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Global Greens News: April 2014

GLOBAL GREENS NEWSLETTER- END OF APRIL 2014

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                                                           EUROPE

EUROPEAN ELECTIONS

Common Manifesto, online debates, contribute to the campaign and how to vote from abroad

 

 

On 22-25 of May, EU citizens will have the opportunity to change Europe and vote Green. The Greens’ leading candidates are Ska Keller from Germany and José Bové from France.

 

The first live debate among the candidates for President of the EU Commission just took place in Maastricht, and more are coming: 9 May 17h30 CET Debate at European University Institute. Live from Florence (link), televised on RaiNews; with José, Jean-Claude Juncker, Martin Schulz and Guy Verhofstadt; ; 15 May21h00CET – EU-wide televised TV debate. Live from Brussels (link), broadcast on at least 20 national public broadcasters; with Ska, Jean-Claude Juncker, Martin Schulz, Guy Verhofstadt and Alexis Tsipras;

 

 
 

ACT NOW TO HELP SYRIA'S REFUGEE

NGOs’ call endorsed by European Greens. By Kelly Farrow

 

Over 100 NGOs have joined forces to call on European leaders to act now to help Syria’s refugees by giving them a safe way into Europe (www.helpsyriasrefugees.eu), reuniting families torn apart by the crisis and protecting refugees arriving at Europe’s borders. Supporters of the campaign can sign the Europe Act Now petition and give their voice on social media to refugees fleeing the conflict and attempting to seek protection in Europe.

 

Through some of the voices of this campaign, like Azmi and Azzam (see facebook here) and Zaina and Osama, the European Greens have recently illustrated the problems asylum seekers face in trying to reach Europe. “Our parents are old. They can't handle the dangerous sea trip to Europe or being detained in an airport jail. Our only hope is to try to find a legal and safe way to bring them to Europe,” said Azzam. (video).  Several Green Members of the European Parliament have publicly supported the campaign. The campaign is available in English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.

 

 

                                                     AFRICA

 

 

20TH ANNIVERSARY OF RWANDAN GENOCIDE

 

 

On April 6th in 1994 the fast rising tensions in Rwanda caught fire as the plane carrying the Rwandan and Burundian presidents back from peace negotiations in Tanzania was shot down. In the following 100 days, between six hundred thousand and one million people were killed. Unlike other genocides in history, no one tried to keep the killings in Rwanda a secret. Pictures, and stories told by journalists spread across the world. The United Nations was on site monitoring an attempted ceasefire but without a mandate to intervene in the killings. In addition, the international community took care not to define the killings of Rwanda as genocide, which according to international law would force a humanitarian intervention.

 

It has been 20 years, but the scars are still visible. 24% of the population of Rwanda live in extreme poverty, and although child mortality rates have gone down, education levels have risen and poverty has been reduced, democratic rights such as freedom of expression are nowhere to be seen and the situation for many of the survivors of the genocide is severe.

 

During the 20th commemoration of the genocide against Tutsis, The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda wishes to express its sympathy with the survivors of the genocide. They call upon the Rwandan government to expedite plans to provide shelter, food and education for the survivors, since, as they claim, it is evident that even after twenty years some survivors have nowhere to sleep, no means to survive and have a normal life. It is especially urgent to pay attention to elderly survivors with no offspring or other relatives to care for them and no strength left to care for themselves. DGPR therefore call for a special fund and/or a project at community level to address this problem.

Rwandan Green Website: http://www.rwandagreendemocrats.org/

                                                   AMERICA

MEXICAN GREENS FIGHTING FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS

Mexico: PVEM en la lucha por los derecho de los animales

 

Tras lograr que en 3 Estados de la República Mexicana se prohíba estrictamente la presentación de espectáculos circenses  que utilicen animales,  el Partido Verde Ecologista de México presenta ahora una iniciativa más amplia y a nivel nacional.

 

Debido a que existen diversos espectáculos públicos y privados en donde exhiben y someten a animales domésticos y silvestres a actividades que no son propias de su naturaleza, el senador Jorge Emilio González Martínez del Partido Verde presentó una iniciativa para prohibir su uso en cualquier tipo de función a nivel nacional.

El coordinador de la bancada ecologista del Senado explicó que si bien la Ley General de Vida Silvestre protege en cierta medida a la fauna silvestre  en cautiverio, dichas medidas han probado no ser suficientes.

Afirmó que a pesar de haberse logrado  que en  los 31 estados de la nación ya se cuente con  leyes de protección a los animales,  al no existir una disposición federal que establezca la prohibición expresa del uso de animales en espectáculos, esta protección ha sido débil, selectiva  y poco efectiva.

 

BRASILIAN GREENS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN FOR 2014 WILL FOCUS ON GREEN CORE VALUES

 

At the launch of the Programmatic Guidelines for the October 2014 Presidential elections, the Green Party of Brazil reaffirmed its status as a progressive party, focusing on issues of individual freedoms and women rights.

" This time the Green campaign will emphasize issues of sexual orientation, political reforms, tax reforms and relations with agriculture. During the last campaign in 2010, those topics were not well placed" said Green presidential candidate Eduardo Jorge.

Marina da Silva, the former presidential candidate for the Brazilian Greens in 2010, was against the legalisation of Marijuana and abortion, two topics that have been flags of the Brazilian Greens from the 1980s. "These issues are responsible for the suffering of thousands of families. We guarantee to these people a choice, a support" said Eduardo.  "We will not focus on these issues because we hope to gain votes; we will do so because we care, and thus we will not remain silent" he concluded.

The Manifesto of the Brasilian Greens is available (portuguese Only):
http://fundacaoverde.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/diretrizes_pv.pdf
 
 

                                                           ASIA - PACIFIC

AUSTRALIAN GREENS SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN FOR SENATE

 

The Australian Greens Party has reaffirmed its status as Australia’s most successful minor party ever by

winning a seat in the delayed election for Senate members from the state of Western Australia.

Sitting Greens Senator Scott Ludlam retained his seat after a big swing to the Greens whose vote

increased to 15.9 per cent of ballots cast, not too far behind the main opposition Labor Party’s 21.8 per cent share.

The Western Australian Senate election had to be re-run after several hundred ballot papers disappeared during a recount of votes following the original poll last September. The Greens now have 10 seats in the 76-seat Australian upper house, giving them a powerful position of leverage over the ruling Liberal-Nationals who only have 33 seats and will be reliant on minor party support to pass legislation.

The Greens also hold a single seat in the directly-elected lower house. (Senators are elected by a complicated proportional representation system which tends to favour minor parties).

The result is a massive boost for Greens leader Christine Milne who, since becoming party head in April  2012, had suffered a string of reversals in recent elections including a 28 per cent fall in the party’s total

vote at the September national election.

More recently the Greens lost two of their five seats in last month’s election in the island state of

Tasmania, considered by many as the party’s spiritual homeland. That election ended the Greens’ first

taste of government in Australia, as a junior coalition partner with the ruling Labor party. Labor lost the

election to the Liberals.

The new Senate won’t be sworn in until July 1 when conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott will

attempt to gain a majority of Senate votes to repeal the clean energy legislation, an initiative of the former Labor Government.

 

                                         GLOBAL GREENS NEWS

GREENS GLOBALLY UNITED IN REACTION AGAINST NUCLEAR POWER AND CLIMATE CHANGE ON ANNIVERSARIES OF NUCLEAR DISASTERS AND LAST IPCC REPORT

During the last weeks, on the occasion of the 3rd anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the 28th anniversary of the Chernobyl one, Greens from all over the world did not miss the chance to confirm their commitment to fight against any expansion of nuclear power and to work to phase it out rapidly, in accordance with the Global Greens Charter, Political action point 3.5. See Global Greens Statements and a facebook album showing anti nuclear actions from green groups all over the world.

Greens reacted firmly also to the last UN warning of the catastrophic effects of Climate Change as the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was released at the end of March. See “Reactions of Greens Parties to the IPCC report”, which explains that climate change will affect every single person on the planet, with rising temperatures already having an impact on agriculture, human health, and water supplies.

Global Greens are launching a Climate Action database initiative aiming to collect information on climate action and policies from Green groups all over the world. You could be one of the first to fill it in and give us your feedback/more information to come!

​

GREENS ACROSS BORDERS - ONE BIG FAMILY

Travelling reportage by Josh Wyndham-Kidd

This is a letter from a very happy Green. Since the Australian elections in 2013, I've been travelling in the Middle East and Europe, meeting with Greens as I go. I've barely brushed the surface, but it's still clear that key things unite us: clear values; hard work for the common good; and weaving a social movement, not just a political party.

 

Activism remains dangerous across the planet, and the urgency of convincing people everywhere to elect Green representatives is only increasing as our planet warms. I think one answer to these challenges is working ever more closely together, which is why the Global Green project is so exciting. We can all learn from hotspots like the West Midlands' door-to-door organising, the Turkish Greens who rallied in Gezi, or the huge youth success of the Austrian party.

 

As a global movement, we can collaborate on global issues: Norway's state fund invests in Australian coal, so Green MPs in both countries are campaigning together for the fund to divest from fossil fuels. Australian and European Greens are pooling their knowledge on refugee rights to fight back against abuses on both continents. When we grapple with internal issues - working effectively while staying democratic, adapting to winning elections, when to work with other parties and so on - we can turn to each other for solutions. From building electoral lists with civil society, to crowdsourcing legislation, another Green has done it before. Most importantly, we can support each other when times are hard.

 

The anti-nuclear movement is breaking ground in Jordan, organising some of their country's first and most innovative environmental actions and holding back nuclear plants until now. Despite this strength, the security services recently stopped activists from setting up a Green Party because of their opposition to nuclear. The Egyptian Greens joined them to draw attention to this abuse.


Next time Greens are threatened, if solidarity action will help, I plan to add my voice and help organise other Greens to do the same. I encourage you to reach out to Greens in other countries, however you can - online, in person, through the Global Greens. We have so many reasons to reach out to one another, but this is perhaps the best of all: a global family will get us through the crises to come.
 

BE GREEN GLOBALLY JOINT FUNDRAISING EVENT

In April, we had the first ever ‘be green globally’ event. This exciting initiative was organised jointly by the Canadian, US, Australian and New Zealand Greens on a trial basis, with the goal of extending it in future to include more Green parties, more languages and turning it into a movement for green change around the world. Be Green Globally included a live chat with the leaders, and three ‘thought experiments’. Read the hundreds of ideas contributed by Green-minded people on the green economy, respect for diversity, and climate change. Thanks to Johan Hamels for initiating this great idea and to the four Green parties for making it happen.
 

 

MAKE A REGULAR DONATION TO THE GLOBAL GREENS - Become a FROGG

Help us grow into a truly influential global movement. Become a Friend of the Global Greens by making regular donations, small or large, and we’ll be able to communicate, collaborate and campaign to get more Greens elected everywhere. Join FROGG now.

 
Contributed to this Newsletter

Josh Wyndham-Kidd: Greens member from Canberra, Australia. He worked for two years as a campaigner for the leaders of the Australian Greens, including the current leader Senator Christine Milne.

Kelly Farrow: lawyer and policy adviser, currently studying a Masters in Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. She previously worked as an adviser to Australian Greens MPs for three years and recently visited Brussels to work at the European Council on Refugees and Exiles.

Fabiano Carnevale, executive co president of the FPVA, member of Brazilian Greens and Global Greens Coordination; Margaret Blakers, Convener of the Global Greens and member of Australian Greens, Peter Davis, member of Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, Simon Mader and Jessika Isaksson, Volunteer Newsletter Editors.

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