Friday, February 14, 2003

Anita Rios, CoChair, Green Party of the United States, 419-297-3719, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mark Dunlea, Chair of the Green Party of New York State, 518-286-3411, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Defend the Constitution -- take action against an illegal war, Greens tell Congress at press conference.

View a Quicktime video of John Halle (Alderman, New Haven, CT) speaking at the press conference

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The Green Party of the United States joined with the Green Party in New York today in calling on the United Nations to enforce its charter provisions against the U.S. and other member countries planning to launch a preemptive war. Greens, speaking at today's press conference at 777 U.N. Plaza in New York, said that the U.N. faced becoming irrelevant if it failed to enforce its charter against such a war.

The Green Party demanded that Congress fulfill its constitutional responsibility to provide critical oversight of the President's efforts to initiate war. Greens criticized the Democratic Party and individual Congressional members for not doing more to halt the war, such as forcing a Congressional vote against the war, and for acquiescing to the increasing curtailment of civil liberties and right to protest at all levels.

The Green Party, the world's only international peace party, with parties in more than 90 countries, is helping to mobilize Greens and party supporters for the worldwide demonstrations on February 15 in opposition to the war on Iraq.

"Greens all over the world are standing in solidarity demanding that the UN Security Council must remain in charge of the situation," stated Annie Goeke, co-chair of the International Committee and delegate to the Global Greens Coordination.

Speaking to reporters, Goeke outlined the efforts of Green Parties throughout the world to prevent the war. "There is no time limit on the mandate for the inspections and so far the inspectors have not brought forth any reason for military intervention against Iraq. There is a worldwide consensus by the Greens that we are opposed to this war. Green Parties such as Germany, France, Belgium, Australia, Brazil and the Green Members of the European Parliament have been instrumental in shifting their governments' support away from the US position."

"The United Nations charter, which the United States helped draft, is designed to prevent war and allows such attacks only in self-defense to respond to an attack by foreign forces," stated John Halle, a Green member on the New Haven, Connecticut City Council, which recently passed a resolution against war with Iraq. "The United States has no authority under international law to launch a war against Iraq without a formal mandate from the U.N. Security Council under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter. It is critical that the U.N. Security Council fulfills its mission to ensure that this crisis is resolved without any party, including the United States, resorting to military force."

The Green Party called upon the U.N. to halt the illegal bombings in Iraq by the U.S. and Britain in the so-called no-fly zone, which have killed hundreds of Iraqi citizens, and to end the embargo upon Iraq that has led to deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians. Greens warned that an invasion may result in the mass death of Iraqi civilians, as well as high casualties among American troops and Iraqis defending their homeland against a foreign aggressor.

"President Bush and Congress have failed to supply either to the U.N. Security Council or the American people convincing evidence that the Iraqi government has chemical and biological weapons, that it intends to use them against the United States and that they are linked to Al Qaeda," said Prof. Stanley Aronowitz. Aronowitz, the 2002 Green Party candidate for Governor of New York, was the chief New York organizer for the Independent Committee to End the War in Vietnam.

"We call for the hundreds of billions of dollars that would be wasted in this war to instead be devoted to pressing domestic concerns, including investing in a sustainable energy policy that promotes renewable, clean energy such as solar and wind; energy conservation and efficiency; and increased gas mileage for automobiles and other vehicles."

"We believe that the United States' drive for a war with Iraq is primarily driven by economic considerations such as control of oil in the Middle East and promotion of economic interests of multinational corporations rather than any concerns about the security of the American people or respect for human rights or democracy in the Middle East," said Anita Rios, co-chair of the Green Party of the Untied States.

"We particularly urge the Democratic members of Congress who have voiced concerns about a possible war to require that a new resolution be voted upon before the Bush administration be allowed to attack Iraq or any other country."

Greens called upon the American government to promote international security by taking unilateral action to begin to eliminate our own weapons of mass destruction.

"The Green Party believes that the best way to provide security for American citizens is a commitment to collective global security which protects us all from the threat to violence, and seeks to promote justice and peace for all inhabitants of the planet," stated Medea Benjamin, former Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in California. Ms. Benjamin, a founder of Global Exchange, recently returned from a peace trip to Iraq. "This incredible increase of expenditure and focus on militarizing the oceans, the skies, the space above and around us, has given us a less secure world and a greater risk toward the creation of a world war. It carries the fertile ground of breeding violence as the world plunges into more poverty, more disparities in living conditions and over consumption of our delicate environment."

Green speakers also urged the U.N. to begin proceedings to prosecute those who are responsible for the actions of September 11, 2001 for crimes against humanity.


The Green Party of the United States

The Green Party of New York State

Green Party antiwar mobilization page

United for Peace & Justice

U.S. city councils that have passed resolutions against the war on Iraq