Green Party Presidential Ticket Arrested in Philly
Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein and Vice Presidential candidate Cheri Honkala were arrested today after an hours-long sit-in to protest home foreclosures, dubbed ‘Occupy Fannie Mae.’
The candidates were joined by about 50 protesters as they and others spoke, then picketed, then attempted to enter 1835 Market Street to speak with a Fannie Mae representative. When they were shut out of the building, they attempted to enter the office through Conestoga Bank, which is adjacent to the Fannie Mae building. When they could not get through, they staged a sit-in inside the bank.
Stein and Honkala’s campaign is based upon what Stein first dubbed a “Green New Deal,” which she says will put people back to work in the green jobs sector and include an economic bill of rights, which includes an “immediate halt to all foreclosures and evictions.”
After several police vehicles showed up, Stein and Honkala negotiated an agreement in which the two women being foreclosed upon, Rhonda Lancaster and Miss Fran, would speak with a representative of Fannie Mae. Lancaster and Fran left the premises after coming back down. But Stein, Honkala, and several others were not satisfied. They continued the sit-in inside Conestoga and were later arrested.
Lancaster noted to Philadelphia Weekly afterwards that the meeting gave her some hope that she’d get help in the process—and that no one had ever been arrested on her behalf before. “I am extremely honored that they would go out on a limb for myself and everybody else,” she said, “because they have families just like everybody else, and they have obligations.”
Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, of the respective Republican and Democratic parties, have not been arrested during this campaign season.
Lancaster has joined several protests over the past couple years on her own and others’ behalf because she says her position is not unique. “Why are families out in the streets? This is a systemic problem and no one is moving fast enough to fix it, so we’ve got to continue to make a statement that a million families that are scheduled to by put out of their homes have to be accounted for,” she said. “They can’t just be put off the rolls.”
Full report on the protest and arrests, including interviews, details, video (probably), the whole shebang, tomorrow.