Press release from GPUS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Green Party leaders and candidates are calling for the demilitarization of civilian U.S. police departments, asserting that military police tactics have created an “occupation mentality” in many communities.
Greens said that abuses of police power and disregard for the lives of young black people were on display in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer, threats against reporters, and a display of force that turned peaceful protest into a violent confrontation in Ferguson, Missouri. Greens expressed support for the protesters.
“The murder of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson must be investigated and prosecuted aggressively, but the crisis won’t end with the punishment of an individual police officer,” said Howie Hawkins, Green candidate for governor of New York (http://www.howiehawkins.org). “Out-of-control police who respond to minor violations with overwhelming force, toleration of racist cops, siege-like conditions in some cities and city neighborhoods, and record-high incarceration – all of these are evidence of a growing police state.” (See Mr. Hawkins’ statement: “Ferguson, Militarization, Federal Jurisdiction in Police Brutality,” August 20, http://www.howiehawkins.org/ferguson_militarization_police_brutality)
Greens said that the shooting and subsequent behavior of police in Ferguson exposed an occupation mentality in which a mostly-white police force (only three black officers out of 53) and municipal government (white mayor, white police chief, one black city council member out of six) dominate a population that’s 67 percent black.
Rosa Clemente, the Green Party’s 2008 vice-presidential nominee, has published an on-the-scene report from the protests: see “Police Draw Guns on Rosa Clemente, Talib & Others in Ferguson” (August 20, http://www.gp.org/police-draw-guns-on-rosa-clemente-talib-others-in-ferguson).
See also “America: Young Black Men Have No Right to Life” by Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report, August 13, http://blackagendareport.com/content/america-young-black-men-have-no-right-life) and “Asking the Hard Questions About Ferguson” by John Halle, former Green member of the New Haven, Connecticut, Board of Alderman (CounterPunch, August 15-17, http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/15/asking-the-hard-questions-about-ferguson/).
“One sign of a police state is the use of police and prosecutors to solve everyday problems that a sane society would resolve in other ways,” said Eugene Puryear, D.C. Statehood Green Party candidate for At-Large Member of D.C. Council (http://www.EugenePuryear.com). “When jaywalking provokes a violent police response, when SWAT teams are deployed against people suspected of possessing small amounts of marijuana, then ‘law and order’ becomes a sham.”
“Democratic and Republican elected officials wanting to appear ‘tough on crime’ must be held accountable for laws and policies that have resulted in the country’s incarceration rate – per capita the highest in the world. This has been further aggravated by the Pentagon’s generous shipments of armed vehicles, military ordnance, body armor, and other wartime equipment to police departments that don’t need these things for police work,” added Mr. Puryear.
Greens listed steps that must be taken to correct police-state conditions and bring justice to the U.S. criminal justice system:
End mass incarceration and abolish the prison-industrial complex, in which private prison firms and contractors boost profits by filling up more cells, creating an economic incentive for draconian laws and criminal justice policies. (Democratic and Republican politicians accept generous contributions from the private-prison industry; Greens accept no corporate money and support an end to corporate contributions for candidates and parties.)
End racial disparities in arrests and sentencing (including the death penalty); end the school-to-prison pipeline for black, brown, and poor young people – both men and women; abolish racial profiling, “stop and frisk” policing, and harassment without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity (criminalization of “Walking While Black”).
Place restraints on police and prosecutorial power by abolishing zero tolerance, interference in judicial discretion (e.g., mandatory sentencing and “three strikes”), disproportionate police responses and charges for low-level offenses, prosecution of children as adults, and impunity for police and prosecutors who abuse their power; place police abuse cases under federal jurisdiction to eliminate conflicts of interest when local district attorneys investigate such cases.
End the militarization of police, including training in military tactics and possession of military ammunition and vehicles even in small-town police departments; outlaw overwhelming force using combat equipment in response to minor offenses and nonviolent protest.
Cancel the failed and wasteful war on drugs; end policies that treat drug abuse as a criminal instead of medical or social problem; require federal agencies to respect decriminalization statutes passed in some states and cities.
End the criminalization and harassment of immigrants (documented as well as undocumented) and transformation of border areas into military zones – most recently evident in proposals that would deny asylum to young children fleeing violence and extreme poverty in Central America.
Restore privacy and constitutional protections from government power: end the NSA’s mass surveillance dragnet; end the criminalization of whistleblowers and investigative journalists (conducted with unprecedented intensity by the Obama Administration); outlaw harassment, infiltration, and provocation directed against organizations and individuals who express dissent.
“Is Michigan one bullet away from repeating the mistakes of Ferguson, MO?”
Paul Homeniuk, Green candidate for Governor or Michigan, August 15, 2014
Hart Calls for End to Militarizing Civilian Police Departments
Bob Hart, Green candidate for the U.S. House in Ohio, August 15, 2014
Iraq, Ferguson Are Two Sides of the Same Coin: Shoot First, Ask Questions Maybe
Ian Schlakman, Green candidate for the U.S House in Maryland, August 20, 2014
The ACLU Released A Terrifying Report On All The Military Weapons US Cops Have
By Erin Fuchs, Business Insider, August 13, 2014
The Over-Policing of America: Police Overkill Has Entered the DNA of Social Policy
By Chase Madar, Introduction by Tom Engelhardt, Moyers & Company, December 9, 2013
Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?
By Jaeah Lee, August 15, 2014
Race is still America’s struggle
By Len Levitt, AM New York, August 18, 2014
Join host Anita Stewart as she spotlights a different issue specifically for women over 40 every Friday at 10:00pm. Check the Wise Woman Media blog for show dates and topics. The Wise Woman Media blog also has past shows archived. Just scroll through the topics, and when you find one you’re interested in, click the link associated with the broadcast of that show.
Guests for Friday, August 15th, 2014
Special Guest: Mnar A Muhawesh, Editor and CEO of MintPress News
For tonight’s show we welcome Mnar A. Muhawesh, the founder and editor of MintPress News, an independent online news source focusing on issues based reporting, in-depth investigations and thoughtful analysis. Mnar was the first American woman to wear the hijab while anchoring the news in American media. We will be talking about a number of issues that are in the news today such as the ongoing situation in Gaza and the West Bank, Peace in the Middle East, Feminism, Independent Journalism and much more. Read more about MintPress News here: http://www.mintpressnews.com/
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As stated on their website (http://www.womeninblack.org/en/vigil), Women in Black “is a world-wide network of women committed to peace with justice and actively opposed to injustice, war, militarism and other forms of violence.” Julia Aires, a founder of the Green Party of Florida, and former GPF co-chair, was also a founder (with Diane Kamleiter) of a Florida local WiB chapter, “Women in Black Gulfcoast.” Below is a statement co-authored by members of WiB Baltimore(MD), Union Square(NY) and Bay Area (CA).
U.S. Women In Black Say
U.S. Policy on Israel Must Change:
END U.S. COMPLICITY IN ISRAELI OCCUPATION AND WAR!
Israel’s massacre of Gaza civilians and massive destruction of homes, hospitals, schools and public works cannot be justified. The most recent attacks on Gaza have killed and injured many thousands of women, children, and non-combatant men. This tiny, impoverished territory, which Israel first occupied and over which it continues to exercise virtually total military control, has been described as “the world’s largest open-air prison.” Closed borders make it impossible for civilians fleeing Israel’s bombings to escape. Israel’s previous attacks and ongoing violations of international law and Palestinian human rights have increased the suffering immeasurably. (more…)
Guests for 25 July 2014
Special Guest: Joanne and Michelle, Green Party members, and activists from central Florida.
Join us for this week’s show and an engaging conversation on a path to peace with Joann and Michelle. Joann is currently an educator and a military veteran who worked in Intelligence Operations. Michelle is a Registered Nurse, a Humanitarian, Permaculture Gardener and a Home-Schooling Mom. Both think that a lasting peace is essential for our communities, our country and our country’s Foreign Policy.
Tune in at 10:00pm EDT, 9:00pm CDT here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/here-be-monsters/2014/07/26/wise-women-media-for-72514-a-path-to-peace-w-michelle-and-joann (more…)
If you are unable to make it to the GPUS National Meeting, you can watch via live video Stream. You can also participate by discussing the issues with Greens across the nation via text. Just click the link below.
Thursday July 24 at 5:00pm EDT thru Sunday July 27
Thank you Craig Seeman for sharing this on the GPFL Facebook page.