The Cook County Green Party stands in solidarity with peaceful protesters and joins with them in condemning the horrific murder of George Floyd at the hands of police. We acknowledge the festering pain and rage that this killing brought to the surface and the vital need to vent and voice the unbearable frustration that little has changed.

We recognize civil disobedience as a powerful tool to gain attention and awareness, as well as to demand change in a criminal justice system that displays such remarkable injustice.

The Green Party does not condone any physical attacks on individuals nor looting and destruction of property. We believe that these actions distract from the goal of systemic change and divert attention away from the endless looting of Americans’ pockets done by such predators as Wall St., Big Banks, Pharmaceutical companies, the Prison Industrial Complex and the Military Industrial complex. Destruction of the commercial cornerstones of neighborhoods further victimizes the very population that is already suffering and it serves to magnify divisions, escalate the conflict, ripping holes in the very fabric of our communities.

The Green Party has long advocated for police reform. Our platform calls for establishing “elected or appointed independent civilian re-view boards with subpoena power to investigate complaints about prison guard and community police behavior.” We also believe that we need to demilitarize our police forces by restricting police use of weapons and “restraining techniques such as pepper spray, stun belts, tasers and choke holds.” These institutional changes must be implemented. But we also must “get tough” on the sources of crime. Money spent offering jobs, vocational and educational opportunities is the kind of investment that builds strong communities.

It is the job of elected officials to work for a better world, to work for progress in our neighborhoods, to keep their neighborhoods informed about any threats, and to bring about the reforms needed for a true sense of justice. If this is, as they say, the best democracy money can buy, we need to elect people who are not already bought and paid for by big business. We need to elect people who are not invested in the status quo, but who are truly invested in the promise that systemic change can bring