Presidential Candidate Jill Stein to Rally with UMass protesters Wednesday April 20 in Amherst Ma.

19 April  2016: For Immediate Release
Contact: Darlene Elias    Tel. 413-204-1001

The Green-Rainbow Party stands in solidarity with of the Divest UMass protesters, 35 of whom were arrested last week after peacefully occupying the Whitmore Building on the Amherst campus, demanding that UMass divest from all fossil fuels.
"We recognize that our climate is in crisis," said Roni Beal, GRP State Co-chair. "Therefore we demand bold and immediate action on the international, national, state, and local level.  In order to stop the worst expected effects of climate change. We need a much faster transition to renewable energy than is proposed by the corporate-run Democratic and Republican Parties."

As the Massachusetts affiliate of the Green Party of the United States, the only national party that does not take contributions from fossil fuel corporations, the Green-Rainbow Party calls for a moratorium on all new fossil fuel and nuclear infrastructure, and for the U.S. government, public, and private institutions to divest from fossil fuels.
"Public institutions like the University of Massachusetts could and should be leading the way on fossil fuel divestment and investment into
renewable energy sources." asserted David Gerry, GRP Co-chair. "We salute the students of the University of Massachusetts for using peaceful direct action and bringing the issue of fossil fuel divestment to the forefront. We endorse this action and call for any charges made against the protesters to be dropped. "
Protests and events on the subject of fossil fuel divestment, corporate greed, and UMass's collusion with the fossil fuel industry will continue this week on the UMass Amherst campus. On Wednesday, April 20th at 3:00 P.M., Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein, who was the Green Party's nominee in 2012, and who is the front-runner of five Green Party candidates for President in 2016, will speak and rally with students outside of UMass Amherst’s Whitmore Hall.

Then, at 6:30 p.m. at the UMass Amherst Campus Center, Stein will join a panel of other activists including Verizon Workers and students from Divest UMass. The panel will discuss the climate crisis, and what organizers describe as "the band of conspirators that have dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars to buy politicians and university administrators to advance a frack, drill and burn agenda that is quite literally killing the planet."
The co-sponsors of the event, the Green-Rainbow Party, Verizon workers and Divest UMass student activists state that "massively profitable corporations like Verizon are trying to break the power of their workers, asking for massive givebacks, outsourcing jobs for greater exploitation, and paying off politicians to look the other way." The panel will discuss how working people can fight back against what it calls a "corporate colossus."

Megan Kingston, a Green-Rainbow Party member who is an alumnus of the UMass Amherst and a former member of the Board of Trustees, is proud of the protesters. "I applaud the direct actions organized by the students of UMass," said Kingston. "The University describes itself on their website as a 'sustainability leader serving as a model for communities across the country' and boasts that they are home to the world’s best climate scientists. In order to truly be a leader in the climate crisis, the University has a moral obligation to divest from fossil fuels, swiftly and completely."
Stein, when reached for comment on the campaign trail is looking forward to returning to her native Massachusetts on Wednesday, where she first became an environmental activist as a medical doctor who switched from practicing clinical medicine to what she calls "political medicine." This transition took place when Stein came to understand that corporate greed and environmental pollution were often the underlying cause of her patients’ ills.  "Hats off to the courageous students of UMass Amherst and tot he Verizon workers for leading the charge for us all for a climate future we can live in, and for an economy that works for working people." Stein stated. "We need full divestment from fossil fuels in our schools, communities and government. We need 100% clean renewable energy by 2030 and a ban on all new fossil fuel and nuclear infrastructure starting now. And we need good jobs with benefits and security - not corporate profiteering while workers struggle for health care, pensions and respect.  We deserve what our survival actually depends on, not what the sold out political system says is possible. Thanks to heroic students and Verizon workers for leading the way to an America and a world that works for all of us – that puts people, planet and peace over profit."

The Green-Rainbow Party is pleased to hear that the protesters plan to continue their visibility until the university agrees to divest, and calls for such direct actions to divest from fossil fuels to take place throughout the Commonwealth. The GRP also asks students who are tired of two corporately-controlled parties controlling our future to join us and vote for Green-Rainbow Party candidates this coming November. These candidates include our presidential nominee (to be nominated at our Presidential Nominating Convention in Houston in August), and two candidates for State Representative, Charlene DiCalogero of Berlin and Danny Factor of Acton. In contrast to the Democratic and Republican parties, GRP candidates do not take contributions from corporate lobbyists or officers of corporations that engage in lobbying. Their positions on issues are based on 10 Key Values which include ecological wisdom, community based economics, nonviolence, social justice equal opportunity, and grassroots democracy. As a values based party rather than a corporate controlled party, Green-Rainbow Party elected officials can be counted on to take the bold steps necessary to ensure that the needs of our people and planet are truly met.

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