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Green Party wraps up its 2009 Annual National Meeting in Durham, NC; video clips of meeting highlights posted online

Among the videos: a forum on health care reform, an address by Cynthia McKinney, and West Virginia’s Jesse Johnson speaking on mountaintop removal for coal

The Green Party of the United States concluded its 2009 Annual National Meeting in Durham, North Carolina, on Sunday.  The meeting was attended by at least 95 delegates from at least 33 state Green Parties and caucuses, as well as many party leaders, candidates, officeholders, and observers.

Video highlights of the meeting have been posted at the Green Party’s web site (http://www.gp.org/video/durham.shtml) and at LiveStream.com (http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus) and include:

• A forum on health care reform and the need for a single-payer national health care plan, on Friday afternoon, July 24.  The event featured Dr. Jonathan Kotch, Board President of Health Care for All NC and senior faculty member at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Dr. Justine McCabe, former co-chair of the Green Party of Connecticut and Ph.D. alumna of Duke University; Carl Romanelli, 2006 Green candidate in Pennsylvania for the US Senate and Northeastern Pennsylvania Coordinator for Healtcare 4 All PA (http://www.healthcare4allpa.org);  and Pat LaMarche, 2004 Green vice-presidential nominee and 2006 candidate for Governor of Maine.  George Friday, co-chair of the North Carolina Green Party, moderated.  Greens plan to participate in the ‘Medicare: Made in America’ DC Lobby Day and Rally organized by HealthCare Now!, to take place on Thursday, July 30 (http://www.healthcare-now.org/campaigns/single-payer-rally).

• A talk on Friday evening by Jesse Johnson of the West Virginia Mountain Party (affiliated with the Green Party) about the catastrophic effects of mountaintop removal by the coal mining industry.  Mr. Johnson’s speech was followed by a screening of the new documentary ‘Coal Country: Rising Up Against Mountaintop Removal Mining’ (http://www.coalcountrythemovie.com), which he helped produce.  See also “Coal Country Premiere: Big Coal Lobby Does Not Want You to See This Powerful New Film” by Jeff Biggers, Huffington Post, July 3, 2009 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-biggers/icoal-countryi-premiere-b_b_225341.html).

• An address by former Congress member Cynthia McKinney before Greens via live stream on Saturday, July 25.  Ms. McKinney, the Green Party’s presidential nominee in 2008, discussed her recent efforts with the Free Gaza Movement and Viva Palestina to bring medical and other humanitarian supplies to Gaza in the wake of Israel’s invasion last December and January.  Ms. McKinney and other Free Gaza activists were aboard the Spirit of Humanity when it was seized by Israeli gunboats (http://www.freegaza.org), but a Viva Palestina convoy succeeded in delivering supplies last week (http://www.vivapalestina.org).

• Press conferences featuring Green candidates, public officeholders, and leaders, including David Doonan, Mayor of Greenwich, New York; Dave Bosserman, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Washington, DC; and Everett Platt, James Island Public Service District in South Carolina; Lynn Williams, candidate for Governor of Maine; Lisa Green, candidate for California State Assembly (53rd District); Morgan Moss, Jr, Louisiana, candidate for Mayor of Rayville, Louisiana, and Alfred Molison, candidate for City Council in Houston, Texas.

Among the many workshops at the meeting, the Green Party Black Caucus hosted the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA: http://www.ncobra.com) for a workshop focused on ways to advance the Green Party’s support for Reparations.  The workshop addressed the value of the single-payer plan in eliminating racial disparities in access to health care.

Other workshops covered democratizing the Electoral College (Asa Gordon of the Douglass Institute of Government), the boycott-divestment-sanction movement to end Israel’s human rights violations (International Committee), ballot access, candidate recruitment, high speed rail transportation, Green economics, and many more topics (http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcmtq7fw_30cb44rphp).  Video of some of the workshops have been place online.

The meeting took place Thursday, July 23, through Sunday, July 26, on the campus of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in Durham (http://www.ncgreenparty.org/2009-ANM.html).  NCCU, the nation’s first public liberal arts institution founded for African-Americans (http://www.nccu.edu), is currently celebrating its 100 year anniversary.

“We were very impressed and grateful for the hospitality of our hosts in Durham.  NCCU was the perfect choice for us; everyone was so gracious and accommodating from the facilities staff to the cafeteria,” said Hillary Kane, co-chair of the Green Party’s Annual National Meeting Committee and chair of the Green Party of Pennsylvania.

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