The latest installment of suppressing the voices of women in the Green Party surfaced when the leadership of the Womens Caucus issued me a WARNING because I suggested Caucus members attend a panel discussion with experts on the topic of violence perpetrated by men against women. This event was promoted by the Georgia Green Party with sponsorship from Los Altos Institute in British Columbia, Canada commemorating the UN International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women. Amazing how it is now taboo to talk about men perpetrating violence against women in the Green Party?? see the ad below for yourself and the email. Apparently there is no room for public discourse on this topic in the Green Party.
Synopsis: Wisconsin Green Party Co-Chair Dave Schwab publicly slandered Thistle Pettersen and abused his power to influence an internal election of Party officers at the 2020 Fall Gathering. In this post you will get a play-by-play of what happened that day regarding Mr. Schwab's proposed bylaws changes that would harm the rights and protections of girls and women, in addition to being able to view the moments at the day long gathering in which Mr. Schwab defamed Ms. Pettersen.
On Oct 11, 2020, I, Kerri Bruss along with Thistle Pettersen, feminists and WI Green Party members in good standing, received notice that we had been "removed from the National Women’s Caucus email list for violating caucus bylaw III.2 – respect for diversity and respect for NWC members" by Ann Link, co-chair of the caucus. We were also told that unless we recant our alleged heresy and promise to sin no more, we will not be reinstated to the listserv and would be officially removed from caucus membership. This open letter is our response. We find the co-chair's stated position with regard to this matter to be invalid and we request that our full participation in the Work List for the National Women’s Caucus and hence our full participation in the business of this caucus be reinstated without delay and without conditions.
By Thistle Pettersen, member of the Green Party of Wisconsin
This is to report that Kerri Bruss, Green Party member from Wisconsin, and myself, were removed from the Green Party's National Women's Caucus listserv by Ann Link, Co-Chair of the National Green Party Women's Caucus on October 11, 2020.
In Ms. Link's letter to me informing me of my removal she writes:
"This is a notice that you have been removed from the National Women’s Caucus email list for violating caucus bylaw III.2 – respect for diversity and respect for NWC members. This is because of a series of posts you sent initiating discussion on the groups WoLF, FIST and the WHRC USA and similar content, which denies that people should have the right of self-determination with regard to gender identity and sex. This right is supported by our platform and a statement approved by our caucus. These posts have created a threatening environment in our caucus, which should be a safe and supportive place for all our members."
The facebook channel of the national party is administered by volunteers who are members of the national party's media committee. On a regular basis, they allow user submitted content on a variety of subjects which do not come through official party channels.
But content critical of trans-ideology, or the cancel culture which protects it from reasoned scrutiny is regularly rejected, and some gender critical greens have been banned from the channel altogether while threats of violence by trans-rights activists targeting women who speak up have been tolerated for weeks at a time.
The screen shot to the right shows a rejection notice related to a post sharing with the 27k+ subscribers to the Green Party of the United States facebook channel, the October 7th statement of the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus. The Green Party of the United States, while continuing to claim feminism as a key value, continues to demonstrate its hostility to feminists and those who speak up in their defense.
This was originally published on a social media thread responding to the DnE Caucus' response to the statement of the national party's Diversity Committee published in early October 2020. It was written by Bridget Duffy, whose fourth run for public office was her Green Party bid for County Supervisor in Sacramento County California against a real estate agent fund
While the Lavender Caucus has done an excellent job in its posts to social media demanding that the Georgia Party apologize for its February 22nd platform amendment, reverse its position and submit to re-education, they have done an extremely poor job of creating a welcoming environment for real dialogue on the areas of conflict.
As the Georgia party's April 7th response made clear,
"The hostility expressed to our platform revision by the leadership of the Lavender Caucus and its supporters in the party have included incessant namecalling, the use of sexist slurs (too often associated with violence directed at women); actual threats of violence, all targeting the women who have risen up to defend the actions of the Georgia Party and to deconstruct the misinformation used to slander the position taken by our Bonaire Convention and defame the leaders of our state party.The leadership of the national Party’s Lavender Caucus has supported and encouraged those making these threats. Any of these hostile tactics alone would be completely inappropriate coming from folks who we understood had embraced feminism as a key value around which we as a Party organize."
"Taken together they belie the assertion of the leadership of the Lavender Caucus that they want dialogue or as you framed it in your phone conversation with one of our officers, reconciliation on the issues we have raised with our Platform Amendment. They resemble more closely hooliganism, than a desire to participate in a democratic process. They project an intention to exert power over the internal deliberations of our autonomous state party, accredited since 1999 as a member of the confederation with other autonomous state green parties, which we call the Green Party of the United States."
Particularly affected have been Green women who have been silenced by these tactics. This page exists to provide an index to some of the documentary evidence collected by DnE members and supporters of the hostile environment created by Lavender Caucus members and supporters which thwart the very dialogue they claim to seek.
Watch this space, please, as this index is built and populated.
Hey. Thanks for reading. I'm a Green Party member in Wisconsin. This is to report on my experiences at the We're Here and We're Queer workshop facilitated by AJ Reed, Green Party Convention Delegate-Illinois, on Friday, July 10th, as part of the National Green Party Convention online.
There were about 15-20 people in attendance at the workshop and I believe Ann Link was the moderator. AJ Reed presented us with the ground rules for the workshop and established that AJ wanted dialogue but not debate and that AJ's workshop was going to be a "safe space." The moderator also announced it when she pressed the record button but as of this writing, she has not gotten back to me about where that recording might be available.
After AJ presented on the myriad of identities represented in the current LGBTQIA+ movement, I began to ask a question about the tension between lesbians and trans activists, or men who "identify as lesbians" and was interrupted by a man in drag who recited the dictum "trans women are women" and then the moderator removed me from the workshop entirely after muting me.
While I was muted but still in the workshop, I began to see people in the chat calling me a "bigot" and quickly wrote in the chat that it was not okay and that I did not feel safe. The comments that I am a "bigot" continued to come through the chat as I quickly typed the following that did not make it in because as I was typing, the host removed me from the workshop: "I hope AJ will answer my question about the tension between the "L" and the "T" in the LGBTQIA+ movement."
On March 29th, 2020, a statement by the National Black Caucus of the Green Party of the United States was posted to the national party's facebook group. In this statement, the NBC states that they "value discourse and reflective inquiry to resolve conflicts", and that they oppose "expulsion of any affiliated state or caucus, on the issues of languaging around Women’s rights, Children’s rights, and Transperson’s rights".
Three hours and 125 comments later, group moderators appointed by the national party's Media Committee, added a final comment to this post, stating that "This thread has strayed significantly from the subject of the NBC's specific statement on this debate and the replies are becoming increasingly hostile. Therefore the thread has been locked."
In fact, prior to closing the comments, the exchange on this thread was decidedly less hostile than the tone on many other related conversations in the same social media forum. What might have been disturbing though is the extent to which advocates for gender-critical feminist perspectives seemed far more effective in making salient points in the "discourse and reflective inquiry to resolve conflicts" which the Black Caucus had called for.
The letter below, dated March 21, 2020, by Wisconsin Green Party supporter Kerri Bruss, appealed to four of the six then admins / moderators of the national party's facebook page requesting a more balanced and equitable moderation of the page. These individuals, responsible for the fair enforcement of the page's rules, were appointed by the Media Committee of the Green Party of the United States. Ms. Bruss supported her request with a 52 page report, linked below, that documents the ongoing purge of content presented from a gender critical feminist perspective, as well as the ongoing verbal abuse and threatening behavior directed at gender critical feminists and their allies in that space.
To date there has been no response, while the purging of GC content, silencing of GC voices, and verbal abuse directed at GC feminists and their allies on the GPUS FB page continues unabated. But there was a new appointment by the Media Committee to the forum management team. On the facebook profile of the National Lavender Caucus this development was celebrated with the post reproduced here. Shortly afterwards, Paula Densnow was purged from this forum, altogether and has since been unable to either read or post to the party group.
The appeal by Kerri Bruss follows; . . .
"Attached is another pdf documenting still more instances of gender critical voices being silenced on the GPUS group's Facebook page via targeted content removal. I trust some of you are taking the time to review these documents that I am taking great care to produce. They are meant to establish that we seek more balance and respect for diverse opinions that appears to be lacking of late within Green Party spaces. It may very well be that the opinions we gender critical Greens hold are minority views, but it is also true that many Greens have been identifying themselves to and thanking us for speaking up as these conversations have been unfolding.
Many on the Lavender Caucus' side of this debate are quick to reference the party platform sections that relate specifically to 'gender identity' in defense of their position, however the fact that conflicting planks in that platform exist seems to all too often be ignored. I am specifically speaking to the social justice planks referencing support for women's rights that also acknowledge women as an oppressed class, as well as those that speak to the education and health and welfare of children.
In US civil rights law, the protected characteristic is SEX, and adding 'gender identity' removes those protections. Full stop. Which makes this plank "We will work to add sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to the existing civil rights act" diametrically opposed to the sex-based rights of women and girls.
Women DO have rights. They are just like everyone else, and when their rights are being violated, they get to identify the problem and insist that it stop, just like everyone else. Even when doing so may hurt someone's feelings.
This facebook group is operated by the national Green Party in the United States. Its group administrators are appointed by the Media Committee of the Green Party of the United States.
In this 34 page report, Wisconsin Green Party supporter Kerri Bruss documents dozens of informative and rules compliant comments which were purged by its group administrators. The commentary in this report returns again and again to the vital information and perspective being shared in these comments. She points out that the tone is often far more respectful, the sarcasm no more biting, than those of comments of trans-activists which were tolerated and allowed to stand. Often time these comments are supported with citations and links back to source documents.
- Gamms brags about his ability to have 23 comments of Green feminists removed by the moderators . . . He writes: "every antifa group in this country . . . has a file on every one of your transphobic hate mob . . . I'll will drag every transphobic bigot across the coals . . . I've you think cartoon memes are scary threats you're gonna wanna buckle up".
In this exchange, Mike Gammariello accuses Georgia Greens of being "complicit . . . in the death of trans people", as being a "part of an organized transphobic hate mob" which should be "disavowed just like we would do if the KKK tried to over run the green party". He characterizes a routine platform amendment as a "coup . . . with the goal of erradicating trans people", and says of feminists in the party that "they target and attack and bully", of being "transphobic hate mob advocates for genocide".
He repeatedly derides the "fence sitters" including members of the national Party's media Committee (which operates the facebook page on which was posting) and a party staff person of inaction, stating his intention, soon enough, to "call for . . . action to resign from their positions of leadership" for having "failed in their moral and ethicall duty", "allowing marginalized communities to be viciously attacked by the bigots".
- Here Mike Gammariello libels a state party officer as having "weaseled his way back into power to push his bigotry", calling this officer a "hate monger" with the intent "to target and harass anyone who defends trans peoples right to exist". He selectively cites, without context, this officer's publicly accessible biography to attribute nefarious intentions, before proceeding to accuse him and other feminists in the Green Party of mounting a "violent, manipulative genocidal coup". Gammariello claims that "they weaponize such manipulative and dangerously deceptive language . . . (to) bully, harass, and mob attack anyone who defends trans peoples right to exist". It is Gammariello assessment that the Georgia Party's "policy is violence against women, because trans women ARE WOMEN".
It was with mixed feelings, that we had long thought that this material had been lost to a purge of the entire thread on which the exchange documented in the attached pdf was conducted. Then on April 27th, 2021, Mike Gammariello used a purported welcome message addressed to Paula Densnow, a new Illinois Delegate to the Green National Committee to project veiled threats to publicly doxx her among his political allies who have demonstrated a history of resorting to violence to silence women who dare to speak out in defense of women's rights.
A complaint was filed against Mr. Gammariello with the forum managers for the national committee's list serves.
Seeing a reference to this exchange as having been lost to the purge of the thread in the archives of the party's social media group, another Delegate found the attached pdf archive of the exchange in his personal archives. He made it available for posting here, nearly 14 months after the original series of less veiled threats.
The comment pictured here was one of many which specifically threatened two women by name, including one where he warned, "I'm too busy booking a flight", with a screen shot showing the Trip Advisor price options for flights between his local airport and the airport local to the home of the woman he was threatening.
- Inconvenient questions, inconvenient perspectives, arguments which can not be answered; . . . apparently there is more than one way to win a debate. Simply avoid having to have it at all. In October, someone (facebook does not share who) reported these questions and comments as violating Community Standards. So they were removed from the conversation altogether, allowing abusive name calling to go unanswered. After all, you can't lose an argument which never took place.