Social justice

We have inherited a world in which the future of life itself is in question. After 500 years of exploitation and oppression on this continent, we as Greens are offering an opportunity to restore a sense of harmony and sacredness to our land and peoples. We call upon the wisdom of our elders, on the Native Americans who first walked here, and on the women and men who over the centuries worked for values rooted in respect for nature, diversity, cooperation, and gentleness.

Our children are facing a culture that teaches them everything is to be sold, used, abused, and disposed of. They are taught by this culture that progress means the destruction of sacred lands for mining, increased risks of cancer and birth defects for those living near toxic dumps and trash burners, and growing up without meaningful work or security. They are coming to believe that their future can be separated from the fate of the Earth.

To create a way of living worth passing on, we must transform the institutions and values of the dominant life-denying culture. The society Greens are creating sees an intimate connection between our rights as individuals and our responsibilities to our neighbors, our community, and the Earth. The balance between our rights and responsibilities grows out of processes that promote the maximum participation of everyone in the decisions that affect our well-being, our economic security, our social and international policies, and the way we live our lives.

Through our concrete work, through our projects, programs, activities, events, and actions, we are committed to establishing relationships that honor diversity, that support the self-definition and self-determination of people, and that consciously confront the barriers of racism, sexism, heterosexism, class oppression, ageism, the focus on a body's abilities, and the many ways our culture separates us from working together to define and solve the common dangers we face. We endorse an ongoing dialogue about the implications of policies to guard against racist, sexist, or economic bias.

Our vision of the future grows from an honest look at the past. As Greens, we will no longer evade looking at the pain and destruction the dominant culture has created. Each of us, claiming our own power, our own legacy of struggle, our own responsibility, can choose to participate in restoring our dignity and shaping a new future.

International responsibility

We support and endorse U.N. conventions, when consistent with Green values.

We support and recognize the authority of International Law and the World Court.

We support and endorse regional bodies as having primary responsibilities for assisting in problem solving.

We call for the disbanding of the Central Intelligence Agency and all covert operations agencies within the U.S. government.

We support the cancellation of Third World debt.

We urge the cancellation of all military and economic aid to governments guilty of human rights violations.

We support all just struggles for self-determination and human rights.

Commitment to fundamental human needs

We urge support for fundamental needs including food, clothes, and shelter.

We support funding for the development of the arts and artists from the community to the national level.

We call for the creation of public arts and works programs for rebuilding of our cities and restoration of our countryside.

Child care centers should be developed, available and accessible to all children, and based on Green values.

We endorse the provision of secure livable incomes for all. (See also Economics section.)

We endorse the provision of national health care systems, honoring all forms of healing arts and sciences. (See Health and Healing section.)

We urge the creation of local, regional, and national councils to address the crisis in education and to develop ways and means of enabling young people to develop themselves through the redevelopment of their communities.

We support funding of international travel, education, and development for adults and youth.

We endorse the provision of free public education as a lifelong right for all citizens.

We urge that all large corporations be required to give one-year notice of intent to cease operations in any community.

We support the provision of low-interest loans for all unemployed persons to initiate small-business activities.

Racial justice/antiracism

The United States began with the invasion of the Western Hemisphere by Europeans. These colonialists brought with them a way of life forged by the dispossession of people in Europe from their land and traditions rooted in respect for the Earth. To amass wealth, the ideology of racism was created, justifying the genocide of Native Peoples, the enslavement of African Americans, and the exploitation of Hispanics, Asians, and other people of color around the globe. Throughout our history, race has been used politically, economically, socially, and psychologically to justify and protect those with power and privilege.

Although all people of European descent have benefitted from racism, they have not all benefitted equally. Nor have they all participated equally in its perpetuation. Throughout our history there have always been some women and men of European descent who have also done antiracist work. Our culture obscures their legacy, just as it reduces racism to attitudes of prejudice and acts of discrimination. We define racism as prejudice plus power. Power means that prejudice is systematically enforced by the distribution and use of resources and institutions and those who have access to them.

In recognition of the central role of racism in the creation of our country's governmental, social, and economic systems and the use of race as a means of dividing and destroying progressive movements for fundamental change, we are actively antiracist. We oppose institutional, interpersonal, and cultural racism. We acknowledge that the environmental movements of the 1970s and 1980s often were unable to see that the most intense environmental degradation destroys the lives and communities of people of color. And we also acknowledge that these communities organize in resistance to this destruction. We actively seek their leadership and wisdom.

We support efforts by African American, Native American, Hispanic, and Asian communities to take political control over their lives by bringing decision-making concerning politics, economics, and security to their communities.

We support community-based economies that are responsive to the needs and desires of neighborhoods through such means as land trusts, credit unions, reinvestment, and neighborhood development. We advocate the creation of housing for all people, the establishment of a national health care system, national child care and protection, and open education that respects cultural integrity and language diversity.

We call for the honoring of all treaties between the U.S. Government and Native Americans (see Indigenous People section) and stand in solidarity with the peoples of Big Mountain, White Earth, and all areas where efforts are going on to protect sacred lands.

We especially challenge people of European ancestry to accept their responsibility to confront racism, to discover their own heritage of resistance, and to actively learn about cultures other than their own. We pledge to initiate processes for uprooting racism on the local level. As we do these things, we will be in the position to participate in a multicultural, multiethnic movement that draws on our many cultural traditions to create a life-affirming society.

Cultural diversity

We urge the provison of funding for the creation of local cultural centers and historical museums to embrace diverse and unique traditions in every area.

A national language policy should be created encouraging all citizens to be fluent in at least two languages.

We strongly and actively oppose the public voicing of slurs, epithets, or harassing remarks based on race, ethnicity, sex, or sexual orientation, and also the ideology behind such actions.

Drugs

A national dialogue including all segments of the community and research into why Americans use more drugs than people in other cultures should be conducted. This could start with our obsessions with perfection, performance, possessions, money, and power.

State and federal government should treat drug abuse, including alcoholism, as diseases or psychological disorders, instead of as crimes. Social renovation and self-help programs that seek to improve users' relationships to themselves and to society, thus reducing dependence on these substances, should be strongly encouraged.

The use of and cultivation of marijuana for personal use by adults should be legalized.

We strongly oppose those practices being perpetrated under the current "war on drugs," which do not address the core of the drug crisis, and which are contributing to gross violations of human rights and civil liberties. All forms of commercial advertising of alcohol and tobacco for consumption should be regulated.

We respect and reaffirm the right of Native Americans to use peyote and other traditional objects in religious ceremonies and we join with other groups in calling for reconsideration of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision impinging on this religious freedom.

Children

We advocate respect for children's rights and needs in the decisions that affect their lives and well-being, without unnecessary state and community intervenion.

We urge the adoption of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, where it is consistent with the Ten Key Values.

Sexual equality and justice

We urge the creation, funding, and institution of enabling zoning legislation for diverse options for child care and living situations.

We support paid maternity/paternity leaves, with the option of extended unpaid leave, as well as leave for the care of significant partners, children, or other family members.

We call for the elimination of sexual harassment in the workplace and the development of public processes and follow-up procedures to address complaints.

We call for the recognition and punishment of marital rape by all states. Ongoing community support systems should be created and funded to break the "cycle of violence" that often surrounds so much of family life.

We support the right of females and males to information regarding birth control, including family planning methods, and the ready availability of those methods regardless of the ability to pay. We must encourage an environment where every pregnancy is a wanted pregnancy. We call for education concerning the ramifications to females of controlling their fertility, and we support the right of women of all ages to full reproductive freedom and to determine the degree of technological intervention, including abortion, that they deem appropriate for their own care and protection, regardless of their ability to pay. Education for both males and females should be provided on sexuality, birth control, child development, and responsible parenting.

Adoption practices should be reformed to make it more acceptable to give up a child for adoption. The reform should ensure that children are not bought and sold, and that qualified persons are not excluded on the basis of income level, sexual orientation, marital status, or race.

We recognize the destructive use of sexual stereotyping by advertisers, and call for education of advertisers and society on the damaging use of such stereotyping.

We support and encourage "changing men's/men's movement" activities. We encourage men and women to relate in peaceful, cooperative, and life-enhancing ways.

We affirm the beneficial contributions of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people to society and in building our movement. We support and encourage the rights of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people in housing, jobs, benefits, child custody, and all areas of life.

We support the legal recognition of gay and lesbian relationships, and urge the repeal of all laws that devalue and criminialize lesbian and gay relationships.

We regard heterosexism (the cultural belief that the only legitimate form of sexual expression is between men and women) as a violation of human rights and dignity.

We support education in schools on sexuality and sexual orientation.

We urge support for and the protection of people with HIV, ARC, and AIDS.

We urge an increase in funding for research and development on the prevention and treatment of AIDS, along with an increase in educational efforts on AIDS and its prevention.

Housing

We support the right to decent, affordable housing.

We urge the funding and encouragement of democratically run institutions such as community economic development corporations, limited income cooperatives, and neighborhood credit unions.

We encourage development of diverse neighborhoods through subsidies and cooperative ventures.

Population

We advocate family planning and birth control and support agencies that provide these.

We endorse ongoing dialogue about the implications of population policies to guard against racist, sexist, or economic bias.