American Indians debate Nader

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Nov 1 13:26:22 MST 2000

(From Mitchel Cohen, a Green Party activist)

A supporter of Leonard Peltier has asked Ralph Nader to step down and
endorse Gore. This is a response from Day Starr Chou, of the Flushing
Greens and the No Spray Coalition* (forwarded by Mitchel Cohen).

* Does not imply that the No Spray Coalition as a group nor everyone
involved with it necessarily agrees with these views.

From: "*Noquisi* (Day Starr)" <1DAYSTAR at WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2000 11:33:14 -0500

This is, as you say, truly a dilemma. But as a Green Party member, and
supporter of Ralph Nader, I see it in a different way.

Like many other Democrats have done in the last few weeks, you ask Nader
to step forth and demonstrate the kind of leadership we so desperately
need. You say for him to back down, bow out, to turn his back on his
principles and on the Green Party Platform,  would be the bravest act in
a truly brave career.

As an Onondaga/Cherokee woman, I must say I find your words very
strange. In our culture, for a leader to bow down and cower before
someone more powerful, to give up the fight, TO SELL OUT...this is the
opposite of what we call brave.

Gore is the running dog of the corrupt and oppressive Clinton regime.
He stood by as the safety net of welfare was ripped out from under the
poorest families of our nation. He supported the Terrorism Bill that
will punish those of us who support freedom struggles around the world.
He stood by while Hillary Clinton opened the door to HMO insurance
companies to undermine  our medical services. He's jointly responsible
for the deaths of half a million Iraqi children from Democratic trade
embargo. He's responsible for the murder of the American families in
WACO Texas.

To gain our support, there is now a whisper of freeing Leonard Peltier.
I want Leonard free. I've been a long-time supporter of Leonard Peltier.

The Green Party has always supported Leonard Peltier. We have Green
Party members who were arrested in civil disobedience at the Mumia rally
in Philadelphia and they were carrying a Leonard Peltier banner. Now you
want to kick the Green Party in the teeth, the party that supported not
only Leonard, but all Political Prisoners, for a party that had EIGHT

Under the Democratic Regime, we have the largest amount of Americans in
prison than ever before -- TWO MILLION! We have earnings, that when
adjusted for inflation, are the equivilant of the wages in 1973!
Homeless population is larger than ever before, soup kitchens around the
nation are running out of food because there are so many hungry. The
situation for Native Americans on and off the rez, is crucial. And this

Here are some previous GORE/CLINTON promises:

1. Raising Fuel Effiiciency Standards
2. Restoring America's Infrastructure
3. Ending Discrimination Against HIV-Positive Immigrants
4. Signing a Freedom of Choice Act
5. Getting Tough on Environmental Crime
6. Bringing Down Prescription Drug Prices
7. Keeping Food Safe
8. Enacting Humane Welfare Reform
9. Gays in the Military
10. Trade with China
11. Universal Health Care
12. Closing the East Liverpool Incinerator
13. Signing the Workplace Fairness Act
14. Repealing Section 14b of the Taft-Hartley Act

All of these are promises made and then broken.  Do you REALLY think
this leopard is going to change his spots? Why??? Don't the many broken
treaties we've suffered under mean anything?

Brother Harvey, I wrote to you when you first started the Leonard For
President Campaign. You said that if the Greens came out for Leonard,
that you would urge people to vote Green. The Greens are the only Party
that have openly spoken out about freeing Leonard Peltier. They are the
only party that has spoken out against the death penalty. Gore and Bush
have both supported the death penalty and its unfair use against not
only Native peoples but all people of color and poor people of this
nation.  How soon you've forgotten Norma Jean Croy's struggle for her

The truth is, under Gore or Bush, we can expect more of the same. We
have no PROOF that we can expect anything different. Both parties have
had decades to change things and haven't. Isn't it clear that if we keep
doing what we've been doing that we'll keep getting what we've been

I don't know any traditional Native government that would urge its
people to support any but a righteous chief; who would deliberately
choose a lesser person out of fear. No, it is our way to commit to the
right path and stay upon it; to be aware of the effect our choice will
have on the Seventh Generation to come. This is the way we voted in the
past; before we learned the ways of "go along to get along".

I speak for the Uwa Indians Gore is killing; for the brothers and
sisters being unjustly head in the Iron Houses across this nation; for
the forests that are being chopped down and those two-leggeds;
four-legged, flying and swimming ones who are slowly dying from the
pesticides and pollution that will continue under Gore/Bush.

The majority  of us who intend to vote for Ralph Nader and our sister
Winona LaDuke, will never give our vote to Gore/Bush. We are Greens who
are committed to building a new party and a new society very different
from the current one of injustice, greed and "the best elections that
money can buy". It cannot happen overnight. But one thing is for sure,
if every election we sell out, and support the same people who have
wronged the nation, we will NEVER succeed, never change things, we will
merely be rewarded with fewer and fewer crumbs from the table, until
eventually, our issues will not even be mentioned in the campaigns or

We are a strong people. We have survived worse than Bush. The best thing
we could do now is to send a message to both Bush and Gore that there is
a large, dissatisfied movement in Amerika who will not stand for the
racist and oppressive "business as usual". And if we lose this time, we
will continue to organize and struggle against WHOEVER is in office that
doesn't serve the people. And eventually, the people will win.

Day Starr Chou
Flushing Greens, a local of NYS Greens

Louis Proyect
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