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Green Party candidates back reparations lawsuit

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Greens back lawsuit seeking restitution from financial firms that profited from slavery

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Green Party candidates and leaders announced their support for a law suit that would hold Brown Brothers Harriman, a major U.S. financial institution, liable for its involvement in the slave trade.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in a Chicago federal courthouse began to hear the case (Farmer-Paellmann, et al. v. Brown and Williamson, http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/9/prweb435638.htm# on September 27.  The suit was filed by descendents of African American slaves whose labor contributed to Brown Brothers Harriman profits.

“Financial companies like Brown Brothers Harriman, Aetna, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase established themselves by exploiting stolen labor,” said Rick Tingling-Clemmons, Advisory Neighborhood Commission candidate in the District of Columbia.  “They made millions by investing in the slave trade, often after the slave trade was outlawed, as collateral on loans, through insurance policies on slaves, and through investment in plantations and merchants who relied on the unpaid work of slaves.  Since the descendents of owners and investors in such firms continue to reap the rewards of historical slave labor, it’s only fair that the descendents of slaves themselves share
in the profits.”

In its national platform, the Green Party endorses the payment of reparations for the descendents of slaves
http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/socjustice.html#999024.

Greens have also urged reparations from real estate companies and from the U.S. government for African Americans who lost their homes or were denied housing because of racially based redlining by the Federal Housing Administration, which occurred throughout the U.S. in the mid 20th century.  The effects of redlining persist
today in the disproportionate lack of African American home ownership and financial equity.

“We’re witnessing a similar pattern today in New Orleans, as developers, real estate firms, and other corporations and their investors profit from the displacement of thousands of residents from their homes after Hurricane Katrina,” said Joyce Robinson-Paul, DC Statehood Green Party candidate for U.S. Senator http://www.dcstatehoodgreen.org/election2006/candidate.php?annc_id=150.  “Most of the displaced are African American and poor, and many are elderly or families with children.  The privileging of corporate profits over racial justice remains one of the residual effects of American apartheid.”

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