As Mitt Romney and President Obama took the stage at Hofstra University for the 2nd Presidential Debate of 2012, Green Party candidate Jill Stein was being placed in handcuffs.
According to a release from the Green Party, Stein and her running mate Cheri Honkala were arrested last night after they tried to enter Hofstra to join the debate.
Stein and Honkala attempted to enter the university a few hours before the debate last night. They were stopped by a group of officers. Stein held an impromptu press conference and called the Presidential Debate a “mockery.”
“We are here to bring the courage of those excluded from our politics to this mock debate, this mockery of democracy.”
Stein tried again to enter the debate grounds and was arrested for “blocking traffic.” The Green Party reports that Stein and Honkala spent “eight hours handcuffed to a metal chair in a remote police warehouse on Long Island” while President Obama and Mitt Romney engaged in their second debate of the year.
Stein has been petitioning the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) to allow presidential candidates outside of the Democratic and Republican parties to join the debates. Stein called the CPD a “puppet” that 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.”
Stein has gathered more than 14,000 signatures on a statement calling for the CPD to change its debate criteria.
The statement reads:
“The debates must include every candidate who is on enough ballots to win the White House and who has demonstrated a minimal level of support — meaning either 1% of the vote in a credible national poll, or qualification for federal matching funds, or both. In 2012, the Green and Libertarian party candidates both meet all of these criteria and are both contenders for the presidency… These debates belong to the people, not the politicians or Wall Street.”
Here’s a video of Jill Stein before her arrest.
After being released, Stein said:
“It was painful but symbolic to be handcuffed for all those hours, because that what the Commission on Presidential Debates has essentially done to American democracy.”
Do you think that candidates like Jill Stein should be allowed to participate in Presidential Debates?