Texas, and will ultimately raise the cost of food for everyone.

TTC is a plan for a privately-owned toll road, including vehicle lanes, railroad tracks, utilities, and pipelines, to run from Mexico to Oklahoma. “It’s about revenue, not transportation,” says David Stall, Founder of Corridor Watch. “Over one million acres of Texas land will be destroyed for the sake of a private company’s profits.” Hank Gilbert, the 2006 Democratic candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, says, “The TTC stands to be the largest land-grab and eminent domain project in the history of this country.”

Although disparate on the surface, the issues of the NAIS and the TTC share many common themes: the threat to rural Texas, the use of Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFIDs) to track animals and people, the impact of large corporations on our government policymaking, and the loss of choices for every person.

“As goes Texas, so goes the rest of the country” is a common theme in national politics. Judith McGeary, founder of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, says: “The NAIS and the TTC are national issues, with their hearts in Texas. We hope that the sight of a veritable Noah’s Ark marching up Congress will re-connect Texas lawmakers to the people whose lives they are affecting, and bring the attention of the entire country to bear.”

After the march up Congress Avenue, renown guitarist and freedom advocate Jimmie Vaughn will perform a song at the steps of the capitol.

Marchers will gather at the parking lot at 1st and Red River at 1:30 pm on Friday, March 2. They will walk and ride the 1½ miles up Congress Avenue to the Capitol, and then be escorted back to their trailers; the participants will be provided with shuttle service back to the Capitol. Speakers will start at 2:30 p.m. on the South steps of the Capitol.

For more information, visit the FARFA “Don’t Tax Texas Rally” page, or call 254.697.2661.