The Power of Green

By Naomi Canaan, Green Party of New York State

State Delegates of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) were joined by Greens from Canada, Brazil, New Zealand and Europe at the GP-US Annual Meeting held this past July in Reading, Pa.

From Brazil, Green delegates heard about the damaging neo-conservatives’ blueprint for bio-diesel production. The plan strips generations-old farmland used for a variety of food production and turns these family and village farms into sugar cane fields.

The corporate and government plunge into the lucrative bio-diesel industry by using giant agribusiness sugarcane production is destabilizing towns in Brazil. It is systematically deforesting the land up to and including the Amazon. It is also promoting cheap abusive labor practices, all under a protective government umbrella woven by global corporate agreements and practices.

Canadian Greens spoke about the threat posed by the Security and Prosperity Part nership of North America, which could turn North America into one gigantic shopping mall supplied by giant super highway corridors. This highway would include six lanes to be designated exclusively for trucks and would crisscross North America. The project would all be run by supernational entities using cheap non-union labor. These supernational entities function and operate outside governments, and apparently hide behind laws they themselves have helped to write.

Reporting from America, Green committee members from finance/fundraising to strategic planning/organization to media, brought into focus past accomplishments and future challenges. What became clear from in-depth committee reports and workshops, such as the one on “undoing racism,” augmented by discussions amongst the delegates themselves, is that the Green Party is the only political entity standing against the destructive impact created by the Demo cratic/Republican duopoly.

Furthermore, the Green Party is setting the agenda for the twenty-first century, from anti-war activism against the illegal war in Iraq and the pending one in Iran, to global warming and national health care. Green Party values are now in the conscious flow of the everyday vernacular; so that now global warming is a catchword used by every politician seeking election. Impeachment is now on the lips of the majority of American voters – thanks in part to diligent Greens.

The Green Party has grown in the United States to the point that its influence and agenda can be heard in the words of newscasters and can be seen printed in local comic strips.

In Reading ten prospective candidates for the presidency of the United States and one prospective candidate for the office of Vice President came to speak to Green delegates asking for the Green Party nomination. This is the first time so many people came forward so soon and so determined in the race, seeking the Green Party nomination. Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney also spoke at the meeting although they did not say they were candidates at that point. Politicians, the press and members of the Green Party itself are viewing the Green Party as a political powerhouse capable of determining policy — a national political party with clout, impact and purpose.

It would take 40 million votes to get a Green into the White House in 2008. With the commitment GPUS made at GP Nation al Meeting in Reading, to attain ballot access in all 50 states and D.C., the Green Party is going into the Quad rennial Presidential Nominating Convention next year ready to take on its biggest battle yet, a Green choice for president across the entire country in 2008.