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U.S. Green Party congratulates Austria’s Van der Bellen

vanderbellenLeaders of the Green Party of the United States have congratulated Alexander Van der Bellen, the former leader of the Green Party in Austria, on his election as president. Van der Bellen ran as an independent candidate with Green Party support and financial backing.

GPUS Co-Chair Bahram Zandi, who also co-chairs the party’s International Committee, said, “Alexander Van der Bellen’s victory is inspiring for Greens everywhere and for all those who care about the environment, democracy, and justice. We’re especially pleased to see that he defeated a right-wing anti-immigrant extremist in a close race.”

U.S. Greens encouraged Mr. Van der Bellen to continue opposing dangerous trade pacts like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and to fight for the rights of working people and against austerity and NATO belligerence.

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Global Greens Women’s Network to launch first webinar

GGWNThe Global Greens Women’s Network will launch its first-ever webinar on April 16 as part of the program of the Global Greens Women’s Academy. Speakers will include Global Greens coordinator Keli Yen, and Green Party activists and leaders Julia Duppre (Brazil), Robinah K. Nanyunja (Uganda), Metiria Turei (New Zealand), and Maria Wetterstrand (Sweden).

GGWN said in a release, “This is a very special day because it will be the Global Greens 15th Anniversary! … It is a good day to remind our main principles: ecological wisdom, social justice, direct democracy, nonviolence, sustainability and respect for diversity. This year the Global Greens Women Network is leading this celebration! For the empowering of women around the world!”

The event begins at 11:00 a.m. UTC (7:00 a.m. EDT, 4:00 a.m. PDT).

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Global Greens calls on leaders to “fulfill their collective responsibility” at COP21

GG_logo_small_5Global Greens has published a statement calling on governments around the world to “fulfill their collective responsibility for preventing dangerous climate change” at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Greens from the U.S. attending the summit include presidential candidates Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza Curry and Jill Stein, and national party co-chair Sanda Everette.

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Green Party of Washington’s Grage discusses COP21 with Iran’s PressTV

climatemarchGreen Party of Washington State Vice Chair Jody Grage was interviewed by Iran’s PressTV about demonstrations at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change that begins Monday in Paris.

Grage said Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein “will be at COP21 as well as some of the Global Greens. They are calling for very specific guidelines for countries and for the developed countries who have contributed more than their share, to also pay more than their share of what it will take to reverse this trend. … I think that the people around the world are becoming more and more determined that something has to be done. I’m a retired teacher and I used to have a banner up in my room that said: ‘Good planets are hard to find.’ And we’re not taking very good care of this one.”

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Green Party endorses Sunday Global Climate March

ecologyThe Green Party of the United States said this week that it hard endorsed the Global Climate March that will take place in Paris on Sunday. The march “will challenge the leaders of 190-plus nations meeting at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) to achieve a legally binding global agreement on post-2020 action to offset the advancing climate crisis.”

GPUS co-chair Audrey Clement, who is co-chair of the party’s Eco-Action Committee, said, “Ratification of a legally binding deal by every nation is absolutely urgent, after the U.S. undermined the Kyoto Protocols and national leaders failed to agree on a legally binding treaty at the 2009 Copenhagen summit.”

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Stein invited to meet with Russian leaders

steinGreen Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has been invited to Russia later this year.

Stein said that after attending the UN Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris, she is “planning to visit Moscow on a mission for international peace and diplomacy.”

Stein said, “I’ve already been invited to a dinner with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and to meet with members of Russia’s parliament, including the heads of two international affairs committees. I’m meeting with Russian leaders to gauge their reactions to a new foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights. In particular, I want to discuss the potential for an agreement to eliminate nuclear weapons and use the vast resources thus saved to fight climate change.”

Stein lamented the “too many wasted opportunities for dialogue and cooperation with Russia (and many other countries) in recent years, due to the pointlessly confrontational bipartisan foreign policy known as the ‘Washington Consensus.'”

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Massachusetts exhibit features Green posters from around the world

greensThe Massachusetts Foxboro Reporter reports that labor activist Stephen Lewis is sharing some of the more than 6,000 posters he has collected from Green Parties and other progressive moments around the world in an exhibit at the local library.

Lewis said, “Organizations in many countries use posters as a way to communicate ideas and messages to their audience. … It is an art form that is easily accessible to many people. The art goes to the people rather than the people having to go to a museum. It is a communication tool that is less frequently used by unions in the United States.”

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Hoenig: Stein, not Sanders, is U.S. equivalent of Britain’s Corbyn

CorbynMyles Hoenig, writing at Dissident Voice, argues that though many pundits have called newly elected British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn the UK equivalent of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sanders has little in common with Corbyn and other European progressives who have made progress over the past year.

Hoenig says that Sanders “is pro-military, pro-Empire building, pro-Israel and thus anti-Palestine, regardless of his statements (rhetoric) of support, pro-gun (for his support of gun manufacturers and not holding them financially accountable), and pro-standardized testing.” But “what we see that is similar is the enthusiasm, strength, and momentum of the campaign.”

In addition, he writes, Sanders has very little chance of actually winning the Democratic presidential nomination. And “Jill Stein of the Green Party will be outside the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia with arms wide open welcoming the stunned, angry and disenfranchised Sanders voters to the Green Party tent for the November election. After all, Stein and the Greens are much closer to the Corbyn left of Europe than Sanders.”

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Green Party says U.S. must take bigger role in refugee crisis

The Green Party is calling for “an expanded U.S. role in offering aid and new homes for Middle Eastern refugees and an end to interventionist ‘regime change’ policies that continue to provoke violent conflict and displacement of civilians,” the party said in a statement Thursday.

Green Party national co-chair Bahram Zandi said, “The crisis of displacement has been caused in large measure by U.S. policies in the Middle East, north Africa, and western Asia. When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and Iraq in the last decade and ousted Qaddafi in Libya in 2011, the result was an era of regional instability and violence in countries between Pakistan and Nigeria. Greens warned that this would happen and opposed all of these actions.”

The Green Party is calling on the U.S. to end policies of military intervention and regime change, commit to providing humanitarian aid, and lead an international summit on Syrian refugee relief.

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UK Green vote quadruples, Tories win with 37% in “broken” two-party system

p caroline lucasIn the United Kingdom’s May 7 2015 parliamentary election, the UK Greens quadrupled their national vote from 265,000 in 2010 to 1,140,000 (4%) in 2015.

Despite this huge increase in votes, the Greens held steady at one seat in parliament, coming in second in four other races. Former party leader Caroline Lucas not only retained her seat in Brighton Pavilion, but saw her margin of victory over Labour quadruple to 15% (42% to 27%).

Party leader Natalie Bennett told the Independent, “The fact that we have achieved over one million votes yet not been rewarded with more MPs draws into sharp focus just how unfair and outdated our winner-takes-all voting system is. The fight for a fairer, more democratic voting system – one which recognises the will of the people rather than entrenches the established order – begins today.”

From The Guardian: ‘”Lucas was swift to point to what she said were the failings of a “broken” electoral system, one that handed her party just one seat for its million votes. She said: “It is only proportional representation that will deliver a parliament that is truly legitimate, and that better reflects the people we represent.”’

The Conservative (Tory) party won 51% of seats in parliament, despite winning a weak plurality of 37% of the national vote. The election was a disaster for the UK’s other main parties, with the leaders of Labour and the Liberal Democrats resigning, and the UK Independence Party leader losing his seat.

Conversely, the Green Party grew from about 12,000 members to about 63,000 in the months leading up to the election, surpassing the Liberal Democrats and UKIP and signaling the party’s rise as a national force.

Highlighting the national frustration with the UK’s obsolete two-party system, dozens of world-reknowned Britons signed a letter supporting Caroline Lucas’ reelection campaign, including “Planet Earth” narrator David Attenborough, folk singer Billy Bragg, UN peace messenger Jane Goodall, actor Jeremy Irons, human rights advocate Bianca Jagger, former Friends of the Earth director Tony Juniper, Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May, and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

The letter reads, in part: “Over the last five years Caroline has eloquently addressed many of today’s most pressing issues – from accelerating climate change to sustainable farming, from human rights to a just and sustainable economy. This leadership matters all the more at a time when the mainstream parties are finding it so hard to address these challenges properly.”