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Wisconsin betrayed by silencing of democracy movement, says Stein

wisconsinwsjstormcapitol110310.jpgDr. Jill Stein, the victor in the Green Party presidential primaries, this morning issued the following statement about yesterday's recall elections in Wisconsin:

"For over a year now, the working people of Wisconsin have been under siege by the fossil fuel, mining, and toxic chemical corporations. Yesterday's recall election was deeply flawed. Thousands of qualified voters were turned away from their polling places. Thousands more were told not to vote, or that election day was yet to come. The corporate media declared the election results while voters still stood in line to vote, and at a time when only the most conservative ward results were reported. Many votes were cast on electronic voting machines that are easy to manipulate because they lack a paper trail. And nearly all of the money spent in the election came from out-of-state big corporate interests. If an election like that is free and fair, then I have a nuke plant in Vermont to sell you."

"My national campaign headquarters is on the Capitol Square in Madison. I have visited Wisconsin repeatedly this past year, marched with Wisconsinites, sang with the Solidarity Singers, and circulated recall petitions. Next week, I will speak at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair near Amherst, Wisconsin. I am committed to Wisconsin's struggle for democracy and self-determination."

"Where has Barack Obama been in the course of this struggle? He had time to visit Minnesota and Chicago, but not Wisconsin. He had time for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Wall Street financiers, but not for the working people who have already lost so much. If he has had any part at all in this great movement for economic justice and democracy that has arisen in America this past year, President Obama's role has been to oversee the most coordinated and brutal national crackdown on non-violent protesters this country has seen in half a century."

"There are many lessons to what happened in Wisconsin yesterday. Most of those lessons are about the role of big money in politics, and the lengths to which some will go to suppress the right to vote. But one key lesson from this entire recall process -- from the attempts by the Democratic National Committee to cancel the recall effort last year, to the pressure the Obama White House placed on progressives within the Democratic Party not to run in the recall, to the early concession by Mayor Barrett given despite his promises to wait until all the Milwaukee votes were counted -- one key lesson is that the Democratic Party cannot be trusted to defend the interests of regular people."

"We need our own party, organized by, led by, and funded by we the people, not the corporations. Just as Wisconsinites took leadership in the uprising of the past year, and did not ask for permission to launch the occupy movement, so too must Wisconsin find its own strong progressive voice at the ballot box. Yesterday's election reminds us once again that silence is not an effective political strategy."

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