The world we are working towards is one of equality, social justice and non-violence; it is a world where radical participatory democracy is how we make decisions; and it is one where the exploitation of our environment, and the destruction of our climate, is not a function of the economy.Maggie Chapman
Change is inevitable, and the Scottish Greens are leading that change in Scottish politics, the party’s co-convener Maggie Chapman will today (17 Mar) tell delegates at their Spring conference in Greenock.
The gathering takes place as Green MSPs help shape the emergency EU Continuity Bill at Holyrood, and just weeks after negotiating major concessions from the minority SNP Government during the Scottish budget process - securing an extra £170million for local councils, boosting public sector pay and forcing a shift in capital investment toward low-carbon infrastructure.
Around 150 members are expected at the Beacon Arts Centre to take part in workshops and discussions on issues such as housing, gender equality, farming, fox hunting, Brexit, climate change and local tax reform.
Other speakers include:
* Ross Greer, MSP for West of Scotland and Europe spokesperson for the Scottish Greens
* Steven Agnew MLA, Leader of Green Party Northern Ireland
* Jean Lambert, MEP for London and migration spokesperson for Green Party England & Wales
* Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens
* Eamon Ryan TD, Leader of Green Party Ireland
In her keynote speech, Maggie Chapman is expected to say:
"We gather at a time when things seems more unstable and unpredictable than they’ve been for a while. Throughout history, change has often seemed impossible. But once it comes, it seems like change was always inevitable.
"This year we celebrated 100 years of some women being allowed to vote for the first time in the UK. Next year will be the 25th anniversary of the end of apartheid in South Africa. We need people who are committed to making the change we need to see in the world. We are the people leading the change.
"The world we are working towards is one of equality, social justice and non-violence; it is a world where radical participatory democracy is how we make decisions; and it is one where the exploitation of our environment, and the destruction of our climate, is not a function of the economy.
"On climate change and the environment, we’ve been right on this issue from long before anyone else cared. Most recently we led the opposition to fracking, building a social movement with and as ordinary people in communities, with and as grassroots organisers.
"These social movements are working against the old institutions. Greens have always been the radical voices. We still have so much more to do. We will continue to lead the change."