From 2001-2003, I was Co-coordinator of the Green Party of Los Angeles County. The GP was growing fast then, lots of voter registration drives and outreach. It was fun. Other parts were not so fun. In my role of Treasurer, I had a legal obligation to file a complaint against a Green Party member for his disposition of a $10,000 check. This caused ruptures that the California Green Party still hasn’t recovered from.
From there, I got active in the ANSWER Coalition, helping to build antiwar demonstrations, some of them quite massive. Got involved with the group behind them, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and learned about Marxism. Got purged from PSL quite recently for reasons I’m unclear of (and no longer care about) – so now I’m a free agent.
So, it’s been a turbulent several years. Quite exciting too, at times. Worked on the 2000 Nader campaigns and Peter Camejo’s run for governor in 2003. Helped build antiwar protests where tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands came. Drove the truck that led L.A. mass protests several times. I’ve learned a lot about politics, organizing, and people.
So what’s next for me?
Lately Iâ€™ve become increasingly interested in the political ramifications of global warming and peak oil. How do we organize for change here? To work towards solving these problems societies as a whole need to work together. We no longer have time for squabbling (or idiotic wars). Also, solutions will require huge amounts of money and resources as well as new directions for the planet. This means governments and business must become involved on a massive basis.
The Green Party absolutely played a huge role in getting global warming and renewable energy into the national consciousness. Whether they can survive the 2008 elections as a viable party is uncertain, but their contributions have been crucial.
I’m reading The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. It’s about how the planet is increasingly flattened by globalization, with work being done wherever it can be done the cheapest and most effectively. In it, he becomes startled when a Harvard political theorist tells him that his thesis, that the World is Flat, is almost precisely what Karl Marx wrote about in 1848. “The inexorable march of technology and capital to remove all barriers, boundaries, frictions, and restraints to global commerce.” Of course, Marx believed once that happened, workers worldwide would discover their exploitation and then rise up and throw off their shackles. (They might also just sit back in the La-Z Boy and think, I’m glad I’m not living in a mud hut any more.)
As mentioned, to solve global warming, we all really do need to work together. I’m looking around for new groups to become involved with. What’s your group doing?