Forum Managers usurp Democratic Engagement to Censor Dissent on National Committee

Years ago the national committee adopted rules delegating to Forum Managers, nominated by the Steering Committee and confirmed by the National Committee, the power to warn and moderate members of the National Committee for a wide number of decorum violations.  An election in the Spring of 2021 led to a wide number of candidates seeking the nomination of party officers to fulfill this role.  The now newly elected Forum Managers had campaigned on a New Sherriff in Town platform, with promises to put an end to what they characterized as hate-speech.  No one seemed sure how to define that term.  Apparently hate speech is like obscenity, in that a judge or forum manager is supposed to recognize it when they see it.  Judging from the context, hate speech seems to mean speech which hurts feelings, invokes cognitive dissonance or introduces arguments beyond the capacity of the gender-ideology talking points to address.  

Words are supposed to hurt.  The battlefield of ideas in vigorous debate before deliberative bodies is supposed to protects us from the actual violence of civil war.
Words are supposed to hurt.  The battlefield of ideas in vigorous debate before deliberative bodies is supposed to protects us from the actual violence of civil war.  With appreciation to Areo Magazine. 

Below are posts sent to the National Committee lists (its votes list and its discussion list), mostly about the Accreditation Committee proposal #1062, to dis-accredit the Georgia Green Party, all of which the Forum Managers (listserv moderators) appear to have declined to allow to be published to the listserv.

Within days of their election, the Forum Managers had placed on "moderation" two Delegates to the Green National Committee, appointed or elected by their state parties, denying members of the Accredited member state parties which had elected them their voice and perspective in debate before the National Committee.  The incoming Forum Managers did not wait for these Delegates to violate the decorum rules of the lists; they went so far as to dig into the archives and sanction Paula Bradshaw and David Keil for posts already in the archives of the party; acting on complaints filed during their predecessor's watch as Forum Managers.  These actions were taken due to posts questioning or critical of actions of committees or delegates, or of the Forum Managers themselves. 

Regardless of whether the complaints which led to moderation actually constitute breaches of the GNC's expectations for decorum, the Forum Managers were never empowered to censor, but merely to moderate the posts of sanctioned Delegates.  The suppression of the posts below would indicate that the FMs are not enforcing rules of civility, but rather are systematically censoring dissenting viewpoints in debate before the National Committee in violation of the party's professed value for participatory democracy.

"I believe that FMs are silencing me because of pressure from NC delegates to do so as a dissenter from proposal 1062, suppressing my posts," wrote David Keil, elected by the Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts. "Dissenting from this ideological-expulsion effort has been labeled 'transphobic' for some time in the NC. I believe that a national effort is underway to silence or remove all opposition to the purge of the Georgia party. The toxic atmosphere in the NC is reflected in debates about the vaccination question as well, filled with insults and devoid of collaborative intent." 

As Ms. Bradshaw puts it, in an article on her experience with the list moderators, "No matter what I said, I was turned into the authorities and they found some sort of internal value that I had defiled.  Meanwhile, I was attacked and insulted by others, but apparently they were following Green values that I was unaware existed.  .  .  .  Much like the community standards that heretics and dissenters run afoul of on Atlantic Council-monitored social media, the (Green Party list) managers invented Kafkaesque  interpretations of existing rules to make my statements seem unacceptable."

Members of any political party (which claims to operate democratically) have the right to speak their minds on political questions. So do members of representative bodies, elect by members constituencies to represent their interests on bodies like the National Committee. Mr. Keil was elected as an NC delegate on September 26, 2020, at the state convention of the Green-Rainbow Party. By disenfranchising or silencing him, officials are disenfranchising his state party. Keil describes this as "an assault on the Green Party US as a federation of state parties". We are seeing reports of a national effort to intervene in state parties in other ways.

One example of this attack on the role of the National Committee and the Green federation it governs was the Steering Committee's public attack, May 24, on the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus.  In their statement that day, broadly disseminated through public channels, they autocratically elevated the slogan, "Transwomen are Women," to official status without action by the National Committee to amend the Platform of the National party to adopt a position on this assertion which is highly controversial within the party. As Keil has pointed out, "that attack was clearly aimed to intimidate opponents of #1062 and to suppress questions about it."

Summaries and context for the posts to lists of the National Committee, censored by the Forum Moderators are linked below.

With our appreciation to Areo Magazine for the image used in this article.

GNC Censored Posts

July 20th: responding to open insightment for shock-and-awe tactics to state We can practice grassroots democracy or else lose it.
July 21: hate-group accusations resurface; rumor has it, that the Black Caucus took a vote Monday evening
A Texas delegate expressed hope that its delegation would "vote to take out the trash next week" by expelling a state party
July 16: replied to an attack, by Del. Barbara Kidney, on the Emergency Committee to Save the Green Party. (In her post, Del. Kidney accused Del. Jeff Sutter of "anti-human rights propaganda" and said that Sutter and Hugh Esco, in deeming women to be a biological sex, were treating her, Barbara Kidney, as a sex object, which she said was "particularly loathsome".) Provided the URL and mission statement of the Emergency Committee. Asked that Sutter, Esco, and three women associated with the Emergency Committee be given chances to reply. Four other delegates were given chances to chime in with Del. Kidney; no one was given a chance to reply to her.
July 11: pointed to a factional impulse in the NC on three issues: vaccination; eco-socialism; and sex/gender. Questioned an attack on a Black Caucus member for "allowing" a webinar in which "anti-vax" ideas were voiced.
July 10: echoed and quoted the views of Georgia delegate James Cooper and commented that #1062 is about enforcing a narrow ideology.
July 10: echoed and quoted the views of Georgia delegate James Cooper and commented that #1062 is about enforcing a narrow ideology.
July 9: replied to a claim by Delegate Noah Martin that age limits on elective surgery for minors impose "lifelong trauma"; replied to a Nevada delegate who announced a boycott of all organizations that fail to exclude from their ranks ideas deemed trans-exclusive.
July 7: replied to the claim by Steering Committee member Margaret Elisabeth that dissenters in the GPUS would wish to form a separate party; announced that a Green Alliance for Sex-Based Rights had formed.
July 5, morning: on the first day of discussion on #1061, commented on the harmful effect a proposed "code of conduct" would have in the wake of the expulsion of a state party on ideological grounds.
July 5, evening: on the first day of discussion on #1062, addressed the substance of the dis-accreditation proposal; quoted the Minority Report by delegate Jeff Sutter, and pointed out that the Green Party US is united in opposition to anti-trans hatred a
agreed with Del. Michael Feinstein that a two weeks' discussion of #1062 was insufficient and repeated my concerns about availability of defense materials and the minority report
informed members of where the majority AccredCom report could be seen, and when the voting would take place; and urged that defense materials be made available.
expressing dissent from a reported AccredCom motion to dis-accredit the Georgia GP
June 5: expressed dissent from a reported AccredCom motion to dis-accredit the Georgia GP.