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Apr 26, 17

Banner Drop interrupts Jill Stein Event: “No Politician Will Lead Us to Freedom!”

“New Haven, CT” – Inside an April 24th event hosting two-time Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein at Yale University, anarchist members of New Haven Anti-Fascists and Dragonfly Climate Collective hung a banner declaring, “No Politician Will Lead Us to Freedom!” They also distributed copies of the following flyer, explaining 5 “Reasons Jill Stein Does Not Represent Us,” to roughly 150 people in attendance. They gave one copy to Dr. Stein, who is invited to post a response on the groups’ websites. Click here for a PDF file of the flyer, and see its text below with embedded links.

Reasons Jill Stein Does Not Represent Us

1. No Politician Will Lead Us to Freedom. We cannot rely on any party to represent our interests. After all, if one politician could lead us to freedom, another could just as easily lead us to oppression. For total and lasting liberation, we must insist on self-liberation and refuse to let our lives and our movements be governed by anyone except ourselves.

2. No Tyrant Will Stop Imperialism. Jill Stein and her 2016 running mate Ajamu Baraka alarmingly whitewashed Syria’s mass murderous dictator Bashar al-Assad. Stein’s website called on the US to help Assad restore control over Syria, despite the ongoing presence of a democratic and anarchist-influenced opposition to the brutal dictator. Baraka wrote an article celebrating Assad’s sham victory in a 2014 election that only allowed regime-vetted candidates, that lacked voting booths in opposition-controlled areas, and that many Syrians boycotted as unfair.

3. No State Will Halt Earth’s Decline. While Stein claimed to be “green,” her platform kept in place the existence of multinational corporations, capitalism, and the State, among other institutions and systems that created the ecological and climate crises. Like the original New Deal, Stein’s “Green New Deal” was a Keynesian plan to rescue capitalism rather than abolish it. Stein’s plan involved furthering economic growth, requiring plenty of mining and logging, and producing plenty of trash and toxins.

4. No Conspiracy Will Replace Critique. A handful of Stein’s supporters flirted with conspiracy theories about September 11, wireless Internet, and vaccines. Although Stein most likely did not believe these theories, her initially equivocating responses helped distract followers from serious systemic critique and undermined the entire left opposition to Clinton and Trump.

5. No Ballot Will Replace Direct Action. Time and resources spent on electoral politics would be more effective if put toward grassroots direct action and community and workplace organizing. As the historian Howard Zinn said, “[T]he really critical thing isn’t who is sitting in the White House, but who is sitting in–in the streets, in the cafeterias, in the halls of government, in the factories.” Pickets, gardens, lock-downs, cooperatives, strikes, boycotts, marches, blockades, cop-watches, banners, newsletters, neighborhood assemblies, popular education. These are just some of the tools that have the power to challenge oppressive structures and construct viable alternatives.

“I would not be a Moses to lead you into the Promised Land, because if I could lead you into it, someone else could lead you out of it.” -Eugene Debs, founding member of Industrial Workers of the World and five-time Socialist presidential candidate

Further reading:

Scott Jay, “The real problem with Jill Stein,” Libcom, 16 August 2016, https://libcom.org/news/real-problem-jill-stein-15082016.

Louis Proyect, “The Green Party and Syria,” Muftah, 4 October 2016, http://muftah.org/green-party-syria.

Don Fritz, “How Green is the Green New Deal?,” Counterpunch, 11 July 2014, http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/11/how-green-is-the-green-new-deal/.

Flyer by New Haven Anti-Fascists and Dragonfly Climate Collective. References and links will be posted at facebook.com/New-Haven-AntiFascists and capitalismvsclimate.org.

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Confronting climate change’s root causes, Dragonfly Climate Collective (formerly known as Capitalism vs. the Climate) organizes non-hierarchically and takes direct action in solidarity with communities most impacted by the climate crisis. We’re members of Rising Tide North America. We started in 2012 in Connecticut, a group of people angry that society is rushing headlong off the carbon cliff. We see modern capitalism as forcing us to rip up the earth and burn all its fossil fuels. Countless livelihoods and and lives are at stake. Green tinkering won’t cut it. We need fundamental democratization of our energy and our society.

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