Authored By: Andy Ellis
As Jury selection begins for William Porter, the first of the officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore Green Party remains vigilant and committed to a just outcome. The process that is beginning in the courts will have ramifications not just for this case but for the future of policing in our city. As the trial proceeds the debate about policing and crime will heat up in the streets, the mainstream corporate media, and social media.
This will occur against a backdrop of the upcoming Baltimore City elections and every Democrat running will shape a large part of their campaign around what occurs in this and future trials. While the democrats tailor their positions to appeal to a small number of voters and a smaller number of influential donors, the Baltimore Green Party stands in solidarity with the people, communities and small businesses of the city.
We believe this trial is worthy of the attention of everyone in Baltimore, even if it is one instance of a set of larger issues, it occurs at a time when we all know change must come. The Baltimore Green Party will continue to seek coalitions which create a political opposition capable of implementing real community based solutions to the problems underlying this trial.
The power of people and communities have pushed the politicians to demand accountability for policing and we will continue to stand in solidarity with the people through this and the other trials.
Authors Note: This statement was originally entitled "Regarding Freddie Grey Trials". That title has been changed to more accurately reflect who is on trial and for what. It was not our intention to indicate that Freddie Gray is on trial, but our initial wording did that, and as the author I apologize. Thank you to the thoughtful activists and thinkers in Baltimore who pointed out the problem of the initial wording.
For Immediate Release:
October 6, 2015
Dr. Margaret Flowers - seeking the Green Party nomination for United States Senate from Maryland - was arrested this morning while attending a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing at the U.S. Capitol.
She was at the Capitol to demand an independent investigation of the U.S. bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan that killed at least 20 patients and wounded dozens of others.
Dr. Flowers spoke to media before the hearing began. She began to leave the hearing before it was called to order but was ordered arrested by committee chair Senator John McCain before the gavel struck to call the meeting to order. Approximately a dozen individuals from Code Pink and other groups were present. Dr. Flowers was the only person arrested.
"Bombing hospitals is a war crime," said Flowers. Hospitals are generally immune from attack under the Geneva Convention. In 2014 the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution reaffirming that hospitals and medical facilities should not be attacked during war.
After her arrest Dr. Flowers was told she would be given a citation and released to return for a court hearing at a later date.
The Baltimore Green Party calls on the Baltimore City Council to take legislative action to end the water shutoff crisis. Since the announcement of 25,000 residential shut offs in March, the City has gone about its enforcement inconsistently and unfairly.
While members of the Baltimore Green Party are participating in local protests, the party continues its strategy for long-term electoral reform by working to challenge city and state officials who fail to protect the citizens of the City of Baltimore.
According to an investigation by The Baltimore Sun, nearly $6 million in city funds have been paid in the last five years to settle over 100 lawsuits alleging police brutality and other misconduct by Baltimore police officers. The Green Party's electoral strategy seeks to elect city officials who will prevent - not hide - police brutality.
The city of Richmond, CA - led by Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, a Green Party member - established a series of reforms that has nearly eliminated police violence toward citizens while dramatically decreasing the city's violent crime rate.
The Green Party is also working statewide to challenge members of the Maryland General Assembly who are unwilling to commit to the transparency required to establish trust between citizens and police.
The Green Party calls for reforms to the Law Enforcement Officer's Bill of Rights, which currently shields violent and law-breaking police officers from transparent public oversight and discipline from their commanding officers.
The Baltimore Green Party urges citizens who share the party's vision for long-term electoral reform to seek the party's nomination for City elections in 2016.
The Baltimore Green Party has agreed to select a temporary Steering Committee at its next meeting on Monday, March 30th at 7pm. The five-person committee will conduct the day-to-day operations of the party until the election of the standing Steering Committee is finalized for the spring/summer of 2015.
The Steering Committee consists of two Co-Chairs, a Treasurer, a Secretary, and an Organizer, each elected at-large. The duties and responsibilities of the Steering Committee are described in the party's bylaws.
Any Active Member of the party may nominate his or herself or another Active Member for one of the five positions. Another Active Member must second the nomination.
If more than one member is nominated for the same office, a vote by secret ballot will be taken at the party's meeting on Monday, March 30th at 7pm.
If you wish to nominate yourself or another Active Member for any of the five positions, contact the party or make an announcement on the party's discussion list.
Nominations made also be made in person at the start of the meeting on Monday, March 30th at 7pm.
Do you want to run for Mayor, City Council, or Comptroller in 2016? The Baltimore Green Party's nomination process is available for public viewing now. Click here to find out how to win the Green Party's nomination for one of these city offices.
According to state law, the first day an individual could file a Declaration of Intent for the 2016 election was January 16, 2015. Candidates for the Green Party nomination are encouraged to begin campaigning as soon as possible.
Green Party Supports Plastic Bag Ban, Calls for Significant Additional Action to Address Climate Crisis
The Baltimore City Green Party urges the City Council to approve - and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to sign - a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags as a first step to meaningful action on the climate crisis.
"In September 400,000 people - including many Baltimoreans - marched in New York City to call for serious new limits on pollution. The march was targeted at the United Nations, but the city of Baltimore can take action to address the climate crisis as well," said Ian Schlakman, 2014 Green Party nominee for U.S. House of Representatives, District 2.
The Baltimore City Green Party urges city leaders to introduce and pass legislation to:
-Ban garbage incineration through the city of Baltimore.
-Establish car-free zones - which would allow pedestrian, bicycle and bus traffic only - throughout the city.
-Establish sufficient recycling facilities so 100% of materials collected through the city's recycling programs are recycled without reselling to third parties or shipment outside the city.
-Mandate new commercial and multi-unit residential construction install solar and/or wind power generation.
"The climate crisis is real and will not be solved without leadership from cities - like Baltimore - in which people of color and people living in the poorest neighborhoods are most affected by pollution," said Schlakman. "We urge city leaders to prove that we can improve the quality of life for the Earth and the people of Baltimore by taking responsibility for the resources we use and the waste we produce."
The Baltimore City Green Party is committed to nominating candidates for the 2016 city elections.
Candidates are encouraged to begin developing campaigns immediately. Candidates are authorized to declare publicly that they are "seeking the nomination of the Green Party."
Candidates are encouraged to establish a campaign finance entity and legally raise funds to support their campaign. Candidates are urged to familiarize themselves with state law regarding candidacy and campaign finance.
According to state law, candidates must declare their intent to seek the Green Party's nomination for the next city and federal election on or before the July 1, 2016.
After this date, the Baltimore City Green Party will hold a primary election to determine its nominees for Mayor, President of the City Council, City Council, and Comptroller.
Nominees for President of the United States, U.S Senate and U.S. House will be determined under rules established by the Maryland Green Party.