Friday, December 16, 2005

NEWS ADVISORY Green Party anti-war leader to challenge Sen. Feinstein in California

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 15, 2005
Contact: Cres Vellucci, campaign press secretary,

Attention: Assignment Desk

SF anti-war leader calls for 'referendum' on Iraq, will officially launch 'A Million Votes for Peace' campaign to unseat Dianne Feinstein

SAN FRANCISCO - A former organizer for Ralph Nader's presidential campaign and co-author of the "College Not Combat" initiative on the San Francisco ballot last month will formally declare his candidacy for US Senate Thursday to unseat longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein - and use the campaign as a referendum on the war and occupation in Iraq.

Todd Chretien, 36, of Oakland, will launch his "A Million Votes for Peace" campaign at news conference and major rally of his supporters on THURSDAY, 10 a.m. at Feinstein's office (1 Post
Street in San Francisco).

Mr. Chretien will be joined by anti-war activists from throughout California, including Green Party leaders Matt Gonzalez, Peter Camejo, Renee Saucedo and Aimee Allison, Richmond City Councilwoman Gayle McGlaughlin, National Council of Arab Americans representative Dr. Jess Ghannam and Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) president Nativo Lopez, among others.

Mr. Chretien, who has said the current elections in Iraq will "solve nothing," will comment on results from the elections during his Thursday news conference.

He will also comment on Feinstein's support for the USA Patriot Act, her opposition to immigrant drivers licenses, gay marriage and her support for the death penalty.

The Green Party intends to run its most ambitious statewide race ever - because the Republican Party has not yet fielded a candidate against Sen. Feinstein, it raises the possibility of a two-person, Green v. Democrat race.


Distributed by the Green Party of the United

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

WI GREEN RELEASE Milwaukee, Madison, other towns likely to vote on antiwar ref.

Wisconsin Green Party

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 12, 2005

Ruth Weill, Co-chair, Wisconsin Green Party, 414-562-6097, 414-350-2107
Jeff Peterson, Coordinator, Bring the Troops Home Campaign, 715-472-2728

Milwaukee, Madison and 12 other communities likely to vote on Bringing the Troops Home

In April the Wisconsin Green Party membership voted to initiate an effort to put a Bring the Troops Home question on ballots throughout Wisconsin. Those efforts have been productive. Madison will have such a question on the ballot in April, and Milwaukee is likely to in November. At least twelve other communities in Wisconsin will have the question on their April ballots as well.

“This successful exercise in democracy is the result of a state coalition - church groups, peace and justice organizations, veterans, and concerned citizens have worked hard to bring this question to the voters,” said Jeff Peterson, coordinator of the Bring the Troops Home Coalition, and a member of the Wisconsin Green Party. “The effort has really taken off, as grassroots efforts do.”

On Tuesday, the Milwaukee Common Council voted to put this question on the November ballot. “Shall the United States commence a humane, orderly, rapid and comprehensive withdrawal of United States military personnel and bases from Iraq?” Eight aldermen voted in favor, and 7 against, with 1 abstention. A last-minute move by Alderman. Jim Bohl postponed the final decision until the next Common Council meeting, scheduled for Jan. 18.

“We are glad to see that the Milwaukee Common Council has voted to give people a voice on the issue of Iraq,” said Ruth Weill, Co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party and resident of Milwaukee. “The war in Iraq affects our communities. Our loved ones are deployed there, and our taxes are spent on the war, rather than on health care, education, and security at home. We support giving people a say about the policies that affect them so deeply. We hope that the vote on January 18th will again favor giving Milwaukee voters a voice on this issue.”

Most local referendum efforts are utilizing a little-used state statute (9.20) that provides a process by which citizens may petition to have a resolution either adopted by their city council or put before voters in a referendum. Petitioners in Algoma, Amery, Casco, Ephraim, Egg Harbor, Evansville, Forestville, Kewaunee, LaCrosse, Luxemburg, Madison, Shorewood, Sister Bay, and Sturgeon Bay have collected the required number of signatures, and have turned their petitions in to their local Common Councils.

In Frederic and Monona, the required number of signatures has been collected, but the petitions have not yet been turned in. Monona petitioners will be turning their signatures in Wednesday morning.

Activists in cities such as Green Bay and Milwaukee are asking their Common Councils to allow voters to weigh in on this issue.

Citizens in Manitowoc County asked the Manitowoc County Board to put the question on the ballot countywide in April, but the Legislative Committee of the Manitowoc County Board of Supervisors declined to act on the proposal and the effort died. Citizens in the cities of Manitowoc and Two Rivers are circulating petitions to put a Bring the Troops Home question on the ballot in those two communities.

“It strikes me as ironic that while United States troops are, according to President Bush, fighting to bring democracy to Iraq, the recent decision by the Manitowoc County Board of Supervisors Legislative Committee has limited democracy in our county,” wrote Mary Thiesen, a resident of Manitowoc County, in a letter to the editor in the Herald Times Reporter, a Manitowoc paper.

More than 16 other communities are working to get an opportunity to vote on bringing the troops home from Iraq. Oshkosh and Sawyer County are among them.

The Wisconsin Green Party stands on the four pillars of Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Grassroots Democracy, and Nonviolence.
For more
information, visit <>. The Green Party of
the United States' website is <>.

For more information on the Bring the Troops Home campaign, visit
<> or

Distributed by the Green Party of the United States

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.