Howdy and happy winter solstice. Winter officially begins tonight and we continue speeding towards Christmas, Kwanzaa and the finish line of 2015. As usual, I am not ready. In fact, I'm still mulling over something from October.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the West European peace and environmental movement reached out, tentatively at first and then more vigorously, to the dissident groups in Eastern Europe. Nowhere was this more evident than in West Germany. Eva Quistorp was a driving force behind the east-west dialogue.
When Communism collapsed in East-Central Europe, it should have been a golden opportunity for the Greens. Newly enfranchised voters were looking for something new. They were skeptical of old-style parties.
In explaining the fall of Communism, most analysts talk about pressure from the inside (dissidents) coupled with pressure from the outside (Gorbachev, Reagan). But equally important were the inside-outsiders.
At first, public reaction to "greens" was generally negative. Many said that they were co-opting the Occupy movement for publicity, or even worse, that environmentalists were diluting the message of income inequality.