By Richard Gomez
As the waves of the ocean continue to batter the beaches of time to tell of the toll it takes to no one there, the Fresno Greens are reborn for another moment. I’ve been a member of the Fresno County Green Party for many years in a county where successes pale relative to those in many other parts of the country. In California, Greens have had gains to show for their setbacks but still strive to step up and move ahead.
Today, we are again in a period of a new but familiar ebbing and flowing of the times. Now, the Greens have a great opportunity to grow and succeed, unlike any time since the late 1990s when we had a Democratic President (Clinton) and a Republican controlled Congress. Then, the tides of fortune began high but quietly and quickly hopes flowed out into the open seas.
Strong efforts to build a people’s party’s such as the New Party, the Labor Party and others, despite possessing better financial and institutional support than the Greens, perished in exasperation. An independent political party in this electoral system is difficult to achieve.
The strength of the Greens is their 10 key values that withstand the ever-changing tides. Those key values are ecological wisdom, nonviolence, decentralization, community-based economics, gender equality, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, social justice and equal opportunity, grassroots democracy and a focus on the future through sustainability. Dedication over the long run has become a requirement of experienced Greens.
The Greens are a revolutionary party that functions in an electoral fish bowl and a movement with deep roots to every liberation movement in this country. The Greens are the spiritual inheritors of the Progressive Party, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, the Farm/Labor Party, the American Labor Party and the Republican Party of the 1840s, when it was known as the Free Soil Party and espoused women’s rights and free love.
History is filled with movements, and today we cry out for help from climate change and the corporate takeovers of governmental functions from schools to prisons for the sake of the almighty dollar and austerity for the poor. We have a military where more men and women serve in private companies overseas than our own armed forces, and we continue to use fossil fuels and fracking that destroy Mother Earth. Events such as these were known years ago, but our political leaders chose to ignore them fearful to concede the predicted reality.
Giving up is easy, comedy, that’s hard, but like the waves that crash upon the beaches, they never count the days, they just continue. The upcoming storms are coming nearer, and we know the solutions needed to transform our world but they still have no political will to act. I inherited a culture of resistance from those who have lived here and there. Some farmed, some fished and others ran from the law, but they all chose to live better despite what the conditions or what troubles they found themselves in.
The Fresno County Green Party meets at the Hugh M. Burns State Building (2550 Mariposa Mall) in downtown Fresno on the second Thursday of each month. The next meeting will be on May 9 at 7 p.m.