Tag Archives: Green Rainbows

The Green Rainbow Party Convention: 5-21-16

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Gordon Davis, center, at a Green Rainbow workshop; it was one of several held during the political party’s recent convention.

For the “Third Party,” Neither Trump Nor Clinton

By Gordon Davis

The Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts held its annual convention May 21 in Worcester.

The Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts is the official state affiliate of the Green Party US. The national Green Party has made unofficial overtures to Senator Bernie Sanders to form a left-of-center third party should he not win the Democratic nomination.

There was some discussion of how the Reds (Green for Republican) and the Blues (Democrats) were breaking up, similarly to what happed to the Whigs before President Lincoln. I do not think this is the election of the third party. It might, however, be soon.

Jill Stein of Lexington is the favorite daughter of the Green Rainbows. All of its delegates seemingly are committed to Dr. Stein for the national convention of the Greens in Houston, TX, in August. The national Green Party platform included basic income for all regardless of work status, single payer health insurance similar to Medicare,  universal good free public education from kindergarten through college, and replacement of fossil fuels by renewable fuels.
 
The Green Rainbow convention also endorsed the candidacy of Charlene DiCalogero, running for state rep in Worcester’s 14th District and Danny Factor, vying for state rep in Worcester’s 12th District.

There were two informational speakers at the convention:

The first was Jonathan Simon who talked about electric vote counting. He pointed out statistical anomalies between the hand counted ballots and electronically counted ballots. The software for the electronic counters is proprietary, and no election commission anywhere can review the software. Even in Massachusetts the Secretary of State does not allow a comparison of hand counted ballots to the quantity of votes counted electronically.

The second speaker was Mary Lawrence who spoke on animal rights. She made an interesting observation. Ms. Lawrence said when farm animals are treated badly, the workers on those farms are also treated badly. This bad treatment eventually finds its way into society.
      
The Green Rainbow Party adopted a support resolution for BlackLives Matter during its 2015 convention. This was well ahead of the Democratic and Republican parties. As a part of this convention, the Green Rainbows organized a workshop on racism and BlackLives Matter.  The workshop leader was scheduled to be Julius Jones, who confronted Secretary Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire last year. Unfortunately, he had to cancel.

Something of a crisis was handled well by the convention coordinator, David Spanagel. He recruited Darlene Elias, a leader of the BlackLives Matter civil rights movement in Holyoke. A local activist from Worcester assisted her.  The discussion was energized and focused on how to interrupt offense behavior. Merelice, a town representative, from Brookline spoke of her efforts to fight racism at City Hall. 

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Merelice, standing, discussed efforts to eliminate racism in her town.

Other workshops included a discussion of the fight against the gas pipelines through Massachusetts and a workshop on global climate change.

The upcoming presidential election will be a test for the Greens nationally. The party may grow as more people express their disgust for candidate Donald Trump and their mistrust of candidate Hillary Clinton. Regardless, the Green Rainbows seem on the verge of a break-through on several local levels.

Gordy’s parked in A.I: Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts holds its regional convention at the WPL!

Green Rainbows and the Quakers

By Gordon Davis

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The Green Rainbows met at the Worcester Public Library, located at 3 Salem Square
 
The Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts held its regional convention yesterday to select state committee members. The state committee sets the policies for the Green Rainbows.

At the convention the presenter from the Society of Friends (Quakers) Anti-Mass Incarceration Network stole the show with his strong condemnation of the unnecessary and unfair incarceration of millions of people in the United States.

Phil said the USA has five percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. More than any so called authoritarian country or feudal country on earth!

He also condemned indefinite or prolonged solitary confinement as counterproductive and torture.

He referred to a United Nation protocol that solitary confinement for greater than 15 days is torture.

Phil also said most of the arrests are for non-violent “crimes” such as drug possession. He pointed out that for decades many of the so called drug crimes were no crimes at all. Before the early 20th century there was no prohibition on any drug. Each of the drug laws prohibition had at least a partial basis in race. 

The presenter pointed out that modern drug laws are a continuation of the slave plantation mentality of the majority society. After the Reconstruction Period in US history the vagrancy laws were enacted to prevent Black people who had little or no resources from travelling to look for work. These laws were a means to repopulate the prison labor system, especially in the Southern United States. 

The modern day drug laws and anti-panhandling laws to some extent are a continuation of the system to keep the prisons full.

Eileen, an activist from Northern Worcester County, spoke about gas pipelines being built in Massachusetts. Her message was new gas pipelines are not needed and that they would be environmentally harmful.

What she said was not entirely encouraging, as it seems to be a done deal that the pipelines in the Boston area are a done deal. However, the pipeline in Northern Worcester County was likely going to be diverted through New Hampshire.

Brian, a town representative from Shrewsbury, spoke on the use of citizen petitions to have issues placed on the Town agenda.

Dave, a co chair of the Nashua River Green Rainbows Chapter, reported that Jill Stein got 50 percent of the primary vote in the March 1, 2016, state election. She will get half of the ten delegates from Massachusetts committed to her at the Green Party US national convention in Houston, TX.

This will be Dr. Stein’s second run for President of the United States. She, in the 2012 presidential election, received the highest number of popular votes that any woman had received in any previous Presidential election. I wish her well this time around, although she will be overshadowed by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump!

Green-Rainbows Awards

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Julius Jones and Elaine Mroz

By Gordon Davis

Every two years the Green Rainbow Party honors organizations and people, who through their activism, have promoted some or all of the Green-Rainbows’ positions, including those of fighting racism, the environment, and workers’ democracy. On September 30, at ceremonies in O’Connor‘s Restaurant, Worcester Roots and Elaine Mroz received the awards.

The awards were somewhat unusual, painted tins with growing herbs. I suppose these must have been consensus driven and environment-friendly. When I first saw them I thought them to be a part of the restaurant’s décor! Regardless, they are something to write home about or mention in this essay.

Ms. Mroz received her award because of her work in opposing the gas pipeline planned for northern Massachusetts. She and others have made efforts to block the pipeline, based on their assertions that the pipeline will cause great harm and it is unneeded to meet the energy requirements of New England. Ms. Mroz said that the pipeline would increase fracking and that the natural gas would be sent to ports in New England to be shipped overseas. She spoke of how the pipeline was taking open spaces by eminent domain.

The award for Worcester Roots was accepted by Mr. Julius Jones, its co-director. Worcester Roots is located at Stone Soup on King Street, in Worcester. It is to some extent an incubation center from which businesses (especially co-operatives) develop.  It also does work in the area of urban farming; it has a new hydroponic green house which should soon be operation. Toxic Soil Busters is another part of Worcester Roots’ work. Many of the people in Worcester Roots are teenagers.

Mr. Jones has some notoriety outside of Worcester Roots. He has been active in the Community United Collective which has taken a lead in the Black Lives Matter new civil rights movement. He has subsequently been organizing a group which has taken the name “BlackLives Matter.” Mr. Jones and the group have met with presidential candidate and former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to talk about BlackLives Matter issues. He has also appeared on several national TV shows and has been interviewed by newspapers of record, such as the New York Times.

When asked his thoughts about BlackLives Matter, Mr. Jones said that he felt he has made a difference by precipitating discussion on the issues of race and police misconduct. In regards to his meeting with presidential candidate Clinton, Mr. Jones gave the surprising remark that he thought both Ms. Clinton and the BlackLives Matter movement benefited! 

David Spanagel is the male co chair of the Nashua River Chapter of Green Rainbow Party. The Nashua River Green Rainbow Chapter includes Worcester and northern Worcester County. He gave a history of the party. It has two points of origin. The Green Party of Massachusetts was created in 2003 with the merger of the Rainbow Coalition Party and the Green Party of Massachusetts. In 1983 Mel King formed the Rainbow Coalition in Massachusetts; the name was later taken by Jesse Jackson for his 1988 presidential campaign.  At the same time there were three separate groups calling themselves the Green Party in Massachusetts. Those three parties merged and then amalgamated Green Party merged with the Rainbow Coalition Parties establishing the present Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts affiliated with the national Green Party.  

Between now and the next awards event is the presidential elections. I know that Jill Stein, favorite daughter of the Green Rainbows, and former Georgia congresswomen Cynthia McKinney are vying for the Green Party nomination, a welcomed contrast to Trump vs. Clinton.