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Green Shadow Cabinet: Pardon Bradley Manning, Use foreign aid to support democracy, not militarism

p Jill SteinFrom the Green Shadow Cabinet:

A presidential pardon for Bradley Manning

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Today the Green Shadow Cabinet calls on President Obama to pardon Bradley Manning for his courageous work exposing U.S. war crimes and State Department deception. Thanks to Manning’s revelations of Iraqi deaths and human rights abuses by the American military, Iraq refused to renew immunity for U.S. soldiers, forcing President Obama to pull out at the end of 2011. Thus, Manning deserves much of the credit for ending the immoral, devastating, multi-trillion dollar U.S. occupation of Iraq.

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An Egyptian Green Party?

From almasryalyoum.com, speculation on whether environmental advocates and activists will rebuild an Egyptian Green Party:

After 25 January, environmental activists began talking of forming a new party, but it now seems that most Egyptians who support green initiatives have become politically involved in two ways: forming alliances with liberal parties and trying to revive the Egyptian Green Party, a party which was only nominally allowed under Mubarak.

The problem with the party, some activists say, is that it is crippled by the culture of corrupt politics that flourished under Mubarak. As for forming alliances, it remains uncertain which liberal parties will be taking on a green agenda.

The Egyptian Sustainable Development group Zahran said it is currently in talks with a liberal party that will support its platform in parliament. He said he was not able to name the party because talks had not been finalized. Maybe later in the future, he said, there would be enough political desire for creating a new Green Party.

“We need to go out there and actually start solving people’s problems, like getting clean water and electricity,” he said. “And then people will start believing in us.”

The original Egyptian Green Party was a group primarily consisting of academics who petitioned to become a political party in 1987. The party, whose goal was to promote ecological causes, was modeled after the Greens of Germany, one of the first politically prominent environmental parties.

“They were not caring about propaganda, they were caring about doing something on Earth,” said Mohamed Ahmed, an organizer with the Egyptian Green Party who is trying to revive its agenda. “The first issue was dealing with the landmines on the northern coast.”

But the party faced difficulties under Mubarak, and wasn’t inaugurated until 1990.

It was only allowed to exist, Zahran said, as long as the National Democratic Party leaders didn’t perceive it as a threat. Mubarak’s regime used the party, as it did other opposition parties, to support the idea that Egypt was making strides toward democracy.

When the party began attracting influential personalities, Mubarak shut it down, and the party remained inoperative from 1996 to 1998.

After reopening, it remained ineffective, with only one member in the Shura Council.

Now, Ahmed said, the party is hoping to field 22 candidates for Parliament. He said it would not nominate a presidential candidate, but would choose to support one from another party.

Read the entire article here.

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US Greens congratulate Egyptians, insist that Egypt must move to democracy without US interference

WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party of the United States congratulated the Egyptian people and called President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation a huge step towards democracy, human rights, and stability for their country.

“The Egyptian revolution is a victory for the people of Egypt, and also the victory for an idea — the idea that violent regimes can be overthrown through nonviolent means,” said Romi Elnagar, member of the Green Party of Louisiana and wife and mother of Egyptian-Americans. “While police and rampaging pro-Mubarak thugs killed 350 and injured thousands more, the protesters themselves remained overwhelmingly peaceful.”

US Greens hoped for an end to the 30-year-old ‘emergency decree’ and for a broad-based transitional government that embraced opposition parties, to begin the work of dismantling the brutally oppressive Mubarak regime. The next step will take place when the military relinquishes power and Egyptians establish a civil government with a constitution, free and fair elections, democratic institutions, and the means to solve problems like unemployment and poverty.

Greens also urged the Obama Administration to cooperate in an investigation of the alleged $70 billion that Mr. Mubarak’s accumulated during his corrupt regime and to freeze any of his assets that are held in the US.

“We call on the US government to avoid meddling and respect the right of Egyptians to rule themselves. Aid for Egypt must be for humanitarian purposes, not military, and without strings attached. If the Obama Administration tries to press the new Egypt into subordination, to satisfy the US’s strategic military and economic interests in the region, we will betray the Egyptian people and their right to democratic sovereignty,” said Laura Wells, 2010 Green Party candidate for Governor of California.

US Greens noted that much of the conflict in the Middle East and resentment of the US by Egyptians and other populations in the region centers around the unresolved Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“Since making its 1979 ‘cold peace’ with Israel, the Egyptian government has supported Israel’s ongoing apartheid and dispossession of Palestinians, most recently complying with the siege of Gaza, in return for billions in aid from the US. We look to the formation of a democratic Egypt which adheres to international law and reflects its citizens’ long-standing opposition to Israel’s oppression of Palestinians,” said Dr. Justine McCabe, co-chair of the Green Party’s International Committee.

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US Greens: Obama must cut off aid to Egypt after Mubarak refuses to resign

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders urged President Obama and Congress to cut off aid to Egypt after President Mubarak refused to step down from office on Thursday. Greens have called the resignation a necessity for a peaceful transition to democracy and respect for human rights in Egypt.

Greens said that, in the context of President Mubarak’s speech, Vice President Suleiman’s recent warning of a ‘coup’ can only be meant to intimidate the Egyptian people, who will continue to protest in demand for Mubarak’s removal. The warning hinted of a violent measures to crush the demonstrations.

“For decades, President Mubarak has used economic and military aid from the US to suppress human rights and freedoms in his country. Unless the aid is canceled, President Obama’s declarations of US support for the protesters are hollow and hypocritical,” said Julia Willebrand, spokesperson for the Green Party’s National Women’s Caucus and former chair of the International Committee.

Vice President Omar Suleiman, former intelligence chief of Egypt who allegedly aided the CIA’s secret extraordinary-rendition program, had warned of a coup if protesters refuse to accept the Mubarak Administration’s timetable for a transition to democracy and asserted that Mr. Mubarak has no plans to step down. Leaders of the youth groups leading the demonstrations in Tahrir Square interpreted Mr. Suleiman’s remarks as a threat to launch a crackdown and impose martial law.

Green leaders in the US have expressed the party’s support and encouragement for nonviolent protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, and other nations in the region who have demanded an end to corrupt and oppressive regimes.

Greens hope for a broad-based transitional government in Egypt that fully respects freedom of speech for all segments of society, including the media and opposition political parties, and insisted that President Mubarak’s successor must by chosen by the Egyptian people, without influence from Washington. The Green Party advocates a policy that denies aid to governments that suppress human rights, reserves aid for humane purposes, ensures respect for Egypt’s independence and sovereignty, and ends US intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs and leverage over Egypt’s military and security forces.

The Green Party of the United States has also called for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel because of the Israeli government’s continuing apartheid system and brutal occupation of Palestinian lands. Egypt, which receives US aid in part for its cooperation with the US’s Israel-Palestine policy, is the second largest recipient of US military and economic aid ($1.55 billion in 2010), after Israel ($3.175 billion).

“Peace in the Middle East doesn’t require US military bases and billions of dollars for oppressive governments. It requires democracy, clean elections, human rights and freedoms, economic fairness for all people living in the region, and an end to meddling by outside powers like the US for their own economic and strategic purposes,” said Muhammed Malik, co-chair of Miami-Dade Green Party and organizer of local rallies in support of the Egyptian protesters.

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US Greens declare support for pro-democracy protesters

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders in the US announced the party’s support and encouragement for nonviolent protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, and other nations in the region who have taken to the streets in demand for an end to corrupt and oppressive regimes.

• Green Party ‘Egypt in Revolt’ page with news feeds http://www.gp.org/egypt.html

“The Green Party of the United States supports democracy, here and throughout the world. We hope that the protesters in Egypt succeed in deposing President Mubarak, and we’re thrilled to see so many young people stand up against dictators. The best outcome would be for Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to improve economic conditions for their populations and embrace democracy, equal rights and protections for women and for ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities, and freedom of the press. We condemn the brutal responses to the protests, including police violence and the shutdown of the Internet,” said Dr. Anthony Gronowicz, 2010 Green candidate for Congress in New York’s 7th District and a member of the party’s International Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/intl).

Greens noted that the threatened regimes, especially Egyptian President Mubarak’s administration, were propped up by the US for the purpose of serving US interests such as access to oil and other resources, the maintenance of military bases on foreign soil, and unequivocal support for Israel’s brutal occupation and apartheid system.
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Green Party News Roundup – Illinois, Maine, Washington, Egypt

Illinois

In Chicagoland, controversy has arisen regarding the political affiliation of an appointment to the Lake County Board. The man appointed to fill a Democrat’s seat has been accused of (gasp) pulling a Green Party ballot on February 5th. Turns out he pulled a Democratic Party ballot on March 21 though. One sympathetic board member said: “I understand a young man with liberal social leanings and environmental concerns pulling a Green ballot. I’ve been tempted to pull a Green ballot myself.”

Also, the Chicago Tribune has a short brief on the Illinois Green Party meeting this weekend.

Maine

The Bangor Daily News has a piece featuring the Maine Independent Green Party and its growth over the last 25 years. Besides quotes from John Rensenbrink and Jonathan Carter, it puts Gubernatorial candidate Lynn Williams on record saying “The bottom line is, I’m in it to win.” It also notes that another Green, Patrick Quinlan of Gorham, has registered to run for Governor as a Green as well. Will we have a primary?

Washington

Seattle Post Intelligencer covers the lawsuit brought forth in Washington State by the Green Party and others accusing the Secretary of State of compromising ballot secrecy through the use of tracking barcodes on ballots.

Egypt

Black Agenda Report reports that Cynthia McKinney and the Viva Palestina Convoy may be proceeding now from Egypt to Gaza. The convoy, which also includes the UK’s George Galloway and Dead Prez’s M-1, has been tied up in US and Egyptian bureaucracy but may be advancing. The conditions for the Americans involved is apparently to sign papers waiving their rights to protection by their own government. Given how the US Government protected Cynthia McKinney and the others on the last two trips with the Free Gaza ships, that shouldn’t be a stretch to sign. See also Viva Palestina US.