Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Greens party supports environmental vandalism in Auburn!

I have written a lot recently about the Israeli barbaric attack on Gaza, but here I will try to highlight another issue. It is issue more related to Australian politics.
We can debate for days or even weeks about the Greens party commitment or lack of commitment towards social justice issues, including refugees’ rights, Palestinians’ rights, marginalised groups’ issues...., but I never thought that we should debate the Greens commitment to environmental issues.
Well, we discovered that we underestimated the Greens party’s opportunism.
In the attached article by the Auburn Review, you will discover something that will make you wonder what is the real “colour” of the Greens party.
During the last local government election, the unified message of ALL Greens candidates was “Oppose High Rise buildings”, in addition to the complementary statement “oppose the developers’ greed” and “Community needs, not developers’ greed”. This includes especially the electoral materials of the Greens candidate for Auburn Malikeh Michales, as more than half of Auburn councillors are developers or real estate agents. And Auburn council was in all media outlets for the last decade for “corruption” investigations related to dodge development approvals.
In the attached article, you will discover that the Greens councillor had aligned herself with Liberal – Unity councillors to discuss approval to increase the height and density of high rising buildings near St Johns Catholic Primary School. She did this, despite the Labor – RAGAA councillors’ fierce opposition to this proposal.
To tell the truth, I did not believe my eyes. I again underestimated the opportunism of the representatives of this party. Where are the Greens claims of “sticking to principles”?
I thought that the first and most important principle of the Greens party is to protect the environment. This issue indeed was the object of founding the Greens.
At this stage I recalled my conversations with many well-known environmentalists who quit the Greens for its failure to advocate for environmental sustainability, and instead engaging in power-thirst infightings.
The Greens councillor in Auburn should be proud that she already broke all her election promises and propaganda. Her election leaflet has only 2 main promises:
1- To increase services for refugees and marginalised groups.
2- To protect the environment, by opposing attacks on local (and global) environment by standing against developers’ and big corporations’ greed.
Earlier and before the end of the last year, the same Greens councillor was proud to propose amendments that could have seen the closure of one of the organisations serving mainly the refugees. Without intense lobbying from us, community members and local media, we could have seen the Greens councillor achieving the opposite of “increasing services for refugees”.
Now she wants to fulfil the second promise: to attack our fragile environment and help “greedy” developers to make more millions of $s by creating more noise and pollution in the heart of our suburb, in addition to all other implications.
This article is supporting what I have noticed in the last month, when the Greens (for political cheap score-pointing purposes) opposed any new Labor government action to tackle climate change. The Greens sent a clear message that if the government won’t approve its (The Greens’) sharp emission’s cut, the Greens would prefer to keep the lack of Howard’s government action on this issue.
But, let us discuss the issue more closely. What did the Greens achieve since they took the Democrats’ votes (in addition to large Muslim votes) and increased its political representation on all levels?
The simple answer is: NOTHING.
With intense attacks on our environment, one could start to seriously ask: what is the main platform of the Greens? Why it is still called the Greens?
My advice to the Greens hierarchy is to adopt new name: The Rainbow party. By doing this they can change the colour of the party’s skin as required. Sometimes they can be red, other times can be green. And if required they could be hidden anywhere silently with no colour at all.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rallies business: enough trading with blood of innocent Palestinians!

I was always critical of people not participating in rallies on important issues. I even fought several times with friends as they refused to attend rallies “supporting” refugees’ rights, Palestinians’ rights … But last Saturday I was convinced that they have good point of view.

I traveled from Sydney to Canberra to protest against the Israeli barbaric invasion of Gaza. We traveled to Canberra, even though we did not know many details of the rally. We did not know who was the organizer, who were the speakers and the route of the rally. The most important issue for us was to send a message of unequivocal condemnation of Israel’s barbaric action and express our opposition to Australian official silence in condemning these actions.

Outside the lodge where our prime minister, Kevin Rudd, is living, we knew the hidden agenda of the organizers.

Suddenly a lady emerged from nowhere and gave all of us a good lecture. The lecture was not about the history of Israeli occupation of Palestine nor was about the history of Israeli barbaric actions. The lady who wore a t-shirt with “Vote 1 The Greens” gave us a good lecture about the climate change and environmental sustainability. She then went into lengths with what are the Greens 4 principles and why we should vote for the Greens in the next election.

Then she told us, with no explanation that she was crying the whole night before, when she saw the victims on the TV. She spoke with highly ambiguous language. She did not specify if she was crying for the loss of the lives of Israeli soldiers killed by Palestinian resistance. I should be fair here. I heard her counting the numbers of people who lost their lives, on both sides. She was equalizing between the victim and the oppressor. She was putting on the same hand the loss of lives among the occupiers and the ones under occupation. I did not hear her condemning unequivocally the barbaric actions.

Sorry for this mistake. I heard her totally and utterly condemning the government. But she condemned Australian government, and not the Israeli.

With her late appearance only at the time of her speech, her T-shirt designed for election and her score-pointing speech, the goal of this farce was very clear. It was indeed an election auction: votes for each dead.

Shamelessly she was happy. Shamelessly the organizers were happy. Shamelessly some of the Greens supporters in the crowd were happy. Shamelessly we were there listening to this contempt of the 400 martyrs - heroes killed in Gaza.

I would not feel so bad if the Greens was the “revolutionary” party that stood up for Palestinians in the past.

However when I went back little bit into my memory I recalled that the Greens:
1- Refused to send any solidarity delegation to Palestine.
2- Strongly supported the listing of ALL resistance groups (except Fateh) as terrorist organizations (November 2003).
3- Presented to Australian politics the largest proportion of Zionist politicians.
4- Was deadly silent about the latest barbaric actions from 27 December 08 – 5 January 09. And when they put out a media release it was total disgust and shame, where they were equalizing between the victims and the oppressors.

I was astonished by the courage of both the organizers and the Greens politician in their contempt of the feeling of the crowd. Many among the crowd were from Gaza and have relatives there.

How dare they do this?

On another occasion, I learnt that Labor MP attended a rally and spoke about the issue. Unfortunately he said nothing about needing to convince his leader to abandon his pro-Israeli stance.

I understood now why the majority of community members refuse to be stupid and naïve and participate in rallies which are in contempt of human lives lost in conflicts. I understood why community members would laugh at us saying: enough is enough.

After last Saturday I said to all around me: enough is enough. Enough trading lives of innocent people for cheap electoral gains. The last time the auction was a heavy price for us. The blood of innocent Palestinians and Iraqis put another Greens Zionist to NSW parliament. We lost on both sides: in Palestine and Iraq and also in NSW.

I told everyone this time: not anymore.

Shame on me if I will silently participate in these auctions of blood for votes.
And there are many ways to express our feelings about the barbaric actions and how to help the victims of them.