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October/November 2009
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The Original Green Party
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Dear Reader,

“…[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 corporations.

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: For single-payer national health insurance in the U.S., to the October 17th National Day of Demonstrations against the war in Afghanistan, and to 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.

In Solidarity,
The Print Collective

Phil Ardery Jr
Devin Ceartas
Barbara Chicherio
Elizabeth Fattah
Wes Wagar

Art as Resistance

By Dahr Jamail

Art 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.

Continue reading 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.

Art by Dahr Jamail 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 Mad".

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 address.

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. [1] 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).

Continue reading.

The Road to Zelaya’s Return: Money, Guns and Social Movements in Honduras

by Benjamin Dangl

Art by Dahr Jamail 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.

Continue reading.

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.

Continue reading.

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

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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.

Art by Dahr Jamail 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 itself.

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