The Green Party of Washington State (GPWA) supports Black Lives Matter (BLM) peaceful protests in Washington State and calls on Washington state and local governments to meet BLM demands to defund Washington police by 50% and reinvest those funds in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
Additionally, the GPWA calls for:
Defunding the military and reinvesting military funds in BIPOC communities.
Community control of the police in every region of the state.
Restoring voter rights to incarcerated felons in Washington.
Releasing non-violent criminals held in Washington to improve their survival chances during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Expanding marijuana conviction clemency. Pardons and vacated criminal history should be granted for Washington state marijuana possession convictions before 2012 regardless of prior or other criminal record.
Implementing all functions of the Initiative-940 De-escalate Washington.
GPWA Coordinating Council member, Margaret Elizabeth cautioned, “It’s not the place of the GPWA to define how BLM and BIPOC communities should orchestrate their own liberation.” They called for the GPWA to offer unconditional support as allies of BLM.
GPWA member, C.J. Sellers of East King County replied, “Using the word ‘peaceful protests’ doesn’t tell BLM or BIPOC what to do, it only defines what we can advocate for. Peaceful means have always been part of the GPUS Ten Key Values. As a state party of the GPUS, we’re obligated to abide by our affiliate agreement with the GPUS. And besides, not all actions of ‘allies’ that show up at these protests are sanctioned by BLM leadership and are often a distraction from the purpose of the events.”
The GPWA also opposes the actions of the city council of Selah, Washington whereby they have criminalized chalk drawings on public property for the sole purpose of silencing community support for BLM.
Richard Redick, a member of the GPWA chapter of Mid-Columbia, Washington wrote, “Together is the best way forward. That two or more sides in a conversation have differing points of view – even very apparent disagreement – should not be surprising. After all, the word ‘converse’ – a word indicating a reversed order – is in the word ‘conversation.’ Many times, the parties to a conversation share the same values, but they may prioritize differently. It is through conversation that we truly learn there is more to unite us than to divide us.” He added that had Green Party planks been employed as policies these past many years, the conversation that needs to happen in Selah and communities throughout our nation would already be much further along. “We would have moved past ‘us vs them,’ and we would be embracing one big ‘us,’” said Redick. “Please, residents of Selah, and citizens across the nation, listen to Dr. Stein’s speech, below. Draw inspiration from her words, and may your communities and people be blessed.”