Social & Economic Justice

Green Party supports nonviolent protests against police brutality

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on December 4th, 2014 by Dave Schwab – 1 Comment

From Green Party US:

New York City grand jury’s refusal to indict an officer accused of killing Eric Garner is cause for more protest; police terror against Blacks and mass incarceration must end, say Greens

p brian jones ny greens police brutalityWASHINGTON, D.C. — Green Party leaders and activists expressed support for ongoing protests across the U.S., especially for nonviolent protesters facing brutal police retaliation, in the wake of a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The protesters’ anger was further inflamed by Wednesday’s breaking news that a New York City grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer accused of killing Eric Garner, an unarmed 43-year-old father of six, in Staten Island by putting him in an illegal chokehold.

Greens called for an aggressive investigation by the U.S. Justice Department of both the Ferguson and Staten Island incidents and the handling of the Ferguson case by St. Louis County officials, and demanded that the U.S. conform to international human-rights standards on the use of force by police, citing a Nov. 28 review from the U.N. Committee Against Torture (

Green Party members have participated in and helped organize many of the rallies and protests in reaction to a steady flow of news reports about police killings of young Black men. read more »

Howie Hawkins: Join the fight for single-payer healthcare in NY

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on December 4th, 2014 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

p howie hawkinsFrom Howie Hawkins:

Single-payer healthcare for New York State was one of the key reforms for which we campaigned in the race for Governor.

Although the media’s campaign narrative and the other candidates ignored healthcare, the Gottfried/Perkins bill for a single-payer New York Health program is co-sponsored by close to one-half of the Assembly and one-third of the Senate. The Green Party of New York is one of over 100 organizations statewide supporting the campaign for New York Health.

We can move this issue this year, closer to guaranteeing health care as a human right. The next step is public hearings hosted by the bill’s sponsors in cites around the state in December, beginning in Syracuse this Thursday. I urge you to attend and give testimony. They especially want to hear from people who have had problems affording and getting proper and timely treatment from the existing healthcare system and from businesses that find providing healthcare benefits difficult and too costly.

The New York Health bill would immediately provide every New York resident with all medically necessary services except for long-term care, which will be studied by the program with the goal of adding long-term care within five years.

New York Health would be paid for by progressive taxes based on ability to pay. It would be free to patients at the point of delivery when they visit their healthcare provider. No premiums, co-pays, or deductibles, just healthcare.

Learn more on a Single Payer Conference Call Teach-In hosted by the Green Party of NY on Thursdayevening at 8:30pm

And please support the Green Party of New York so we can help fight for health care as a human right. read more »

Green Party: Grant protected legal status for immigrants

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on November 21st, 2014 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

p Green Party US new logoIn October, Green Party US put out the following statement on immigration:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Green Party candidates and activists expressed alarm at President Obama’s dismissal of immigrants’ rights and apparent capitulation to the rhetoric of xenophobic Republican extremists.

Greens called for humane policies that recognize the basic rights of documented and undocumented immigrants and support an executive order to grant the latter protected legal status, amnesty, and an offer of citizenship.

The Obama Administration has deported more immigrants than any previous administration, with a record 438,421 deportations in 2013, 44% of which took place under “expedited removal orders” that denied court hearings. 96% of deportees are from Latino countries.

President Obama is now seeking $3.7 billion to fund “a sustained border security surge through enhanced domestic enforcement,” $40 million for air surveillance, and increased funding for drones for use against undocumented immigrants. read more »

2012 VP candidate Cheri Honkala takes leading role in movement against Philly school budget cuts

Posted in General, Grassroots Democracy, Presidential Campaign, Press Coverage, Social & Economic Justice on November 9th, 2014 by rossmlevin – Comments Off
Photo Credit: Harvey Finkle

Photo Credit: Harvey Finkle

Cheri Honkala was the Green Party’s 2012 Vice Presidential candidate and is the national coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.  For years, she has been a part of the struggle to save Philadelphia’s public schools from budget cuts, privatization, staff cuts, and other assaults.  Her deep involvement in these efforts started when her son’s elementary school was slated for the cutting block, one of dozens of such schools in Philadelphia.

In the past month, Honkala has taken on a more public role, just as organizing and action against ongoing cuts has escalated and become more visible.  The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign issued a statement summarizing their activity on the issue in October, and why it is so important:

We live in a world where children are being denied the right to proper education. School funds are constantly being cut and now the School Reform Commission (SRC) in Philadelphia decided they are going to try and fix the school system by cutting health care benefits for teachers! What about all of the funds going towards the prison system and oil companies? This past month Shell Oil was provided a $1.7 billion tax break while $0 was allocated for textbooks. Teachers are being told it is their time to make sacrifices but they have been sacrificing all along with limited resources, over crowded classrooms and fulfilling extra roles such as counselor and nurse due to lack of funding for full time staff.On October 9th,  Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPHERC) stood with parents, students, and teachers to demand that Governor Corbett explain himself and provide full funding for our schools. They shut down the elevators, blocked our access to the Governor and kicked out the media. They even went as far as to arrest Cheri Honkala, National Coordinator of PPEHRC and parent of a student at Julia R. Masterman School who attempted to deliver a citizens arrest against the governor for crimes against education and our children. 
On October 15th, The Philly Coalition Advocating for Public Schools organized a press conference in front of the headquarters of the School district of Philadelphia in response to the SRC’s decision. During this press conference, Cheri Honkala’s message was clear: “don’t mess with our babies’ education!”

The following day, October 16th, more than 1,000 teachers, parents, students, and community supporters gathered in front of the headquarters of the School district of Philadelphia to continue to protest against the SRC’s decision. During the protest, Cheri Honkala testified in front of the SRC to address the cancelation of teacher’s contracts along with 59 other speakers. 

They continue to cut back but we will continue to fight back! Our schools will be saved no matter how long we have to fight against this broken system! We are very proud of the students, teachers, parents, and community members that continue to protest alongside PPEHRC during these important demonstrations. There is no change without the people uniting together and demanding for it! The people united will never be divided and we will win!

Honkala’s arrest was covered by the Philadelphia City Paper (and a second time, after she got out of jail), Philly Metro, and a local education blog, among others.  Honkala also wrote about it on her new blog, including a pledge for people to support the movement.  Below is a video of Honkala speaking at the above-mentioned rally:

Happy Indigenous People’s Day from the Green Party!

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on October 13th, 2014 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

p Sitting Bull quoteFrom Jill Stein and the Green Shadow Cabinet:

Happy Indigenous People’s Day!

The Green Shadow Cabinet supports renouncing Columbus Day and replacing it with Indigenous People’s Day.

Christopher Columbus is an important historical figure. He should be studied as part of our colonial history, a tragic era of plunder, pillage, empire, genocide and slavery that’s been largely omitted from mainstream history books. Establishing Indigenous People’s Day is an important step in setting the record straight, and ending the celebration of a man representing one of the most brutal chapters in recorded history.

Indigenous People’s Day celebrates the pre-Columbus nations, as well as the ongoing contribution of Indigenous Peoples to American culture and society. The survival of a people and their culture – despite brutal attempts to destroy both – is an inspiring and instructive story which deserves dedicated discussion in both U.S. school curriculum, and broader public discourse. read more »

Happy May Day From the Party of Labor

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on May 1st, 2014 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

green party earthflowerFrom Green Party US:

Today the Green Party celebrates May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day.

The Green Party platform calls for a living wage for all workers (much higher than the $10.10 per hour proposed by President Obama), the rights to unionize, collectively bargain, and strike, and a comprehensive package of rights for workers.

We recognize that workers are responsible for our nation’s wealth and middle class. We oppose the efforts of the wealthiest 1%, and the corporations and politicians they own, to dismantle organized labor and the American middle class. Our solidarity with labor has led to more Green Party candidates earning the support of organized labor each election cycle.

Greens around the country are participating in May Day events this week, including in the District of Columbia, Philadelphia, and other cities across the country. read more »

Green Party: Stop the deportations, enact legal protections for undocumented immigrants

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on April 18th, 2014 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

green party earthflowerFrom Green Party US:

WASHINGTON, DC — Candidates and leaders of the Green Party of the United States expressed support for the ongoing protests against deportations and confirmed the party’s demand for protected legal status for undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.

Recent protests against deportations include hunger strikes and a peaceful sit-in by members of the Orange County DREAM Team at the Washington D.C. office of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.).

Margaret Guttshall, Green candidate for Wayne State University Board of Governors in Michigan:

“Greens call for the protections of the Dream Act to be extended to all undocumented immigrants, not just those who arrived as minors or graduated from high school. The unprecedented spike in deportations — nearly 2 million, averaging 1,100 per day — under President Obama has meant brutal raids, destroyed families, and a climate of fear and helplessness. The President promised to work for passage of the Dream Act but has also surrendered to pressure from xenophobic Republican politicians.” read more »

Nonprofit Quarterly on Richmond CA and the Green Party approach to eminent domain

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on December 20th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

p gayle mclaughlinFrom Nonprofit Quarterly:

Earlier this year, declaring 2013 “the year of the mayoral races,” a pro-nonprofit political advocacy group called for support for mayoral candidates whose platforms grasped the needs and potentials of nonprofits and proposed policies that would strengthen the nonprofit sector in their communities. The barometer for a mayoral candidate’s nonprofit cred was his or her response to the question, “How will you include nonprofits as part of your economic plan?” To that end, Gayle McLaughlin might be the prototype for this new breed of pro-nonprofit mayor.

McLaughlin is the mayor of Richmond, California, a tough, distressed, mid-sized city, which recently made headlines, including coverage by NPQ, for its plan to use its eminent domain powers to take foreclosed properties from banks and other mortgage holders. McLaughlin reportedly identifies neither as a Republican nor Democrat, but as a Green. Does her policy of taking on the big banks and other investors that own pieces of mortgages mark her as a mayor who reflects the values and interests of the nonprofits? read more »

Green Party calls for halt on Trans-Pacific Partnership after leaked secret documents from trade deal

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on November 14th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – 1 Comment

green party earthflowerCongress should reject President Obama’s request for fast-track authority on the secretly negotiated pact, say Greens

The Green Party today called for an immediate halt in the Obama Administration’s closed-door negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), following the publication by Wikileaks of the TPP’s intellectual property chapter on Nov. 13.

Greens also demanded that Congress reject President Obama’s request for fast-track authority to implement the TPP, a proposed commercial pact between the U.S. and 11 Asian and Latin American countries.

The leaked intellectual-property documents reveal that President Obama is seeking terms in the pact that would impose limits on Internet freedom and allow increases in the price of life-saving medicines in the U.S. and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. 28 more TPP documents remain unavailable to the public. read more »

Green Shadow Cabinet: The ACA is the wrong direction; Time for Medicare For All

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on October 21st, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

green shadow cabinetFrom Dr. Margaret Flowers, Secretary of Health in the Green Shadow Cabinet:

In what is perhaps the greatest corporate scam ever, not only did the health insurance corporations write the federal health law, called the Affordable Care Act (ACA), to enhance their profits, but now they also have the government and non-profit groups doing the work of marketing their shoddy products. The foundation of the ACA, the mandate that uninsured individuals purchase private insurance if they do not qualify for public insurance, begins in 2014 and the state health insurance exchanges where people can purchase that insurance opened on October 1. A new non-profit organization called Enroll America was created to organize and train grassroots activists to seek out the uninsured (they even provide maps) and assist them in using the exchanges. read more »

Green Party: After shutdown, Americans still need Medicare for All, Social Security without reductions, deep cuts in military spending

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on October 16th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

green party earthflowerFrom Ralph White at Hot Indie News:

Green Party leaders spoke out yesterday about the budget impasse, government shutdown, bipartisan plans to scale back Social Security and Medicare, and looming negotiations on the debt ceiling.

Greens emphasized that the Affordable Care Act, which remains at the center of the stalemate between Democrats, traditional Republicans, and extremist Tea Party Republicans, must be replaced with a single-payer national health care system (“Medicare For All”).

• James Lane, Green candidate for Public Advocate of New York City ( “After the shutdown ends, Congress and the White House will deal with the debt ceiling, but we can count on both Democratic and Republican leaders to ignore the major cause of the nation’s rising debt — the bloated military budget and President Bush’s unfunded wars. The ceiling was enacted in 1917 to protect U.S. taxpayers from the financial cost of war and the tendency of presidents to go to war without raising money to pay for it. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were accompanied by massive tax cuts for the wealthy and followed by the economic collapse and bailout of Wall Street. Instead of cuts to food stamps, Medicare, Social Security, and other sorely need social programs during the lingering recession, we need deep reductions in military spending. Greens have called for elimination of hundred-billion-dollar subsidies for defense contractors and a halt to military strikes on countries that haven’t attacked the U.S. Defense spending should only cover the immediate defense of U.S. borders from outside attack and continuing services for veterans.” read more »

Richmond CA, led by Green mayor, invokes seizure laws to save homes

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on August 1st, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

p gayle mclaughlinThe New York Times recently published an article about Richmond, CA’s use of eminent domain to stop foreclosures. Gayle McLaughlin, the mayor of Richmond, is a Green Party member.

The power of eminent domain has traditionally worked against homeowners, who can be forced to sell their property to make way for a new highway or shopping mall. But now the working-class city of Richmond, Calif., hopes to use the same legal tool to help people stay right where they are.

Scarcely touched by the nation’s housing recovery and tired of waiting for federal help,Richmond is about to become the first city in the nation to try eminent domain as a way to stop foreclosures. read more »

Green Party protests Zimmerman acquittal and justice system ‘stacked against people of color and the poor’

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on July 17th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

green party earthflowerFrom the Green Party of the United States:

WASHINGTON, DC Green Party leaders called the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin a miscarriage of justice and part of a pattern of evidence that the U.S. justice system is stacked against people of color and the poor.

“Underlying the acquittal and many of the arguments defending it is a racist assumption: that George Zimmerman had a right to defend his own life, but Trayvon Martin did not. We support the NAACP’s call for the Justice Department to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman, based on his violation of Trayvon Martin’s most fundamental rightthe right to life,” said Darryl! L.C. Moch, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. (NAACP petition: / letter: read more »

Green Shadow Cabinet Independence Day Resolution: Revolt against the TPP and global corporate rule

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on July 8th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

green shadow cabinetFrom the Green Shadow Cabinet:

On this 4th of July, are you resolved to live in a free and democratic society, independent of global corporate rule? Will you act to shut down the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other efforts by the owners and managers of global corporations to replace We the People with We the Corporations?

If you want to know why the members of the Green Shadow Cabinet are united in our opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, all you need to do is read the thirteen statements our officers have issued over the past month, listed below, detailing the impact of the TPP on small and community businesses, on your daily life, on human rights, on trade policy, on the poorest among us, on war and peace, on workers rights, on food and agriculture, on the power of corporations, on the rule of law, on public health and safety, on access to housing, on access to health care, and you can read our statement on the need for resistance to the TPP.

Read these statements. Understand that the TPP is a global corporate coup. And resolve to join us in taking action to stop the TPP.

The Green Shadow Cabinet is a supporter of Flush the TPP, a campaign to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This new campaign is based on past successful efforts to stop so-called “free trade” agreements that put corporate power ahead of people and the planet. This summer, this campaign is planning “TPP Tuesdays” – weekly actions on Tuesdays that will educate people about this secretly negotiated agreement. These actions will build into major protests beginning in September. You can sign up and get involved here.  We urge you to do so. read more »

Green Shadow Cabinet joins critical struggle to defeat Trans-Pacific Partnership

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on June 17th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

From the Green Shadow Cabinet:

green shadow cabinetThe Green Shadow Cabinet stands united in opposition to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and is committed to defeating this Obama administration effort to enrich and empower global corporations at the expense of people and planet.

For three years, the Obama administration has engaged in 16 rounds of secret negotiations to develop the TPP. Those negotiations have included hundreds of representatives of global corporations. The TPP negotiations have excluded representatives of the vast majority of the American people. It is a fact that the TPP is global economic policy for the 1%, at the expense of the 99%.

Today, all five branches and 81 members of the Green Shadow Cabinet begin to act in concert to not only defeat the TPP, but to show America that another government with another global economic agenda is possible. There is an alternative to the corrupt political establishment that produces economic terrors like the TPP. Our Cabinet is proof of that alternative. read more »