Monday, December 12, 2005

Why GPAX Matters

It has been a difficult five years for the Greens. The last two Presidential campaigns have separated the party in two streams of thought with a broad gulf with many more Greens stuck in the middle. Luckily, this divide is mostly concerning issues of process and strategy. How we get to where we all agree we want to go. And Greens love process. We are a very cerebral bunch. So these issues, though to an outsider seemingly insignificant, can wrap us up tighter than rubberband ball.

Too often in activism, the passionate burn out. But it is a tragedy when they burn out fighting themselves, not the corporation and empires that really need the opposition right now.

Tonight I saw that UFPJ said it wont play with ANSWER any more. And I was disappointed. I have been disappointed many times by the so called leading organizations of the peace movement. And these two factors, the GPUS philosophical divide and the fractured peace movement, reminded me of where I go to get inspired.

The Green Party of United States Peace Action Committee (GPAX).

GPAX has brought together Greens from all ends of the spectrum. They work together in a unified and respective manner. You would never know there was this divide if GPAX was your only window into GPUS. And that's a good thing.

This growing Green committee has declared the Greens' presence in the Peace movement loud and strong. From the coordination of Greens from around the country to march as one on Sept 24th, the organization of a Green Rally before the march, to the amazing projects that came out the hurricane relief, this committee is on its way to creating a growing visible Green Wave in the movement.

We need a coordinated effort to raise our visibility. We are already there and we need to make sure they see us. As a member organization of UFPJ we had to beg and plead for one speaker at the 9/24 rally. Then our speaker was bumped, and bumped, and bumped, and then was told to shorten her time. We would not have had a speaker, except that our speaker was a strong and determined Green who demanded that our voice be heard. Rebecca Rotzler, gave the crowd the message. The message that UFPJ did not promote. The message was that the Greens had the answers to end the war. That voting for the people who created the war, will not end the war.

If we want to be seen we must force the issue. If we want to be heard we need to shout loud. We must declare our presence.

As I waited outside the whitehouse on Sept 26th waiting to be arrested with my Green Party says "Troops out Now" sign, many others came up to me to tell me they were Greens too. I thought about the fact here we were all Greens. But except for my sign, you would never know. Then I looked over to Medea and the ladies. I got to give the woman credit. Medea is one smart cookie. Code Pink has created a movement that is identifiable in the flash of a hot pink skirt. Brand recognition.

We as Green could learn a lot from what Code Pink has done. Their activists are instantly recognized. I think GPAX is a great opportunity for the Greens to do the same. When we as individual Greens participate we must make sure our Green is showing. There are great peace flags on sale on the GPUS website. Some clear tape and a dowel turn the flag into a wonderfully visible statement great for rallies, marches, and parades.

So buy yourself some peace flags. Some bring them home now car magnets. And let your friends know the Greens have arrived. Let your Green Flag Fly! And next time there is a big march, just look for the Green Flags, and maybe you will find me.


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