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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ex-Congresswoman urges third-party support

At Green Party event in W-B, Cynthia McKinney says black voters should review options.

Former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney meets local activists and members of the Luzerne County Green Party at a fundraiser.
Clark Van Orden/The Times Leader
Times Leader Photo Store

WILKES-BARRE – Possibly portending a party switch, former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney said that black voters must reconsider their blanket support for Democratic candidates and preached “principles over party” at a sparsely attended meeting of the Luzerne County Green Party on Tuesday afternoon at the Grapevine Grille.

Arriving somewhat beyond fashionably late after appearing on a local talk radio show, McKinney, flanked by county Green Party co-chairman Carl Romanelli, worked the 20-person crowd. The event was timed oddly to match McKinney’s traveling schedule, Romanelli said.

Several local activists and aspiring Green Party politicians were there, including Ron Felton, president of the Wilkes-Barre Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and U.S. congressional candidate John Murphy.

McKinney, a Georgia Democrat, served in the House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003, and from 2005 to 2007. She lost in the 2006 Democratic primary.

McKinney repeatedly railed against her party, saying Democrats “didn’t even fight for your right to vote and your right to representation” in reference to the disenfranchisement of black voters in the 2000 Florida presidential election.

She suggested that black voters, 90 percent of whom vote Democratic, should consider third parties.

“We have to be willing to do something that we’ve never done before so that we can get some things we’ve never had before,” she said.

Black support would “instantly” create a three-party system, Romanelli said.
“It’s not a white person’s party any more than it’s a man’s party or a woman’s party,” said Murphy, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Lancaster.

He joked that Democrats and Republicans have merged to create the Democratic Republican United National Committee, or DRUNC. “It’s one drunken, corporate party,” he said.

The arguments struck a chord with Felton. “I absolutely do believe that the time is right for a third party because people are frustrated,” he said. “Maybe African-Americans can help the Green Party and other parties to show our discontent … for the parties and the status quo.”

After conquering slavery and segregation, he said, “the next big triumph for us (black American citizens) as a people is to become more politically active.”

“The Democratic Party is where social movements go to die,” Murphy said.
Frustration was also voiced at an inability to control media depictions. The Rev. Kenneth Burnett of Williamsport said they’d likely be portrayed as “a bunch of nuts who got together at a restaurant and talked about revolution.” To prevent such distortion, McKinney publicly addressed a reporter, demanding that the account be “accurately reflective of what happened here.”

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Cynthia McKinney stumps for Molison City Council Campaign

Alfred Molison, Green Party
Houston City Council Candidate

Former Georgia Congresswoman Does Joint Fundraiser in Houston

Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney attended a joint fundraiser hosted by the Alfred Molison for Houston City Council campaign. The event was hosted at the Houston Shrine of the Black Madonna, Friday evening, August 3rd, 2007 and raised contributions from fifty plus Houstonians to benefit the debt retirement effort for Ms. McKinney's 2006 Congressional campaign, as well as Mr. Molison's 2007 bid for a seat on Houston City Council.

"It was distressing to hear her war stories from the front lines on Capitol Hill about monied interests undermining the aspirations of the American people," said Molison, candidate for Houston City Council, District C, an employee of the Social Security Administration who cochairs the Harris County Green Party. "Even so, I found her speech exciting and inspiring. I really appreciate that Cynthia took the time to drive from Atlanta to support our efforts to bring to the citizens of Houston a living wage, vigorous enforcement of air pollution laws and improved access to health care."

Cynthia McKinney served six terms in the U.S. Congress representing first Georgia's Eleventh, then its Fourth Congressional Districts. She was defeated in the 2002 Democrat Primary. "Heroes don't wear medals, they wear scars," Ms. McKinney told the crowd, as she described how the '02 voter turnout hit historic levels, swelled by the cross-over of voters who have traditionally voted for Republicans -- a practice legal only in Georgia and a small handful of other states which provide for open primaries.

McKinney attracted popular support but vehement opposition from corporate contributors for publicly questioning, given the reports of intelligence warnings, what the Bush administration knew and when they knew it with respect to the attacks on September 11th, 2001. She has also questioned Defense Secretary Rumsfeld on the $2+ trillion of missing Pentagon money and has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration's war plans and the profiteering of his corporate contributors since prior to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Its vital that we remove corporate influence from public policy making and that we have a transparent election process," said Molison. Molison has advocated public financing of political campaigns and like McKinney has campaigned for paper ballots to restore transparency and integrity to the election process. "The campaign contributions of war profiteers have corrupted the U.S. Congress and those of the petroleum industry have corrupted our City Council. From top to bottom its time we took our Democracy back."
For further information, contact: Alfred Molison, 713-726-9009, Green Party Candidate for Houston City Council or Bryce Parker, 713-877-0917,

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Green Leaders call attention to the racially motivated case of the 'Jena Six' in Louisiana

Malik Rahim co-founder of Common Ground Collective in New Orleans
Greens urge far-reaching steps in the US justice system to correct
biases against African Americans, Latinos, and poor people, and
to end record US incarceration rates

WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders called the US's high percentages of people in prison and racial disparities in incarceration a "shame on America" and urged dramatic steps to reverse the criminalization of large numbers of Americans.

Greens expressed special alarm at recent cases that have revealed systematic racial bias in law enforcement and sentencing, including the prosecution of six black high school students in Jena, Louisiana, for fighting after racial tensions sparked by the display of three nooses in a schoolyard in 2006
The students initially faced 100-year sentences for attempted murder after an incident that many believe should have led to suspensions from school. An all-white jury convicted one of the students, who now faces a 22-year prison term. No white students were prosecuted.

"The case of the Jena Six is emblematic of how people of color in the US face prosecution and sentencing," said Clifford Thornton, Green candidate for Governor of Connecticut in 2006 and co-founder of Efficacy, Inc. , which promotes major reforms in drug policy. "The Jena Six prosecution is one of the more blatant and scandalous examples of how our justice system regularly criminalizes black and brown people -- especially children."

Greens cited a recent study by the Sentencing Project, which revealed severe disparities based on race and ethnicity in incarceration, with African Americans imprisoned at over five times the rate of whites and Latinos imprisoned at nearly double the white rate. Greens further noted that America has 5% of the world's population and 25% of all the world's prisoners, far surpassing Russia, China, and North Korea.

Green leaders listed several urgent measures to overhaul the justice system:

• Federal monitoring of prosecutorial practices and sentencing patterns in all jurisdictions where such disparities are evident, in accord with civil rights laws.

• Cancellation of the war on drugs, which Greens have called "a war on youth and people of color" . According to the DEA, FBI, Department of Justice, police agencies, and numerous public interest groups and researchers, 72% of all illegal drug users and most of those involved in the drug trade are white, while African-Americans make up only 13% of all illegal drug users and a tiny percentage of drug importers. Despite these numbers, the overwhelming percentage of those incarcerated for drugs are black.

• Abolition of the death penalty. "The death penalty is already barbaric and we know that it has been applied in many cases in which people convicted and executed were later exonerated," said Alfred Molison, Co-Chair Green Party Black Caucus . "But the death penalty should also be abolished because black, brown, and poor white people disproportionately get executed. When those who can't afford to defend themselves adequately in court are targeted for the ultimate and irreversible punishment, the punishment itself becomes murder."

• Repeal of zero tolerance and mandatory sentencing statutes, which enlarge the power of prosecutors and erode judicial discretion.

• An end to abuses of the plea-bargaining system, which have resulted in the imprisonment of innocent people who lack the financial resources to defend themselves sufficiently in court.

• An end to the privatization of the prison system, which creates economic incentives to put more people behind bars, since corporate prison owners and contractors increase their profits when more cells are filled up. Greens have drawn links between privatized prisons and draconian drug laws, the targeting of poor people and people of color for prosecution, mandatory and severe sentencing, high death penalty rates in some states, and other policies.

"We ask Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco to step in and overturn the Jena Six convictions," said Diane F. White, Pennsylvania delegate to the Green Party's National Committee, Acting Corresponding Secretary for the Black Caucus, and "Dismantling Racism Ally." "The state of our justice system should provoke outrage from every American who has some sense of real justice. Democrats and Republicans have tolerated racial bias, unfair sentencing practices, and abuses in our courts and prisons for too long. The US imprisons more of its population than any other country in the world. We can no longer trust them to correct these injustices. The Green Party exists because we need a political party, candidates, and elected officeholders to reverse bipartisan laws and policies that have turned record numbers of Americans, especially African Americans and Latinos, into inmates."


Green Party of the United States

202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193

• Green Party News Center

• Green Party Speakers Bureau

• 2007 national Green Party meeting in Reading, Pa.: video footage,
blog and media coverage

Green Party Black Caucus

"Study shows racial disparities in prison"
By David Pitt, Associated Press, July 18, 2007

'Open Letter to Michael Moore' from the Green Party on 'Sicko,' health
care reform

~ END ~

12 min video featuring Asa Gordon on MAP Civil Action "Democratizing the Electoral College"

Political Prisoners

August 2, 2007--Imam Jamil Al-Amin has been moved to federal custody!

Correspondence with the commissioner should be put on hold for now, updates will be announced as they occur

Please keep the Imam and his family in your thoughts and prayers

Read the details on his transfer

(the former H. Rap Brown)
547 West End Pl. SW
ATLANTA, GA. 30310

Real killer confesses--again--to the killing of Kinchen--Atlanta deputy sheriff for whose shooting death Imam Jamil was convicted and sentenced to life in prison! The State refuses to consider his confession, while continuing to keep Imam Jamil wrongfully imprisoned and isolated.




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