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More on Greens Nancy Oden

"misleading statements being put out by one Nancy Oden need rapid rumor control"
Sent to paracelsus list

Hi all,

I hate talking about individuals on a list like this, but the misleading statements being put out by one Nancy Oden need rapid rumor control. Defending her half-truths would make us look silly.

I got to meet Nancy three years ago when she was in Seattle for the national committee meeting of the activist organization known as "the Greens/Green Party USA," which should not be confused with the national electoral organization, "the Green Party of the United States," which nominated Ralph Nader for President and helped get him on the ballot in 44 states.

Nancy was incredibly rude to her fellow activists. She talked endlessly about how mean the Maine Green Party had been to her, and about how evil the Greens from "that other Green organization" were. I dismissed her as a run-of-the-mill kook.

Then, this past spring, she somehow got elected to the three-member Coordinating Committee of G/GPUSA. Her tenure involved a string of 2-1 decisions taking authority away from the larger Green National Committee, and shutting down various processes in the bylaws that were used to try to overrule her. Eleven of the 13 state parties then affiliated with G/GPUSA had called for a membership referendum on the "Boston Proposal for Unity." (Only six are needed to call such a referendum.) Nancy used her power on the CC to prevent any money being spent to hold the referendum, and continually threatened to fire the two staffers who were trying their best to obey the bylaws. To say that Nancy was abusive toward the staff would be an understatement.

When the pro-unity supermajority was unable to ever get a vote called on the Boston Proposal, most of the state parties started disaffiliating. G/GPUSA is now down to four state parties, two of which are still in the process of disaffiliation.

Meanwhile, GP-US, which is expected to finally be recognized as "the national committee of the Green Party" by the Federal Elections Commission some time in the next two weeks, has 33 affiliated state parties.

Nancy Oden got elected to the G/GPUSA CC on a platform of "real democracy, where We the People ..." Instead, she ran the organization with an iron fist and sent nearly everyone fleeing to more productive ground.

Nancy's latest heavy-handed rhetoric does not match up with what I've been reading in the Bangor news. She was not targeted at the airport because she was a leader of the G/GPUSA. She was targeted because she was rude to the security officers. Indeed, the FBI say they had no idea who she was. Other Green Party leaders have had no trouble whatsoever flying.

Nancy was not banned from flying. She was simply not allowed to fly that day. Nancy said she did not put up resistance to having her purse searched (a standard procedure long before 9/11) or personal search. She just went crazy at the metal-detecting wand. I know Nancy well enough to know why she would freak out at the use of such a radioactive instrument around her body. She is a long-time anti-nuke activist.

We risk delegitimizing ourselves by defending Nancy Oden's hysterical account of airport security. We'd also be causing more well-intentioned Green-Party-activist wannabes to go to G/GPUSA's web site and pay dues to G/GPUSA, not knowing that it is not the national Green Party that put together the convention in Denver and nominated Ralph Nader for president.

If GP-US puts out a press release today, I hope it presents a more balanced account of what really happened between Nancy and airport security, and points out that Nancy's organization is *not* the national Green Party.

Sorry to rag on fellow activists.

Cheers, Brent White former dues-paying member of the activist organization known as "the Greens/Green Party USA"
Just one little bit 04.Nov.2001 15:31

Mulberry Sellers

Thanks for the information. I thought that the initial reports had an overheated odor to them and decided to wait for more info, which, it seems, is now starting to come in.

The whole thing just seemed to have a vibe of "the confluence of two buttheads" to it.

I just want to point out that handheld metal detector wands do not use ionizing radiation and are not radioactive. They use radio-frequency energy, detecting metal objects by means of induction. Any health hazard posed by such devices would be of the same nature and level as that of a cell phone.

Hoax? Green Party Activist Barred from Travel 07.Nov.2001 19:55


Messages have been circulating on the Internet that purport to discredit Nancy Oden and the 11/2/01 press release of the The Greens/Green Party USA (G/GPUSA) concerning an incident at the Bangor International Airport. See  http://www.greenparty.org/bangor.txt.

Here are the facts, as of this writing:

1. Nancy Oden is one of three members of the national Coordinating Committee and a member of the Structure Working Group, Negotiating Committee, and the Clearinghouse & Budget Working Group of the G/GPUSA. The G/GPUSA is not the same organization as the Green Party of the United States (GP-US) although some people are members of both organizations. See  http://www.greenparty.org/contacts.html,  http://www.greenparty.org/working.html and  http://www.gpus.org; last accessed 11/07/01.

2. The G/GPUSA and Nancy Oden have taken a public stand against the US bombing in Afghanistan. See  http://www.greenparty.org/afghanbomb.html and  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alaskagreenparty/message/736; last accessed 11/07/01.

3. Nancy Oden is, apparently, a well known environmental and Green activist in Maine. I did a search of her name in the Bangor Daily News web site and retrieved 25 article references since 1999. Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair's newsletter CounterPunch refers to her as "a top U.S. Green Party official and a member of the party's coordinating committee. An organic farmer, peace activist, and all-around firebrand, she lives in Jonesboro, Maine." See her interview at  http://www.counterpunch.org/oden2.html; last accessed 11/07/01.

4. According to the Bangor Daily News, Nancy Oden "was singled out for added extensive [security] screening" at the Bangor International Airport while attempting to travel to a national G/GPUSA meeting in Chicago. See  http://www.bangornews.com/editorialnews/article.html?ID=44958; last accessed 11/7/01.

5. Government authorities have refused to state unequivocally why Nancy Oden "was singled out for added extensive [security] screening" though the article states clearly it was not because of her behavior at the airport. See the Bangor Daily News article and  http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/nov2001/grn-n06.shtml; last accessed 11/07/01..

6. Government authorities have refused to state unequivocally that Nancy Oden's name is not on a list of suspected terrorists. See the references for paragraph 5 above.

7. According to the Bangor Daily News, Nancy Oden, " 'was uncooperative during the screening process,' said American Eagle spokesman Kurt Iverson, who added that Oden reportedly would not stand still when security staff tried to wave a metal-detecting wand over her."

8. According to Nancy Oden, a National Guard member "grabbed my left arm, he started yelling in my face, 'Don't you know what happened? Sep. 11, don't you know thousands of people died?' I said, 'You can't do that.' He went to grab my arm, and I said, 'Don't touch me.' I saw an older airline guy shake his head, 'No,' and he backed off." See the G/GPUSA press release and the CounterPunch interview.

9. According to the Bangor Daily News, "Oden was told she could not take her scheduled flight to Chicago, and that she could not travel on any other airline at the airport that day."

Those are the facts, you can judge for yourself why you think Nancy Oden was grounded last Saturday by American Airlines. For whatever reason, though, I still think any reasonable person who values civil liberties should be concerned by the government's apparent refusal to address the questions about how and why Nancy Oden was selected for extra security scrutiny in the first place. It's worth noting that in an incident similar to what Ms. Oden reported, The Nation reports in its 11/19/01 edition (p. 7) that two School of the Americas Watch activists were stopped at the US-Canada border on 10/10/01 and prevented from entering Canada after one of them showed up in an FBI database. The other activist, a German citizen, was detained over night and threatened with deportation by the INS.

Even if they have some substance, I also find the personal attacks upon her by others reprehensible. I'm speaking chiefly of a character assassination piece attributed to Brent White (see  http://portland.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=4487&group=webcast), who claims no first hand knowledge of the airport incident. These kind of hatchet jobs smack of the dirty tricks of the FBI during the COINTELPRO days when activists were turned against one another to destroy progressive organizations.
(See Brian Glick's War at Home  http://www.southendpress.org/books/titles6.shtml#warat for a history of these tactics and how today's activists can avoid the mistakes of yesterday). I have little confidence that these tactics are no longer used by official and unofficial agents and organizations to disrupt the work of progressive groups. Any progressive person should ashamed of originating or carelessly forwarding such ad hominem attacks. For the record, I do not know Nancy Oden or Brent White and I have no reason to believe White is a government agent. But I think his message is bad karma and bad politics.

Remarks About Nancy Oden 14.Nov.2001 08:10

Sister Sativa

Regardless of Nancy Oden's character, political astuteness or lack thereof, I find Michelle's remarks to the point. If the gummint will not state unequivocally that Oden was on "a list," then that is very troubling.

Initial reports did not indicate that she was barred from flying because she was uncooperative. Hell, plenty of people are PITAs. Are they all going to be excluded from air travel now? I don't think so.

Despite Oden's controversial reputation, I think that we should keep an open mind and give this incident some serious consideration. You may have heard about the incident, recounted by Canadian author Farley Mowat, when he was refused entry to the US for a speaking engagement because somebody was way pissed off at his latest book, called "A Whale for the Killing." The authorities are willing and able to harrass anyone for anything. Maybe Oden was harrassed, maybe not. But let's not dismiss it out of hand.