GPUSA CALIFORNIA GREEN ASSEMBLY DEBATES BOSTON PROPOSAL
The GPUSA Green Assembly met Saturday, May 19, in Pasadena
and debated the pros and cons of the Boston Proposal, an agreement
to create a single electoral Green Party in the United States. The keynote
speaker was Blase Bonpane, former Green Congressional candidate
with the Office of the Americas and the Peace Center Coalition.
Bonpane, a former Maryknoll missionary expelled from Guatemala
for defending the human rights of the indigenous people, called on
Green candidates to use local campaigns to address global issues.
For instance, he said, a school board candidate could demand an end
to ROTC recruiting on high school campuses, calling for genuine
youth opportunities and dissociating the community from foreign
Bonpane said that disagreements on the Left that were supposed
to be points of principle usually involved conflicts over status
and turf, and he called on Greens and those who want real
social change to work for unity.
In debating the Boston Proposal, Casey Peters presented the opposition
viewpoint, arguing that a negotiated unification of the Association of
State Green Parties and the Green Parties USA could only be done
after agreement was reached on a common platform, uniform bylaws,
and equal power-sharing.
Walt Sheasby, who had organized the Green Assembly, argued in favor
of the Boston Proposal, pointing out that the existence of two parties
claiming to be the real Green Party was untenable, that the State Parties
intended to form a Green Party U.S. that would ask for recognition by
the Federal Elections Commission, backed up by affidavits of its 2000
Presidential candidate and former Congressional candidates, and that
GPUSA had no basis for opposing that filing with the F.E.C..
Sheasby said many Greens support the formation of a new Green
Movement that would work within State Parties as well as independently,
maintaining and expanding the affiliation of former GPUSA locals.
Peters responded that there was no need to have a single electoral
Party representing the Greens, and cited the existence of a multitude
of socialist parties running Presidential candidates, including the
Peace and Freedom Party, the Communist Party USA, the Socialist
Party USA, the Socialist Workers Party, the Workers World Party,
the Socialist Labor Party, and several others.
Sheasby said that the public could easily accept the idea that a Green
Party wiould have both a right wing and a left wing, as with the
two major parties, but they could not understand two parties with
the same name competing for the title of real Green Party.
Ed Shacklett called for a fourth option on the printed ballot given
out at the meeting, and eventually his call for a fourth box for
‘Renegotiate’ as well as Accept, Reject or Abstain was accepted.
The completed ballots will be presented at the July 22 Carbondale
Green National Copngress along with other written ballots from
California GPUSA members.
The Green Assembly will meet again on September 22 in Idylwild
in Riverside County, California. The 24 members and guests present
and their GPUSA local affiliations were:
Appel, Doug; Venice Greens
Bonbane, Blase; Los Angeles Greens
Bonpane, Theresa; Los Angeles Greens
Cole, Ralph; Los Angeles Greens
Egan, Marc; Perth, Australia
Emmons, Cynthia, San Gabriel Valley Greens
Evans, Ed; Orange County Greens
Evans, Jay Orange County Greens
Hall, Joseph; San Gabriel Valley Greens
Hoffman, Renee, San Gabriel Valley Greens
Holmstrum, Britt; unaffiliated at present
Navarro, Tony, San Gabriel Valley Greens
Nelson, Susan B.; Los Angeles Greens
Pedroza, Donna; Los Angeles Greens
Peters, Casey; Peace and Freedom Party
Reutter, Chuck; Southwest Local, Riverside County
Riehle, Victor, unaffiliated at present
Shacklett, Edward; Ventura Greens
Sheasby, Walt Contreras; San Gabriel Valley Greens
Skye, Coby; Los Angeles Greens
Spillman, Julianne; San Gabriel Valley Greens
Tucker, Jan; unaffiliated at present
Weeks, Gabrielle; Los Angeles Greens
White, Gordon; Riverside Local, Riverside County