Yup, Jill Stein and her vice presidential running mate Cheri Honkala were not only nabbed, but spent eight hours handcuffed to a metal chair in a remote police warehouse on Long Island.
It seems so damn hypocritical that we're killing Taliban and occupying other nations, supposedly to shove democracy down their throats, but when totally legitimate candidates who will appear on 85 percent of America's ballot try to join a debate, they're faced with armed cops. As Salon.com reports:
Stein and Honkala were met by a line of Nassau County police as they approached the debate grounds entrance with a group of supporters. “We are here to bring the courage of those excluded from our politics to this mock debate, this mockery of democracy,” Stein said in an impromptu press conference before her arrest.
Check out the video that Hofstra University students made, especially the point at 1:11, when all the big male cops bust their power moves on two small women. Speaks volumes. My favorite part comes at the end, when one of the bully cops says, “watch the flag.” Cause, yeah, you wouldn't want a piece of cloth to touch the ground when you're stifling the freedom of speech that is the cornerstone of democracy.
So why wasn't the Green Party allowed to join Tweedle Dee and TweedleDum on the podium? According to ABC News:
In addition to the constitutional criteria to be eligible for the presidency, the Presidential Debate Commission requires that candidates have a mathematical possibility of achieving the 270 electoral college votes necessary to be elected, and the candidates must have at least 15 percent support in public opinion based on the average of five national polls in order to participate.
But if Green Party candidates aren't given any media coverage, and they refuse to accept the corporate contributions that require them to sell their souls in order to buy TV ads, well, then, how are they supposed to meet the criteria set out by the Debate Commission? Can you spell bogus?
Why do you suppose the Debate Commission is so keen to stifle other voices? Perhaps because if you actually heard what Jill Stein had to say you'd vote for her. As Huffington Post blogger Carl Gibson noted:
Jill Stein is a candidate that the other 90 million of us can get excited about. Picture the populist candidate Barack Obama once was in 2008, minus the financial support from Wall Street banks and oil companies, and the fawning coverage from mainstream media outlets. In her Green New Deal she's vowing to end drone strikes, tightly regulate Wall Street, halt all government-funded construction of fossil fuel-dependent projects, and end all foreign wars and occupations. She unabashedly calls for higher top tax rates like we saw in the days of FDR and Eisenhower, and the immediate closure of corporate tax loopholes that bleed out billions to overseas, tax-free bank accounts where the elite have stashed anywhere between $21 trillion and $32 trillion. As president, she would appoint Supreme Court justices who believe corporations are corporations, not people, and fight to get corporate money and influence out of the political process.
Sounds pretty threatening to the corporate status quo. No wonder they want to shut her up. Plus, she's a woman.
But remember, you still have a vote, and you can cast it any way you like, including for someone who shares your values and views. You don't have to hold your nose and choose between the lesser of two evils. As Stein so aptly noted, “Only we can take it back and make it democratic again.”
If you want to learn more about other candidates, Democracy Now! has expanded the debate. In this segment, Stein and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party respond to questions posed to presidential candidates in the first debate. And today, parts of last night’s debate are re-aired, and the videotape paused to give Stein, Anderson and Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode a chance to respond to the same questions that were posed to Obama and Romney.