Green Party USA Statement On Attacks
This is the official statement of the Green Party USA
GREEN PARTY USA
226 South Wabash, 6th floor
Chicago, IL 60604
September 13, 2001
For Immediate Release
GREEN PARTY CONDEMNS TERRORIST ATTACKS AND ANTI-ARAB, PRO-WAR HYSTERIA
Last Tuesday, some bully socked New York in the jaw knocking out its two front teeth, causing misery and death to large numbers of innocent people.
It can’t happen here ... but it has.
The calls for revenge, for “swift” retaliation, will grow in the days ahead as the innocent victims are buried.
The Green Party USA of course condemns this attack. Greens in New York City have joined thousands of others in organizing blood donations, carrying supplies, and digging through the rubble of what had been the twin towers of the World Trade Center to help save as many lives as we can.
But we will not join in calls for military retaliation, which will only ratchet-up the misery and death toll, both abroad and here at home as waves of anger and despair will flood against our shores in the form of new reprisals.
Instead, the Green Party has been active in helping to counter the racist anti-Moslem and anti-Arab hysteria that has led to mindless attacks against Arab and dark-skinned Asian people in New York City and across the country. We are asking our members to be vigilant, to protect our brothers and sisters from other countries and to speak out against racism and anti-Semitism wherever it stirs.
One activist reported how she and her friends intervened in one such situation: “We were coming back from assisting the rescue teams when we ran into a guy who was spray-painting ‘F**k Islam’. After a few stern words, and a talk about Moslems who surely were in the World Trade Center when the planes hit, he helped us spray paint over his racist tag.”
Maris Abelson, a Manhattan resident and a coordinating committee member of both the New York State Greens and national Green Party, added: “The Green Party reminds everyone that in the Islamic faith all life is sacred, and the taking of childrens’ lives and harming of non-combatants is specifically prohibited. The only positive things to have come out of this is the selfless spirit of New Yorkers and the cancellation of a planned execution in the state of Texas.”
In addition to addressing human suffering, the Green Party joins with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in urging New Yorkers to also care for the hundreds of animals trapped in nearby buildings that have been evacuated.
The Green Party also strongly opposes the military strikes that the US government is threatening against other countries accused of “harboring terrorists.” Mitchel Cohen, a media coordinator for the Green Party USA and a participant on its international committee, said: "Retaliatory measures have repeatedly led to hundreds and sometimes thousands of innocent people being killed, just as occurred at the World Trade Center. The government just shrugs it off as ‘collateral damage,’ same as the ‘terrorists’ do.”
Cohen quoted former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright who, when asked whether she had any thoughts concerning the 750,000 children who have died in Iraq from U.S. cluster bombs, landmines, malnutrition and poisoned drinking water caused by the ongoing missile strikes and sanctions, Albright muttered: “We think the price is worth it.”
“What makes us different from those whose actions we condemn?” Cohen asked, citing US air strikes ordered by President Ronald Reagan against Libyan President Moammar Qadaffi’s family tent in Libya in the mid-1980s. (In that air strike, Qadaffi’s 8-month old baby daughter was blown to pieces by a US missile.) “The attacks against the World Trade Center are profoundly related to the suffering that the US government and multinational corporations inflict on the rest of the world every day, which is often invisible to U.S. citizens. The death and destruction at the World Trade Center in New York is horrible enough without the US government compounding it by responding in kind,” Cohen said.
Instead, the Green Party takes its inspiration from one of its founders, Petra Kelly. Kelly was active in Germany but schooled in the United States. She wrote:
“The vision I see is not only a movement of direct democracy, of self- and co-determination and non-violence, but a movement in which politics means the power to love and the power to feel united on the spaceship Earth... In a world struggling in violence, ... the further development of non-violence -- not only as a philosophy but as a way of life, as a force on the streets, in the market squares, outside the missile bases, inside the chemical plants and inside the war industry -- becomes one of the most urgent priorities.”