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Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein (pictured right) and Vice-Presidential candidate Cheri Honkala are stopped and arrested for attempting to gain access to the campus of Hofstra University, site of the second of three presidential debates between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. (Photo: Alamy)

Green Party Candidates Arrested Outside Presidential Debate

Presidential candidate Jill Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala barred from attending then arrested

Common Dreams staff

Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein and her vice presidential running mate Cheri Honkala were arrested Tuesday outside the venue at Hofstra University where President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney later met for their nationally televised debate.

According to the Stein-Honkala campaign, the progressively-minded candidates will be on an estimated 85% of state ballots in the upcoming election. Yet because of agreements made by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD)—created and controlled by the dominant Republican and Democratic parties—they have been barred from participating in any of the presidential debates.

Mid-afternoon Tuesday, Stein and Honkala walked with supporters toward the Hofstra campus where they were met by three ranks of police officers in uniform and plainclothes. Unable to gain access to the hall or the large national press pool gathered inside, the Green Party candidates held an impromptu press conference in which Dr. Stein called the CPD debate a "mockumentary," saying that, "We are here to bring the courage of those excluded from our politics to this mock debate, this mockery of democracy."

“If you have done the work to get on the ballot, if you are on the ballot and could actually win the electoral college by being on the ballot in enough states, then you deserve to be in the election and you deserve to be heard,” Stein told the police and crowd. “The American people deserve to hear choices which are not bought and paid for by multinational corporations and Wall Street. This is why we are not hearing the critical issues in this debate.”

Following their press conference, and still prevented by security and police from entry, Stein and Honkala sat down in the pathway and following warnings from police were handcuffed and placed under arrest.

After several hours in custody, the two were released by local authorities.

The Stein campaign did release a list of independently run debates in which their candidate will be participating. Here they are:

  • Thursday, October 18 -- The Independent Voter Network debate between Jill Stein and Gary Johnson can be viewed live on October 18, 2012 beginning at 7:00 PM EST on http://ivn.us/, or on IVN.us’ Google+ and YouTube page. More information.
  • Monday, October 22 -- Time TBA: Democracy Now continues its "Expanding the Debate" series with a live broadcast during the third presidential debate with real-time responses from Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and Justice Party nominee Rocky Anderson. For full details.
  • Thursday, October 23 & Tuesday October 30 -- Free and Equal Election's Alternative Debate will be available live online, streaming on Oct. 23 and Oct 30 at 9:00 PM EST.  The first of thses two debates will include Jill Stein from the Green Party; Gary Johnson from the Libertarian Party; Virgil Goode from the Constitution Party; and Rocky Anderson from the Justice Party.  More information.

 


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