As the Occupy movement exists so does the Green Party, sharing an affinity of peace, ecology, justice, and democracy.
For two months, there has been a new expression of the will of the people. Occupy Wall Street, along with hundreds of other occupations across this nation, is vital to the future for two reasons. First, it is important as the articulation of the immense dissatisfaction of those who still find themselves unable to survive in this failing economy. A gigantic income inequality, the inordinate power that corporations have over our democratic process, and the calls for austerity that push more people into poverty with less economic rights all demonstrate that the status quo is untenable. Second, through the direct democracy of the General Assemblies that are practiced at each occupation, we find that new alternative political and economic forms are viable and possible. This new democracy from the streets is how the grievances, demands, and solutions of the protesters are formulated rather than prefabricated by corporate backers such as the Koch brothers. What is being seen is the actualization of ideas from Buckminster Fuller and Mario Savio. Fuller proposed that the best way to convince someone would be to create a working model that makes the old system obsolete. Savio stated that when the machine becomes so odious it becomes necessary to put bodies upon the gears to make it stop. This prefiguration and nonviolent civil disobedience makes this a special moment in American history. The movement is made up of hard working people who played by the rules but the economy failed them. Truly, the U.S. is at a pivot point of change in its history.
The Green Party supports and stands in solidarity with the Occupy movement, that began with Occupy Wall Street on September 17th and has grown to hundreds of cities across the United States and over 950 cities across the globe. The Green Party is based on principles such as grassroots democracy, community economics, and decentralization of power. One finds in this growing and lasting movement a congruence of the same principles and much more. The Occupy movement is not just a demonstration of dissatisfaction with those in power in our government and our economy. What is also vital to this movement is the internal democratic process practiced by the General Assemblies. This process offers a new political model for society that can spread throughout the country, addressing the problems that all citizens face in the government and economy while forming new structures of autonomy in all facets of daily life. This is in marked contrast to the limited ideology of the Tea Party that has been consistently backed by corporate funding and supplied with a prefabricated agenda and talking points from such corporate organizations as Americans For Prosperity. The internal democratic process of the various occupations is coupled with the formation of food distribution systems, medical services, and libraries at each protest site, further showing that this is something quite new in the political and economic landscape. With its many unique characteristics, the movement also does have historical precedents such as the Bonus Army of the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement of the early 1960’s, and the worldwide protests during the Spring of 1968. Those who wish to stereotype these protesters as merely spoiled lazy students only will be disproven by such evidence seen at the tumblr called “We Are The 99 Percent” which posts the real life stories of hard working people who tried to play by the rules but find the economy failing them. The Green Party is the only existing political party that is able to fully comprehend the political and economic context that has resulted in such harsh conditions for fellow citizens. What the movement has been driving home through nonviolent civil disobedience, the Green Party has been talking about for decades. As the Occupy movement has grown and garnered more media attention, there has already been inclinations for it to be coopted by the two-party system, but the movement is structured in such a way as to avoid this weakening. The Green Party has been the only political party that has shown actual support through actions rather than mere talk, and there is hope that through prolonged cooperation the members of the movement will see that the Green Party and the Occupy movement are naturally aligned not by political gain but by a vision for a better future. Therefore, in concordance with the overall support, the Green Party also supports the upcoming and continuing occupations throughout these United States.
The process of resistance and creation involves an unplugging from the old order and a development of a new order that allows full self-determination. People have transferred their funds out of corporate banks and into credit unions. They have also chosen to work and buy from cooperative businesses rather than corporations. The next logical step would be to leave the two-party system that is backed and controlled by corporate donors in order to engage in a truly independent political party such as the Green Party. All three actions are acts of autonomy, and can mutally support each other in creating a new world in the shell of the old. The Occupy movement, as the immediate action of resistance through prefiguration, will hopefully realize the parallel actions of financial, business, and political independence. At that point, it will discover that the Green Party is the best partner they could ever have, a partner that is fully aware of the process of cooptation in order to neutralize a movement but has still fought to be the true alternative to the status quo. The difference that makes a difference.