The Association of State Green Parties
Media Advisory:

The Global Greens Conference begins in Canberra, Australia, as Greens prepare to join the FTAA protests in Quebec.

Friday, April 13, 2001

Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator

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In the U.S. and internationally, the Greens emerge as the organized political force in the resistance against globalization's threat to democracy and the environment.

Global Greens 2001 Conference:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- American Green leaders are heading to Canberra, Australia for the Global Greens 2001 Conference, April 14 through 16. The conference has been organized by the Asia-Pacific Greens Network, the European Federation of Green Parties, the African Federation of Green Parties and the Federacion de Partidos Verdes de las Americas. 

Meanwhile, Greens from across the U.S. prepare to participate in the protests against the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) summit, scheduled for April 20 through 22, scheduling bus rides and caravans to Quebec and working with anti-globalization coalitions in towns, cities, and states across the U.S.  

The host of the Global Greens 2001 Conference, Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown, said he expects 700 people from more than 70 countries to attend, including many from incipient Green Parties from Asia and the Pacific: Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Korea, and Taiwan. Japan is sending a 40 member group.  The meeting features presentations and workshops on globalization, genetic engineering, nuclear power, worldwide climate change, and the alternatives to all these, especially sustainable  economic systems and energy sources not based on fossil fuels. The conference will also draft a Global Green Charter (

"The major topic of course is global warming and the Bush Administration's decision to pull out," noted Annie Goeke, one of three co-chairs of the Association of State Green Parties (ASGP) in the  U.S. "The Greens worldwide are thinking of initiating a global green action to boycott U.S. oil goods which will be proposed at our Global Green Conference. This conference certainly  marks the historical beginning for us to become a global political force that is so needed to change the direction of the existing global force of corporations dominance over the planet!" 

At least fifteen ASGP organizers and Greens from all across the United States will travel to Canberra to participate. The U.S. will have three delegates: Mike Feinstein, John Rensenbrink, and Ms. Goeke. The alternates are Tony Affigne and Tod Sloan. Theresa Amato, campaign manager for Ralph Nader, will also attend. 

The Green Party, in the U.S. and internationally, has emerged as the organized political resistance to the anti-democratic concentration of economic and political power represented by the FTAA,  the World Trade Organization, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and other international pacts.  The bureaucracies enacted under these pacts seek to open unrestricted global  markets and subvert national and local environmental, human rights, and labor protections,  for the benefit of corporate profit and power. 

Alternative media such as the Multinational Monitor ( have documented the ways corporations have, under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA,  the model for FTAA), either nullified democratically enacted protections or won millions of dollars in taxpayers' money by  suing governments for infringement of their "investors rights" when such protections are enforced.  

"Our world is increasingly controlled by corporate decisions, including foreign policy," said ASGP  media coordinator Nancy Allen. "We need a Green politics to emphasize the environment , democracy, and human rights." 

Background commentary:  GloboCorp versus We The People 

Greens recognize that this challenge represents a new global conflict superseding the 20th century competition between western capitalism and bureaucratic socialism (Soviet-style communism).   Nation-states have grown inferior in power and wealth in comparison to global corporations, which have drawn unprecedented strength from  technology's rapid transfer of capital and information, their control over media, and  international pacts like the FTAA.

In the Cold War paradigm, China and western capitalism were irreconcilable enemies. In the  new conflict, global corporate capitalism stands ready to embrace China as a market of over a billion consumers and a source of cheap labor. 
The Chinese government's suppression of Falun Gong and democratic movements, exploitation of prison and sweatshop labor, and oppressively byzantine and corrupt bureaucracy are secondary (perhaps irrelevant) considerations.  

Hence the quick and necessary resolution to the  American spy-plane incident: the U.S. and China couldn't let a squabble over espionage (a relic of the nation-state era) come between eager trading partners. 

The new conflict is evident in countless major news stories and economic trends: 

  • Sabotage of the already compromised Kyoto measures to combat global warming, under the influence of American fossil fuel lobbies, first by the Clinton-Gore Administration during the  International Conference on Climate Change (November, 2000 in the Hague), and then by the Bush Administration's withdrawal of the U.S. from the Kyoto agreements in March, 2001. 

  • The Environmental Protection Agency's recent decision to withhold a report on traces of carcinogenic dioxin in meat and dairy products,  under pressure from chemical, beef, and poultry industries, suggesting that Administrator Christine Todd Whitman has transformed the EPA into a flack office for corporate lobbyists and  their hired guns in Congress and the White House.

  • The lawsuit undertaken by some U.S. drug companies against South Africa and actions against Brazil and other countries that attempt to make low-cost (generic) AIDS drugs and  other medicines available to sick populations -- and the resistance against these corporate threats and demands, from South Africa, Brazil, and other nations and from ACT UP and other activist groups in the U.S. 

  • Unregulated genetic modification of crops and livestock; disasters like mad cow disease, foot and mouth disease, e-coli, contamination of corn with untested genetically engineered varieties, and other health threats resulting from corporate unaccountability and deregulation. 

  • Privatization of resources and services formerly owned by the public: prison corporations in the U.S., creating a financial incentive to lock up more citizens (an economic motivation for the War on Drugs); attempts by Monsanto, Bechtel, and other firms, assisted by the World Bank, to privatize water in India, Mexico, and elsewhere as the demand for fresh water doubles in the next  generation.

  • The rapid growth of corporate agribusiness, resulting in the destruction of family farms in the U.S. and of local self-reliant agricultural economies in developing nations.  

  • The "malling" of America as locally owned small businesses -- Mom & Pop drugstores, restaurants, shops, etc. -- get replaced by Walmart, K-Mart, Starbuck's, Blockbuster, fast food franchises, etc., and Main Street economies get drained by Wall Street and sprawl drains cities. Entrepreneurial capitalism (family farms, small businesses, economic self-reliance and individual initiative), once the driving force of western economy, occupy a complex and precarious position in the new conflict: family farms and small businesses get swallowed up or placed under corporate dependence and control.  (Apologists for  traditional capitalist or socialist ideology fail to understand the divorce between entrepreneurial and corporate capitalism. Advocacy of localized and democratic sustainable economies -- whether entrepreneurial or socialist -- sets the Greens apart.)

  • Concentration of the media under an ever smaller group of corporate owners with an interest in restricting news and public debate, a process accelerated by the Reagan Administration with the weakening of the Federal Communications Commission; Clinton's  Telecommunications Act, which loosens rules against multiple ownership of radio and television stations in single broadcast areas; and President Bush's appointment of Michael Powell, who opposes regulation of media mergers, to chair the FCC. Ironically, the same technology that helped concentrate corporate media control also fuels the opposition. The protests against the WTO, FTAA, etc. were planned over the Internet. The Green Party thrives on e-mail. 

OUT: Democratic vs. Republican IN: Bipartisan vs. Green

In all of these cases, the two major political parties of the United States side with their corporate benefactors. The Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton Administrations laid the groundwork for globalization; the George W. Bush presidency speeds up the process, with legislation virtually written by corporate lobbyists, and with staff (not to mention the President's family business) representing oil and defense lobbies: Dick Cheney for Halliburton, Condoleezza Rice for Chevron, Donald Rumsfeld for Empower America and the Center for Security Policy (defense industry-funded think tanks that revived Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative boondoggle).  Loyalty to the oil industry also explains President Bush's proposed spending cuts of 54 percent for solar energy and 48 percent for wind energy. 

The Democratic Party of Clinton, Gore, and Lieberman offers scant opposition, having abandoned traditional party positions in support of the social safety net pledges of the New Deal and Great Society and national health insurance.  President Clinton initiated training in military tactics for domestic police forces, increased domestic surveillance, and scaled back habeas corpus protections -- all of which weakened the free speech of protesters at the WTO summit in Seattle, the World Bank and IMF meetings in Washington, the Democratic and Republican national conventions in 2000, and other exclusive events at which global public policy gets negotiated. 

That leaves the Green Party as the sole political force with serious electoral ambitions that's willing to defend human rights, freedoms, and democracy, economic and social justice, and the health of the environment against the conversion to a global system governed by and for corporations. Greens represent the electoral wing of the movement against GloboCorp's threat to democracy and the earth itself. 


Global Greens Conference:
Green Party platform:
Protests against the FTAA:

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