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McKinney/Clemente compared with Obama/Biden on US justice system, War on Drugs, human rights, & fair elections

The Green Imperative: Ending the Drug War, establishing racial and social justice, ensuring democracy and election integrity

As the Democratic National Convention continued, Green Party leaders called attention to sharp differences between the Democratic ticket and Green nominees Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente.

There’s a whole list of urgent issues that Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente are talking about, while Barack Obama and Joe Biden remain silent. The Democrats don’t want to discuss the devastation caused by the failed War on Drugs, or abuses by the police, courts, and Homeland Security authorities.  They won’t mention the theft of the 2000 and 2004 elections by the Republicans or address the mass displacement of poor and African American people from New Orleans.  For Cynthia and Rosa, these are major issues affecting the future of our country.

The War on Drugs

• Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente
— oppose the War on Drugs, calling it a war on African American, Latino, poor, and young people.  They favor legalization of marijuana and medical treatment for drug use and abuse instead of prosecution.

• Barack Obama and Joseph Biden
— support the War on Drugs.  Mr. Obama will continue the Andean Counterdrug Initiative, which has funded US assistance for repressive police and military forces in seven South American countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Venezuela) since 2001.

The Justice System

• Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente
— have spoken out strongly against police and court abuses, including the Sean Bell case, the Jena Six, and the Mumia Abu Jamal case.
— oppose privatization of prisons, which has created a new industry demanding increasing numbers of inmates for corporate profits.  As a result of the Prison-Industrial Complex, the US incarcerates more citizens than any other country in the world.
— call for abolition of the death penalty.

• Barack Obama and Joseph Biden
— remain silent or have equivocated on many cases of police and court abuses.
— are silent on the privatization of the prison system.
— support the death penalty.

Human Rights

• Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente
— would repeal the USA Patriot Act, Secret Evidence Act, and Military Commissions Act.
— have spoken out for the rights of survivors of Katrina in 2005.  Ms. McKinney was directly involved in efforts on behalf of people in New Orleans and has criticized bipartisan policies that have displaced thousands of poor and African American residents in the wake of the hurricane (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=94).  She joined the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, disobeying Democratic leadership’s call for Democrats to boycott the committee.
— support full and equal recognition for same-sex marriage.
— support full reproductive rights.
— support reparations for the descendents of African American slaves in the US.
— support statehood for the District of Columbia, with self-determination and full representation in Congress equal to other states (http://www.dcstatehoodgreen.org).

• Barack Obama and Joseph Biden
— support the USA Patriot Act (Mr. Obama voted for reauthorization).
— were not involved in assistance for Gulf Coast residents in Katrina aftermath.
— favor limited and unequal recognition for same-sex couples.
— would allow states to restrict late-term ‘partial birth’ abortion.
— do not support reparations for the descendents of slaves.
— favor the ‘DC Vote’: a single voting seat in the US House for DC.  Statehood for DC was removed from the Democratic Party’s national platform in 2004.

Democracy and Election Integrity

• Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente
— take no money from corporate contributors.
— have spoken out against the Republican theft of the 2000 and 2004 elections: see Ms. McKinney’s documentary ‘American Blackout’ (http://www.americanblackout.com).  Greens led effort to expose Republican obstruction of African American and young voters and manipulation of votes in Ohio and New Mexico in 2004 (http://www.iwantmyvote.com).
— seek public financing of elections, free time on public airwaves for all candidates, repeal of ballot access laws restricting third party and independent candidates.
— support instant runoff voting, proportional representation, and other reforms to ensure democracy in US elections.

• Barack Obama and Joseph Biden
— have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporate contributors (http://www.opensecrets.org).
— have not responded to election irregularities in Ohio in 2004 or to the Conyers Commission’s evidence that the 2004 election may have been stolen.
— are silent on many needed election reforms.  Democrats and Republicans have together worked to pass laws limiting third party and independent participation in elections.

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