As another of the Occupy the Debates actions, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and vice presidential candidate Cheri Honkala walked toward the site of last night’s Commission on Presidential Debates event at Hofstra University. The Occupy the Debates actions are one part of Green Party efforts to draw attention to the exclusion of all but Republican and Democratic party candidates from the CPD. From JillStein.org:
Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala walked with supporters toward the Hofstra campus at 2:00pm EST today. There they were met by three ranks of police officers in uniform and plainclothes. At this point, 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.’
Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala then turned and began walking onto the debate grounds, at which point the rank of police officers physically stopped them and pushed them back. The two women sat down and the police arrested them, saying that Stein and Honkala would be charged with ‘obstructing traffic,’ a charge Jill Stein for President staffer and lawyer Alex Howard called ‘bogus’ in that there was no through-traffic visible at any time during the incident.
Earlier in the day, Stein told Philadelphia Weekly that despite some butterflies in the stomach, ‘We are prepared to be arrested in the service of democracy and a future that serves us all.’
Both Stein and Honkala were later released.
More from the Stein campaign:
Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala will appear on 85% of ballots on Election Day, and recently polled 2-3% in four consecutive national polls. The Federal government recognizes Jill Stein as a qualified presidential candidate, having approved her campaign for federal matching funds. …
The presidential debates are the first opportunity for millions of voters to see the candidates themselves, not just their advertising campaigns. These debates are organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) – a supposedly ‘nonpartisan’ entity which is a puppet of and serves the interests of the Democrats, Republicans and the big corporations that fund both of them. The CPD’s criteria to be included in these debates is designed to exclude independent presidential contenders who promote ideas that challenge those in power.