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Green Party endorses the Durban+10 Coalition for 10th anniversary of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism

Green party anti-war poster

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The Green Party of the United States has endorsed the Durban+10 Coalition and its efforts to enact the agenda of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, which took place in Durban, South Africa.  The goal of the Durban conference was “to eradicate racial discrimination, inequity, colonialism, xenophobia and related intolerances” throughout the world.

The full text of the resolution adopted on August 28, 2011 by the National Committee of the Green Party of the United States, with supporting information, can be read here: http://green.gpus.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=616

The 2001 Durban conference drew participation from the nations of the world, despite attempts by the Bush Administration to undermine the event and refusal by the Bush-Powell State Department to attend.  The Obama-Clinton State Department has maintained a similarly dismissive position on the conference.

“In this International Year for People of African Descent proclaimed by the UN General Assembly during its 64th session held in 2009, we in the Green Party hope that public officials and politicians, including President Obama, who are celebrating the new Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial will demonstrate their dedication to Dr. King’s principles and embrace the Durban conference and its goals,” said Denice Traina, former co-chair of the Georgia Green Party (http://www.greens.org/georgia). 

The Durban+10 Coalition, an alliance of non-governmental organizations from the US and worldwide (http://www.durban10coalition.com), supports the UN General Assembly’s plan for a meeting of heads of state to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (http://www.un.org/durbanreview2009/pdf/DDPA_full_text.pdf), to take place on September 22, 2011 with the theme “Victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance: recognition, justice and development.”

In June, the Obama White House, in a conference call briefing attended by Green Party co-chair Theresa El-Amin, announced its withdrawal from the September 22 meeting. (See “Greens urge Obama to reverse decision to shun the third World Conference against Racism,” Green Party press release, June 8, 2011, http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=428).

“The Durban conference’s agenda challenges the violations of the rights of immigrants, indigenous peoples, African-descendant people, and others that continue in the US, as well as US aid for Israel’s suppression of human rights and self-determination for Palestinians.  The Green Party’s principles and platform are in harmony with the Durban agenda,” said Thomas Muhammad, co-chair of the Green Party Black Caucus (http://www.gp.org/caucuses/black/index.php).

“We support amnesty for undocumented immigrants and oppose xenophobic new laws in states like Arizona.  We endorse reparations for the descendents of people held in slavery.  We fiercely oppose the war on drugs and private prison industry, which have resulted in the incarceration of record numbers of Americans — mostly black and brown young people — in order to boost corporate profits and provide a new form of slave labor.  We support statehood for the residents of the District of Columbia, whose black-majority population deserves the same self-governance, constitutional rights, and congressional representations as all other Americans.  We have endorsed boycott, divestment, and sanctions as a means to press Israel to cease its brutal treatment of Palestinians,” added Mr. Muhammad.

In August 2001, the party urged the Bush Administration to send a US delegation to the first Durban meeting (http://www.gp.org/press/pr_08_13_01.html).  In April 2009, the Green Party called for US participation in the Durban Review Conference (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=204).  Greens attended both meetings.

“We had such hope those days in Durban,” said Rev. Zack Lyde, a Missionary Baptist pastor, lifetime resident of Brunswick Georgia, and former chair of the Georgia Green Party who ran three times for public office on the Green ticket.  Rev. Lyde participated in the 2001 Durban conference.  “It is absolutely disheartening ten years later to see my state subject one in thirteen Georgians to judicial supervision, to round up our immigrant neighbors for deportation, to bankrupt our schools to fund these destructive public policies of mass incarceration.  The klansman’s lie of white supremacy continues to wrap itself in new robes, but its chameleon like nature fools no one in these rural communities; no one who has eyes to see.”

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