Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Good Conventions get Good Coverage

The Associated Press reported on the Maine Green Independent Party state convention held in Portland.

The Norwich Bulletin reports on the outcome of the Connecticut Greens convention.

And the Times Union reports on the New York Greens convention, which nominated commentator, author and actor Malachy McCourt for Governor, hoping to secure more than the 50,000 votes needed to re-establish ballot access for the next four years.

That's all there is today folks. Maybe tomorrow there will be something hiding behind the "Read more!" link, but not on this one.
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It's a man, no it's a woman, no...it's a CORPORATION!

If you buy the logic that people and corporations should have the same rights, then you may want to read Green Party 2004 Presidential nominee David Cobb's piece first published at the Progressive Populist.

Worth the read, click above to read it. There's nothing more behind the "Read more!" links on this one.
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WI Greens, others, take their pro=peace agenda to the voters

Taking advantage of a system of local referenda, Greens and other pro-peace forces in Wisconsin helped pass a number of resolutions against the war on Iraq across the state. Now The Capital Times reports that they are at it again, planning to put the issue before the voters in another 20 communities.

The Wisconsin State Journal covered the Green Party plans as well, and makes it clear that this pro-peace initiative was born and raised in Green Party hearts and minds.

Nothing more behind the "Read more!" link this time.
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Forrest Hill Makes His Own News

Greens justly comment on how little the mainstream media does to cover our efforts, but Forrest Hill, Green candidate for Secretary of State in California has not just written press releases, but has taken his campaign to the voters by writing columns for media himself. The California Chronicle has published a recent column he wrote on proportional representation, something he and other Greens have advocated for some time.

That's the way you do it, play your guitar on the M-tv...geeze, how old am I? ~L~

That's all there is on this one too.
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Colorado Greens hold Forum on Prisons

The Loveland FYI reports on a community forum in Fort Collins, CO about county jails, who sits in them, and who will have to pay for more of them. Proving that educating the people is an important part of Green culture, the event was sponsored by the Poudre Valley Greens

That's all on this one gang.
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Greens "Setting the Agenda"

In another article Pasadena Weekly reports that local Greens are setting the political agenda in that part of the state, and it's a very pro-peace agenda. Even Greens who are running against each other are said to be doing a "Tag team" to promote a pro-peace agenda.

No more to read behind the "Read more!" link, so save the electrons.
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Home is where the heart is...?

Former Pasadena, CA mayor Bill Paparian is running for Congress from California's 29th Congressional District, and wants to know why the man he is running against had sold his family home in the district and moved his family to Virginia.

The Pasadena Weekly also points out that Paparian, the California Green nominee has opposed the war on Iraq, while the incumbent Democrat continues to support the war. Paparian says the incumbent is out of touch with the people.

Nothing more behind the "Read more!" link this time.
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Jack Hardesty, Green Councilman from Ashland OR, dies at 78

The Mail Tribune reports the death of Ashland, OR Councilman Jack Hardesty, 78. He died last week in his sleep.

This is adapted from the Mail Tribune article:

He and his wife Alice moved to Ashland in 1993 and they opened Graven Images Gallery shortly after arriving. Political activism and social service soon followed. The Hardestys started Citizens for Responsible Government, the Ashland Gallery Association and the Asian Arts Society. He was elected to the Ashland City Council in 2004 and served as a member of the Pacific Green Party.

Every one of us try to add what we can to the stew, hoping to be able to contribute. Jack and Alice have brought more spice to life than many. Jack will be missed.
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New York Senate Candidate Calls for new 9-11 Probe

Howie Hawkins, recently nominated to run for the US Senate from New York by that state's Green Party, has issued a call for an independent investigation into the events of 9-11 after a Zogby Poll showed that showed that 45% think "Congress or an International Tribunal should re-investigate the attacks, including whether any US government officials consciously allowed or helped facilitate their success" (with 8% unsure). Don't look behind the "Read more!" link. All the links you need are here.
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Keffer to Pelosi: No Free Ride!

Krissy Keefer announced that she was taking on Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Party House Leader, in the race for US House of Representatives from California's Eight District. An article in the San Francisco Sentinel Taking particular aim at Pelosi's refusal to consider impeachment or censure of President Bush.

But Keefer, a long time activist, is also calling for the litany of Green issues, from real effective support for the Kyoto Accords to ending the war on Iraq to support for community arts programs, Keefer is upholding a fine Green tradition of standing up and being counted.

Nothing hiding behind the "Read more!" link...it's all here.
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We're growing, and we have the pains to prove it!

The Eureka Reporter article says that there are two groups of local Greens vying for a seat on the state's Steering Committee.

Just think...some day maybe we all will live where there are enough Greens to argue over who gets to be in charge!

That's all on this one folks.
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Close, but no endorsement

The Contra Coasta Times had plenty of good things to say about Green nominee for Oakland City Council Aimee Allison, including
Allison, a non-profit business consultant, is passionate, charismatic, articulate and strikes us as a person with convictions. And we've noticed considerable growth in her from last year's candidacy, when she became known as the anti-war candidate. She's still against the war in Iraq -- but has spoken about more local issues that center on the district.....While we're particularly impressed with Allison, we'd like to see more experience in civic issues and participation from her.
While Aimee has not won the Contra Costa Times endorsement, she has won the endorsement of the Sierra Club the Oakland Education Association and the Alameda County Central Labor Council among others.

Again, no need to hit the "Read more!" link.
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Greens do more than run for office

While Pat LaMarche carries the banner for the Maine Green Independent Party, a former candidate for Governor, Jonathan Carter, is also in the news, for fighting to protect Maine's Moosehead Lake region. The Portland Press Herald says that Carter doesn't believe developers when they say they want to preserve the character of the remote area they want to develop.

Nothing more behind the "REad more!" link here.
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Say it yourself!

Local Greens, like Greens everywhere, are concerned that their candidates are being ignored by the corporate media. Not willing to let it go unnoticed, Jessica Weinberg wrote the Toledo Blade to let them know that they were falling down on the job, and should pay more attention to the Ohio Greens and their candidates.
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Well, they almost got it right, eh?

The Maine Green Independent Party is running hard for a number of offices of course, and here the Congressional Quarterly reports that Pat LaMarche is apparently the only non-corporate candidate who has already secured both a place on the November ballot, but public funding for her campaign too!

What did they almost get right?

Taken directly from the article:

LaMarche,— who was the 2004 vice presidential candidate on an independent ticket headed by liberal activist Ralph Naer, argues that the field is so crowded because "“most Mainers are dissatisfied, and many of them are even willing to run."

Um...I'm not trying to be a problem child here, but wasn't she the running mate of Green Party nominee David Cobb?

But one thing she sure got right...people gotta be pretty dissatisfied to put their name, reputation and fortune on the line to run for office. Thanks to all Greens who represent us at the polls.

Nothing behind the "Read more!" link on this one folks.
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Greens Welcomed to Tucson

It would seem that the Annual National Meeting Committee has made some friends in the media in Tucson. The Arizona Daily Star even suggests that we Greens remember to bring our sunscreen to the convention, scheduled for July 27th to 30th. Last year temperatures there hit 104 degrees on average. That's hot friends! Be prepared!

Nothing behind the "Read more!" link on this one.
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Greens Help Stop Desert Bomb Blast

The Desert Greens of Utah are celebrating the suspension of plans to set off a seven hundred ton nitrogen fertilizer and fuel oil bomb in the desert. The blast was planned to generate data armament designers were to use in the creation of "bunker buster" bombs. Hit the "Read more!" link to get all the details... Both the National Green Party and the Green Party of Utah have endorsed actions to stop the ''Divine Strake''explosion as have a wide variety of peace, environmental, and native right's groups.

On Saturday, May 27th KLAS-TV reported that the National Nuclear Security Administration has indefinitely postponed the planned blast, giving Greens and other activists across the nation something important to celebrate.

In a Blog Swarm, various Green bloggers who were writing about this proposed bombing gave vent to at least some of the steam which has wilted the government's plans to blow a hole in the Nevada Desert.
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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Same old cliche, is that a Democrat, or a Green?

What better way to smear a candidate than to accuse them of believing in Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Grassroots Democracy and Non-violence.

That apparently is MA Sec of State William Gavin's approach to his competition in the Democratic primary, accusing his competition, John Bonifaz, of being a DINO, that is, Democrat In Name Only. He says that Bonifaz is a Green, not a Dem. WHDH TV in Boston has the story.

Bonifaz claims that he is a Democrat and not a Green.

If that's a lie, and he is in fact a Green, he should admit to it.

If he is in reality a Democrat, I don't care what he does, or whom he does it to. What Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and others do with their parties is none of my business, and what the Green do is none of theirs.

If you're a Dem Mr. Bonifaz, enjoy yourself. You have chosen a political home bought and paid for by war mongering, polluting, anti-democratic and unjust corporate interests. Enjoy your time wallowing in their filth.

And don't expect a "welcome home at long last!" from me. I am not Jesus, and you ain't the friggin Prodigal Son. You are just another opportunistic political liar and hack.
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Friday, May 26, 2006

Linda Light: Transgender Challenges

This is another missive about transgendered people and the way they fit into progressive and feminist society

I am as unaware as one can get vis-a-vis the National Women's Caucus issue with this woman, but I cannot imagine that there is any legitimate reason to leave her with no answer for almost three years. She apparently was instrumental in the Michigan Party getting on the ballot, and as one who headed up that effort in South Carolina, I know that she musta worked her fannie off to make that one happen. It's tough!

The point is, we cannot afford as a party to be so slow and deliberate that it takes three years to say "Yes" or "No".

The piece I reference is behind the "Read more!" link...

Is a woman a woman because she defines herself as a woman, or because she was born and raised as a woman? This pivotal issue, centered on the definition of a "woman" became the subject of an intense controversy within the Canadian women's movement. And the controversy occurred in connection with the struggle for the rights of transgender women - or men who have changed their sex to that of a woman.

Kimberly Nixon is a male-to-female transsexual whose volunteer peer counseling work at the Vancouver Rape Relief Society was terminated. The organization decided that since she had not been raised as a female she could not fully understand women's oppression, and therefore could not work at a feminist, woman-only service. Nixon had been living as a woman for 16 years and had undergone surgery five years prior to this incident.

Many women's organizations took opposing sides. And both sides claimed they were standing up for "women only" spaces, a hard won concept emanating from the earlier days of the women's movement.

The case led to some interesting discussion of issues among the women-serving and victim-serving communities in British Columbia. Vancouver Rape Relief, a pioneer women's organization in Canada, serving victims of sexual assault, argued that women have to have a life-long experience of being a woman in order to understand women's oppression and women's needs.

The argument was taken one step further by at least one representative of the organization, who asserted, "If the situation had involved a female-to-male transsexual, it would have been different, because the individual would have that shared life experience with women." One is led to question the logic of such an argument, which would have people currently identifying and presenting as men, providing services to women victims in an all-women organization.

Similarly, Rape Relief argues on its web site that "...sexism, racism and classism are oppressions experienced from birth, and in that way differ from other disadvantages, such as those relating to disability and sexual orientation." Rape Relief appears to be arguing that a person born with a disability can effectively understand and serve others with disabilities, but that a person who acquires a disability later in life cannot.

The implications of such an argument are enormous, particularly when one considers the intersectionality of oppressions which many individuals and organizations are now struggling to address. Can only the poor serve the poor? Can middle class professionals effectively serve only other members of the middle class? How early in one's life does one have to experience an oppression in order to be able to help others address its impact? Can victim service workers who have never experienced a serious crime be effective in supporting victims?

Such categorizations of people's lives can only serve to divide the global movement against oppression at a time when we need to be finding common ways to work together, not excluding those whose 'life experiences' do not match our own.

However, the rights of transgender women received a boost when the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal decided that Nixon was indeed a woman, and that by terminating her volunteer work because she wasn't born and raised as a woman, Vancouver Rape Relief had discriminated against her. She was awarded $7,500, for "injury to dignity" - the highest human rights tribunal award ever in British Columbia.

The 2002 British Columbia (BC) Human Rights Commission news release stated: "The BC Human Rights Commission's deputy chief commissioner, Harinder Mahil...did not challenge the right of the agency to offer services and volunteer opportunities to women only. However, he did question the agency's definition of women, which was not inclusive of transsexual women."

Mahil went on to say, "In order to promote equality as outlined in the(Human Rights) code, it is essential that differences are not only accommodated between groups in society, but also within groups, including women and other disadvantaged groups...Nixon was disqualified for a volunteer opportunity, not because of her skills or abilities, but because she is transsexual. The ruling in this case reaffirms that assumptions about transsexual women do not provide a basis for excluding them from acceptance as women in all facets of their lives."

While last year's decision created and deepened some rifts in the women's movement in British Columbia, it also helped to focus attention not only on issues of inclusion in general, but on the rights and needs of the transgender community in particular.

It helped issues of transgender reach the mainstream press. It contributed to an enhanced focus by policy makers and service providers on the needs of transgender people. The BC Human Rights Commission press release on this case stated that, "The commission has taken steps to work with members of the transgender community and women's organizations to increase understanding, acceptance, and accommodation."

One of these steps has been to work with the Justice Institute of BC and the
transgender community to develop a three-pronged approach to enhance awareness and understanding of "trans" issues. This includes an "info-pack" for criminal justice system personnel about "trans" people. The pack would have information on their legal status, some of the challenges they face, and further resources; a brochure summarizing the key information; and a one or two-day training curriculum for anti-violence.

If such initiatives are related directly or indirectly to the victory won by Kimberly Nixon, then her long struggle has resulted in a significant step forward. Towards her striving, so that "...other transgendered women can access those services when they're in crisis."

?* Linda Light
*March 9, 2003* *

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Identity Caucuses and the Green Party

The question of whether a transgendered (male to female) Green can join the National Women's Caucus is answered, according to Holly Hunter. According to Matthew Able, representative of the Green in question, has said that the woman seeking membership has never been told if she is eligible or not.

Holly and Morgen D'Arc say that the issues are complex, which I am sure they are.

Knowing the status of the application is not, however, complicated, and must be a matter of public record it seems to me.

There are a boat load of email messages for me to read, and perhaps the answer to "What is going on here?" will be answered in there. If it is, I will post it here.

In the meantime I re-print a message to the National Committee from Owen Broadhurst (I swear I'm not going out of my way to promote him...it's just turning out that way. *Grin*)

The message is below. There is nothing behind the "Read more!" link on this one.

Matthew Abel wrote:

"On the other, my good friend and "constituent" who is transgendered (male to female) has not been able to get an answer (even if the answer is no)from the NWC for well over a year whether she can join."

Morgen D'Arc replied:

"This is not true, and you know that it is not true. I know that it was posted to a MI list you read."


Would someone mind please posting that MI list message?

Morgen here has made the claim that Matt somehow has knowledge of what he wrote above being untrue. Should it indeed be the case that what Matt wrote above is erroneous, then that is however certainly news to me.

The July 7 e-mail of last year to she whose case Matt is above discussing indicated that his constituent's application, although received, had yet to be processed.

Morgen's message above, however, suggests that it has indeed now finally been processed - and that the concerned constituent of Matt's indeed did receive a definitive answer to the question of whether she would be admitted.

Otherwise, there would be no basis for the claim that what Matt wrote is not true. I wonder what is ACTUALLY true.

Sincerely yours,
Owen R. Broadhurst (MA)

Owen R. Broadhurst
Candidate for State Representative
Third Hampden District
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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Catawba MOX Press Release from a couple years ago

Catawba Plutonium Experiment Puts Families at Risk:

Greens ask nuclear regulators to delay restart of Catawba reactors until cause of failure is known.

Charlotte Area Green Party and York County (SC) Greens

Friday, May 25th

Gregg Jocoy, York County (SC) Greens 803-984-5414 GreggJocoy29715@yahoo.com
Kathryn Kuppers, Charlotte Area Green Party 704-490-7904 KathrynKuppers@mindspring.com
Ed Lyman, PhD, Senior Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists 202-841-0181 elyman@ucsusa.org

*Greens call for conservation during shut down at reactor
*Plutonium fuel called "risky"
*Scientists and citizens call for review after shut down

Circuit breakers opened in a switchyard and two reactors at the Catawba Nuclear Station began an unplanned shut down. Now spokesman Ken Clark of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says a team of inspectors is asking questions, and so are local environmental and peace activists. According to Nuclear News Flashes the five-member team is expected to be at the plant until late in the week.

"This was a very serious and troubling event, and calls into question whether Duke is capable of safely handling and using dangerous materials like plutonium MOX fuel." said Dr. Ed Lyman, Senior Scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington DC.

"The fact of the matter is, Duke is being paid by the federal government to experiment with plutonium MOX fuel. The citizens of the two Carolinas, who help pay for the plutonium MOX fuel subsidies with their tax dollars, will be the guinea pigs." said Kathryn Kuppers of the Charlotte Area Green Party. "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission should never have approved the use of untried plutonium fuel in these nuclear reactors."

The experimental plutonium and uranium mixture being used at the reactor site is said to be more dangerous than conventional nuclear materials. Gregg Jocoy of the York County (SC) Greens said "With so many people and so much valuable real estate so close to the reactors, it doesn't make sense to continue this experiment. Duke and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should consider keeping the reactors off-line until scientists can determine if the experiment is working as designed."

According to Lyman because the Catawba reactors use an ice-condenser containment plant, a station blackout is the most serious kind of accident it can experience. If the diesel generators had failed, there would have been a pretty high probability that there would have been a core melt and containment failure from hydrogen combustion. Estimates are that 25% more deaths would result from a catastrophic release of plutonium MOX fuel as compared to traditional radioactive fuel.

"I think it's time we asked state regulators and business leaders to step up and find ways to cut consumption while the reactors are off line. It's just possible we will find that we don't need the reactors at all." said Brian Smith of Fort Mill. "I know it's tough, but we all have to make some sacrifice, and what's wrong with a sacrifice that saves you money?" he asked.

When government regulators decided to permit the plutonium fuel program to move ahead they required the experiment to evaluate not only the safety of using plutonium fuel but the quality of the French manufacturing of the plutonium fuel rods. The suggested removal of the fuel rods would allow for this evaluation, as scientists had suggested in testimony that if an accident progressed to a station blackout/pump seal loss-of-coolant accident, the plutonium MOX assemblies might have been more vulnerable to fuel damage. There is no manufacturing plant in the United States capable of manufacturing this plutonium fuel.

"While we welcome the involvement of industry and government inspectors, we must question the idea that this sort of self-regulation is best." said Nick Triplett, chair of the Charlotte Area Green Party. "Instead of the same regulators who approved this project in the first place, we call on the International Atomic Energy Agency to evaluate the quality of the research done by the companies involved as well as the actual fuel rods themselves at this juncture just to be sure they have not been damaged in the shut down, and to assess the results of the plutonium fuel experiment so far." Triplett finished.

"From three in the afternoon to nine thirty at night, authorities did not have full power restored to the reactor according to news articles." said Alan Burns, the Charlotte group's treasurer. "We need to know for certain what caused this incident. According to a report by the Nuclear Control Institute, fatal cancers from a plutonium MOX radiation release
would be 25 percent more than in a meltdown involving uranium fuel.

"This is not a new issue for us." noted Nancy Jocoy, also of Fort Mill. "We have testified before government regulators and have even seen others make the argument that exactly this sort of possible accident makes Catawba particularly unsuited to using plutonium fuel. The system did shut down properly this time from indications, and we know that a catastrophic release is unlikely, but we don't want to continuing taking these risks."

Both the York County and Charlotte Area Greens are considering what alternatives they may be able to use in their effort to keep the experiment from starting back up again. "We'll have to think about our options, and do what's best to protect our families." said Susan Triplett. "There need to be new public hearings on this matter. We need citizen involvement and oversight. I don't think anyone knows what the evacuation plans are for the area. As a mother-to-be, I want my child safe." she said.

In letters to be mailed next week the Green organizations plan to ask local governments to put copies of evacuation plans on their websites and in all county libraries.

The local chapters plan to use their contacts in the environmental movement to help guide their next steps. "We have friends and allies out there who can hold our hand while we develop a position" said Judy Aulette. "The plutonium fuel is a potential terrorist target, so on every front, we would be better off if Duke and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission suspended this program."

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"Same old cliche, is that a woman, or a man?"

OK, I got a big old can of works here folks, and I think I'll just open 'em right here in front of you all.

The National Women's Caucus received an application from a woman in Michigan. The applicant is a transgendered woman, that is, born with a penis who went through gender reclassification surgery and medical therapy. Her application was under review for a long time, and her representative on the National Committee has asked that the National Women's Caucus give her a decision, one way or the other. Can she join the National Women's Caucus or not?

Morgen D'Arc of Maine has written that the applicant (sorry, I just can't remember her name at the moment, nor the guy from MI who represents her) has gotten her answer, but did not say what that answer was. She and Holly Hunter seem to both be saying that the National Women's Caucus has been told not to discuss the issue without their lawyer's involvement. Apparently to get answers the applicant must hire a lawyer to talk to the caucus lawyer? Hell, I don't know. I don't trust lawyers. Sorry, but to me they seem like professional paid liars. I'm not trying to piss anyone off, but that's how I honestly feel.

Anyway, I have feelers out to try to get a handle on what this is all about. Anyone with an opinion, please chime in.

Right now though I am going to post a message sent to the National Committee by Owen Broadhurst. It's from a report in Green Left Weekly about how feminists in Australia approached this issue almost a decade ago. Because I think the piece is of importance, and one never knows when a piece will disappear from the Internet, I am re-posting the entire article behind the "Read more!" link. The piece, titled Transgender debate: against exclusion was written by Emma Murphy and Sarah Lantz. Since there is a Green Party in Australia, and since they may have already come to some conclusions based on actual experience (and I have no idea if this has been done or not) it might make sense to contact them and ask what they decided back then, what was the effect on their organization, and would they do it differently now if they could. Anyway, click the link above or here to read the article...

MELBOURNE -- There has been widespread opposition to a decision to exclude transgender women from the NOWSA (Network of Women Students Australia) collective.  This opposition has come from numerous alternative newspapers, including the Melbourne Star Observer, campus women's collectives, e-mail networks and queer collectives.

Contributors to these forums have criticised the NOWSA collective's decision, and in particular the Left Alliance members who argued for it, as biologically determinist, inward looking and exclusionary.

The alternative positions all insist that women's oppression is social, and that therefore anyone who suffers that oppression should be included in feminist organising.

The NOWSA decision has had ramifications in the women's liberation movement around the country, setting the precedent for transgender women to be excluded from the Reclaim the Night collective in Perth, and has brought discussion around the issue into numerous campus women's departments.

The exclusionary arguments are epitomised in an article by Jessica Whyte, a Left Alliance member, printed in the women's collective edition of Catalyst, the RMIT student press.  Whyte's article uses separatist and biological determinist arguments to discredit the struggle that many transgender women face -- to be recognised as who they are, rather than being attacked and rejected.

Whyte states: "... a person who has spent all their life as a man could not possibly be entirely free of patriarchal conditioning", which really says nothing about their experience as women in a sexist society.

Social categories

Left Alliance members have gone so far as to say that transgender women are not "real" women.  The problem with this argument is that it relies on a biological definition of women.

We live in a society that categorises people into rigid and often oppressive social and sexual roles.

From the moment we are born we are taught -- implicitly and explicitly -- that there are two genders based on biological sex, male and female, and that each gender carries with it an appropriate behaviour.  Those born with female sexual organs are women and therefore "feminine", and vice versa for those born with male sexual organs.

Society not only dictates that people conform to these gender roles, but that we treat the roles as self-evidently "natural".

The women's movement should recognise the oppressive nature of this gender stereotyping.  It is used to define women primarily as mothers, wives, child-carers, launderers, cooks.

Feminists need to challenge this.  We need to recognise that gender is socially constructed.  Any social construction which tries to dictate even the most personal and individual aspects of our lives (i.e. how we identify ourselves) is something which we need to fight.

The biological determinist arguments put forward by members of Left Alliance give credence to the hierarchy theory of oppressions: that "women born women" are more oppressed than transgendered women.  Thus those "more" oppressed (or perhaps "really" oppressed) should be allowed in women's campaigns and spaces.


This logic leads to exclusion: the idea that only the most oppressed can genuinely speak, participate, organise and make decisions.

Politics is leached from this argument.  It ignores the fact that commitment to feminism is not in our genes.  Being born a woman does not guarantee support for women's liberation.  In fact, many women believe that existing gender relations are not oppressive to women, but rather "natural".

In the arguments of the NOWSA collective, political positions and consciousness of women are not important.  In reality, both are the building blocks of any political movement, but the Left Alliance argument allows all "women born women", irrespective of their politics, to participate.

Meanwhile, transgendered women, many of whom politically support the aims of the women's movement, who argue that existing gender relations are oppressive and who experience oppression both as women and transgendered women, are excluded.

Biological determinism is deeply fatalistic.  It means that women's liberation will always be unattainable while men exist.

Arguing that specific socialised conditioning is fixed and, hence, unchangeable, faces exactly the same problem.  If this were the case, how do we explain the women who are socialised by the dominant ideologies of society, yet develop a feminist consciousness?

How, in fact, do we achieve any sort of liberation at all if we can't change people's consciousness?

Another argument for exclusion is that transgender women have led a life of "male privilege".  This denies the fact that many transgender people realise from an early age that they do not fit the gender role dictated to them by society.

They suffer oppression as transgender people -- being forced to conform to stereotypes that contradict their identity -- and the minute they identify as a woman, they take on the oppression that all women face -- issues of body image, sexual harassment, unequal wages and so on.

Individualising oppression

Left Alliance members arguing for exclusion claim that a "man" choosing to have a gender reassignment is legitimising the gender roles constructed by society.  Whyte writes "... this same man could help break down notions of sex determined gender by refusing to behave in a way which society views as acceptably masculine".

This completely individualises transgenderism, blaming the victims of oppressive gender stereotyping rather than the system which creates it.  Why should it be up to individuals to "break down notions of gender" to the extent that they live a life of persecution and depression due to being trapped in the wrong body?

The argument also implies that there is a great degree of choice involved, when transgender people are often aware of their true identify from a young age, and merely seek to change their body or their appearance to fit who they are.

Undergoing gender reassignment is not a political act; it's a personal decision to assert one's identity.  Politics comes into it when a woman (trannie or otherwise) becomes aware of women's oppression and decides to get active in feminist organising.

Women-only space

This brings us to the question of whether transgender women should be allowed in women-only space.  Whyte states that women-only space is to provide women with a place in which "... they will feel free from the intimidation or discomfort they may feel around men ... If women do not feel comfortable in the presence of a male to female transsexual then the point of women's only space if nullified."

This reduces women's rooms, something women have fought so hard for, to a comfortable social space.  In fact, women's rooms are politically useful only when they are used for critical, feminist organising -- a place where women can come together to organise for liberation, without the barriers many find to their ability to speak out.

Women-only organising space cannot be reduced to somewhere we can go to feel "comfortable".  Indeed, if we are going to have entrance criteria, let's call them "feminist rooms", and only those who identify as women and want to work to build the women's liberation movement can be welcome.

The crucial point is this: transgender women are oppressed by the same systemic structures and ideologies that all women are oppressed by: from sexual harassment and unequal wages through to gender stereotyping and physical abuse.

It is logical that all those who suffer from the same oppression should organise together -- the self-organisation of the oppressed.  By excluding transgender women from feminist organising, however, we are not allowing this to happen, but are acting in collusion with the sexist system by policing its oppressive gender boundaries.

Attempted censorship

Since the initial decision by the NOWSA collective, and the resulting criticisms, the same Left Alliance members have attempted to censor discussion.  They put a motion (leading up to FemX, the National Union of Students' women's policy conference) to stop collective members from expressing their opposition to the exclusion of transgendered women.

The NOWSA collective has expressed opposition to the ongoing debate in many forums, including in Green Left Weekly.

Democratic Socialist Party members were criticised for "going to the media".  This, according to the collective, "shows no respect for the decisions of the NOWSA collective".

The opposite is true: it is essential that this debate be ongoing and widespread.  It is a question of how to build a strong women's movement -- a crucial issue for all who seek to fight against injustice.

Such issues cannot be confined within one group.  This is an issue that affects all women.

Serious feminist organising is based on making political discussions public; forging alliances between organising collectives; strengthening the movement and raising the level of consciousness and understanding of the issues.

In the face of increasing attacks on women's rights, women's organising cannot afford to be atomised.  With energy and urgency, our aim is to build the biggest movements and committees to combat all oppression, rather than to divide the oppressed by policies of exclusion and personal politics.


Copyright © 1998 Emma Murphy and Sarah Lantz

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Well, the verdict is in folks. Kenny and Jeffy (Lay and Skilling) have been found guilty. The world is safe for capitalism again.

Nuttin' behind the "Read more!" link, but the BBC report gives you all you need.
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Promoting Spam?

Well, I get a lot of spam, just as you folks do. But, how do you define spam? It's "unsolicited e-mail", right? Well, if I post my email address, which I do, am I not inviting everyone to send me messages? I am of course, and must be a bit judicious as to what I open and what I don't. Peeniss Pills are tossed along with the Special Rate on Your Mort gage, but some come with headlines like "Thought this might interest you" and I gotta open it, because it might in fact be something worth seeing.

This would seem to fall into the category of "Interesting info" I got via "spam". It's a piece at another fellow's blog about a new $100 lap top computer being built and promoted for use in the Third World. The piece can be found right here. By the way, nothing hides behind the "Read more!" link on this one, so don't bother.
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A Farmer Supporter Reports

Mike Feinstein, former Mayor of Santa Monica, sent the following report to the Media Committee. This is a more "private" list than the National Committee list I have put up here, but considering that this is not a subject of controvercy as far as Greens are concerned, I have high hopes that Mike will not object to my re-publishing his letter without permission. The full text, "ripped from the headlines" as it were, is right behind the "Read more!" link, and well worth your time. Straight from the horses mouth, no "translation" from the mass media, it's Green News raw and direct. Enjoy...

--- Mike Feinstein wrote:

Its bad. I just left the farm a little while ago.



We had a press conference there this morning (singer Ben Harper, actresses Darryl Hannah and Laura Dern, NRDC director Joel Reynolds and Green Party members Linda Piera-Avila, Byron DeLear and myself, followed by Joan Baez, Julia Butterfly Hill and John Quigley speaking from up in the giant walnut tree above us on the farm.


The LAPD helicopters are now overhead and the farmers have barricaded themselves inside.

Baez, Hill and Quigley are all tree-sitting on the farm at this moment.

We don't know if/when the LAPD will try and force their way in.

There is a vigil planned at 7pm tonight outside of the fence around the farm.

For now, no one else will be able to go in or out.

We don't know what will happen.

There have been numerous LA County Greens active in this struggle. I literally can not remember them all (and I'm sure I'm forgetting some in the list below).

But for the record, these Greens have been among the many supporting the farm:

Alfonso Acosta
Doug Barnett
Marla Berstein
Peter Camejo
Mike Feinstein
Byron DeLear
Faramarz Nabavi
Jack Neff
Jason Neville
James Odling
Linda Piera-Avila
Lisa Taylor
Rebecca Tobias
Donna Warren

When we've been at the Farm, we've found that others there are also registered Green, but maybe not Greens we know because they haven't been active with the party.
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Down on the Farm

The City of Los Angeles wants to evict farmers from a 14 acre urban garden. Greens across the area, and supporters from Butterfly Hill to Joan Baez to Daryl Hannah to area Greens have taken to the trees in a tree sit, hoping to halt the destruction of the garden. Read all about what's going on by clicking here. Nothing behind the "Read more!" link on this one folks...
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Greens to Endorse Divine Strake Action

The National Committee, like all Green committees, must work within constraints, including time constraints. AS a result, sometimes stuff slips through when time runs out. This seems to be the situation today.

Fortunately, the Steering Committee is apparently able to stake out a position for the National Committee in such circumstances, with a provision that the National Committee can reverse a decision made by the Steering Committee.

I get the impression that this is seldom done, and almost all the time the National Committee makes the move, not the Steering Committee. But, as I said earlier, time can get into the way.

The National Committee is scheduled to vote on an endorsement of the Divine Strake Day of Protest. Unfortunately, the vote on the proposal wraps up the day after the event it intends to endorse. What can I say? We're imperfect. :-)

The Steering Committee did endorse the day of action and the national party has issued a press release, which you can read just behind the "Read more!" link...


For Immediate Release:
Thursday, May 25, 2006

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,
Deanna Taylor, Desert Green candidate for Salt
Lake County Council, 801-631-2998,

Greens rally against Divine Strake test at Nevada site

Green Party endorses the International Day of Action on May 28 against detonation; Greens call the test a show of force in preparation for an attack on Iran.

Schedule of events and more information:

WASHINGTONON, D.C. -- The Green Party has endorsed the Stop Divine Strake Coalition's 'International Day of Action' demanding that the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Nuclear National Security Agency cancel the Divine Strake detonation scheduled for June 23.

Green candidates and other party members from various states will join the coalition at the Nevada Test Site on May 28 during Memorial Day weekend to stand with dozens of other organizations protesting the event and urging officials to cancel the test.

"It's obvious that Divine Strake is a show of force preceding an imminent attack on the people of Iran -- which may include the use of nuclear weapons. It's a test run for President Bush's apparent attempt to set off a world war with Middle Eastern nations," said Deanna Taylor, Desert Green candidate for Salt Lake County
Council http://www.deannataylor.org, who plans to participate in the protest. Desert Greens (Green Party of Utah) have led the Green Party of the United States in opposing the test.

Many of the International Day of Action events will take place at the Nevada Test Site Peace Camp, located across Highway 95 from the Test Site. For a schedule of various events planned for May 28 and further information, resources, and links, visit http://www.desertgreens.org/events.html or http://www.gput.org/events.shtml

The U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency plans to detonate a 700-ton ammonium nitrate and fuel oil explosive at a federal facility 65 miles north of Las Vegas.

While the 'Divine Strake' test is not nuclear, its purpose is to "simulate a low-yield nuclear weapon." Since previous nuclear tests have occurred only a few miles away from the Divine Strake site, the test threatens to kick up previous radioactive contamination and send it downwind. No full environmental impact statement has been done to verify that there is no radioactive contamination at the site.

Greens also noted that the detonation is planned to take place on Western Shoshone land, without Western Shoshone approval, at a time when the latter have been fighting for sovereignty over their ancestral and treaty-recognized lands and for the removal of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recently found the U.S. in violation of human rights standards and international law and has ordered the U.S. to cease activities on Western Shoshone land.


Green Party of the United States
1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404
Washington, DC 20009.
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193

Articles on the Divine Strake test and the Bush Administration's threat of an attack against Iran

"El Futuro es Verde / The Future is Green"
National Meeting of the Green Party of the United
States in Tucson, Arizona, July 27-30, 2006

~ END ~
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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Local Reactors Shut Down Unexpectedly

What the article doesn't point out is that these nuclear stations use what I call a "Frankenfuel" mixture of designer grade plutonium waste and uranium. This material is supposed to "get rid of" tons of plutonium waste left over from breaking down cold war bombs.

The question of why the United States even needs nuclear bombs doesn't come up in polite Democratic and Republican circles, but I know that Greens often times express the opinion that no nation can even use one nuclear bomb, regardless of the circumstances. I know that I cannot imagine any situation in which a nuclear blast could be deemed a successful outcome, or even defensible.

Anyway, the Catawba Nuclear Station's two generating plants shut down unexpectedly, as reported in the online edition of the Charlotte Observer. Because the Observer, I think, doesn't keep all it's information available online indefinitely for free, I am posting the entire text behind the "Read more!" link...

Federal investigators to visit nuclear plant
Team trying to find out what led to emergency shutdown of reactors

A team of federal investigators will visit the Catawba nuclear plant on Lake Wylie today to learn what led to the emergency shutdown this weekend of both of the plant's reactors.

Duke Energy declared an "unusual event," the lowest of four emergency stages, Saturday afternoon when the plant lost its off-site power source.

The reactors automatically shut down with the power loss, the first time both have "tripped" in the plant's 20-year operating history. Diesel generators kicked on to supply backup power.

"The plant responded as it should have," Duke spokeswoman Rita Sipe said Monday. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the public was not in danger.

No leaks were detected from the reactors' steam generators, through which radioactive water circulates. Off-site power was restored about six hours later, on Saturday night.

Duke said the problem occurred in the plant's switchyard, which sends electricity generated at Catawba toward customers and also brings electricity into the plant.

Ken Clark, an NRC spokesman in Atlanta, said an electrical fault in the switchyard opened a circuit breaker. What's unclear, he said, is why 12 other circuit breakers also opened, severing the connection to offsite power.

"This is a type of event that we would not expect to occur," Clark said.
Bruce Henderson: (704) 358-5051.

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A note to bloggers and website managers

The national Green Party has created a wonderful new page at gp.org which serves as an absolutely wonderful introduction to a Green Newbie. The page is simple enough.

It is in some ways an "essential link" page for first time visitors. There is a link to a page holding candidate info, another to give of course, and many more. I'm not sure who all is entitled to a thank you, but thank you all for creating this page.

If you are responsible for linking to the national website, won't you at least consider using this particular page with a link something like mine above?
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Dangerous Greens II:campaigns for Gov, state office to watch in 2006

The Green Party was "supposed" to shrink, whither, and blow away by now. Surely we couldn't survive nominating Nader twice? Surely we couldn't survive not nominating him three times? Surely we couldn't survive accusations of criminality, desertions to other parties and internal conflict? But somehow we have not only survived all that but have grown in every way, including the most important, running and electing Greens to office.

The national party has issued a press release under the headline above, and it can be read in full behind the "Read more!" link. And, it's an impressive list folks. From Peter Camejo's self-ascribed swan song to Pat LaMarche's effective and serious campaign for Governor of Maine to Marakay Rogers running a hard fought campaign for Governor of Pennsylvania with absurd legal hurdles in her way, the Green Party is running great people for Governor. Many of the other races covered are equally impressive. Take a look behind the curtain and you might even find someone to send money to, or even vote for...


The following candidates are running on the California Green 'MVP' (Million Votes for Peace)slate:

Peter Miguel Camejo is running for Governor as a Latino in a state where the immigration issue is major news. Mr. Camejo ran previously in 2002 and in a 2003 Recall Election, during which he was rated the winner by polls and the news media in a round of debates with Arnold Schwarzenegger and other candidates. Mr. Camejo is calling on cash-strapped California to collect $ tens of billions from corporations in the state which currently pay no taxes and from the state's wealthiest individuals, since the state's poorest now pay a tax rate that is 57% higher than that of the wealthiest taxpayers. Mr. Camejo also supports legislation that would pull the state's National Guard troops out of Iraq.

Donna Warren, candidate for Lt. Governor , asks voters to leave the comfort zones of the Democratic and Republican Parties and give California a chance. Immigration reform, said Warren, "must begin with a living wage for all employees. Black people in America understand fighting for an economic chance and dignity. We are all workers and we must unite as a working class to demand this country invest in job training and stop the outsourcing of American jobs."

Forrest Hill, a former Ralph Nader aide running for the hotly-contested Secretary of State spot, has already received significant media attention for his tough stand against Black Box voting. As the state's election chief, he will promote legislation to open up the voting process by instituting proportional voting, and giving immigrants, who are not yet citizens, voting rights in local elections.


Cliff Thornton is running for Governor of Connecticut with the endorsement of the Green Party and help from third parties and others to address the important issues facing the state, including education, the drug war, race, poverty, health care for all, and a living wage.


Civil rights attorney Rich Whitney is making waves in his race for Governor of Illinois by pledging to veto any further mobilization of the Illinois National Guard for duty in the illegal occupation of Iraq, fighting for badly needed tax and fiscal reforms, and promoting a proposed 'New Deal' for sustainable energy and sustainable transportation.


On May 20 at 11:00am, gubernatorial candidate Pat LaMarche delivered her 'State of the State' speech as keynote speaker at the Green Party Convention, which was held at the Center for Cultural Affairs in Portland. Ms. LaMarche, noting the number of infants housed in homeless shelters with their parents, asked attendees to bring diapers, blankets, toys, and other items for distribution to the shelters after the convention.


Ed Boyd, candidate for Governor and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, has joined the Baltimore Pledge of Resistance in its call for a full investigation into possible involvement of the Baltimore Police Dept. with NSA spying on the group's activities. Mr. Boyd has also called on Democratic Gubernatorial frontrunner Martin O'Malley and Gov. Robert Ehrlich to return over $30,000 in campaign contributions that came from Constellation, the parent company of Baltimore Gas and Electric. BGE seeks to increase Marylanders' energy rates by 72% by July 1.


Grace Ross is the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party's candidate for Governor of. Her running mate for Lt. Governor is Wendy Van Horne. On May 18, Ms. Ross's supporters picketed in front of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, the site of the first multi-party televised gubernatorial debate in Massachusetts, from which she has been excluded by MassINC, the debate's primary sponsor. "MassINC continues to stand by criteria that are easily picked apart and debunked with a little research, no longer apply and contradict the stated purpose of the debate. They claim not to mean to exclude only one candidate, but the sponsors seem to conceive that only millionaires and career politicians are worthy of the public's attention," said Ms. Ross.

James O'Keefe, candidate for Treasurer of the Commonwealth, was the party's nominee for the same office in 2002. Mr. O'Keefe participated in all Treasurer candidate debates in 2002.

Dr. Jill Stein is the sole challenger to the 12-year incumbent Secretary of the Commonwealth, with no Republican in the race. As part of her campaign for "Real Democracy - Real Solutions", she is calling for an end to "government by influence-peddling" by restoring the voter-mandated Clean Elections Law, and is declining campaign contributions from lobbyists and the officers of corporations that hire them. Dr. Stein advocates Instant Runoff Voting and guaranteed ballot security by banning electronic voting machines. An advocate for single-payer universal health care and a national spokesperson on children's health and the environment, Dr. Stein won praise as the 2002 Green-Rainbow candidate for Governor, and was voted winner in the online poll following a televised candidates' debate.

Owen Broadhurst, running for State Representative in the 3rd Hampden District is the very first third party candidate for state representative in his region, and also the first openly bisexual candidate. He was recently endorsed by the United Auto Workers (UAW) Massachusetts State Community Action Program Council.


The New York candidates were nominated on May 20 as the state party's 'Peace Slate' to provide a choice on the ballot for voters opposed to the war in Iraq. Videos of New York Green candidates can be viewed at Third Planet Video.

Malachy McCourt, brother of author Frank McCourt and himself an author ('A Monk Swimming', New York Times bestseller), is running for Governor. "Peace is not just the absence of war; peace is where we are safe and secure in our lives and privacy," said Mr. McCourt, who supports demilitarizing the National Guard by bringing them home from Iraq and converting them into a civilian environmental corps. (Photos of Malachy McCourt)

Howie Hawkins, nominee for the U.S. Senate, will challenge Sen. Clinton over her support for the war in Iraq, and will call for immediate return of U.S. troops and impeachment of President Bush. Mr. Hawkins, a member of the Teamsters Union, will also challenge the two major parties for failing to respond to global warming; he supports major investments in energy conservation, efficiency, and investment in renewable energy sources, which will create new jobs in New York.

Alison Duncan, for Lieutenant Governor: "New York's disadvantaged should not see the military as their only option for an education and an honest job. As Lt. Governor candidate, I will be campaigning for free public higher education and strong economic development initiatives for our state."

Rachel Treichler, for State Attorney General: "We are at war in Iraq against the wishes of most voters. This is because illegal barriers to voting and ballot access have allowed money to trump democracy in our electoral system. As Attorney General, I will protect our rights to vote and our rights to free and fair elections. We can't continue to let the short-term economic interests of a few override the long-term life, liberty and happiness of all."

Julia Willebrand, for Comptroller: "World peace is central to the well-being of everyone including the people of New York. I will use the power of the Comptroller as sole trustee of $115 billion in retirement funds to enhance the financial and physical security of the people of New York by working toward peace. One such step will be joining other states' efforts to end the genocide in Darfur by divesting from companies doing business in Sudan."


On May 1, the campaign for gubernatorial candidate Bob Fitrakis and running mate Anita Rios for Lieutenant-Governor submitted over 11,000 signatures from Ohio voters who want to see Bob Fitrakis and other Green-endorsed candidates on the ballot this November. Mr. Fitrakis is a journalist who, writing in the Columbus Free Press, helped expose widespread 2004 election irregularities in Ohio.

Tim Kettler is the only candidate for Ohio Secretary of State who has taken on Kenneth Blackwell, who current holds this office, to Federal Court for his role in the 2004 election irregularities, and will continue to demand accountability in state elections.


Marakay Rogers, candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, has campaigned for single-payer universal health care and repeal for Pennsylvania's real property tax, which forces fixed income senior citizens out of their homes. Ms. Rogers opposes Gov. Ed Rendell's implementation of the state's new casino legislation, sharply criticizing plans to build a casino directly beside the historic and government-protected Gettysburg Battlefield. She is also lead plaintiff in a federal appeal to overturn restrictive state legislation that will obstruct third-party candidates from the ballot in November.


Jeff Toste is running unopposed for State Senate in District 5 (Providence), after the Democrat dropped out of the race; the Democratic Party is expected to name another candidate, but Mr. Toste now has a strong head start.


Arnold Karr, a teacher in South Carolina's prison system, for Superintendent of Public Education, has won the Green Party nomination and the endorsement of the state AFL-CIO.


The Wisconsin Green Party has endorsed Nelson Eisman for Governor.


Green Party of the United States
1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404
Washington, DC 20009.
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193
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Buy Sunscreen Stock

The BBC reports that two separate scientific studies have concluded that estimates of the impact of CO² are greater than predicted. In fact, dramatically different. Up to 75% higher temperature increases than earlier predicted. Take a look at the piece. If we Greens are not effective in moving our agenda forward the entire globe and much of life is at risk. We must find the right combination of message and messenger so we can be an effective agent of change. Nothing behind the "Read more!" link on this one folks.
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Monday, May 22, 2006

Labor Going Green?

In the past year or so the labor movement has been debating their role in political life. One reason given for unions leaving the AFL-CIO and joining the Change To Win Coalition is their stated belief that traditionally unions have put all their electoral eggs into the Democratic Party basket, and giving support and funding only to them.

Now it would seem that at least some unions are turning towards Greens. South Carolina's AFL-CIO has endorsed Arnold Karr's campaign for Superintendent of Education and the United Auto Workers have endorsed Owen Broadhurst's campaign for state legislature in MA. All the details of Owen's endorsement are behind the "Read more! link. Congrats to both Arnold and Owen...


AGAWAM - Green-Rainbow Party candidate for State Representative in the Third Hampden District, Owen R. Broadhurst of Agawam, discloses his endorsement by the United Auto Workers Massachusetts State Community Action Program Council. Mr. Broadhurst expects to be on the November ballot, and intends to turn in his 150 certified signatures to the Western Massachusetts office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth on Monday morning. Mr. Broadhurst expresses gratitude for United Auto Workers support, and pledges his support for the collective bargaining rights of working people in the district.

"I was informed by the United Auto Workers MA State CAP Council on April 20th, and again in a letter dated April 24, that I have secured the Council's endorsement, " Broadhurst noted. "I believe the Council was impressed by my continued and unwavering support for both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Collective Bargaining Convention adopted by the General Conference of the International Labor Organization. For the United Auto Workers, I have immense respect and I must extend to them again my gratitude for this endorsement."

Mr. Broadhurst observed that as a state legislator he would do more to support the freedom of workers to choose a union. "I firmly support mandatory card check recognition, majority authorization legislation, and employer neutrality. The National Workrights Institute has observed that the right to organize is the workplace expression of the Consitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of association. I solidly support this most basic and essential of human rights."

"I very much oppose state or municipal funding of contracts with entities that refuse to remain neutral during organizing drives, and believe all so funded must grant union card check recognition if majority support is demonstrated. Neither state nor local funds should ever be used against organizing drives. I will resist paycheck deception proposals, oppose any weakening of workplace safety laws and regulations, and urge the passage of Living Wage legislation. I support an indexing of the minimum wage to the rate of inflation, and embrace a single-payer health plan. I support the
strengthening and expansion of whistle-blower protections, and very much oppose the privatization of public resources."

"I believe working families appreciate the need for such things, and am pleased that the United Auto Workers agree."
Owen R. Broadhurst
Candidate for State Representative
Third Hampden District
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Impeach Bush & Co

The Green Party, from local chapters to the national party, have taken positions calling for Bush's impeachment, along with his cohort of criminals.

OpEdNews.com has published a piece I wrote originally for YC Magazine. It's linked right over here.

By the way, OpEdNews.com does have a comment system, so feel free to leave me one over there.

Nothing behind the "Read more!" link on this one folks, so save the click...
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A Once and Future Green?

Say a group of people in a state with no Green Party decide to create one. They meet, get a list of rules they must follow to join the US-GP, jump through all the appropriate hoops, and so long as no objection is raised, those folks would likely be approved as a new chapter of the party. The decision would begin with the Accreditation Committee and would end with a vote of the National Committee.

Similarly, if a group of people who believe that their group suffers from a lack of access to the political process, or less political power than they should have, they can apply to create a caucus within the party. If, for example, enough Greens with disabilities were to join it, the disability caucus would likely win approval.

So, what if a caucus or state is established, and then things change? What if most of a caucus' members quit? What if they refuse to comply with national party rules they agreed to when they joined up? What if a state party withers to the point that a small group of non-greens can take it over at a convention or by a concerted ballot effort?

What if, more to the point, some caucus confronts something and either can't or won't deal with it? For example, what if a trans-gendered person asks to join the Women's Caucus?

Should each state and/or caucus be subjected to a review of their accreditation?

This is not a rhetorical question. Take a look behind the "Read more!" link and you will see that the Women's Caucus is dealing with this right now, or not dealing with it, depending on your perspective. Check back to this section several times over the next week or so as I intend to re-post the National Committee conversation as it develops...

In regard to having some kind of annual review of committee work, would it be appropriate to task the Accreditation Committee with the annual review, or should that be done by some other committee, or by the NC itself?

My view is that it should be in the purview of some committee. The NC seems not to do much itself. The real work is done in committee, it seems, and will be more so in the future as (we hope) our job of building the party structure, rules and processes gets pretty much done.

Seems to me that part of the reason that the NC seems to be treading water, is that we don't well understand our mission, and get sidetracked by poor communication.

There are long-standing issues unresolved within the Black Caucus and the Women's Caucus. On the one hand, since I am in neither group, I feel that hands off as much as possible is better. On the other, my good friend and "constituent" who is transgendered (male to female) has not been able to get an answer (even if the answer is no) from the NWC (National Women's Caucus) for well over a year whether she can join. A complaint has been filed and is purportedly pending with the Accreditation Committee, I believe, but there is no evidence of progress being made. I am told there is a "gag order" and so have been unable to learn much more. One of the Michigan delegates to the AC has become frustrated with lack of process and action.

Perhaps this issue is more properly within the purview of the Dispute Resolution Committee, and it's stalled because the AC does not know what to do with it. Do the rules provide for sanctions against a committee, other than dissolution?

While the issue may be important, the bigger thing is that our process is not working very well. Could committees be required to make short reports and answer questions
during the Annual Meeting?

Think Green, Act Green, Vote Green!

Matthew R. Abel
Detroit, Michigan

Green Party of Michigan State Committee
Green Party U.S. National Delegate

This is a footnote in the bylaws of the National Women's Caucus;

III.2a. NOTE: In defining "natural members," the Caucus has had to deal with a challenge of whether non-women who identify as women can join the Caucus. Early discussions revealed wide-ranging opinions. Later discussions in the months of June and July, 2003 that were sparked by interference from outside the Caucus to mobilize women to join the Caucus for the express purpose of voting against the bylaws if the bylaws did not specifically state that transgendered women could be members, also revealed wide-ranging reactions and opinions. A vote was held during August 2003 to define membership, but it failed for lack of quorum and was impacted by the server malfunction that was outside of Caucus control and which deleted over half the membership base, taking a while to restore.

It is now almost three years later, and the issue has apparently, still not been taken to a vote.

So, wazzup with that?

**From Holly Hunter, in Response to the Above Question**


You've gotten a response, several times: your information is erroneous. And, the NWC coordinating committee has received legal counsel that advised us not to discuss this. As a lawyer yourself, you ought to know better than to keep trying ot bring this up. Last year, I asked if you wanted to speak with the person who adviseed us. You asked if that was a woman. That didn't clarify whether you wished to speak with that person ro not.

Holly Hart
GPUS-NC Delegate, NWC

GPUS Bylaws, Article III, requires that

All committees shall:

... 5) report to the NC on a regular basis and set up a schedule for written reporting, with monthly reports being the standard unless otherwise approved by the NC.


10) participate in a biannual review of committee RP&Ps conducted by the BRPP, which shall report to the NC on each committee's procedures.

it seems the apparatus for review is in place.

Whether it is observed, is another matter.

I know the Eco-Action Committee has been submitting monthly reports, and BRPP as well, and ANMC, but I'm not sure of the others.

However, the bylaws are silent regarding any reporting requirements for caucuses.

Perhaps that would help to find out what is going on with Womens Caucus and Black Caucus.

Think Green, Act Green, Vote Green!

Matthew R. Abel


From Owen Broadhurst:

Vote or no vote, the Diversity Committee, Accreditations Committee, and National Committee were all given assurances by National Women's Caucus officers that self-identified women were eligible for NWC membership.

In a related note, the National Committee did vote to give Accreditations Committee certain purview reviewing Caucus performance and continued adherance to the set of expectations prescribed for Caucuses in our national party Rules and Procedures. Proposal 183 was approved by the National Committee by the 23rd of October, 2005.

Proposal 183


8. Complaint Process
A. Greens who wish to lodge a complaint or grievance against an affiliated Green Party in the state in which they reside or a caucus with which they identify must first exhaust the complaint process of that state's Green Party or caucus. If it can be demonstrated that the complainant's state party or caucus has not addressed the grievance in a timely way, the AC, at its discretion, can decide to hear the grievance after giving the state party or caucus notice. Complaints must be submitted on the AC complaint form and co-signed by three Greens with standing before being reviewed by the committee. (To have standing a Green must reside in the state or
identify with the caucus they are lodging a complaint against.)

Green Party or caucus members with a grievance are required to complete and submit the AC complaint form to their state party or caucus and copy the AC. After 30 days, the AC will inquire to see that the state party or caucus has initiated their process for review of complaints. If no action has been taken, the AC will remind the state party or caucus that action must be taken within the next 30 days. State parties or caucuses who have entered into the "grievance" process in good faith but needs more time to address the complaint must ask the AC for an extension in writing. After two weeks of receiving the complaint, the AC will assign a point person to guide the
complainant through the process.

B. Accredited State Parties or Caucuses, who wish to lodge a complaint or grievance against another accredited state party or caucus must submit their complaints on the AC complaint form. The complaint must be filed by the Executive Committee or membership of the state party or caucus in accordance with that state party's or caucus' bylaws. A state party or caucus with a grievance is required to complete and
submit the AC complaint form to the other state party or caucus and copy the AC. After 30 days, the AC will inquire of the state party or caucus to see if the grievance has been resolved. State parties or caucuses who have entered into a "grievance" process in good faith but need more time to address the complaint must ask the AC for an extension in writing. After two weeks of receiving the complaint, the AC will assign a point person to guide the complainant through the process.


The National Committee did approve of these P&Ps (Gregg Note: Policies and Procedures) by a vote of 65-8-15. This then answers Marc Sanson's April 15 inquiry:

Posted by Marc Sanson April 15 of this year:

I have seen some accusations lately that the SC (Steering Committee) has handpicked what representatives of the GPUS Black Caucus it wishes to deal with, and is showing favoritism toward those black who support some unnamed agenda of unidentified leaders of this party. I would like to respond to this accusation.

First of all, the SC has no authority or ability to choose who they will recognize as representatives of a state or caucus. That is entirely within the purview of the caucus or state. Even if we felt the current leadership and representation of the BC (Black Caucus) was not legitimate, which some of us do, there is nothing in the bylaws or procedures that give us the ability to reject those leaders or representatives. Unless the GNC (Green National Committee or Green National Convention...not sure which) acts to direct the SC in the matter, our hands are tied and we have no choice but to accept those representative the BC puts forward.

I assure you, this has been a concern of the SC for some time and our minutes will reflect many discussions on the topic and several attempts to get answers from the BC. We have discussed how we will respond when proposals, communications, requests, etc...come forth from the BC that we know no longer represents many blacks within our
party and has not been operating within its bylaws as required by the accreditation guidelines. There are some who believe we should no longer accept anything from the BC or recognize its representatives until they have confirmed that they are operating within their bylaws and granting inclusion to all blacks in our party. But most of us also agree that we are powerless to do so and have not been granted that authority under our bylaws. So, in my opinion, there is little the SC can do to help resolve this situation.

Some have suggested that this is a matter for the DRC. (Dispute Resolution Committee) In my understanding, this has come before the DRC several times, but without the cooperation of all parties in the dispute there is little the DRC can do. Others have suggested this is a matter for the AC, (Accreditation Committee) but as I read the bylaws, RPnP's, (Rules, Policies and Procedures) AC PnP's, and Santa Barbara resolution, the AC has no role to play here either. The only authority granted to the AC in reference to caucuses is the ability to recommend 'temporary inactive status' should the caucus fail to vote for more than 6 months or fail to attend two GNC meetings in a row. If someone knows of other language that give the AC authority to investigate a caucus and recommend action, please point it out to me.

I've also seen it stated that members of the BC have submitted several complaints to the AC regarding BC accreditation. Besides the questionability of whether the AC has any role regarding caucuses, I am unaware of any such complaints being formally submitted, but that is not to say they have not been. The AC is maintaining secrecy in what complaints it has received and what investigations it is conducting. I find this disturbing. Nowhere in the AC PnP's, posted complaint process, GPUS bylaws or GP RPnP's is there language allowing secrecy in these proceedings. Disaffiliating a state or caucus is just as, if not more, serious an affair as removing an officer ? these complaints and proceedings should be done in the full light of the GNC. So, there very well may have been complaints filed and investigations conducted by the AC, but we would have no way of knowing.

I urge the officers of the BC to reach out to members that have either left or have been ejected, and find ways to make the caucus inclusive to all blacks in the GP, quickly followed by new elections to satisfy their bylaws. I also call on the AC to release to the GNC all complaints they have received regarding accreditation of any state or caucus, and report to the SC and GNC on all current and past investigations they have conducted.

Marc Sanson, ILGP/Springfield Greens
Co-chair, Green Party of the U.S.


Continuing from an email by Owen Broadhurst:

I didn't answer Marc at the time, but I shall answer now.

The AC has such investigatory powers via their very own P&Ps. I did ask precisely when IDCAP was approved, but have no answer to that question. I have seen no records of IDCAP approval. If IDCAP was approved, then I have no knowledge of precisely what version of IDCAP was approved.

One version of IDCAP (No idea folks...sorry) explicitly does provide provisions for the disaffiliation of a caucus. That version is here.

The language of this proposal differs somewhat from what we read in posted GPotUS Rules & Procedures. Yet, I see no record of when this differing language was approved.

I'm wondering if IDCAP in fact had ever been approved. If it was not approved, then I'm wondering why so much of its langauge can now be found in our Rules and Procedures.

In any case, we know the following from AC P&Ps, of which a record of the National Committee's approval CAN be found:

Where Marc wrote:

"If someone knows of other language that give the AC authority to investigate a caucus and recommend action, please point it out to me."

I now point out Section 8 from AC P&Ps.


Where Marc wrote:

"The only authority granted to the AC in reference to caucuses is the ability to recommend 'temporary inactive status' should the caucus fail to vote for more than 6 months or fail to attend two GNC meetings in a row."

I must point out that this is not necessarily the case, depending on what version of IDCAP was approved if in fact IDCAP had ever been approved at all. Proposal 59 did explicitly provide for disaffiliation of a caucus. I recall no version of IDCAP submitted for National Committee consideration since. If no version of IDCAP was approved, then I don't see how what is noted in our Rules & Procedures has any force or legitimacy regarding the subject.

AC P&Ps do not address the question of disaffiliation, but do indeed assign the AC powers of investigating any grievances filed with it. This authority, that of conducting an investigation, therefore was indeed granted the AC via P. 183. The power to suspend a Caucus for inactivity, however, would remain contigent on IDCAP approval regardless of what is reflected in our Rules and Procedures since the relevant portion of our Rules and Procedures was based on an IDCAP proposal.


Where Marc wrote:

"Nowhere in the AC PnP's, posted complaint process, GPUS bylaws or GP RPnP's is there language allowing secrecy in these proceedings."

AC P&Ps, in fact, contain a confidentiality clause. Written notice, possibly followed by requested removal of an offending AC member, number among the consequences of an AC member violating confidentiality regarding AC deliberations. The National Committee did approve of this language.

I do not recall the Steering Committee having expressed concern about secrecy during proceedings relating to the affiliation of Caucuses when Diversity Committee members were denied the full National Women's Caucus accreditation packet. Such a packet includes (according to most versions of IDCAP) "a list of at least 100 members in at least 15 USGP- affiliated states, containing name, address, and state party membership of each member". To the best of my knowledge, the Diversity Committee was not explcitly required to be in receipt of this, but (according to most versions
of IDCAP) the Accreditations Committee certainly was.

Since any AC review of Caucus progress in meeting expectations assigned (should IDCAP in fact exist) would indeed include AC's access to such a membership list, then I trust Marc would not object to handling of such in confidence.

Nothing in our bylaws, rules and procedures, or AC P&Ps compels AC notification to the National Committee of any deliberation over grievances submitted until such time as the AC has prepared its report to the NC regarding the matter.


Finally, Marc wrote:

"First of all, the SC has no authority or ability to choose who they will recognize as representatives of a state or caucus."

While this is indeed true, this does not infer that "our hands are tied". On the contrary, the Steering Committee has among its list of powers the following powers:

4. Gather information and report emerging problems and opportunities to the National Committee.
5. Make recommendations and proposals to the National Committee based on those reports.

Sincerely yours,
Owen R. Broadhurst (MA)
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Friday, May 19, 2006

How Do We Disagree?

Phil Huckleberry of IL posted an email to the National Party list which asks readers to consider that question. Greg Gerritt of RI offers an answer. So does Guy Anthony of PA, David Pollard of TX, John Battista of CT, Morgen D'Arc of ME and Mato Ska of NM. All are hiding behind the "Read more!" link...

I mean these questions with all sincerity. I genuinely believe our commitment to Non-Violence is tested by the way we answer these questions.

First, when an individual makes a public statement - a press statement, no less essentially accusing the Green Party of harboring or supporting terrorists, do we all agree that this goes well above and beyond strong or emotional disagreements and into the realm of actual attempts to defame the Green Party's name?

Second, when individuals do such acts, are we ensuring that they are not in any positions of authority by which they might be able to speak on behalf of the Green Party or affect the internal operations of the Green Party?

It seems to me that if an individual sends out a screed that attempts to defame in the court of public opinion the name of the Green Party - and I'm not talking about charging that the party is poorly run or undemocratic, I'm talking about outrageously blatant defamation, charging that the party is harboring and defending and supporting terrorists - that the first step should be ensuring that the individual is not in any position of authority within the party. Otherwise, we are failing on the key value and pillar of Non-Violence.

Can we at least all agree on these points?

Phil Huckelberry
Illinois Green Party

I agree on those points.

I also think the GPUS should issue a statement to denounce people in the party who make such false, defamatory and dangerous statements. We can't get rid of Greens from the party, but we can respond. The claims and attacks in that statement remind me of people who tell lies about innocent people to get some kind of reward for themselves. Some of this sort will let people die for this dynamic. The writer is as aware as the next person that the climate in this country regarding terrorists is so warped and fear mongering by the government that it is nearly mobbish if not already. To use such language in this climate is to potentially incur such a response on the Green Party whether now or in the future.

It is a concern to me that if we issue a statement that it might just bring more unwanted attention to it. But it is pretty bad to be attacked like this, putting many thousands of Greens and the Party in possible harm's way, which would affect so many more thousands of Greens as well as our cause, without the party responding in a responsible way.

What steps should be taken to ensure the writer of this defamatory statement is not in any position of authority within the party? Can you define *authority?* I would think any position within the GPUS, including as just a member of a committee, would qualify, to be able to, as you say, ensure that they cannot in any way speak for the
party or engage or be a participant in anything that could become policy or affect business in any way.

Morgen D'Arc
USGP-Maine Delegate

I would go with your suggestion as to how to practically define "authority". I also believe that Guy Anthony's remarks are quite right regarding the necessity for the National Committee to have the ability to remove people for extremely flagrant actions. The power must be used sparingly and only in extreme situations, but to refuse to use such power at all is a green light for such actions.

Much has been written lately about accountability and responsibility to our constituent Greens in our various state parties. I believe we all have a responsibility to ensure that no individual serving in any position representing GPUS in any manner be making slanderous remarks, be physically threatening others, or anything of the like that clearly goes well above and beyond simple political disagreements, and when extremely flagrant violations of such sorts are committed, that individuals are removed from positions of authority.

We need serious ethical standards in this party. Our lack of such standards speaks very poorly of our commitment to our values.

Phil Huckelberry
Illinois Green Party

Maybe, if it's done both accurately and precisely. Here's an example: If I were a lawyer, publicly affiliated with the Green Party, and agreed to serve as a public defender for individuals accused of charges related to terrorism - would you want my ouster from the party?

Currently we live in a fascist millieu which promotes the idea that any action other than violence against the enemies of our State equates to support for those enemies. If we indeed have Party members who have taken this erroneous logic to heart they need to be called on it. However, any action against them, (removal, sacking etc.)
should still follow the proper channels and practices of our party.

Just my opinion,
David Pollard
GPTx delegate

Even if we can all agree on the principles you offer, I have a suspicion (no that is probably the wrong word) maybe hunch is better, that we shall have at least some disagreement as to whether any one particular case constitutes such an incident. I also have a hunch that the process of handling the incident will be as contentious as anything else we do, and just another thing we are not really going to want to go through. Do we think the political divides we surf wil not influence how we view what blasphemy is?

The decision to protect ourselves under the circumstances is political. It is only when someone offends everybody, and I mean everyone, will this go at all smoothly. And then oit does not much matter what the rules are, if everyone wants someone to go we will find a way to legitimately do it. And if the offender of some has anything more than 2 or 3 defenders, nothing will be done, and the reality is that if enough people active in the party beleive some outrage is not outrageous, it ties up our process, and maybe it ought to.

greg gerritt gpri

And maybe it ought not. It seems IMHO there are some among us who's sole reason for being is to manipulate the reality you mention, keeping the process endlessly tied up until the party either dies of paralysis or enough good people turn their back in disgust and walk away thus allowing the sabatouers to take the control of the remaining shell of the party.

Until I came on this list I would not have believed such a tactic would work here. Now I alarmed to see how well along it has advanced.

Since we have recently given so much attention to the means by which an errant steering committee may be removed, I believe it is only proper that steps be taken to hold NC members just as accountable. There should be a method by which a 2/3 majority of the NC can censure or even remove a fellow member for destructive and disruptive conduct within the body.

This does not mean any violation of the soverngity of the state who that delegate represents. That state is of course the untimate authority as to who represents them. The NC action woulld however force the delegate to go back to his/her state and explain him/her self and what conduct drew such disapproval from Greens nationwide. It is my belief that many state committees are unaware of what goes on here. If sunshine is good for the SC, it is good for the NC as well.

States would perfectly free to return any delegate so disiplined but in most cases I expect they would demand some sort of an accounting before doing so.

Guy Anthony

Connecticut has adopted ethical standards for Green Party Members. An ethics complaint may be followed against a Connecticut Green Party member alleging:
1. Making commitments or position statements that conflict with the Party of Chapter policies, principles, or ethical codes.
2. The advocacy or practice of racial, sexual, ethnic, or religious discrimination
3. Betrayal of trust in maters affecting Party or Public welfare
4. Indulgence in or use of any form of violence.
5. Irresponsible advocacy such as that based upon misrepresentation or gross ignorance of pertinent facts.

Such a complaint initiates an investigation by the Ethics Committee of the Connecticut Green Party. If the investigation substantiates the alleged violations the Ethics Committee may recommend sanctions which may include, but are not limited to:
1. Written warning
2. Formal Censure
3. Suspension
4. Expulsion

The decision as to appropriate action is determined by the Connecticut governing body, representing each chapter.

These sanctions certainly could be modified to include running for, or holding, public office or a position of authority within the Green Party. Similary, the criteria for filing an ethics complaint might be altered to advocating a position which is inconsistent with the key values of the Green Party. The decision making body could become the national committee. A national Green Party ethics committee would have to be instituted.

Such an ethics complaint procedure might be appropriate for the Green Party of the United States to institute, as shown by the press release being considered. For
this to occur, a proposal would have to be submitted for consideration by the national committee by a state party or a standing committee.

John Battista
CT Green Party

It has been raised in discussion in NM that such standards are inherently used in internal disputes and often work against the interest of full and complete discussion of issues without intimidation. There are questions of how, or even if, such standards can facilitate an open forum.

Mato Ska

On a personal note, I feel like I'm turning into the C-Span of Green National Committee internal politics...a diet filled with plenty of fiber, but not too tasty.
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