The party offers a way to take back the government
by Wendy Kenin @greendoula, Green Party of California
Greens are participants and supporters of the Occupy movement, from local to national to international spheres. From party members to elected officials to presidential candidates, Greens are bringing years of hard work to the movement that mirrors the Ten Key Values. Decades of Green activism have set the stage for a new government that represents the interests of its people.
On September 27, 2011, the Green Party of New York City endorsed Occupy Wall Street. In a statement, it condemned “our autocratic Mayor Bloomberg, under whose command the police engaged in systematic brutality of peaceful demonstrators against a predatory and parasitic financial order centered in Wall Street. We applaud the expression of direct democracy that this occupation embodies.”
In 2013 we hope to see them occupying their state capitols not as protesters, but to claim seats of power in government.
Asher Platts of the Maine Green Party
September 30, 2011 the Green Party of Maine endorsed Occupy Wall Street, encouraging protesters to run for public office. “These peaceful protesters are very much aligned with the Green Party’s platform and values,” said Asher Platts of the Maine Green Party. “I want to see the people occupying Wall Street bring about the major reforms they are demanding. It’s my hope that they will carry this energy and excitement to their home towns, build their local Green Party, and run as candidates in 2012. And in 2013 we hope to see them occupying their state capitols not as protesters, but to claim seats of power in government.”
The Green Party of Washington State endorsed the Occupy movement on October 10, 2011, supporting “the demands for an end to corporate domination over our political and economic sectors.”
The San Fernando Valley Greens in California endorsed Occupy Wall Street, “because of our ‘common cause’ with the Occupy movement… as well as the Right of Assembly and Freedom of Speech of all protesters around the world who have joined them, and their efforts to bring about peaceful change for the benefit of all of us.” Their statement of endorsement elaborates on the common cause, by discussing how each of the 10 Key Values of the Green Party of the United States addresses issues being raised by Occupy.
The Green Party of California endorsed Occupy Wall Street October 7, 2011, expressing solidaritywith Occupy “actions in California and throughout the country and the expression of direct democracy that it represents.” The Green Party of Alameda County, California has been participating in Occupy Oakland since its inception.
November 10, 2011, Richmond, California Green Mayor Gayle McLaughlin welcomed the movement to her city. “The Occupy Wall Street movement has burst onto the scene, calling for an end to corporate domination all over the globe. We, in Richmond, are part of this movement and have everything to gain from it.”
November 9, 2011 the Colorado Green Party endorsed Occupy Wall Street citing the core values of the party and the bravery and righteous purpose of the movement. In the statement, the Colorado Greens sent a clear message to occupiers while embarking on election year. “We welcome you to join with the Greens in kind. Every Occupier who registers Green is making a statement against the two party corporate system that has driven our country to the brink.”
In Connecticut December 16, 2011, the West Hartford News published an editorial appreciating that the Green Party of Connecticut had unanimously endorsed Occupy Wall Street and local Occupy groups, siting that it hoped, “that others will also help this young movement to continue to evolve and that others in the political system will support their ideals and their actions.”
The Green Party of Steuben County, New York endorsed Occupy, applauding that, “The internal democratic process of the various occupations is coupled with the formation of food distribution systems, medical services, and libraries at each protest site, further showing that this is something quite new in the political and economic landscape.” The Steuben County statement asserts, “that the Green Party and the Occupy movement are naturally aligned not by political gain but by a vision for a better future.”
The Green Party of Minnesota issued a statement of support to Occupy. The Green Party of San Francisco endorsed Occupy San Francisco. Internationally, in Liverpool, England a workshop took place at a Green Party Conference in February, to discuss learning from and supporting the Occupy movement.
“The Green Party encourages those Occupiers who want to have an effect on the 2012 elections to help us build a permanent alternative party that represents the interests of We The People—the 99 percent—instead of banks, oil companies, arms manufacturers, insurance firms, and other powerful lobbies. The Green Party accepts no money from corporate PACs. Our platform reflects the values and demands of Occupy Wall Street,” said Kent Mesplay, candidate for the Green Party’s 2012 presidential nomination.
Every Occupier who registers Green is making a statement against the two party corporate system that has driven our country to the brink. ~ Colorado State Green Party
The Washington Post quoted candidate for Green presidential nomination Roseanne Barr, noting candidate Jill Stein’s involvement with Occupy as a reason to support her. “Both the Democratic and Republican parties are bought and paid for by corporate America and cater to the needs of the highest bidder as opposed to the people they claim to represent,” Barr said in a statement on Green Party Watch. She adds that she’s been “a tireless advocate of Occupy Wall Street” since its beginning.
November 28, 2011, The Hill questioned whether Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is theOccupy Candidate. Later, she presented a speech in Washington, DC for Occupy The Courts January 20, 2012, where she emphasized the Green Party’s opposition to corporate personhood since 1996 and the need for true democracy led by its citizenry, as part of the social, constitutional, legal, and electoral movement.
The Green Party of the United States has issued press releases condemning police brutality against peaceful occupy demonstrations, encouraging electoral activists participating in occupy to run for office, and helping to distinguish occupy as separate from the two-party system.
The national Green Party of the United States website sported a banner across its homepage this winter that read, “Occupy America: Laura Wells at Occupy The Courts: Voices of Green Party members,” which clicked through to a video of Green activists occupying the Federal Courthouse in Oakland, CA January 20, 2012 at Occupy the Courts. Phoebe Sorgen, former member of the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission, says last year they had protested the first anniversary of Citizens United v the Federal Election Commission and that, “the occupy movement has come up since then, which makes me really hopeful.”
“The biggest thing to me is the social movement in combination with the electoral movement to take back the government,” Green Party of California candidate for Congress Laura Wells said. “There’s so much Green in what’s happening… the values [are] interconnected.”
To view Greens in action as part of the Occupy Movement type in “Greens in Occupy Movement” at the YouTube website. Some specific clips include:
www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Tw28AplMFcI – Laura Wells and Phoebe Sorgen at Occupy The Courts Jan 20, 2012
This article was first published by Green Pages, the national publication of the Green Party of the United States.