Philip Hufford, Colorado
Colorado Greens mourns the loss of one of their founding members. Philip Hufford, who passed away from cancer on October 3rd, 1998 at age 50.
Hufford was the first Colorado Green candidate for governor, in 1994. He chaired the Denver Region Greens for years and focused on toxic waste
issues, particularly a U.S. Army chemical weapons site near Denver. His background with labor, and his experience as Rocky Mountain Regional Director of the Fair Trade Campaign in opposition to NAFTA a few years back, meant that he brought more organizing experience to the Greens than almost any other party member. His commitment to a broad conception of Green Politics was strong and is one of his legacies in Colorado Green politics.
The will to fight the good fight was deep in Hufford. Near the end, though almost wheelchair-bound, he came to the party’s June, 1998 nominating convention, and operated the tape recording of that event. Soon afterwards there was a reunion at Hufford’s place, which drew Greens whose family or work life had taken them out of active Green work. Despite knowing that Hufford’s time was short, the party was a genuine celebration, as well as a farewell. Hufford is survived by his wife, Linda Gore.
Greens in Colorado and throughout the US, will sorely miss Phil’s activism, experience and advice. But his inspiration will remain with us all.
Walt Bresette, Wisconsin
Long-time northwestern Wisconsin Green organizer Walt Bresette, an Anishinabe peace and justice advocate, died February 21 from a heart attack while visiting friends. A member of the Loon Clan, the 51-year-old Red Cliff Chippewa defended treaty rights and fought to prevent metallic sulfide mining, and to prevent acid from a mining operation being shipped across the state.
A US Army veteran, Bresette was a co-founder of the Witness for Nonviolence, Midwest Treaty Network, Anishinaabe Niijii, Lake Superior Greens, Wisconsin Greens, and was an inspiration to many others.
He was an elegant speaker and writer. Together with Rick Whaley, Bresette wrote “Walleye Warriors: An Effective Alliance Against Racism and for the Earth” The book tells the story about the interracial alliance that rose up in the 1980s at Wisconsin boat landings to protect Chippewa spearfishing, sovereignty, the land, and the water.
Walter and his wife Cass Joy ran a native crafts and art business called the Buffalo Bay Trading Company until a few years ago on the Red Cliff Chippewa Reservation. Their children are Claudia, Katie, and Robin.
At a meeting in Florida during the 1980s, Bresette received a special gift from an alert and agile old woman. It was the war club belonging to the Sauk leader Black Hawk, who more than a hundred and fifty years earlier fought the US Army trying to move him and his people from their homeland. Bresette carried the club to ceremonies, boat landings, mining protests, and schools and churches until his death.
“He was like the north star,” a friend says, ” He held up the sky over northern Wisconsin and the people followed him.”
Marc Sharon, California
A Russian émigré who founded the Westside Greens in the Santa Monica/Los Angeles area in 1988, Marc Sharon passed away in West Los Angeles in October, 1998. He admitted to being over 90. Fifty years earlier, he worked with Leon Trotsky in Norway.
Sharon’s lifetime that took him from Russia, around Europe (including fighting in the Spanish Civil War), New York and San Francisco, before settling finally in Venice, California.
Sharon hosted many Green meetings in the community room of his senior affordable housing building. He remained very sharp of mind until the end, always focusing on strategy. He was a voracious reader, and kept abreast of the Greens in Europe as well as the US. In 1990, he represented US Greens to the European Green Coordination meeting in Bonn, West Germany.