Orange County Greens:
The Triangle's Green Party

Summer, 1996

Dan Coleman

The Orange County Greens is affiliated with the Green movement worldwide. Greens believe that a broad movement for social, political, and economic transformation can and should be built on the principles of ecology, social justice, grassroots democracy, and non-violence. The Greens' goal is the establishment of a just and sustainable society that works for everyone.

The Orange County Greens was founded in 1986. We have worked on a wide range of issues such as local development, solid waste, transportation, international trade, and war and peace. The Greens is very involved in local elections, both educating the public on Green perspectives and helping to elect Green-minded candidates to office. Of particular interest to the Triangle Vegetarian Society is the fact that the Program of the Greens/Green Party USA has the strongest position on animal issues of any party in the United States. The Program opposes animal testing and experimentation and calls for an end to factory farming. It opposes sport and recreational hunting, fishing, and trapping.

The Greens' Program maintains that "the benefits of vegetarianism for the environment, the alleviation of world hunger, and personal health should be taught in all public health education programs. Vegetarian meals should be made available at all government and public institutions, including primary and secondary schools."

The 10 Green Party Values:
Social Justice
Grass Roots Democracy
Community-Based Economics
Global Responsibility
Future Focus
Respect For Diversity
Recently, the Orange County Greens organized Triangle-wide events commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. A benefit dance was held for the Children of Chernobyl fund and a protest and "die-in" were held at the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant. The Greens played a role in the victories of two strong, progressive environmentalists in the Democratic primaries - Ellie Kinnaird for State Senate and Margaret Brown for Orange County Commissioner.

Over the summer, the Greens plan to launch a regular program on Chapel Hill public access television. The program will concentrate on events, issues, and people that relate to the Greens' concerns. The Greens are also discussing the development of a local currency system and are involved in Orange County's solid waste management debates. In June, Wellspring Grocery in Chapel Hill will focus its "community spotlight" on the Greens.

Nationally, the Green movement has been galvanized by Ralph Nader's campaign as the Green Party candidate for the presidency. Nader, who may be on the ballot in as many as 30 states, is bringing the Greens national stature as the progressive alternative to what he calls "the two-party duopoly". Unfortunately, North Carolina's highly restrictive ballot access laws make it unlikely that Nader will appear on our ballots. A write-in campaign may be possible.

The Greens meet on the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Silk Road Teahouse on West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. For more information or to receive the monthly newsletter, please call Dan Coleman at 967-4690.