October 2009

Greens to join mid-October protests against US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

Green Party leaders, activists, and members across the US plan to participate in mass rallies, marches, coordinated local and regional demonstrations, and other forms of protest to take place on and around Saturday, October 17 calling for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here in Charleston, we will hold a silent candlelight vigil in remembrance of those killed in these ongoing senseless wars while demanding full withdrawal, not further escalation.  Join us on Saturday, October 17, 7pm at the fountain in Marion Square (corner of King and Calhoun Streets).  Bring yourself, several friends, candles in jars or flashlights (it will be windy!), and signs.

Eugene Platt announces 2010 candidacy for State House district 115

Eugene Platt, Charleston Green Party member and the only Green serving in an elected position in the state of South Carolina, has formally announced his candidacy for State House Seat 115 in 2010. Currently, Platt serves on the James Island Public Service District Commission. He has held that position since 1993 and most recently was reelected in 2008 as the top vote-getter among eight candidates.

Platt pledges, if elected, to be one of the strongest voices in the State Legislature for working families. To that end, he would not even wait until the Legislature convened in 2011 to introduce legislation to end South Carolina’s status as a so-called “Right to Work” state—he would pre-file such a bill. Platt notes that “Right to Work” states have not fared nearly as well economically as those states which honor workers with fewer restrictions on their rights to form and use unions to ensure fair pay, good working conditions, and health care.

Platt, a product of the public schools of this state—from elementary school through the University of South Carolina—would be a strong supporter of those schools. To that end, he is unequivocally opposed to the use vouchers that use public funds for private school education. He also says State college tuition increases should not exceed the general rate of inflation.

Naturally, as a Green, environmental and social justice issues are among Platt’s chief concerns. On numerous occasions he has spoken out against unbridled development. Irresponsible developers do not consider him their friend.

Platt says the criminal justice system must be completely revamped, focusing on the safety of law-abiding citizens. To that end, the State Highway Patrol should be increased by at least 100 new troopers to insure the safety of our highways. At the same time, recognizing that capital punishment compromises our corporate morality and has no place in a civilized society, he would work to end it in South Carolina—and the nation. (The United States is one of the very few democracies that still impose capital punishment, putting it out of step with most of the civilized world.)

State House District includes most of James Island and Folly Beach. Platt, a progressive Green, expects to face both a conservative Republican and a centrist Democrat in the November 2010 election. He says he is encouraged by growing disenchantment about both major parties being expressed by voters not only in House District 115, but all across America. Voters want true altenatives—and they are truly ready to “Live Green, Vote Green.” This is reflected in the fact that the Green Party is the fastest growing political party in the United States!

Eugene Platt
Green Candidate for State House Seat 115

For additional information about the candidate and the Green Party, visit these websites:

October Green Party Meeting

Monday, October 5, 7pm at Earth Fare on Folly Road Blvd.

Bring a friend and join us for our monthly meeting.  We’ll be in the cafe.

Israel/Palestine delegation report of the Occupation

Wednesday, October 7, 7pm at Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting Street

Join us for a 20 minute DVD of the protest site Bil’in to commemorate Bassim Abu Rahma. This DVD, put together by Friends and Justice and Popular Committee in Bil’in, gives an excellent overview of the extent of oppression on the lives of Palestinians throughout Israel and the West Bank. Following the DVD, North Charleston resident Karen Clarke will share slides of her recent trip to Palestine and Israel.  There will be an opportunity for Q&A at the end of discussion.

Sponsored by: Amnesty International Charleston,Charleston Peace, and Charleston Green Party

James Yee

Sunday, October 18, 4pm at Gage Hall, 4 Archdale Street

Our friends at the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry will feature James Yee at their monthly meeting.  Everyone is invited to attend.

James Yee served as the Muslim Chaplain for the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. When Captain Yee advised camp commanders on detainee religious practices and objected to the cruel and degrading abuses to which the prisoners were subjected, he was falsely accused of spying, espionage, and aiding the alleged Taliban and Al-Qaeda prisoners. He was arrested and locked in the naval brig in Hanahan, SC for 76 days in solitary confinement, subject to much of the same treatment, such as sensory deprivation techniques, that had been imposed on the Guantanamo detainees he had been ministering to.   After months of government investigation he was cleared and exonerated of all criminal charges. He resigned from the Army in 2005 with an honorable discharge and has publicly exposed the abuse of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and the failures of U.S. military justice.

He will detail what really goes on at Guantanamo and tell the world about how he struggled to prove his innocence.

James Yee’s talk is sponsored by the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry along with the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International.