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Green Party are loyal to our core values

By Steven Agnew

Published 19/04/2016

Steven Agnew MLA is leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland
Steven Agnew MLA is leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland

The Green Party has been to the fore of campaigns for better services for children, marriage equality and abortion reform. Nevertheless, we have not forgotten our roots and are proud to be environmental champions.

The environment is where you live. It is your home, your street, your community. It is Northern Ireland. It is our planet.

The Green Party is focused on what is important to people in their environment, underpinned by four principles on which the Green Party is founded - social justice, sustainability, grassroots democracy and non-violence.

The Green Party has successfully fought against fracking and uncovered the extent of illegal waste at Mobuoy and environmental vandalism in Lough Neagh. We will continue to do this in the next Assembly mandate.

We have also been vocal over the need for integrated education, better housing, equality, access to abortion services for women, political transparency and animal rights. The Children's Act, which I brought forward, will ensure children are put at the centre of services.

We remain committed to tackling climate change, not least because of the impact that it will have on the poorest and most vulnerable. However, social justice means that the Green Party is committed to equal rights for all.

We are in the midst of an election campaign, but democracy is about more than casting a vote every few years. Decisions in the interests of communities should be taken by those communities - the grassroots. This must be supported by transparency in political funding.

The politics of non-violence is not just about bringing an end to a conflict.

It is about dismantling the structures and conditions that lead to conflict, including eradicating poverty and inequality, respecting diverse cultures, examining the context of conflict from all sides and a commitment to resolving political differences by exclusively non-violent and democratic means.

The Green Party wants to make your home a better place to live - and won't waste any opportunity to do so.

Steven Agnew is leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland

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