By Karima Friedemann for Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)
The Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts, which is affiliated with the national Green Party, held its annual State Convention at the Community Church of Boston on August 25, 2007. Area Muslims were invited to the GRP convention to learn how an American grassroots political party is organized. The convention drew about thirty active GRP members and fifteen observers. After opening remarks, the groups split into three workshops: 2008 Elections Strategy, Using Technology to Promote the Party, and Sudan: Whatâ€™s Going On and What Can We Do About It? Most of the Muslim observers attended the Sudan workshop, which was led by Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed, a retired BU professor, Loay Abdel Karim, who heads Jamaica Plain Residents for Human Rights, journalist Keith Harmon Snow, and Yousef Abdallah from Islamic Relief. The popular workshop received reviews of â€œphenomenalâ€ and â€œilluminatingâ€ by those who attended.
During lunch, a keynote speaker spoke about predatory mortgages and the many Americans that are losing their homes due to rising interest rates. Another speaker spoke about peak oil.
Elections for the administrative positions of the party were held, including a male and female co-chair. Unfortunately, only 5 of the 8 available slots for delegates to the National Committee were filled, and other administrative positions were also left unfilled because no one volunteered to run. The GRP is desperate for political leadership. Of the five delegates who were nominated, there was no one running against them.
After a long debate over whether or not the Green Rainbow Party would endorse non-Green Party-registered candidates on the primary ballot, a vote was called and those in favor of allowing GRP to endorse non-Green candidates won by a margin of 21-7.
Towards the end, Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney walked in wearing a T-shirt that read, â€œFirst Aid for Democracy: Impeachment.â€ She made a pro-Africa statement during her brief speech and called Keith Harmon Snow â€œthe best investigative reporter in the world.â€ She also expressed her disapproval of the Patriot Act and Americaâ€™s many wars. McKinney was the victim of the first campaign in history, which was organized by the Zionist community, where Republicans as a group switched to Democrat in order to support her opponent in the Congressional primaries. Charismatic McKinney told the group she is considering running for President under the Green Party ticket. She received a standing ovation.