Greenstar August 2022
Working toward a future where people and planet are valued, and our government represents all of us.
PA Nonviolent Direct Action to Stop Climate Change
On the weekend of June 11-13, the PA Climate Convergence demonstrated outside the PA Capitol in Harrisburg. Representatives of 77 organizations called for urgent legislative and administrative action on climate . . . . On Monday, June 13, demonstrators presented the PA Governor and General Assembly with a petition signed by 6,000 citizens demanding that the government STOP:
- Denying climate change;
- Subsidizing fossil fuel production;
- Ignoring hazards to communities from fossil fuel production;
- Prioritizing jobs in a dying industry rather than training for a new generation of jobs in clean, renewable energy; and
- Talking about cutting greenhouse gas emissions while ramping up fracked-gas extraction, production and pipelines.
While those concerned citizens were lobbying for their environmental rights, which are guaranteed by the PA Constitution, a smaller group concerned about the environment and government corruption took direct action to impress the PA General Assembly with the need for urgent attention to the climate. Below is the account of one of the ten demonstrators who were arrested because -- rather than hear the truth -- the PA Legislature chose to arrest people.
By Michael Bagdes-Canning, Green Party Candidate for PA Lt. Governor
Monday began with training at 10 am, a healthy mix of the principles of nonviolent direct action and rehearsing the scenarios. The first action team headed out at 12:55 pm, followed by the non-arrestable team at 1 pm. The first team headed to the office of Senator Gene Yaw (R-District 23).
Our issue with Yaw was his conflict of interests. Yaw is handsomely paid as a FULL TIME legislator, but more to the point, Yaw is chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. In that role, he oversees legislation that impacts the oil and gas industry. Unfittingly, Yaw is also a lawyer with a firm in Williamsport which says on its website, “With top-to-bottom knowledge of the energy industry, our attorneys work with the gas companies to advise on all legal aspects of development and operation.” Moreover, Yaw's top ten donors to his campaign include eight oil and gas related entities. Because PA allows gifts to legislators and most of those gifts go unreported, we have no idea how much money Yaw is raking in from the oil and gas industry.
The police recognized members of the first action team, but the team was able to get up to Senator Gene Yaw's office. When the eight of us went inside this office, we were told that the Senator wasn't in, that he was already at work in the Senate. But . . . but . . . but . . . our people on the outside saw him SPRINTING out of the office when he found out we were there to see him. Better still, his staff insisted that outside jobs, campaign contributions, and gifts weren't bribes -- and then they called to have us arrested . . . . Everybody got out of police custody within an hour and received summary citations for criminal trespass. These are the equivalent of traffic tickets.
Our second action team left at 2 pm . . . . As it turned out, the second action had 11 people willing to risk arrest while visiting the House chambers. The plan was to “bribe” the legislators and drop a banner. The money droppers tossed money over the side, but the banner droppers were unable to unfurl the banner because of a very quick police response. One of the banner droppers was Christina “PK” DiGiulio, the Green Party Candidate for PA Governor. The “bribers” rained down $203 of real money ($1 for each PA Representative) which had "BRIBE" or another appropriate message written on it. Their banner read “You Take Bribes, The Planet Dies.” Unfortunately, the Capitol Police ripped the banner out of the team’s hands before it fully unfurled. Only two of the 11 were arrested, issued summary citations, and then released fairly quickly, while the police issued a simple warning to the other nine to not come back again within 24 hours.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that another, allied group acted boldly throughout the weekend. Our spirits were lifted with the fruits of their bold action -- banners were hung from bridges, billboards and fences. They, too, were giving voice to the urgency of the moment and, in the end, many of them joined us for the actions described above. Coupled with the powerful panels, art, marches, projections, and training that made up the PA Climate Convergence, a powerful message was sent.
There are many tools in the activist toolbox. Nonviolent direct action is an essential one. This was a beautiful example of moral-fusion organizing, and together with our allies we brought out 50 people on a Monday to a nonviolent direct action. United under the banner of a new group, Pennsylvanians for Action on Climate (PAC), they promise to come back again and again until our demands for climate action and an end to corruption are met.
We put a spotlight on the intersection of fossil-fueled climate catastrophe and the catastrophic consequences of money corrupting our politics. Participating with us were Beyond Extreme Energy, Green Party of Pennsylvania, Marcellus Outreach Butler, March On Harrisburg, Occupy Biden, Ohio Valley Environmental Resistance, Veterans For Peace, XR Philly, XR Delaware, and others. We successfully made some very corrupt people think about their corruption, and we also made some of our friends inside the Capitol feel emboldened . . . .
PA Green News
By Chris Robinson
PA Green Party Face2Face Meeting of Delegates
On Saturday, September 11, the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) will hold a live meeting in Centre County, PA. This will be the second, consecutive face2face meeting of state-wide delegates. Everyone is welcome to attend. The meeting will be hosted by the Green Party of Centre County, https://www.facebook.com/centrecountygreenparty/, at St. John's Lutheran Church in Bellefonte, PA. Registration for this event is now open. more
PA Green Party Candidate on “Boomers & Stickers”
By Michael Bagdes-Canning, Green Party Candidate for PA Lt. Governor
When I received the Green Party of PA (GPPA, www.gpofpa.org) endorsement to be their candidate for Lieutenant Governor, I spent some time thinking about how my life has changed in the last 40 years and how much I have learned. When my wife, Karen, and I moved into our homeplace 40 years ago, seven acres were scarred by an active strip mine. The house had suffered from years of neglect. The Butler, PA, economy, too, was in tatters: jobs had been extracted to warmer climes and the exodus of young people had already begun . . . .
I could go on and on. In the almost 40 years that I’ve lived in PA, I’ve watched it hemorrhage jobs and young people. It’s time for that to end. Our communities are fractured; many of us don't even know our neighbors, and fewer of us make decisions based on neighborliness because we don’t have the time. Decisions made by our “leaders” have robbed us of community.
Novelist and environmentalist Wallace Stegner (1909 -- 1993) separated Americans into two camps: Boomers and Stickers. Boomers (and here he was not talking about the generation I am part of) are “those who pillage and run” and want “to make a killing and end up on Easy Street.” Stickers are “motivated by affection, by such a love for place and its life that they want to preserve it and remain in it.” When I reflect on my life in Pennsylvania, this rings true. Our legislators have empowered Boomers and punished Stickers. Rather than rewarding those who cherish their neighbors and the place they live, they have incentivized extraction of wealth – leaving most Pennsylvanians struggling and places like Cherry Valley neglected, impoverished, and shrinking.
For too long our “leaders” have promised us the world, only to sell it to the highest corporate bidder. The corruption of our politicians has been the millstone around the neck of our once thriving working class communities. The jobs we have lost are gone, but the grit and love of place are still here. We Stickers are anxious to build back what is lost . . . .
Instead of enriching Wall Street, it’s time to invest in Main St. It’s time to empower Stickers and to boot the Boomers. We can create a new generation of high-quality jobs by investing in a Green New Deal that restores the damage done by extractive Boomer industry and prepares our home for the future. It would also provide for an economy where our young people can stay and raise their families. I believe PA can be a place where every person can live a dignified life: where every person who is able to work can work, where every person can comfortably afford the basic provisions they need to survive, and where we exist harmoniously with the land we live and rely on.
If you would like to join Michael Bagdes-Canning’s campaign for PA Lt. Governor, please contact 724-431-8560 and [email protected]
PA Greens at Festival of the Arts
Green Party members from Allegheny and Centre Counties met at the Central PA Festival of the Arts in State College, PA, on July 16. They gathered voters’ signatures on the Green Party nomination papers to place three candidates on the General Election ballot. more
#Reparations on GPOAC Facebook
We commit to full and complete #Reparations to the African American community of this nation for the past 400+ years of genocide, slavery, land-loss, destruction of original identity and the stark disparities which haunt the present evidenced in unemployment statistics, substandard and inadequate education, higher levels of mortality including infant and maternal mortality and the practice of mass incarceration. We recognize that reparations are a debt (not charity) that is owed by our own and other nations and by the corporate institutions chartered under our laws to a collective of people. We believe that the leadership on the question of what our nation owes to this process of right ought to come from the African American community, whose right to self-determination and autonomy to chart the path to healing we fully recognize . . . .
We understand that until significant steps are taken to reverse the ongoing abuses; to end the criminalization of the Black and Brown communities, to eradicate poverty, to invest in education, health care and the restoration and protection of human rights, that it will be impossible to repair the continuing damage wrought by the ideology of white supremacy which permeates the governing institutions of our nation. more
Is the PA Nomination Campaign Too Little Too Late?
By Chris Robinson
It was delightful to see the last-minute activity by Green Party members to get their state-wide candidates on the ballot. Faced with a deadline to submit nomination papers no later than August 1, other Greens began to follow the lead of Pittsburgh’s Greens (GPOAC) in gathering voter’s signatures. At press time, GPOAC was still carrying the load, and there was no way to tell if other Greens would become active enough to save the day.
In 2000, “Barenaked Ladies” sang:
“I could be good, and I would
If I knew I was understood.
And it'll be great, just wait,
Or is it too little too late?”
Wiser folk had offered the Green Party useful advice. “Gathering signatures in April and May is more comfortable than doing it in June and July,” suggested one experienced campaigner. “Harvesting 10 signatures/week over five weeks is easier than collecting 50 signatures on the last day,” another had pointed out. When asked what advice he would give to a Green Party candidate running for office in 2022, Michael Bagdes-Canning, the Green Party’s candidate for PA Lt. Governor, told the press in December 2020, “No matter what, I would recommend starting right now. Start reaching out to the people you need to staff your campaign. Start raising awareness. Build your network. Build enthusiasm. Identify important people. Do not wait.”
Please read the September issue of GREEN STAR to find out if the campaign to get Green Party candidates on the ballot was successful, or if the effort was too little too late.
National Green News
Edited by Noah Alter
Green Party Denounces Supreme Court for Siding with Corporate Polluters in Climate Fight
On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered yet another blow to the hope of progress, namely our struggle against the ever-looming peril of climate change. This shocking, unwarranted ruling has caught the attention of many, who are rightfully horrified at the probable outcome of further enabling corporate polluters. Following West Virginia v. EPA, where the Supreme Court ruled 6-3, siding with coal and other polluters against the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, Dylan Parsons, Green candidate for West Virginia House of Delegates said, “The Supreme Court has been captured by far-right ideologues who think nothing of overturning a long-standing legal precedent in order to impose their minority viewpoints on the rest of society.”
Immediately following the ruling, Greens across the country reaffirmed their demand for President Biden and the Democrats to declare and immediately act upon the climate emergency. Additionally, Greens demanded that Biden take executive action to lead a swift transition to a clean energy system that offers us a chance of survival for our and future generations. The implementation of the Green New Deal in the U.S. would create 20 million jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030. This would be done by investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture, conservation, and restoration of critical infrastructure, including our ecosystems.
The Green Party's platform calls for an emergency Green New Deal to turn the tide on climate change, revive the economy, and make oil wars obsolete. It’s beyond time that we, as a country, take the impending catastrophic climate emergency seriously and put our future and the future of our children first. more
Global Green News
Edited by Hal Brown
Greens in Europe demand action to Fight Wildfires
Spain, Portugal, and France are facing fierce wildfires. These countries are experiencing continuous heat waves as well as hundreds of deaths due to the record-breaking temperatures. . . . European Green Parties are worried about the unprecedented number of heat-related casualties.(As high as 45.7C, 114F, in Spain). more
Kenya Presidential Election: Green Congress Party endorsement
General elections in Kenya are scheduled for August 9. Voters will elect the President, members of the National Assembly and Senate, county governors and members of the 47 county assemblies. The Green Congress of Kenya party has indicated that it will field candidates to compete for all elective positions across the country except for the presidency as it hopes to have meaningful representation in the various seats available under the constitution. more
A Green Perspective on Crypto-Currency
Greens in the European Parliament support legislation to impose order on the world of decentralized finance, especially cryptocurrency, which is seen by many as a digital “wild west”. Cryptocurrency transactions involve no central banking authority, are supported by no government, and assets can be bought and sold anonymously. . . .
The European Parliament has recently agreed on new measures known as the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA). Expected to become law at the end of 2023, these measures would impose new identity checks to combat money laundering, controls to prevent market manipulation and abuse, and also disclosure of energy consumption. This would be the first comprehensive regime governing crypto assets and a significant benchmark for consideration in other jurisdictions, like the US and the UK. . . . more
GPPA Meeting Dates:
All State Web Conferences will be from 12 noon to 4:00pm
- Saturday, September 10, 2022 in Bellafonte, PA
- Sunday, November 13, 2022
Green Party of Pennsylvania Communications Team Issue Credits
Noah Alter, Hal Brown and Chris Robinson
Michael Bagdes-Canning, Barenaked Ladies, Chris Robinson and Wallace Stegner
Hal Brown, Sheri Miller and David Ochmanowicz