WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party members will participate in the May 1 General Strike organized by the Occupy Movement and theMay 1 Coalition and will join thousands of union members, students, immigrants, and others across the US in the first national strike in the nation's history, with simultaneous strikes in other countries.
Rallies, marches, and picket lines are planned for over 115 cities to assert the rights of working people and democracy, in the face of growing power of financial elites over government and the lives of the"99 percent" and the threat this represents to the future of the US.
"The Occupy Movement is nonpartisan and is not affiliated with any political party, including the Green Party. But the presence of Greens in Occupy protests, including the May Day strike, is a reminder that the demands of the Occupy Movement will be represented on the ballot on Election Day. They won't be represented by the Wall Street candidates -- Republicans and Democrats -- but by Green candidates,who accept no money from corporate PACs," said Ursula Rozum, peace activist and organizer in Syracuse, NY, and Green Party candidate for Congress in New York's 24th Congressional district.
Green candidates running for office at every level, from city council to Congress and the White House, are basing their campaigns on the Green New Deal and calling for the following:
- Abolition of student loan debt: The Green Party endorsed 1TDay, the national day of action to break the link between higher education and Wall Street, marking the day on which the total amount of student loan debt in the US surpassed trillion dollars.
- An immediate halt to home foreclosures
- Democratic workplaces, democratic unions, and strengthened rights for working Americans, including job security, benefits, and livable wages; repeal of Taft-Hartley restrictions on workplace organizingImmigrants' rights: legalization for undocumented immigrants and an end to raids and deportations
- Money for jobs, education, and the social safety net, instead of wars and military contracts
- An end to the War on Drugs, criminalization of youth and people of color, and the for-profit prison system
- Creation of millions of new jobs in conservation, conversion from fossil fuels to clean energy, retrofitting of homes and buildings for energy efficiency, and other public works projects to stem the advance of climate change
- Medicare For All (single-payer national health care) and preservation of Social Security, without privatization or postponed eligibility age
- Justice for the victims of Wall Street: full investigation and prosecution of financial institutions whose fraud and recklessness triggered the 2008 economic meltdown; restoration of Glass-Steagall and other regulatory protections; break-up of "too big to fail" banks
- Repeal of 'corporate personhood' and the Supreme Court's CitizensUnited ruling: an end to the influence of corporate PAC money on elections.
The Green Party has had an active and sustained presence in the OccupyMovement, with Greens among the movement's leadership. Green presidential candidates Jill Stein and Roseanne Barr have spoken at Occupy rallies.
In California, the Green Party of Alameda County has endorsed Occupy Oakland's May Day strike and related events and will participate in the "March for Dignity and Resistance". 2010 Green gubernatorial candidate Laura Wells and others will challenge Gov.Jerry Brown on the budget (see also).
The Green Party of New York State and Park Slope Greens have endorsed Occupy Wall Street's May 1 General Strike actions. In Rochester, NY, Drew Langdon, a local Green and cooperative advocate, will lead a teach-in on worker cooperatives,and other Greens, including former mayoral and council candidate AlexWhite, are helping to organize May Day actions.
In Washington, DC, DC Statehood Greens plan to participate in the march. Party member Darryl! Moch, who is also a co-chair of the national Green Party, will perform with the DC Labor Chorus and theCharm City Labor Chorus in DC and Baltimore respectively at Occupy events on May Day. Bill Barry, three-time Green candidate for City Council, will speak at the Baltimore demonstration.