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Green Party Condemns Israel’s Attack on Gaza

December 31, 2008 in Peace & Non-Violence

Green Party condemns Israel’s massive air attack on Gaza, calls on US to rein in Israel and seek a ceasefire

WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party of the United States calls for an immediate end to Israel’s bombing attacks on Gaza, which in the past four days has already caused at least 364 deaths, including Palestinian women and children, with hundreds more wounded.

“It’s clear that President Bush gave a green light for Israel’s massive and disproportionate display of force. The Green Party demands that the US seek a bilateral ceasefire, with immediate pressure on Israel to stop the bombardment and end the occupation,” said Rosa Clemente, the Green Party’s 2008 candidate for Vice President of the United States

Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party’s 2008 presidential candidate, had joined the Free Gaza Groupon the SS Dignity, which sailed from Cyprus to deliver three tons of medicine and humanitarian aid to Gaza in defiance of an Israeli blockade. Ms. McKinney was safe after Israeli gunboats attempted to intercept the Dignity last night and one gunboat illegally rammed the vessel in international waters, 90 miles off the Gaza coast. Despite damage sustained in the encounter, the Dignity has docked safely in Lebanon and Ms. McKinney is on her way to Beirut.

In an interview on CNN, Cynthia McKinney said, “What we have gone through pales in comparison to what the people of the Gaza Strip are suffering.” Ms. McKinney is challenging President-elect Barack Obama to condemn Israel’s attacks on Gaza.
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Cynthia McKinney’s Account of Attack on Relief Ship

December 31, 2008 in Peace & Non-Violence

From Kim Wilder:

Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was the Green Party candidate for President in 2008. Ms. McKinney traveled aboard the boat “Dignity”, which tried to bring doctors and medical supplies to Gaza, as a humanitarian response to the recent bombing of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli government.The Dignity is a project of www.freegaza.org. Ms. McKinney writes:

December 30, 2008: Oh What a Day!

I’m so glad that my father told me to buy a special notebook and to write everything down because that’s exactly what I did.

When we left from Cyprus, one reporter asked me “are you afraid?” And I had to respond that Malcolm X wasn’t afraid; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn’t afraid. But little did I know that just a few hours later, I would be recollecting my life and mentally preparing myself for death.

When we left Cyprus, the Mediterranean was beautiful. I remember the time when it might have been beautiful to look at, but it was also filthy. The Europeans have taken great strides to clean it up and yesterday, it was beautiful. And the way the sunlight hit the sea, I remember thinking to myself that’s why they call it azure. It was the most beautiful blue.

But sometimes it was rough, and we got behind on our schedule. We stayed on course, however, despite the roughness of the water and due to our exquisite captain.

There were no other ships or boats around us and night descended upon us all rather quickly. It was the darkest black and suddenly, out of nowhere, came searchlights disturbing our peace. The searchlights stayed with us for about half an hour or so. We knew they were Israeli ships. Who else would they be?

They were fast, and they would come close and then drop back. And then, they’d come close again. And then, all of a sudden there was complete blackness once again and all seemed right. The cat and mouse game went on for at least one half hour. What were they doing? And why?

Calm again. Black sky, black sea. Peace. And then, at that very moment, when all seemed right, out of nowhere we were rammed and rammed again and rammed again the last one throwing me off the couch, sending all our food up in the air; and all the plastic bags and tubs–evidence of sea sicknesses among the crew and passengers–flew all over the cabin and all over us. We’d been rammed by the Israelis. How did we know? Because they called us on the phone afterwards to tell us that we were engaging in subversive, terroristic activity. And if that if we didn’t turn around right then and return to Larnaca, Cyprus, we would be fired upon. We quickly grabbed our lifevests and put them on. Then the captain announced that the boat was taking on water. We might have to evacuate. One of my mates told me to prepare to die. And I reflected that I have lived a good and full life. I have tasted freedom and know what it is. I was right with myself and my decision to join the Free Gaza movement.
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McKinney May Try Again For Gaza (Wash Times)

December 31, 2008 in Peace & Non-Violence

From the Washington Times:

The father of former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Georgia Democrat, said Tuesday his daughter may try again to take medical supplies to war-battered Gaza.

The father, Billy McKinney, one of Atlanta’s first black law enforcement officers, quoted his daughter as telling him by telephone Tuesday that an Israeli patrol boat three times rammed a mercy vessel carrying her, 15 other activists and medical supplies to Gaza.

Nobody aboard the boat was hurt, but the vessel was destroyed, he said she told him. He said his daughter called to say that she was safe.
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Cynthia McKinney Speaks Out on Collision – CNN Video

December 30, 2008 in Peace & Non-Violence


Petition Calling for Obama to Slash Military Budget

December 30, 2008 in Social & Economic Justice

Green Change has a petition circulating calling for Barack Obama to slash the military budget and invest the money in education, health care, green energy and mortgage security.

Sign the Secure Green Future petition to President-elect Obama
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Israeli Navy Rams Relief Boat With McKinney On Board

December 30, 2008 in Peace & Non-Violence

A relief ship carrying medical supplies to Gaza as well as reporters and Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was intercepted in International Waters by Israeli gunboats early today. One Israeli ship rammed the “Dignity”, a ship owned by the Free Gaza movement sailing under the flag of Gibraltar. The Dignity took damage, and was reportedly being escorted to a port in Lebanon. Apparently no passengers were hurt.

See The Guardian: “Israel accused of ramming Gaza aid ship

See Fox News: “Cynthia McKinney Aboard Boat Headed for Gaza, Intercepted by Israeli Naval Force

And visit Free Gaza frequently for regular updates on the situation.

Green Party’s Cynthia McKinney On Relief Mission to Gaza

December 29, 2008 in Peace & Non-Violence

News from FreeGaza.org:

Dignity Leaves for Gaza on Emergency Mission of Mercy

(Larnaca, Cyprus) The Free Gaza movement will hold a press conference at 16:30, Monday, December 29 at the port in Larnaca. The organization is sending in the DIGNITY on an emergency mission of mercy to Gaza loaded with three to four tons of urgently needed medical supplies.

On board are four physicians, including Dr. Elena Theoharous, a surgeon and Member of Parliament in Cyprus. Also going are The Hon. Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate, and Sami al-Hajj, an Al Jazeera reporter and former detainee at Guantanamo.

Dr Khaled from the Shifa hospital ICU in Gaza City told us on Saturday that the majority of cases are critical shrapnel wounds from Israeli gunboats and helicopters, with an approximate 80% who will not survive.

The medical supply list includes bandages, splints and rubber gloves, items that any medical community should have access to, but, because of Israel’s policies of collective punishment, these supplies are not available.

Eliza Ernshire, one of the Free Gaza organizers says, “We have calls for surgeons willing to go into Gaza and work there throughout this crisis. The doctors inside are exhausted and unable to cope with the number of wounded. We will do our best to send in the DIGNITY as often as we can over the next few weeks, bringing in physicians and medical supplies.

The media is welcome to come to the port at 16:30 to interview the passengers.

ht/Claire M.

Todd Price Running for Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction

December 28, 2008 in State Party News

Todd Price, a long-time Green Party activist has decided to run for Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction in this Spring’s election. The state wide race is non-partisan.

Price is an impressive and qualified candidate. Todd Alan Price is Associate Professor of Educational Foundations and Inquiry in the National College of Education, National-Louis University. Price has long advocated for teachers and students, and supports putting the public back in public education. His recently published book co-authored with Elizabeth Peterson, “The Myth and Reality of No Child Left Behind: Public Education and High Stakes Assessment,” documents the actual, devastating impact of the controversial law on teaching and learning. He has traveled extensively, presenting on the issues of education policy, curriculum and instruction, and distance education at numerous conferences.

The first challenge is to get Todd on the ballot. Dozens of volunteers are out working to collect the 2,000 signatures required by January 6 to get on the ballot. If you live in Wisconsin or nearby, the Price Campaign could use your help! Contact Pete Karas at 262-498-5021 or email petekaras at yahoo.com if you can help collect signatures before Sunday January 4.
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Michigan Green Party Opposes Auto Bailout

December 26, 2008 in State Party News

The Co-Chair of the Michigan Green Party issued the below statement regarding the “Auto Industry Bailout”, stating “…Not one job saved, not one community protected…” by the bailout plan.

Statement of Fred Vitale, Chairperson, Green Party of Michigan

The Green Party of Michigan strenuously opposes the $17.4 billion bailout for General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

The agreement by the Bush administration to use a small part of the $700 billion already promised to Wall Street bankers is no victory for working people in Michigan. The loans support the failed policies of the current corporate leaderships.

Not only have they systematically pressured the union to reduce the living standards, but they have undermined the construction of mass transportation, fought laws to reduce pollution, and refused to build ecologically friendly automobiles.

GM, Chrysler and Ford are not democratic institutions. Product choices and policy were and are made by boards of directors and top executives. Why are the workers and communities punished for decisions that weren’t theirs?
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Rosa Clemente on the Disconnect Between Hip Hop and Obama

December 24, 2008 in Social & Economic Justice

Rosa Clemente has written an article for the Green Institute on the Hip Hop Movement, Barack Obama, and the movement she she wants to fight for.

I’m looking forward to more articles like this!

Why President Elect Barack Obama is not the first Hip Hop President

By Rosa A. Clemente
The Green Institute

http://www.greeninstitute.net/clemente_obama

“Each generation out of relative obscurity, must discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.” Frantz Fanon

It has been 45 days since the Hip Hop generation helped usher in the first Black male President of the United States of America. Since that historic night, many within Hip Hop culture, like writer Greg Kot of the Boston Globe, entrepreneur Russell Simmons, artists Common, Jay-Z and P. Diddy, have declared President-Elect Obama the first Hip Hop president. In my humble opinion they are wrong, dead wrong. It does not matter how many Hip Hop pundits, non-profit organizations, and recognizable figures within the culture declare it. Much like an MC or B-Girl battle, I’m ready to challenge that declaration.

As a long time community organizer and Hip Hop activist and journalist, I have always followed a rule: never allow someone to become your priority while you become his or her option. For President Elect Barack Obama and the entire Democrat Party leadership in this country, the Hip Hop generation has never been a priority, we have always been an option and that option is used mostly to get out the vote during elections. Efforts like Vote or Die, Generation Vote, Rock the Vote, Respect my Vote, do not empower a generation – they are catchy slogans emblazoned on pretty white tees that offer empty rhetoric. At the end of the day, those G.O.T.V. efforts become guaranteed votes for the Democratic Party and often fail to educate their followers about candidates that run outside of the two-party system….

Read the rest of the article here at the Green Institute

Rick Warren an Offense to Gay Rights Movement

December 23, 2008 in Social & Economic Justice

The Green Party has issued a press release calling the selection of Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural prayer, noting his influential anti-gay rights positions. The Greens also call for the U.S. to sign the United Nation’s statement endorsing universal decriminalization of homosexuality.

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party activists challenged gay voters and advocates of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights to protest President-elect Barack Obama’s invitation to Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation.

“Unless we make our anger known now, Mr. Obama will continue to betray gay people,” said Starlene Rankin, co-chair of the party’s Lavender Green Caucus (http://www.lavendergreens.us). “Barack Obama’s claim to be a ‘fierce advocate for equality’ is not credible when he chooses a pastor notorious for his ill-informed and slanderous opinions about homosexuality and vigorous support for Proposition 8.”

“The invitation signals that Mr. Obama may repeat the Clinton approach to gay rights. President Clinton, taking gay votes for granted, signed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act into law and authorized the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ military policy. We’ve had generations of gay rights advocates and other progressives insisting that we need to elect Democrats, then we’ll push them towards pro-gay agenda. Instead, gay people have remained second-class citizens in the Democratic Party and told to hush up when they’re politically inconvenient. For those tired of bipartisan retreats from promises of human rights and justice, the Green Party remains the party of real change in America,” added Ms. Rankin.
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Malik Rahim Talks about killings after Hurrican Katrina

December 22, 2008 in General

Interview with Malik Rahim about aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

(You Tube Video)

Connecticut Green Party member elected Selectman in Windham

December 22, 2008 in General

Found in the Hartford Courant

When Jean de Smet was elected last year as Windham’s first selectman, she said she wanted to shake up the office by turning “town hall into a public service.”

De Smet’s goal almost was overshadowed by her triumph. She was the first Green Party candidate to be elected first selectman in the largely Democratic town. Third-party candidates rarely succeed in getting elected, but de Smet got the win by rallying voters around a specific issue. She beat Windham’s three-term Democratic First Selectman Michael Paulhus by campaigning to make local government more open to the public and to give residents easier access to town hall.

In the year since, de Smet has made town hall and local government more user-friendly, she and others who work with her said recently. De Smet said one of the first items she tackled was making the town website more informative and organizing training sessions for department heads so they could regularly update their own websites.

“We’re trying to make it so we’re user-friendly. Perhaps you can go on the website and get the information you need instead of possibly having to come in,” de Smet said.

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D.C. Statehood Greens Collecting “Shoes for Bush”

December 21, 2008 in General

TRAVELING TO D.C. FOR OBAMA’S INAGURATION? PLEASE TAKE SHOES WITH YOU!

The D.C. Statehood Greens are participating in the Shoes for Bush event being held in tandem with the inaguration of Obama.

I received this in my email box recently:

www.shoebush.org
JOIN US IN WASHINGTON,DC
January,19th
SHOES FOR BUSH action “For the widows, the orphans, and those killed in Iraq.”

send me your old shoes to take to DC. ALL SHOES DONATED to the needy in the DC/Baltimore area and distributed by the DC Greens

On January 20th,tens of thousands of people will be gathering to celebrate the Inaugural of President Barrack Obama.It will be a historical marker and a joyous and celebratory occasion. However, the promise of change, does not mean that we can shut the door, on the past eight horrific years of the Bush administration and wipe clean the images of shear terror, torture and suffering on the faces innocent Iraqis who have faced death and total destruction of their country. Also, it will not be easy for our own families, like Melida and Carlos Arredondo who have lost their child to an unjust and immoral war. Americans of conscience are grieving for our children and for those in Iraq. To watch president Bush leave office, unaccountable is like rubbing salt into a wound.

On Monday, January 19th at 11:00 people will be converging at a permitted site near the White House for what may be a cathartic action of hurling a shoe at an image of President Bush. In the spirit of Mutadhar Al-Zaidi and in solidarity with the people of Iraq, we invite you to join us. Read the rest of this entry →

Nahla Hussein al-Shaly: A Martyr for Women

December 20, 2008 in Editorials

When the President of the United States has a pair of shoes thrown at him the story covers the front pages and the video is repeatedly played on cable news programs for a week. When the leader of a Kurdish women’s group is assassinated and beheaded, the story is given a brief AP notice. The fact is that in the context of increasing violence in the city of Kirkuk against Kurds, this act of barbarity is aimed at those forces within southern Kurdistan and northern Iraq that seek to protect the democratic rights of women and the national rights of the Kurdish people. Earlier this month, 57 people were murdered in a bomb attack in Kirkuk against a local initiative to seek political unity.

There is in southern Kurdistan various left political parties and organizations that have sought to unite the national aspirations of Kurdish people with the political demands for socialism and a secular state. The struggle for women’s equality is a profound focus in those movements that seek to oppose the institutionalization of Islamic sharia law in defining social and political rights. The brutal murder of Nahla Hussein al-Shaly was aimed at preventing the effective political organization of Kurdish and Iraqi women defending equal rights.

In 2004, women organized a demonstration in Suleimaniyah where 5000 women protested the attempt to introduce legislation scraping Iraqi secular family law in Iraq. “The 1959 code was once considered the most progressive in the Middle East, making polygamy difficult and guaranteeing women custody rights in the case of divorce.”This decision is unacceptable for an overwhelming majority of Iraqi people. It violates not only the rights of women of Iraq and Kurdistan, but also international conventions,” said Takhshan Zangala, head of the Kurdistan Women’s League, affiliated to the communist party. This was the organization that Nahla Hussein al-Shaly worked for in her fight for equal rights for women.

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