“…[I]f 100% of police attacks are against those resisting
corporate power and 0% of police violence is against corporations, then a
reasonable person might conclude that the function of police is to protect
corporate power.” This is from Don Fitz’s piece on what took place
in St. Louis in 2003 but aptly describes what happened at the G20
demonstrations in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago.
In putting together the articles in this issue we see the thread of corporate
power not only at the G20 where Presidents and Prime Ministers pimp for the
corporate world or in Afghanistan where "cosmetics" became a cover for
occupation. Whether it is in Cap and Trade, Honduras or our elected officials
beholden to corporate interests, we are witnessing the blatant power of the
In the making of Michael Moore’s film on Capitalism during the world
wide recession/depression, we are beginning to see cracks in this immoral, or,
as Moore has said, “Amoral” model.
Many links within the articles in this issue will lead you to organizing
efforts you can join to help defeat corporate/military power. And here are
links to three more causes where Green Politics readers can make a difference:
national health insurance in the U.S., to the
October 17th National Day of Demonstrations
against the war in Afghanistan,
end Israeli domination of Gaza.
We like to hear from our readers. If you have articles, artwork, poems,
suggestions, or commentaries on what is happening in your community, you can
reach us at http://www.greenparty.org/newsletter/contact_us.php.
The Print Collective
Phil Ardery Jr
Art as Resistance
By Dahr Jamail
"Breaking Rank" by Drew Cameron and Drew Matott, 2007. Printed on a sheet of "Combat Paper," which Cameron and other U.S. veterans made by shredding, beating, and pulping the uniforms they had worn in Iraq.
"Throughout history, culture and art have always been the celebration of
freedom under oppression." - Author unknown
Soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have tough truths to tell, and it
has been well demonstrated that the establishment media does not want to
broadcast these. Given the lack of an outlet for anti-war voices in the
corporate media, many contemporary veterans and active-duty soldiers have
embraced the arts as a tool for resistance, communication and healing. They
have made use of a wide range of visual and performing arts — through theater,
poetry, painting, writing, and other creative expression — to affirm their own
opposition to the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.
and see more "Art as Resistance".
Protestors Demand Shutdown of Philadelphia's Army Experience Center
In August 2008, the United States government opened in Philadelphia's Franklin
Mills Mall the first "Army Experience Center," a $4 million high-tech
recruiting station that houses 80 video gaming stations and battle
simulations. The U.S. touts the AEC as an effort to educate. Opponents see
it as a crass attempt to sugar coat the reality of war and to entice
economically hard-pressed young people to sign up to serve as U.S. soldiers.
War correspondent Chris Hedges with the microphone at a Philadelphia rally September 12 seeking shutdown of the U.S. "Army Experience Center" in Franklin Mills Mall.
September 12, 2009 about 300 protestors marched into Franklin Mills to demand
the shutdown of U.S. Army recruiting at the AEC. They were met by
counter-protestors from the pro-war veterans group "A Gathering of Eagles" and
by police, who arrested 12 demonstrators. Chris Hedges spoke at the rally and
later reflected on the experience in his article "Stop Begging Obama and Get
Deborah Sweet reported first-hand on the protest as it unfolded. Her account
– "Shutting Down the Army Experience Center: An Effective and Important
Protest" -- includes a link to the video of Hedges's public
What the Police Won't Apologize For
By Don Fitz
On August 24, 2009, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Eastern
Missouri announced that the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners would pay
$13,500 to each of four anti-genetic engineering activists for violating their
first and fourth amendment rights and would apologize to them for police
actions in May, 2003.  That was when several hundred people gathered to
protest the World Agricultural Forum [WAF] and hold the 7th Biodevastation
Gathering to expose the racist use of genetic engineering in agriculture.
But the letter of apology is highly unlikely to address the most serious
aspects of the repression. Do not expect the letter to say anything about
helping to consolidate control of world agriculture and throwing 1 billion
people off of small farms. Don’t look for the letter to mention the role
of police in attempts to force genetically contaminated food on Africans with
immuno-compromised health. And don’t be surprised if the letter
contains not a word about St. Louis police entering into a conspiracy with
Monsanto, the FBI and corporate media to eliminate public discussion of the
potential threats of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The Road to Zelaya’s Return: Money, Guns and Social Movements in Honduras
by Benjamin Dangl
Hondurans Protest the Coup that Removed Manuel Zelaya from the Presidencial Office. Photo from Indymedia.org.
Nearly three months after being overthrown by a violent military coup,
Honduran president Manuel Zelaya has returned to Honduras. "I am here in
Tegucigalpa. I am here for the restoration of democracy, to call for
dialogue," he told reporters. The embattled road to his return tested regional
diplomacy, challenged Washington and galvanized Honduran social movements.
Who's In Charge?
Green Politics contributor Paul Kesler analyzes the power relationships that
produce disastrous U.S. national policies and concludes that "The Politicians
Are Not In Control." According to Kesler, real policy change will require
changing the rules of international finance, which only an alliance of labor
and community activists can achieve.
Read Kesler's article here.
Progressives Pay the Price for Confusing a Party with a Movement
By David Sirota
The difference between parties and movements is simple: Parties are loyal to
their own power regardless of policy agenda; movements are loyal to their own
policy agenda regardless of which party champions it. This is one of the few
enduring political axioms, and it explains why the organizations purporting to
lead an American progressive “movement” have yet to build a real
movement, much less a successful one.
A Cosmetic Cover for Occupation
Purnima Bose, writing for the September/October issue of Solidarity's Against
the Current, recounts the life history and unhappy ending for a uniquely
American creation in Afghanistan, the Kabul Beauty Academy. Bose writes, "It
is difficult not to read the ignoble demise of the Kabul Beauty Academy as a
metaphor for U.S. policy in Afghanistan. With a great deal of fanfare, good
intentions, and little actual knowledge of the local culture in spite of
decades of meddling in the country’s internal affairs, American experts
descended on Afghan soil. However long and deep the American commitment to
rebuilding Afghanistan proves to be, and with what consequences for Afghans,
remains an open question."
Read Bose's article here
Synthesis/Regeneration is produced in St. Louis and sent to members of the
Greens/Green Party USA. S/R
No. 50 is titled “Climate Economics: Sense and Nonsense.”
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The Poor Are Burdened Twice
By Vandana Shiva
The science of climate change is now clear, but the politics is very muddy.
Historically, the major polluters were the rich, industrialised countries, so
it made sense that they should pay the highest price. The Kyoto Protocol,
adopted in December 1997, set binding targets for these countries to reduce
their greenhouse-gas emissions by 5 per cent on average against 1990 levels by
2012. But by 2007, America's greenhouse-gas levels were 16 per cent higher
than 1990 levels. The American Clean Energy and Security Act, which was passed
in June, commits the US to reduce emissions to 17 per cent below 2005 levels
by 2020, yet this is just 4 per cent below 1990 levels.
The Kyoto Protocol also allows industrialised countries to trade their
allocation of carbon emissions, and to invest in carbon mitigation projects in
developing countries in exchange for Certified Emission Reduction Units, which
they can use to meet reduction targets. But emissions trading, or offsetting,
is not in fact a mechanism to reduce emissions. As the Breakthrough Institute,
an environmental think tank, has pointed out, the emissions offset in the
American act would allow "business as usual" growth in US emissions until
2030, "leading one to wonder: where's the 'cap' in 'cap and trade'?"
Continue reading by clicking here.
G20 Pittsburgh Summit – The Legacy
Members of the Green Politics collective struggled with our coverage of
September's G20 Summit in Pittsburgh. The events already are too far in the
rear view mirror to be treated as "news." Should we focus on the massive
assembly of soldiers, police, and armaments and the excessive force applied to
muffle protests? Should we decry the mainstream media's collaboration in
either demonizing or marginalizing protestors?
Finally, we decided to look for positives, and for that we are singling out
the assembly known as "Tent City." Organized by the Bail Out the People
movement, Tent City provided the staging area
for the pre-summit "March for Jobs," which brought more than 1,000 protesters
into Pittsburgh streets in the week's first G20-related demonstration.
Carrying placards bearing the image of Dr. Martin Luther King, and chanting
slogans such as “Fight for the Right to a Job,” the marchers were
generally received enthusiastically by Sunday worshipers leaving their
churches. Many of these even joined the march.
Pittsburgh women join the March for Jobs after church services.
The Rev. Thomas E. Smith, pastor of Monumental Baptist Church and one of the
organizers of the march, told the rally, “We must tell the G-20 leaders
that we reject the notion of a jobless recovery. An economic recovery that
leaves unemployment in the double digits adds insult to injury to all who have
lost their jobs and their homes during this terrible economic crisis, both in
this country and around the world.”
The contrast between a march for jobs by ordinary citizens and the ceremonious
speechmaking by the G20's heads of state, finance ministers, and central
bankers must have impressed some minds we need to change. Here
is a balanced march
report telecast on Pittsburgh's Channel 4 WTAE "Action News." And here
is some footage of the march