Green Party leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons, has always had a socialist streak.
According to Green Party website “Even as a child she had a passion for justice, particularly the vast contrast between the ‘rich world’ and the ‘poor world’.
She protested against war in her teens and this carried through to interest in non violent protest action, passive resistance and alternatives to the military.”
In the mid ’70s Fitzsimons became a full time environmental activist and by 1977 was elected as Energy Spokesperson for the new, eco-socialist, Values Party.
By 1992 Fitzsimons was a leader of the newly formed Green Party and co-deputy leader of the Jim Anderton led, Alliance Party. Through the Alliance, Fitzsimons came in contact with the communists of the Australian “Democratic Socialist Party”. The DSP was formerly known as the Socialist Workers Party and was and still is, a major player in the international Marxist-Leninist movement.
The Alliance’s Matt McCarten and Jim Anderton had close ties to the DSP, as did old Trotskyites like Keith Locke and Matt Robson. Fitzsimons did a couple of interviews for the DSP’s “Green Left Weekly”, in the early ’90s
From March 31 to April 1994 the DSP hosted the International Green Left Conference, in Sydney. The gathering, according to US Trotskyite, Malik Miah “brought together a wide
range of activists and concerned individuals to discuss and debate the ecological and social problems currently facing the world. During the meeting, a new international discussion journal, “Links”, a quarterly magazine for socialist renewal, was launched.
The “Links” editorial board included; “Jeremy Cronin, a leader of the South African Communist Party and editor of The African Communist; Langa Zita from the SACP and the South African Metalworkers union; Baddegama Samitha from the New Socialist Party of Sri Lanka; and leading members from the New Zealand Alliance, the Sandinista National Liberation Front, the Farabundo MartiÂ¡ National Liberation Front and the (Trotskyite) Fourth International.
Malik Miah went on to say: “The highly successful conference grew out of an initiative of the DSP of Australia, the main left formation in that country. Carl Bloice, national co-chair of the Committees of Correspondence, Mike Wyman, editor of CrossRoads’ recent El Salvador ÂPresente! issue, Peter Camejo, a member of Committees of Correspondence national executive and the board of the Environmental Federation of America, and I were among over 800 participants from all over Australia and around the world.”
Miah, Bloice, Wyman and Camejo were all leaders of the US Committees of Correspondence. Formed in 1992 as a split from the Communist Party USA, the CoC consisted of Communists, ex Maoists, Trotskyites, black activists, environmentalists etc. Miah was a Trotskyite, black activist and later a Green Party activist. Bloice was the CPUSA’s former Moscow correspondent. Camejo, was once described by Ronald Reagan as one the 10 most dangerous men in California. He was in 1976, a presidential candidate for the Trotskyite, Socialist Workers Party and in 2002, stood for the Green Party against Arnold Schwarzeneggerer for the governorship of California. He describes himself as a “watermelon”, “green on the outside, red on the inside“.
The conference was part of a worldwide movement at the time to form new political parties out of the various splintered Marxist and radical groups then existing.
Explained “Links” editor Peter Boyle “The range of groups involved in “Links” is proof of a new climate of collaboration in the international left,” This is a project involving the left from the Communist Party, the Trotskyist, Maoist, ex-Social Democratic, independent left and liberation theology traditions. We all have in common a desire for socialist renewal based on support for democracy, feminism, ecological sustainability and internationalism.”
Fitzsimons was no mere observer, she played a leading role at the conference. According to Miah. “Ideas for dealing with the international environmental crisis were put forward by a diverse range of speakers. A lively discussion occurred on the different paths towards sustainable development and environmental justice. The panel, “How can we build a sustainable society,” was one of the best attended and included Peter Camejo, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Graham Mathews from the Australian DSP, and Dr. Nguyen Khac Kinh, deputy director of Vietnam’s National Environment Agency. The broad and open views discussed highlighted the importance of linking green and socialist perspectives in reaching common strategies and goals.”
Jeanette Fitzsimons also spoke on “Women in NZ Politics”. The other three speakers on her panel were; Dulce Maria Pereira a black activist and Alternate Senator with the Marxist led, Workers Party of Brazil (now governing that country), Christabelle Chamarette, a Greens Senator from Western Australia and Lucianna Castellina, a Euro MP and directorate member of the Italian Party of Communist Refoundation.
While Fitzsimons never mentions the “S” word when speaking to the media in this country, she was less guarded when among friends. She told “Green Left Weekly” number 147, June 1994 “If socialism is to survive as a relevant political movement in the 21st century, it must develop a response to the ecological crisis and a socialist strategy to build a sustainable future. Green Left Weekly provides the tools of information and analysis to make that possible.”
Jeanette Fitzsimon’s is the co-leader of the Green Party. The last election brought her to within the plaque on her teeth, of a cabinet position. Most Green supporters and the public generally, see her as some kind of harmless “Green Granny”. Is she really a “Marxist Matriarch”? Would NZers vote for her if the saw her rubbing shoulders with 800 of the most hard core communists on the planet?