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GP_Con_2016LUMPENPROLETARIAT—The Green Party has convened once again to confirm the nomination of their candidate for the presidency of the United States.  The 2016 Green National Convention (GNC) is being held August 4–7, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  And the nomination is pretty much locked in for Dr. Jill Stein, a progressive candidate who has a strong grasp of all of the issues of concern to Americans civically engaged in their communities and society.

Even Americans, who are divorced or barred from civic engagement, would find Jill Stein‘s platform sensible.  Even the disenfranchised, including excluded immigrants, economic refugees, and migrant workers, would find a voice advocating on their behalf in Dr. Jill Stein.  But that is only if Dr. Stein and the Green Party were given an equitable opportunity to participate and debate the presidential nominees of the two dominant corporate political parties.  This, Ralph Nader, and anyone running for president from outside of the bounds of the two-party dictatorship, can attest.

As the 2016 presidential cycle developed, a lawsuit was filed by the Libertarian Party‘s Gary Johnson and the Green Party‘s Dr. Jill Stein to re-open the presidential debates to alternative political parties and give them a chance to debate the political cartel of the two corporate parties—the Democratic and Republican parties.  Ross Perot‘s participation in the 1992 presidential debates is the only example Americans have in recorded history of any candidate participating in the ‘official’ presidential debates, who was not a Republican or a Democrat.

So, Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) and Dr. Stein (Green Party) sued the Commission On Presidential Debates (CPD) “alleging violations of anti-trust law and the First Amendment”.  Since the CPD is a private corporation, its legal eagles unscrupulously argued that the presidential debates are actually a private forum.  It may be the case that the CPD is a private corporation, but the presidential debates are not a private forum.  The presidential debates are essential to our democratic process, as they help voters compare, contrast, critically analyse, and reflect in an unfettered fashion upon the political choices, which will be appearing on their ballots.  And allowing the presidential debates to become the exclusive domain of the political cartel of the Republican and Democratic parties undermines our democratic process.  Nevertheless, G.W. Bush-appointed “federal judge Rosemary M. Collyer threw out the lawsuit on Friday.” [1]

Electoral problems flow from the fact that we, as a society, have allowed our political process to be privatised, along with so many other aspects of our lives, which are impacted by neoliberalism.  The legal challenge to the currently antidemocratic nature of the presidential debates, as it is being monopolised by the collusion between the Democratic and Republican parties against any and all political alternatives, will have to involve the public wresting control over the presidential debates away from those two corporate political parties.  Previously, the League of Women Voters, a neutral organisation, moderated the presidential debates.

But, in 1988, the League of Women Voters withdrew its sponsorship of the presidential debates after the George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis campaigns secretly agreed to a ‘memorandum of understanding’, which would decide which candidates could participate in the debates, which individuals would be panelists (and therefore able to ask questions), and even the height of the podiums.  The League rejected their bipartisan and oligopolistic demands and released a statement saying that they were withdrawing support for the presidential debates becausethe demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter.” [2]

But the bipartisan fraud and the marginalisation of political alternatives, such as the Green Party, doesn’t end with the corporate media or the corporate-sponsored presidential debates.  Even free speech radio doesn’t deem the Green National Convention worthy of full coverage.  For example, the largest free speech radio network in the nation, Pacifica Radio, has only broadcast coverage on one of the four days in which the 2016 Green National Convention was held.  By contrast, Pacifica Radio provided coverage of all four days of each of the DNC and RNC, respectively.  (But, actually, this GNC coverage is an improvement for free speech radio compared with past presidential election cycles.  Waking the folk up can be a slow, incremental, process.)

“Wake up!” scene (taken from School Daze)

Helping us wake the folk up, Dr. Cornel West delivered a stirring speech of moral outrage and in support of the Green Party‘s challenge to the two-party dictatorship.  Major addresses also included Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein and ‘Bernie Or Bust‘ movement spokesperson YahNe’ Ndgo.

One commendable aspect of Pacifica’s coverage of the Green National Convention is the inclusion of independent journalist and KPFA contributor Ann Garrison, alongside Mark Bebawi from KPFT, a Pacifica station in Houston, Texas.  Mark Bebawi is host of The Monitor on Pacifica station KPFT.  Ann Garrison‘s writing is currently featured in the San Francisco Bayview, CounterPunch, the Black Agenda Report, and Global Research.  Ann Garrison also  produces news for KPFA in the San Francisco Bay AreaAnn Garrison, a personal acquaintance and friend of Lumpenproletariat, is an uncloseted Green.  Regardless of her partisanship, Ann Garrison is one of the most brutally honest reporters around today, alongside Jeremy Scahill and a few others.  Listen (and/or download) here. [3]



PACIFICA RADIO—[6 AUG 2016] The Green Party National Convention will be held from Aug 4 – 7th in Houston, TX. Pacifica will carry much of the convention live, culminating in the acceptance speeches of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates.

The four hours will give a broad picture of the Green Party, its activities and impact on the 2016 presidential election along recordings of events of Thursday and Friday, and interviews with people involved with the platform, proceedings, and commentary from experts in history and politics.

Speeches will include: Jill Stein, Presidential nominee, Cornel West, or YahNe’ Ndgo, spokesperson for the Bernie or Bust movement. . .

Host: Mark Bebawi, of “The Monitor” – KPFT-Pacifica

Learn more at PACIFICA RADIO.


[Working draft transcript of actual radio broadcast by Messina for Lumpenproletariat and Pacifica Radio Network.]

PACIFICA RADIO—[6 AUG 2016]  [dead air; technical difficulties]  (c. 0:20)

[music break:  uptempo blues song]

MARK BEBAWI:  “It’s the pleasure of live radio.  You’re listening to the Pacifica Network coverage of the Green Convention—is here at the University of Houston.  It was partly today, and also yesterday.  And we’re gonna be with you for the next four hours.

“If you’re listening in the central time zone, that will be from 1pm to 5pm, east coast 2- to 6-.  I’m sure you can do the math on all the other time zones.  Uh, I know that all five Pacifica stations are tuned in.  So, welcome to you all, wherever you are across the country.  And I don’t have a total number of affiliates, who are joining us.  But, hopefully, it’s substantial.  The audio today is gonna be, maybe, different from what you would expect from Pacifica because we are in an open convention hall.  There’s ambient background noise.  And we’re expecting occasional, perhaps quite disruptive interruptions from the loudspeaker system, that is piped into our room, even though we are not on the convention hall, itself.  So, if you hear stuff in the background, please excuse us.

“I should mention that my name is Mark Bebawi.  I have a show on Pacifica‘s KPFT station in Houston.  Sitting next to me is Ann Garrison, who does some news stuff for ‘BAI and—is it KPFA as well, Ann?”  (c. 2:02)

ANN GARRISON:  “Yes.  And I am an embedded journalist because I am a registered Green here at the Green Party Convention.”

MARK BEBAWI:  “So, Ann is with us.  And, you know, there’s gonna be a lot of stuff happening a little bit by-the-seat-of-the-pants today.  I’ll give you a brief rundown [producer interjects] of what we are hoping is going to happen.  And, then, if you listen for the whole four hours, you might hear something other than what we hoped.

“So, between now and about 1:40—these times, that I am mentioning, they are all local, so central time—between now and about 1:40, we’re going to be playing various clips of interviews of attendees, delegates, and even one of the keynote speakers, potentially.  And, then, at around 1:40, we’re expecting to hear live audio from the convention floor of YahNe’ Ndgo.  She’s one of the keynote speakers.  She’ll be followed by Dr. Cornel West.  Those two speeches, we think, are going to wrap up at around 2:15.

“From about 2:15 to roughly 3:15, we’re gonna be with you for the hour.  And, during that time, we have several people, who are either here or are gonna be on the phone, who we are going to be discussing a whole range of topics.  I’ll give you a preview of at least one of ’em.  And that is the whole spoiler effect. , whether or not the Greens and, to some extent, the Libertarians are pulling votes away from the two main parties and what impact that might have on the general election.  I know that’s gonna be one of the topics.  There will be others as well.  (c. 3:30)

“We have several interviews already lined up.  And that’s gonna be, predominantly, covering the 2:15 to 3:15 hour, if the timing goes the way it’s supposed to.

“At 3:15, we’ll be hearing the acceptance speech of the vice presidential nominee, presumptive at this stage because a roll call [vote] hasn’t been done.  But he is, we think, gonna be Ajamu Baraka, who has actually been on The Monitor show, that I’ve done, a couple of times.  He’s an interesting speaker and has a long commitment to many social justice issues.  So, I think that that’s going to be a pretty interesting speech, although, I suspect, it’s gonna be brief.

“One of the, sort of, recurring themes at this convention is that all of the speeches are quite brief.  Most of this morning, starting at 9am local time, Houston, all the way up into the lunch break at noon there were all sorts of candidates and delegates speaking on the convention floor.  And they very strictly enforced, from what I saw, a five-minute rule.  So, no one, no matter who they were, was allowed to speak for, really, any longer than that.

“So, with that said, the vice presidential nomination acceptance speech is supposed to be 15 minutes, from 3:15 to 3:30.  And, then, the presidential nominee’s acceptance speech, which, again, we presume is gonna be Jill Stein.  I guess we’re waiting on the formality of the delegate counts and the roll call of states, which will be about 2:15 local time.  (c. 4:59)

“So, that’s all coming up.  It’s gonna be a pretty busy schedule.  We invite you to stay with us and to experience the convention and to experience Pacifica‘s coverage of this convention in all of its live, and slightly disjointed, glory.

Otis Maclay is producing this show.  We have some audio, Otis, which you can just wave at me and tell me that you’re ready to punch it whenever you want.  (c. 5:25)  [SNIP]


[(c. 6:45) Interview with YahNe’ Ndgo, spokesperson for Bernie Or Bust movement, who ‘went viral‘ with her effective arguments against Hillary Clinton, discusses the ‘spoiler effect’ myth]  (c. 22:35)


[Hosts and guests discuss the contrast between the big budget DNC and RNC conventions and the GNC.  There was virtually no national media present at the GNC, other than Al Jazeera, RT, The Young Turks, Real News, other independent media, and a few local TV stations]

[(c. 31:40)  On the “enshrinement of the two-party system”, including a conversation with former Green Party Presidential Candidate, David Cobb, who kind of played a scab role, taking Ralph Nader‘s place in the Green Party when the Green Party decided to acquiesce to the ‘spoiler vote’ argument.  David Cobb, unlike Ralph Nader, was willing to pull out of the presidential campaign should the Democrats feel they’re being undermined by the Green Party.  Your author challenged David Cobb on this issue, whilst enrolled in the University of Missouri-Kansas City, when Cobb delivered a Move To Amend address on campus.  Cobb was a pretty good sport about it.  He’s an interesting cat.]


MARK BEBAWI:  “It’s not in a massive arena, like the two conventions we saw a week ago and the week before that.  But it’s here.  And it’s happening.  And people are following up and getting involved.

“So, those are my observations.  Ann Garrison is sitting next to me.  And I know, Ann, you have a bunch of other observations as well.  You’ve been asking people questions about the platform and digging into the details a little bit.”

ANN GARRISON:  “Yeah.  I—”

MARK BEBAWI:  “Tell us what—”

ANN GARRISON:  “I attended a number of the workshops.  But, first, I want to catch up on some news about the Green Party.

“Yesterday, a judge, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit brought by Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, asking for inclusion in the presidential debates.  And, sort of astonishingly, this judge ruled that the Commission on Presidential Debates is a private entity, a private corporation, not a public forum, as the plaintiffs had argued.”

MARK BEBAWI:  “Right.”

ANN GARRISON:  “And, therefore, they have no right to claim spots in the debate.”

MARK BEBAWI:  “That’s not too surprising.  I don’t think.”

ANN GARRISON:  “No, it’s not.  And the rule is, the rule, that the Commission on Presidential Debates, which replaced the League of Women Voters after 1992 to keep any independent candidates off the ballot, is that a candidate has to be polling at 15% in three major nationally-recognised polls to get into the debates.”  (c. 29:03)

“Now, the other news is about ballot access.  I have a ballot access map in front of me right now.”


ANN GARRISON:  “And there are 14 states where the Greens have not filed yet.  In every other state they’ve filed.  In some states, they’re already on the ballot, or rather this is Jill Stein.  We’re talking about the Jill Stein campaign.  But, if Jill gets on the ballot, then downticket candidates are on the ballot as well as Greens.  So, there are 14 states where they haven’t filed yet.  And most of the other 36 are states where she’s already on there.  One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, seven where they’ve filed—no, it’s eight, eight states, where they’ve filed.  And they’re waiting for the response.

“In some of these states really heroic efforts were made.  In Pennsylvania, 5,000 signatures were required.  And they filed 25,000.”

MARK BEBAWI:  “And there are a couple of states—I’m looking kind of over your shoulder.”


MARK BEBAWI:  “And there are a couple of states where you can write in.”

ANN GARRISON:  “Yes.  (c. 30:11)  [SNIP]  ”


[(c. 45:00)  YahNe’ Ndgo speech on stage]


[(c. 1:04:00)  Dr. Cornel West speech on stage]


“Do we have what it takes?”



[SNIP]   (c. 1:19:50)

[music break for station identifications]

MARK BEBAWI:  “[speaking to producer, apparently unaware the producer had turned on his microphone]  Do we have a list of who’s carrying this show?  I know that all the Pacifica affiliates are.  I think my mic might be down because I’m hearing myself slightly echoey.”

OTIS MACLAY[inaudible]

MARK BEBAWI:  “[speaking to producer, apparently unaware the producer had turned on his microphone]  No, still a little bit echoey.”

OTIS MACLAY:  “[inaudible, but perhaps he said] You’ll get used to it.”

“Yeah.  You’re, you’re—it’s live radio.  What can we do?

“Okay.  There we go.  [transitioning to speak to the radio audience]  Now, I sound like I’m talking to you again.

“I know that the five Pacifica stations are carrying this show live, as are many affiliates.  That was a very brief break for you to identify yourselves as stations.  We were not able to go to the top of the hour because speeches were running.  David Cobb has had to leave.  But we have lots more content coming up for you, including, just in a second here, a bunch of recordings and interviews, that Ann Garrison did.  I’ll let her introduce those in just a second.  But I also wanna give you a quick heads-up that the final hour of this broadcast here will feature two live guests.  One of them is Dahr Jamail.  The other is Greg Palast.  They’ll be with us for the final 30 or 40 minutes of this four-hour broadcast.  (c. 1:20:20)

“Sitting next to me, here, of course, is Ann Garrison.  She was—hopefully, you’ve been listening and you’ve heard her already; if you haven’t, Ann, just remind people, briefly, who you are and what they are about to hear from you.”

ANN GARRISON:  “I am Ann Garrison.  I write for the San Francisco Bayview, CounterPunch, the Black Agenda Report, and Global Research.  And I produce some news for KPFA in the [San Francisco] Bay Area.

“I did some interviews with people, who gave workshops here.  And we’re gonna start with Bruce DixonBruce Dixon and Howie Hawkins gave a workshop on reorganising the Green Party into a mass party and an effective party.”  (c. 1:20:58)

[Ann Garrison interview with Bruce Dixon (of Black Agenda Report) on the necessary transformation of the Green Party, the non-profit industrial complex, and more.]

ANN GARRISON:  “Bruce Dixon, could you tell us about your ideas about restructuring the Green Party into a mass party?”

BRUCE DIXON:  “Right now, there are thousands, tens of thousands of young and old activists looking for a new political home.  The question we, as Greens—and I’m the Co-Chair of the Georgia Green Party as well as being part of Black Agenda Report—the question we, Greens, have to ask ourselves is:  Are we a fit home for their activism?  And, if we’re honest, right now, we have to answer the answer is: No, we are not.

“No matter what state you’re in, if 300 people come forth, can you actually give them something to do, that’s constructive?  Can you actually return all their calls, turning them on to everything they wanna be turned on?  The answer is:  You cannot.

“Why can’t you?  Because, right now, our Green parties are underfunded and understaffed.  And, consequently, much weaker than they need to be, if we are really going to change this country and change the world for the better and put people in front of profits and peace and stand up for each other in the planet.

“So, the answer is that: We’ve got to change the Green PartyWe’ve got to re-imagine and redesign the Green Party, so that it become a membership-supported, dues-paying, membership organisation.

“When you look around the world, and around this country, and across the historical record, the only way anyone on this planet in the last 150 years has ever built a mass opposition party of the left is to become a dues-paying membership organisation, wherein the officers are elected by dues-paying members and totally responsible to them.

“And that’s the model, that we’ve got to follow here.  Right now, unfortunately, and contradictory as it may seem, we are following the same example, the same model, as Republicans and Democrats.  Republicans and Democrats, both, use one-percenter money and corporate media to lead a mass following.  Their candidates and campaigns are totally independent of local party organisations and are totally independent and unresponsive to their voter base.

Trump got the Republican nomination in spite of all the local Republican organisations.  He used reality star cache and corporate media, free corporate media, to build a mass following and win the primaries.

Bernie Sanders also proved his independence from his own base by building his base up, saying that he was for a political revolution, saying tht he was for, you know, debt relief and cancelling the debts of students, and many other things.  And, then, he turned around and uncritically embraced Hillary Clinton and her agenda.  And a large part of his following said:  Heck, no!  We ain’t with that!

“But he was not responsible to them anymore than Trump is responsible to the local Republican organisations.

“And, unfortunately, the Green Party, so far, has been following that same model, only without the big money, without the one-percenter money, the big money, and without the media, also without much success.  That is why the Green Party is weak and fragmented.  (c. 1:24:00)

Seven years ago in Georgia there was a prisoner hunger strike.  You remember that.”


BRUCE DIXON:  “Okay.  We knew some of those people.  Ajamu Baraka, who is the vice presidential candidate of the Green Party, he was working with us, then, also.  But the Green Party took a prominent part in calling the press conferences, calling on the governor.  We got to meet with the governor’s representatives.  And Ajamu Baraka was part of a team, that did civilian inspections of two state prisons in Georgia, where they got relatively unfettered access to staff and the rest of it.

“And, after that, we started getting calls for families of inmates and for people, who were behind the walls.  We couldn’t even answer all those collect calls.  We couldn’t do it because we didn’t have the money; we didn’t have the staff; we didn’t have the resources to follow it up.  Okay?  And we failed those people.  We failed them.  (c. 1:25:05)

“And the Green Party is going to continue to fail, unless and until it restructures.  And it is.  In Georgia, we are becoming a membership-driven organisation, a dues-paying organisation, wherein all the officers will be elected directly on the local level.  And we’re just gonna do that.

“We’re gonna adopt a different model, a model, that actually works.”

ANN GARRISON:  “But you’re also talking about being politically active in between elections and engaged in the social movements.  Right?”

BRUCE DIXON:  “The local chapters of the Green Party are where the social movement must take place.  And, if we have Green Party locals with staffs, then that means that we can take an active part in the social movement in a way, that we’ve never been able to do it before.

“Right now, with the Green Party underfunded and understaffed as it is, if you wanna show up on the scene of what social movements are already in motion, you’re gonna wind up sooner or later coming to the offices and the meetings of this or that non-profit organisation.  And the way the non-profit is gonna look at you—they’re gonna look at you—in their view, you are just another representative of a different potentially competing single-issue organisation, only your issue is electing people.  How backwards is that?

“But that’s the way we look.  That’s the way we look.  If we don’t have staff; if we don’t have resources, the only way to get—every time an outreach happens and people are outraged and come to the streets and come to meetings all of a sudden, that they didn’t come to before, that outrage dies back after a few weeks and months.  And who comes in?  The non-profits, who actually have staff and staying power.  They’re the only ones with staff and staying power.

“Now, if we constitute ourselves as a membership, dues-paying organisation, then we’ll have local staff.  We’ll be able to go to the scene of local movements and give them real aid and real assistance.  And we’ll be able to start actions and start social movements ourselves.

“The Green Party locals are gonna have to compete with the non-profit industrial complex for the leadership of the social movement because the social movement is way too important to be left to the whims of non-profit funders, who are the 1%.”  (c. 1:27:25)

ANN GARRISON:  “You know; I’ve been saying I’m an embedded journalist because I’m a Green and I’m here covering the Green Party convention.  This really appeals to me because, every time I open my email inbox, I have 15 more pleas from 15 single-issue organisations.”

BRUCE DIXON:  “And where did the single-issue organisation come from?  Did these even exist back in the 1920s?  In the ’30s and the ’40s and the ’50s?  The answer is:  No.  Did they originate anywhere but this country?  They originated only here.  And they are now being exported from this country to other places.

“Non-profit organisations, the whole non-profit matrix is a creature of the 1%.  It’s how the 1% have managed to contain the social movement and control it, by isolating each issue in its own silo.  And you can only do direct political interventions under certain limited conditions.  And, of course, as someone who worked in the non-profit sector for a few years in Chicago, what used to happen is every springtime all useful work stops while we concentrate on electing the right Democrats, [laughs] although we’re not supposed to be doing that.  (c. 1:28:49)

“And many non-profit organisations, advocacy organisations, like the NAACP, as Glen [Ford] says, are virtual annexes of the Democratic Party.”

ANN GARRISON:  “I got a note from them today asking me whether I was registered to vote.”

BRUCE DIXON:  “Are you?”

ANN GARRISON:  “Yes!  Green!”

BRUCE DIXON:  “There you go.”

ANN GARRISON:  “I’m registered Green. [laughs]

BRUCE DIXON:  “There you go.  But I mean; a few years ago, in the month of July I was in Chicago.  And I was opening up my morning email.  And I got an email from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF).  And the letter said:  We just suffered a terrific loss in court today.  The federal government says that the—what was that act called? the act, that reduced the crack cocaine disparity [in criminal sentencing] from 100-to-one to 18-to-1, that was passed a few months before. [4]  They said that the federal government went to court and they said that there would be no retroactive reduction of sentences, that people already had.  And they said that: We lost that case.  And, so, you should send us money, so we can win future cases, and bring future cases.

“But they never mention that the Justice Department, who they were fighting against, was under the Obama administration and Eric Holder, the attorney general, that Eric Holder‘s people had argued, that although the sentences were unjust, that they should be kept in there, anyway.

“It turned out that there was no retroactive sentence reduction for another three and a half years after that.  And, of course, the NAACP LDF couldn’t say that because they’re Democrats.  And they don’t criticise other Democrats.  (c. 1:30:23)

“So, that’s what happens when you leave the leadership of the social movement to the non-profit industrial complex.  They got priorities.  And their priorities are not necessarily the people’s or the planet’s priorities.”

ANN GARRISON:  “So, this morning at the workshop you mentioned some numbers.  If x number of people gave a small amount, relatively

BRUCE DIXON:  “Yeah, well, we’re still arguing about what the recommended dues level in Georgia is gonna be.  We think it’s gonna be $15 a month to start.  And, you know, there’s breaks for a limited number of people.  But let’s suppose that we had a thousand members paying $15 dollars a month.  Well, that’s $15,000 dollars a month.  And 15 times 12 is [180]now, you can run an organisation off of $20,000 dollars a month.

“Okay, you can hire some staff.  You can have a few permanent meeting halls.”


BRUCE DIXON:  “I mean, right now, when Jill Stein came to town, back last November and we took her through North Carolina, all the places we had to meet were university campuses

ANN GARRISON:  “Uh-huh.”

BRUCE DIXON:  “where we were not allowed to collect money

ANN GARRISON:  “Uh-huh.”

BRUCE DIXON:  “or identify ourselves as a political campaign.”

ANN GARRISON:  “Uh-huh.”

BRUCE DIXON:  “You know there were churches and schools where we were not allowed to even be ourselves. [5]

“When you go and you visit the social movement in some other country, they don’t do that.  They have got their own meeting hall.  Okay?  They’ve got their own place where you can say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done.

“The United States is the only place, where we leave the actual leadership of the social movements to the non-profits, that you cannot do this.  (c. 1:32:08)

“Look at the Labour Party in Britain.  Look at Jeremy Corbin.”

ANN GARRISON:  “Uh-huh.”

BRUCE DIXON:  “The only reason Jeremy Corbin is leader of the Labour Party is they went to a membership system.  And 300,000 people joined and voted Jeremy in.  Normally, the Labour Party would be led by parliamentarians.  And they wouldn’t let Jeremy Corbin near the leadership.

“So, the only way he got to be leadership is to go around that to a direct member-supported model.  And that’s what we need to do here.”  (c. 1:32:37)

[End of Bruce Dixon interview]

[Ann Garrison interview with Cheri Honkala on the workshop she led at the Green National Convention entitled “Organizing Front Line Communities” on the urban economics of Kensington, a post-industrial, working class section of Philadelphia.]

ANN GARRISON:  “Okay, now we’re gonna go to Cheri Honkala.  And, to explain what she’s going to talk about, I have to describe the video, that her workshop began with.  She was walking around in her devastated, post-industrial district, or neighborhood, Kensington, a part of Philadelphia.  And she was pointing to the employment possibilities:  Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell; and, oh yeah!  Fix-A-Flat.  This is our industrial base at this point.

“She said that she had been involved in over 200 building occupations, abandoned building occupations, claiming them for housing.  She had been arrested at least 200 times.  She has also been involved with setting up homeless camps, and getting people fed.  (c. 1:33:21)  [SNIP]


[End of Cheri Honkala interview]  (c. 1:38:30)

[Ann Garrison interview with Howie Hawkins on the Green New Deal.]  (c. 1:41:00)

[music break]

[satirical skit:  “Stone White reporting….”]


[(c. 1:44:20)  Interview with Jonathan Fluck, the National Volunteer Coordinator for the 2016 Jill Stein presidential campaign]  (c. 1:47:40)

[David Cobb]  (c. 2:21:15)

[The activist formerly known as Kat Swift on ballot access laws in Texas, the byzantine legal mess of state voting laws, and how the Green Party can win.  (During her interview, she mentioned having changed her name.)]

KAT SWIFT:  “[pending]”  (c. 2:28:50)


ANN GARRISON:  “[Some 42 million Americans with student loan debt are enough to get Jill Stein elected, who has vowed to provide student loan debt relief.]


[SNIP]  (c. 2:37:00)


[Free speech broadcast suddenly cuts to the stage, as Cheri Honkala introduces the Vice Presidential candidate for the Green Party]


[SNIP]  (c. 2:52:30)

[Dr. Jill Stein speech]

Dr. Jill Stein Acceptance Speech, 2016 Green Party Presidential Candidate

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Thank you so much!  We are what democracy looks like!”

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  “Let’s go, Jill!”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Let’s go, all of us!  Whoo!  Yes; we are what democracy looks like.  And we are what political revolution looks like!”

AUDIENCE:  “[cheers, applause]

DR. JILL STEIN:  “And thank you, thank everyone of you.  Thank you, Ajamu, for that incredible inspiration.  Thank you to everyone of you for being here and leading the charge for an America and a world, that works for all of us

AUDIENCE:  “[cheers, applause]

DR. JILL STEIN:  “And I want to agree with everything that Ajamu said and everything, that Cheri said, and agree with all of their thank-yous, reiterate them and just add to that a big thank you to Lynn Serpe, who’s been running the show.  A big thank you to Tama Jaeger.

“I am honored beyond words to be your candidate in this election.  I’m honored to be running for President of the United States with the Green Party, the one national party, that stands up for the people, and that’s been ahead of the curve in so many way—on climate change and green energy, on marriage equality, free public higher education and health care as human rights, on stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership, on reparations for slavery, opposing Saudi war crimes in Yemen, and Israeli human rights abuses and occupation in Palestine, on recognizing indigenous rights.  I want to recognise the heroes, who have kept the party going through thick and thin.  Please stand, if you are a part of a Green Party organization—at the local, state, or national level.

“It’s also so exciting to be running in alliance with the Bernie Sanders movement, that lives on outside the Democratic Party.  We owe you such a debt of gratitude for getting the revolution going.  And then for refusing to be shut down.  It’s so exciting to run with you and for you.  Please stand up if you’re coming here from the Bernie Sanders campaign.

“It’s an honor to be your candidate, running alongside Ajamu Baraka, a powerhouse of human rights—who brings a lifetime of dedication to racial and economic justice.  And I thank Dr. Cornel West, for bringing his powerful voice into the campaign.  And it’s an honor to run along with so many inspirational state and local candidates running for office.  If you are running for office, would you please stand?

“It’s an honor to be your candidate in this historic moment, of unprecedented crisis and unstoppable momentum for transformational change so we can solve those crises. And we have an historic opportunity, an historic responsibility to be the agents of that change. As Martin Luther King said, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” I know that arc is bending in us, and through us. And we are actors in something much bigger than us as we struggle for justice, for peace, for community, for healing.

“That arc of justice is moving through us as we mobilize to make black lives matter, and to end violent policing – as the Frisco Five and the Millions March NYC just did. The arc of justice is moving through us as we sit in and lock down to stop fracking pipelines, fossil fuel bomb trains, coal and LNG export terminals, and all manner of fossil fuel and nuclear infrastructure.

“The arc of justice was moving through us in Philadelphia. The city of brotherly love was overrun by love and revolution, as the Bernie or Bust movement declared independence from the Democratic Party, and merged with our campaign in rally after rally, growing stronger by the hour. The power of this movement was clear during our Power Rally at FDR Park, where nature erupted in thunder and lightning as our rally drew to a close, and the heavens opened up as if to say, “get ready, there’s a big change coming.” We sought shelter in a nearby highway underpass and we kept going. This movement is unstoppable.

“So here we are, a movement for justice and democracy that’s sweeping the planet. From living wage campaigns, to fossil fuel blockades, to the fight to end mass incarceration, to cancel student debt, to restore the rights of immigrant rights, indigenous rights, LGBTQ and women’s rights and disability rights. Across the globe people are rising up like we haven’t seen for generations.

“We face unprecedented crises that call for transformational solutions, a new way forward based on democracy, justice and human rights. And that won’t come from corporate political parties funded by predatory banks, war profiteers and fossil fuel giants. It will come from we the people, mobilized in a broad social movement, with an independent voice of political opposition, because, as Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has. It never will.” And we must be that demand.

“They say we’re in a recovery but in fact it’s an emergency. We’ve lost good jobs – replaced by part time and temporary jobs. A generation of young people is locked in predatory student debt. Black lives are on the firing line. Immigrants face mass deportation. Wars for oil are blowing back at us with a vengeance. And the climate meltdown threatens civilization as we know it in our lifetimes.

“Meanwhile, the super-rich party on, richer than ever. Twenty-two of these super-rich people have the wealth equivalent to half of the US population. And the political elite that serve the economic elite are making things worse, inflicting austerity on everyday people while they squander trillions on wars, Wall Street bail outs, and tax favors for the wealthy.

“No wonder people are in revolt. And the good news is that we actually have the power to turn this around, the minute we stand up with the courage of our convictions. Because we have the vision and values of the American people. And, as a broad coalition for justice, we have the numbers to win the day.

“Here’s how. There are 43 million young people – and not so young people – who are locked in predatory student debt, with no prospects for getting out. And there is only one candidate who will cancel that debt – and you’re looking at her. And by the way, we bailed out Wall Street, the guys who crashed the economy with their waste, fraud and abuse. It’s about time we bailed out the young people who are the victims of that abuse. So if young people come out on election day 2016 to vote green to cancel their debt, they can actually take over the election, not only to cancel student debt, but to advance the whole agenda for justice. And the world will be a better place for it! And millennials are the self organizing demographic that can do this.

“So we do have the power to end student debt, and to make public higher education free. This is the right thing to do to provide the younger generation with economic security in the 21st century, just like free high school education provided security in the 20th century. And it pays for itself by a 7:1 margin, as the results of the GI bill demonstrated following the 2nd World War.

“We also have the power to create emergency jobs program, with 20 million living wage jobs as part of a Green New Deal. It’s like the New Deal that got us out of the Great Depression… but a Green New Deal to fix the climate crisis as well as the economic crisis. It creates a wartime level mobilization to green our energy, food and transportation systems, and restore critical infrastructure, including ecosystems. And we’ll do this in the needed time frame – by achieving 100% renewable energy by 2030, and implementing an immediate moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure and exploration. This will revive our economy, turn the tide on climate change, and make wars for oil obsolete, which enables us to cut the military budget to pay for this. In addition, it saves so much money by preventing the fossil fuel-linked diseases like asthma, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and more, it actually pays for itself in health savings alone.

“We can create health care as a human right through an improved Medicare for All system of everybody in, nobody out, and you’re covered head to toe and cradle to grave. You get your choice of doctor and hospital, and you and your doctor are put back in charge of your health decisions, not a profiteering insurance company CEO.

“We must support the disabled members of our community, to ensure they have the needed support, treatment, housing, health care and jobs that enable them to be fully contributing members of society, and respect their human dignity.

“We can revive public education by fully funding it and ensuring kids come to school ready to learn – nourished, healthy and free from poverty, the biggest obstacle to learning. And we must end the high stakes testing that is harmful especially to challenged learners, and used to justify closing and privatizing schools, and to disempower teachers and unions. It’s time to provide small classrooms, to pay our teachers well, to honor their unions, and to teach to the whole student for lifetime learning – with enriched with arts, music and recreation, and nurture the independent, creative minds and spirits that Democracy depends on.

“We can create a welcoming path to citizenship for undocumented Americans who are critical to the diversity and vitality of our communities, economy and culture. We must end the shameful night raids, detentions and deportations of hard working, law abiding immigrants. In fact, one of the most important things we can do to fix the immigration crisis is to stop causing it in the first place with predatory policies like NAFTA, the war on drugs, military interventions, CIA-supported coups and US trained death squads.

“We say to Donald Trump, we don’t need no friggin wall. We just need to stop invading other countries.  And by the way, the Republicans are the party of hate and fear mongering. But Democrats are the party of night raids, detentions, and deportations.

“We will put an immediate halt to deportations, detentions and night raids for people whose only crime was to flee the poverty and violence created by predatory US policies across the border.

“And we can end racist violence and brutality not only in policing, but in courts and prisons, and in the economy at large. We can start by ensuring every community has a police review board, so communities control their police, and not the other way around. And communities must have dedicated investigators so every death or serious injury at the hands of police is investigated. And we must end the racist war on drugs, treat substance abuse as a health issue not a criminal problem, and discharge from our prisons the hundreds of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders who shouldn’t be locked up in the first place.

“We call for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to get to the bottom of the crisis of racism, and to provide reparations to acknowledge the enormous debt owed to the African American community for the unimaginable price they paid in building this country and sustaining our economy for generations while they were denied dignity and freedom.

“We must end the assault on our privacy, on freedom of the press, on the free internet, and end the war on whistleblowers, and free the political prisoners – that includes Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu Jamal, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Jeffrey Sterling, and Edward Pinkney, whose only crime was to stand up against the theft of public resources from Benton Harbor, one of the poorest communities in the nation, by the Whirlpool Corporation.

“And finally we can create a foreign policy based on international law, diplomacy and human rights, not on global military and economic domination, which has been catastrophic. This policy will have cost us $6 trillion dollars including the costs of caring for our wounded veterans, which translates to $75,000 per American household on average. Over a million people have died in Iraq alone, which is not winning us hearts and minds in the Middle East. And tens of thousands of US soldiers have been killed or maimed. And what do we have to show for it? Failed states, worse terrorist threats, and mass refugee migrations that are tearing the EU and the Middle East apart.

“More of the same failed war on terror is not the answer. It’s time to stop ISIS in its tracks and end the Wars for Oil with a new kind of offensive in the Middle East, a Peace Offensive – including a weapons embargo to the Middle East, and a freezing of the bank accounts of countries that are funding international jihadism, including the Saudi’s, who comprised 15 of 19 9/11 attackers, and who were identified as still the leading funder of Sunni extremist terrorism worldwide in State Department cables signed by Hillary Clinton in 2009, released by Wikileaks.

“It’s important to recognize where this violent extremist threat came from in the first place. A global terrorist movement linked to Saudi wahhabism was an idea cooked up  CIA and Saudi Arabia in Afghanistan to grow the Mujaheddin to stop the Soviet Union. And it has continued with Saudi schools – madrassas – that continue to be a recruiting and training ground for tomorrow’s terrorists.”

“We can’t simultaneously fight terrorism with one hand, while we and our allies fund terrorism, train terrorists and arm terrorists with the other. The only ones benefitting from this catastrophic policy are the war profiteers themselves, who are calling the shots in foreign policy by funding the establishment parties and their politicians. In fact, US foreign policy has become fundamentally a marketing strategy for the weapons industry. We started the terrorist threat. Now it’s time to shut it down. That is what our campaign alone will do.

“This is the world we can create outside of the two corporate parties sponsored by predatory banks, fossil fuel giants and war profiteers.  So, it’s time to vote for our deeply held beliefs, not against what we fear.  Because that politics of fear has delivered everything we’re afraid of.  All the reasons you were told you had to vote for the lesser evil – so we wouldn’t get the massive Wall Street bail outs, the offshoring of our jobs, the meltdown of the climate, the endless wars, the attack on civil liberties and on immigrant rights – all of that we’ve gotten by the droves, because we allowed ourselves to be silenced, and to let the lesser evil speak for us.

“But the lesser evil paves the way for greater evil, because people don’t come out to vote for lesser evil politicians who are throwing them under the bus – even if someone else could be even worse. Democracy needs a moral compass. We must be that moral compass.

“The clock is ticking, and this is the Hail Mary moment.  In this election we’re not just deciding what kind of world we will have.  We’re deciding whether we’ll have a world or not in the future. The day of reckoning is drawing closer – on climate change, on endless war, on nuclear weapons, and the next economic meltdown.  We’re accelerating into all of these crises under Republican and Democratic rule.  So, It’s time to reject the lesser evil and fight for the greater good – like our lives depend on it, because they do.

“That means join our campaign – at jill2016.com.  Help us get into the debates, help us get the word out by social media and break into mainstream press. Help us phone bank, canvass, bring a campus event to your college or a super-rally to your region.

“The corporate parties are not going to save us. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

“Together we can build an America and a world that works for us all, that puts people, planet and peace over profit. The power to create this world is not just in our hopes. Not just in our dreams. Right here. Right now. It’s in our hands. And together, we are unstoppable.” [6]

[Dahr Jamail: interview was botched by Pacifica host and/or technical team]


[Greg Palast]


[SNIP]  (c. 3:59:59)

Learn more at PACIFICA RADIO.

[This transcript will be expanded as time constraints, and/or demand or resources, allow.]


[1]  On August 1, 2002, Collyer was nominated by President George W. Bush to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia vacated by Thomas Penfield Jackson. Collyer was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 14, 2002, and received her commission on November 15, 2002.  She assumed senior status on May 18, 2016.  At that time, a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates for keeping out political parties other than their own Republican and Democratic parties was pending.  After Collyer assumed senior status, she threw out the lawsuit, which was brought by Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein.

See also:

  • “Judge dismisses debate lawsuit filed by Gary Johnson and Jill Stein” by Brian Stelter, CNN, 5 AUG 2016.
  • “Result of Third-Party Lawsuit Could Decide Outcome of 2016 Election” by Jason Scheurer, Breitbart, 7 MAR 2016.

[2] See also:

  • “League Refuses to ‘Help Perpetrate a Fraud'” by League of Women Voters, 3 OCT 1988:

WASHINGTON, DC —[3 OCT 1988]  “The League of Women Voters is withdrawing its sponsorship of the presidential debate scheduled for mid-October because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter,” League President Nancy M. Neuman said today.

“It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and honest answers to tough questions,” Neuman said. “The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”

Neuman said that the campaigns presented the League with their debate agreement on September 28, two weeks before the scheduled debate. The campaigns’ agreement was negotiated “behind closed doors” and was presented to the League as “a done deal,” she said, its 16 pages of conditions not subject to negotiation.

Most objectionable to the League, Neuman said, were conditions in the agreement that gave the campaigns unprecedented control over the proceedings. Neuman called “outrageous” the campaigns’ demands that they control the selection of questioners, the composition of the audience, hall access for the press and other issues.

“The campaigns’ agreement is a closed-door masterpiece,” Neuman said. “Never in the history of the League of Women Voters have two candidates’ organizations come to us with such stringent, unyielding and self-serving demands.”

Neuman said she and the League regretted that the American people have had no real opportunities to judge the presidential nominees outside of campaign-controlled environments.

“On the threshold of a new millenium, this country remains the brightest hope for all who cherish free speech and open debate,” Neuman said. “Americans deserve to see and hear the men who would be president face each other in a debate on the hard and complex issues critical to our progress into the next century.”

Neuman issued a final challenge to both Vice President Bush and Governor Dukakis to “rise above your handlers and agree to join us in presenting the fair and full discussion the American public expects of a League of Women Voters debate.”

[3]  Terrestrial radio transmission, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) (also broadcast simultaneously across the national Pacifica Radio Network) with online simulcast and digital archiving:  Special Programming: Green National Convention, this broadcast hosted by Mark Bebawi with Ann Garrison, Saturday, 6 AUG 2016, 11:00 PDT, four-hour broadcast.

[4]  Cf. Fair Sentencing Act:

The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-220) is a United States federal law that reduces the disparity between the amount of crack cocaine and powder cocaine needed to trigger certain federal criminal penalties from a 100:1 weight ratio to an 18:1 weight ratio and eliminated the five-year mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine, among other provisions.  The Act was signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama on August 3, 2010.  Similar bills were introduced in several U.S. Congresses before its passage in 2010, and courts had also acted to reduce the sentencing disparity prior to the bill’s passage.

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 implemented the initial disparity, reflecting Congress’s view that crack cocaine was a more dangerous and harmful drug than powder cocaine.  In the decades since, extensive research by the United States Sentencing Commission and other experts have suggested that the differences between the effects of the two drugs are exaggerated and that the sentencing disparity is unwarranted.  Further controversy surrounding the 100:1 ratio was a result of its description by some as being racially (or ethnically) biased and contributing to a disproportionate number of African Americans being sentenced for crack cocaine offenses.  Legislation to reduce the disparity has been introduced since the mid-1990s, culminating in the signing of the Fair Sentencing Act.

The Act has been described as improving the fairness of the federal criminal justice system,; and prominent politicians and non-profit organisations have called for further reforms, such as making the law retroactive and completely eliminating of the disparity (i.e., enacting a 1:1 sentencing ratio).

[5]  Your author previously wrote about voting Democrat to vote socialist, but was subsequently let down by the Bernie Sanders campaign.  Since then, your author has re-registered with the Green Party, so as to support Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka for the presidential and vice presidential offices in the 2016 United States Presidential Election.

[6]  Also see official transcript at Jill2016.com.


[Imaege entitled “GP Con 2016” by Source (WP:NFCC#4), used under Fair use licensure via Wikipedia.]

[9 AUG 2016]

[Last modified  01:18 PDT  21 AUG 2016]