|The Association of State Green Parties
Friday, June 22, 2001
THE ASSOCIATION OF STATE GREEN PARTIES
For immediate release: Friday, June 22, 2001: Greens Step Up Call to Boycott Major Oil Companies After Bush's European Trip. U.S. Greens outraged at the police treatment of anti-Bush protesters in Sweden.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Greens say that the boycott of major oil companies is more urgent than ever in the wake of President Bush's performance during his recent European tour. Green Parties from all over the world called for a worldwide boycott of Exxon Mobil, Texaco, and Chevron -- powerful lobbies and contributors to Mr. Bush's election -- during the Global Greens 2001 Conference in Canberra, Australia in mid April.
President Bush said he's skeptical of scientific warnings about global warming, even though an overwhelming majority of scientists, including Nobel Prize winners (and not including scientists on the payroll of Exxon Mobil and other corporations), and recent studies have confirmed changes in climatic patterns and the human causes behind them.
On the other hand, the President continues to promote a "Star Wars" national missile defense scheme, a pipe dream of Reagan and a boondoggle for defense contractors, despite the lack of scientific foundation and the failure of testing. Enactment of Star Wars would also sabotage the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty and reignite the nuclear arms race.
Greens in the United States agree with Greens in Europe and the rest of the world -- and with the outrage from European governments and citizens -- that these policies are divisive, fraudulent, and destructive. President Bush's positions have nothing to do with science or concern for the health of humans and our environment, and everything to do with corporate profits. Greens also note that President Bush's obstruction of the Kyoto measures (which Greens consider flawed and inadequate, but a vital first step), promotion of Star Wars and antidemocratic free trade pacts, and support for the death penalty are continuations of Clinton-Gore policy.
Given such threats to the future of Europe and the rest of the world, Europeans had every justification to protest President Bush's visit to the European Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden in mid June. Despite promises of restraint and cooperation, Swedish police surrounded, blockaded, and invaded sites where forums on anti-globalization were taking place. Police unleashed dogs on peaceful protesters, trampled them on horseback, brutally beat whose who lied down in the street in order to surrender, arrested uninvolved bystanders, and even fired on one crowd, with at least one reported death.
As in the demonstrations held in Seattle, Washington D.C., Cincinnati, Prague, and other cities, police used these tactics to intimidate peaceful protesters and incite people to violence-- and to create the wrongful impression, especially among the media, that most anti-globalization activists are violent, even though only a tiny minority are bent on property destruction.
The Green Party, which espouses nonviolence as the only effective and morally justifiable tactic in social protest, supports these demonstrations as a response to the erosion of human rights and freedoms and environmental protections under international free trade pacts and corporate globalization. Greens recognize a connection between these trends and the increasing alienation of citizens from democratic involvement, as more and more people don't bother to vote in elections.