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Greens Protest War

15 Oct 2002
The (Canandaigua, NY) Daily Messenger

by Julie Sherwood

(GENEVA, NY) — About 75 people marched through the city’s business district yesterday, raising anti-war signs and chanting slogans against a United States attack on Iraq.

“War is a huge (concern) now,” said Meredith Faulkner, a Finger Lakes Community College student who played guitar and sang several anti-war songs during a gathering of the group at the gazebo on Seneca Lake off Routes 5 and 20. “It’s a repeat of history that we don’t need right now,” said the Green Party member.

The event, organized by the Green Party of Ontario County, included speeches, music and a puppet show promoting the Green Party candidates and platform.

Jennifer Daniels, Green Party candidate for lieutenant governor, called the approval Congress gave President Bush last week to go to war against Iraq “a failure of democracy.”

Daniels is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and has a community medical practice in Syracuse. “Our citizens don’t want war,” she said.

Lynda Pownall-Carlson, of Middlesex, who attended the rally, agreed. “I was so disappointed” with the votes that U.S. senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer cast last week giving Bush the O.K. to go to war, she said. “Corporations and oil are such great powers,” she added, citing those influences as the reason behind politicians’ votes in support of war.

“Starting war with Iraq is starting war with the American people,” said Green Party candidate for comptroller Howie Hawkins.

A war would not only kill our children, but “suck up all our tax money into the war machine,” said the Vietnam veteran, who is co-founder of the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance and the national Green Party.

Rachel Treichler, the Green Party candidate for the 29th Congressional District, said she advocates cutting federal military spending — which she said now totals about $400 billion annually — by half. She wants to put taxpayers’ money to work on causes such as universal health care and alternative sources of energy, she said. She said she backs wind power as a renewable energy source to reduce our nation’s reliance on nuclear power and foreign oil. Organically grown foods, locally-owned businesses and a government health care system that covers everyone, similar to the Canadian and Australian models, are key issues the party supports, she said.

Treichler, a lawyer, lives on a farm in Hammondsport, Steuben County, and operates Eco Books, an online bookseller specializing in books on ecological issues.

The redrawn 29th Congressional District will cover all of Ontario County, except Geneva, parts of southern Monroe County and Cattaraugus, Allegany, Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler and Yates counties.

Marty Dodge, a professor of environmental conservation at FLCC and faculty advisor for the college’s Finger Lakes Environmental Action group, was impressed. “It’s a wonderful opportunity,” he said, as a number of participants circled the lawn near the gazebo on the chilly, windy afternoon waving signs and puppets in support of Green Party ideals.

Jason Crane, chairman of the Green Party of Monroe County, who attended the rally, agreed. Events like this help “get regular people involved in making changes in their community,” he said.

Stanley Aronowitz, the Green Party candidate for governor, was scheduled to attend the event, but had his flight canceled at the last minute.

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