WASHINGTON, DC — As some participants in the Occupy Movement across the US begin to turn towards involvement in elections, Green Party leaders are inviting them to run for office as Greens and to support Green candidates.
“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 (http://www.mesplay.org).
Breaking News: Greens condemned the police clearance of the Occupy Oakland encampment and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s order for police to evict the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park on November 15. New York Greens are offering assistance in the form of emergency housing, arrest support, and food and expressed hope that the court order obtained by the National Lawyers Guild would allow the encampment to continue. Greens noted that the clearances and other police actions in various cities will swell the November 17 Day of Action (http://occupywallst.org/action/november-17th). (See “Eviction of Wall Street Occupation Exposes Mayor’s Corporate Collusion, Says NY Green Party,” Green Party of New York State press release, Nov. 15, http://www.gp.org/press/pr-state.php?ID=459)
Occupy Wall Street in New York City and other Occupy protests have declared that they do not endorse any political party and that the demonstrations are not a venue for electioneering. The Green Party has respected and cooperated with this request (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=453).
But many Occupiers have begun to embrace electoral participation as a strategy for challenging the corporate corruption and the erosion of democracy in the US (http://www.occupytheballot.org). Occupy Cincinnati demonstrators are working to establish their own party (http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_19279413 / http://www.occupationparty.org). Carl Mayer, public defender and long-time Ralph Nader/Green Party supporter, recently spoke before Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Park and expressed “his hopes of the OWS movement’s becoming a viable third party in the future” (http://www.policymic.com/articles/2251/carl-mayer-speaks-at-zuccotti-park-says-ows-can-be-third-party).
“The Green Party, as an established national party, has laid a foundation for Occupy candidates to run for public office,” said Budd Dickinson, secretary of the Green Party of the United States. “In many states, Greens have accomplished the difficult task of achieving ballot status, overcoming prohibitive rules enacted by Democratic and Republican politicians to hinder alternative parties and candidates. By allying themselves with the Green Party, by becoming the Green Party in some states and towns, Occupiers who wish to launch campaigns for office can take advantage of the infrastructure and experience we’ve been building for more than a decade.” Read the rest of this entry »