The Global Greens applaud grassroots movements for self-determination and justice. We view with hope and admiration, recent such movements that are sprouting up around the world, from the Arab Spring to the Spanish Indignants to the Occupy Movement worldwide.
Power structures that are unjust and out-dated are being rejected in every nation, and people arising in one part of our world are giving hope to people in others.
But to bring about truly transformative change, social movements need to affect both attitudes and public policy, and to affect public policy, one has to affect politics. This is a long and worthy process, but one that doesn’t come without risks.
The Occupy Movement is by nature and design an apartisan movement, that is rightfully distrustful of politics as usual. The role of money and corruption in politics is deep and pervasive around the planet, and too often traditional, establishment political parties simply try to ignore or co-opt social movements, rather than empower them.
Like the Occupy Movement, the Green Party has a deep commitment to internal democracy. We believe everyone’s voice must be heard, and that there is a wisdom inherent in our diversity that makes us stronger when we listen to it. Like the Occupy Movement, Greens also believe we have to practice what we preach in our own lives and organizations, in order to create the world we want to live in — in other words, to ‘be the change’ we want to see, including practicing a deep and unshakeable commitment to non-violence.
In the case of the Green Party, in country after county for the last forty years, social movement activists who were not initially interested in electoral politics, but who found that the establishment political parties were unresponsive to their concerns about peace, justice, democracy and the environment, eventually concluded that they needed to start their own, new Green political parties, rather than accept the limitations imposed upon them by the establishment parties. This step was often unanticipated by those who eventually came to this conclusion. But in retrospect, this was a natural evolution from pure activism, to seeking an electoral complement to that pure activism.
Without strong social movements pushing upon politicians, politicians are unlikely to make the changes we need, and we must not sacrifice activism to only do electoral politics. But at the same time, without an electoral complement to social movements, transformative change can often be very difficult to sustain.
Of course, no one political party has a monopoly on good ideas, and we don’t suggest that the Occupy Movement should tie itself to any particular party or parties. But we do believe that it is absolutely critical that strategies to increase democracy and representation should be high on the list of the strategies of the Occupy Movement, because with a greater voice for the people, the other demands of the movement are more likely to occur, and to occur more quickly.
Ultimately greater self-governance, where all people have a say in the decisions that affect them, from the local to the global, is our best hope for humanity — and by extension, for other life on this planet, as the growing and kindred Rights of Nature movement is demonstrating.
With this in mind, the Global Green Party movement stands with people all over our planet who seek that greater voice. Because as we know from our planet’s ecology, all of our fates are inseparable and intertwined.