by Sharon Sobotta
KPFA Weekend News broadcast Aug. 8, 2016
KPFA Weekend News Anchor Sharon Sobotta: Cheers and chants filled the room at the Green Party Convention at the University of Houston, where physician and activist Jill Stein was named as the Green Party’s presidential candidate with human rights activist Ajamu Baraka as her running mate. Stein said that too much is at stake this election for people to be voting out of fear.
Dr. Jill Stein: Black lives are on the firing line, immigrants face mass deportation, wars for oil are blowing back at us with a vengeance, and the climate meltdown threatens civilization as we know it in our lifetimes.
KPFA: Stein said that if people had the courage to vote for the greater good rather than the lesser of two evils, it would be numerically possible for the Green Party to win.
Dr. Jill Stein: As you may now, there are 42 million young people and not so young people who are locked into predatory student loan debt. That is a winning plurality of the presidential vote right there.
And there is only one place that those votes can go and you are looking at it. It is the Stein Baraka campaign. It’s about time we bailed out the students.
We bailed out the crooks on Wall Street who crashed the economy with their waste, fraud and abuse. It’s time to bail out some of the key victims of that abuse, a generation of young people.
KPFA: Stein also advocated for more resources to be put into education, particularly music, art and community engagement courses. She called for additional police oversight and investigations into all officer involved shootings so that all communities can feel safe. Stein also called for a welcoming path for immigrants and proposed some simple solutions for foreign policy issues.
JS: We say to Donald Trump, “We don’t need no friggin’ wall. We’ve just got to stop invading other countries.”
Crowd: Jill! Jill! Jill! Jill! Jill!
JS: We have a new kind of offensive for the Middle East. It’s called a peace offensive in the Middle East, and it starts, it starts with a weapons embargo. Since we are providing the majority of weapons to all combatants and to all sides, we can shut down the flow of weapons to the Middle East.
KPFA: Stein urged Green Party members to be courageous in November.
JS: The politics of fear, which we’ve been told to bow down to, has only delivered everything we were afraid of – all those reasons we were told to vote for the lesser evil because we didn’t want the offshoring of our jobs, the meltdown of the climate, the massive bailouts for Wall Street, the expanding prison state, the attack on our civil liberties and on immigrant rights.
All those things we didn’t want is exactly what we got by being silent and letting a lesser evil speak for us.
KPFA: This 16-year-old Latino man showed up at the convention wearing a Bernie Sanders shirt and said that he will now be urging people to support Jill Stein.
Alain Valladares: My name is Alain and I came to the convention because I’m really worried about what’s happening with the country and the whole earth. The government is not really working for none of the people, none of the middle class or the poor people.
They’re just working for the corporations and the rich people. And now we have just other candidates running for the election that are just working for the rich people and not the 99 percent.
I think the only one candidate that is really engaged with the people is Jill Stein and the Green Party. I think they are the only ones and the only way we have for change, I think, on the planet and not just for the 1 percent and the more rich people.
KPFA: KPFA’s Ann Garrison was at the Green Party Convention. She estimated that somewhere between 500 and 1,000 people were present at the event and gave a breakdown of some of the tough issues facing the Green Party and the Jill Stein campaign this November.
Ann Garrison: Jill is very likely to be on the ballot in 46 states. She will not be on in Oklahoma and in Indiana and North Carolina; she will be an official write-in candidate. An official write-in candidate means that she has registered, so that any write-in ballots for Jill in those states will be counted.
The hurdles are enormous, but people have been putting out herculean effort. In Pennsylvania, the signature requirement was 5,000. People collected 25,000. In Missouri, it was similar. It was 5,000 or 7,000, something like that and they collected 22,500. I spoke to the ballot access coordinator, who said they just kept going.
KPFA: And this is her second bid for the White House, so what separates her this time from the last time?
AG: I think it’s the Bernie moment. After the end of the convention hall events and Jill’s speech and a press conference, there was a meeting of Bernie people who wanted to join the Jill Stein campaign.
One of the most impressive people on the Pacifica broadcast today was the Texas Latino organizer and he said that in the Latino community, Jill Stein in Texas is polling at 7 percent, whereas she’s polling at 4 percent in the white community.
KPFA: That’s KPFA’s Ann Garrison speaking to us from the Green Party Convention at the University of Houston.
Oakland writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Black Agenda Report, Black Star News, Counterpunch and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, KPFA Evening News, KPFA Flashpoints and for her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at email@example.com. In March 2014 she was awarded the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for promoting peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa through her reporting.
Dr. Cornel West rocked the house.