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By Kevin Stoda, Wiesbaden

Today, the Green Party of Germany celebrates its 30th anniversary. It was founded on this day officially in Karlsruhe in 1980 and became within a decade a very powerful small party in German politics. It did so by constantly holding out for far better social and ecological conditions while promoting a youthful image of greater democratic participation by West German citizens. More-over, it was seen as the party most interested in promoting a peaceful and conciliatory image of Germany at a time when the Cold War was heating up.

Although the Green Party did not serve in a national governing coalition until approximately 18 years after its founding, like many small progressive parties in the United States, the German Greens Platform was gradually absorbed into the platforms of most of the other significant political parties in Germany within a decade or so after its founding. First the Social Democrats and then later the Christian Democrats/Christian Socialists, and even the Free Democrats or Liberal parties became more environmentally aware and interested in the multicultural reality of German citizenry and their diverse political interests.

Fairly soon after the Greens came into politics in Germany, the Chernobyl nuclear accident occurred in the Ukraine, and within a few years the Greens had obtained their first major political triumph. That is, Germany, once a leader in nuclear power made an about face. The nation began to turn its back on the nuclear option and even began to close down older more dangerous plants and nuclear processing centers. Today, it is still very questionable whether any new nuclear reactors will be built in Germany.

Initially, in the 1980s, the German Greens were seen as the outsiders and underdogs-of-the-masses who were not interested at all in the Post-WWII model of growth and exports-at-all-cost mentality which had dominated in Germany through the 1970s. The Greens gave voice to the voiceless, who were much more concerned with issues of quality of living vs. pure symbols of economic growth. The Greens challenged the status quo with crazy hairstyles, hippy clothing, long beards, and anti-authoritarian behavior--for example, challenging the former head of East Germany on live TV to answer the West German call to support human rights and allow more freedoms in the West.

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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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