portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article portland metro

Open Letter To Green Party, and Others Weary of NonViolent D.A.

This is a very important letter to the Green Party, regarding a statement made by one of your members which criticizes the actions being taken on 3-25-2003, tommorow. It is a response to her claim that he/she does not desire to be misplaced on her/his morning commute to work. It is a critique of the logic behind this arguement. Thank you.
Dearest Green Party of Oregon:
The key to Direct Action, is to keep it non-violent. Unfortunatly, I am not overly sympathetic to one of your Green Party members position that one of your members may be displaced on her/his morning drive to work. There are many routes anybody can take to work, especially when you have been kindly educated and told the time, date of the D.A. If you are terribly concerned that you won't make it to work, please take your bike, most certainly you can find an alternate route for that day. As regards the Direct Action of trying to close the city down, this action regardless of what it is called, is the unmistakable plea for peace. I think in re-examining the position you are taking on this, you may ask yourself an important question... To what extent do you feel that you would be displaced, or late for work, if you were having ten thousand pound missles pounding on the ground such as "our" government has pounding on Baghdad as I write this. So far there have been hundreds of children killed, maimed, and burned by these last four days of bombing. Do you really feel that you being displaced, or for that matter, any middle class American for a day compares to the devastating bombardment of the "Shock and Awe," campaign? For myself, the responsability inside of this violation of international law, and subsequent bombing of innocent human beings, is too strong to worry about being displaced. I am however displaced, I am displaced because the pain in my heart is so heavy that I am unable to really take proper care of myself, and the things I must do in my life in order to not be out on the streets, as I am sure many others involved in this are. That is okay though, because in the end, I know that anything that I experience will be nothing in comparison with the horror of depleted uranium bombs, that will cause deformity for ten generations to come, blasting my friends and neighbors apart. I hope you will consider this: if I felt that the emotional toll, energy and time that it takes for all of these people in our city willing to do this nonviolent direct action were an easy choice, and that if we had something to compromise on, I would be more willing to compromise with your ideas. But so far, that is not the case. I offered mediation skills to the police on the evening when the Burnside Bridge was blocked, but so far, the police are unwilling to consider the weight of the burden of death on their shoulders, and that we are not willing to apathetically stand by bearing that weight on our consciences's. Personally, I will continue to take part in direct action, as long as we all remain nonviolent. This is the nature of nonviolent civil disobedience, we must be willing to suffer the pain of the oponnent, otherwise, we have no business being their to begin with. Hopefully we must not suffer any pain, and the Portland Police will not fear our energy, our spirit, and the reasons why we are doing what we are doing, as we are not out to hurt anybody, just to ask others to join us in declaring the use of our intellect, and our heart in negotiating conflicts in this century, so our children don't have to read another one hundred years of war in their history books. That must begin someday, now is a good time to ask for it, to demand it if necessary, but not to injure others for it, hence the willingness to die for our causes. I don't want to be speaking like this, because I realize that it is scarey, but we are all scared, but we are strong, and united in our cry for negotiation, mediation, for peace and conciliation, for dialogue and for love. I hope you can understand that the reasons that we are doing this, have only come out of a necessity to be heard, in the knowledge that if we are not heard, our earth, will not be able to sustain the way we are treating her for much longer, as within 50 years, 75% of all living species may become extinct. This is necessity, this is now, and its just as much about a demand for sustainability as it is against the war. War is not a sustainable choice in mediating the roughest conflicts we may have this century, and it never will be. This is something all of you at the Green Party must realize. Policy, and law are not going to alone, wake the people up, we must wake them up with action, with knowledge, just as MLK and activitsts woke up the whites, by being in the streets, sadly, this is one of the actions that it takes to wake up a long time "sleeping giant," called the United States of America. The best that you could do for all of us, is to show up, and let your presence be known as an educated, environmentally conscience, working class group of concerned citizens. This may temper some protestors, and it will give great credential for you in future campaigns. You may just march with your Green Party Signs if you wish, I do not see what can that hurt, and we could use your presence.
Sincerely,
H. Moore
Student Publications
Portland State University
right on ---sappy greens are in our way 25.Mar.2003 03:36

concerned

i'm with you. how selfish. stopping war is a serious uncomfortable task.

One Green here for DA 25.Mar.2003 04:29

peacey

I'll wager that person is in the minority. Anyone who has a little knowledge of history knows CD is as American as apple pie.

From the Green Party 25.Mar.2003 12:09

Jeff Cropp

Well, that was an interesting statement by "Doing it for earth, and life," but I believe it's misguided, or at least misdirected.

For starters, I have no idea what you're referring to in regard to the Green Party member worried about "her morning drive to work." Let me qualify this by explaining that I'm one of the co-chairs of the Portland Metro Chapter of the Pacific Green Party. Since our organization has little hierarchy, my "title" merely means that I'm one of the people doing the most work and paying the most attention to what happens in relation to the Green Party in Portland. However, we only have a small number of people who are designated to be spokespeople for the organization. And since none of our five local coordinating committee members own a car, the person in reference was obviously not one of them.

There are nearly 8,000 registered Pacific Green Party members in the Portland Metro area. These people encompass a wide range of views and lifestyles. If one of them drives a car and voices opposition to direct action, that's her choice. However, to condemn the entire Green Party on the basis of that one member's opinion is ridiculous. Imagine if I came across a Socialist who claims to like eating McDonald's cheeseburgers. According to "Doing it for earth's" rationale, I should then condemn the entire Socialist movement as beef-eating, capitalist bastards. Movements should not take the blame for the beliefs of random individuals within them.

At the same time, "Doing it for earth" suggests that the Green Party focuses solely on policy, which is certainly not true. We're involved in many levels of social activism, and have spent a lot of time out in the streets. We've organized quite a few marches and actions over the years, and many of us were in the streets last Thursday. Whether or not the Green Party banner is around, there are Greens everywhere participating in acts of non-violent civil disobedience.

As far as having an official presence at every anti-war rally and march that springs up in the near future, that's not my decision to make. That's a policy that has to be decided by the Chapter's membership, which we'll be discussing at our next meeting. Making decisions like that is not a quick or efficient process, but that's the nature of democracy, and we want as many Chapter members as possible to express their views.

For my part, I support non-violent direct action. However, (in regard to anti-war efforts) I believe that my own time and talents are better used building coalitions and developing non-partisan actions that people can take to prevent Bush's re-election next year. Voter registration drives aren't as "sexy" as sitting in a busy intersection, but I personally believe that they're more effective. Although I have to admit that I'm waiting eagerly for next year when Mr. Bush comes back to Portland to campaign for his election. I'm very much in favor of applying non-violent direct action when we can directly affect members of the Bush administration.