Green Party Ticket To Rush Tonight’s Debate, Are Prepared for Arrests [UPDATED]
The Green Party presidential ticket of Jill Stein and Philly activist Cheri Honkala plan to grab a spot on stage at tonight’s presidential debate. Problem is, they’re not invited. But according to a Green Party news release, they want in, and they’re getting ready to break through the barriers right…about…now.
“Stein and Honkala will walk from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 2 PM to the debate perimeter at Hofstra, where they will then attempt to walk through security checkpoints and reach the debate hall,” reads the release.
Stein and Honkala have managed to get themselves on 85 percent of state ballots across the U.S. this year—a feat for any third-party ticket, who have been increasingly shunned in recent years due to both Republicans and Democrats blaming third-party candidates for the election of Bill Clinton in 1992 and George W. Bush in 2000.
Philadelphia Weekly caught up with Stein and Honkala by phone while in a car, on Long Island, headed to the debate.
“This is a great day for democracy,” noted Stein. “It’s a great day for the politics of courage.” She said they’re attempting their bum-rush because fighting the exclusion of this debate is a “push-back against the stranglehold of the economic elite — and especially of this forum.”
The candidates are calling the action “Occupy the Commission on Presidential Debates,” noting the CPD is an unfair entity formed in the 1980s by Democratic and Republican leaders and structured so as to lock out any opposition. A leaked 12-page memorandum was just recently obtained by Time magazine which shows the CPD’s rules agreed upon by both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama — including such points as, “The candidates may not ask each other direct questions during any of the four debates.” Gawker noted it shows both candidates are “sniveling cowards.”
Honkala told PW she’s ready to face security at the Hofstra debate, though “you get some butterflies in the stomach before you deal with the secret service.” But it’s worth it, she says: “We’re on the ballot. Eighty-five percent of the electorate can vote for us. We’ve done our homework. We deserve to be on the stage with the presidential and vice-presidential candidates.”
She also noted that as long as it’s mathematically possible a candidate can get elected, s/he should be able to speak to the electorate. And that the Green Party ticket don’t have the access to billions of dollars the Democrats and Republicans have.
Both candidates say they’re willing to be arrested. “Cheri and I agreed that this mockery of democracy, this violation of our basic right as citizens, of a so-called democratic country— we are here to challenge the violation of our democratic rights,” said Stein. “We are prepared to be arrested in the service of democracy and a future that serves us all.”
UPDATE: Thank you, below commenter, for the video (and as s/he says, “It didn’t work out.”):