By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2012, 11:33pm PT  

We've been remiss in highlighting the smart work of comedian, activist and very smart social satirist Lee Camp here at The BRAD BLOG. He's done some terrific stuff on Election Integrity, voter suppression and e-voting issues, here for example. Or just do yourself a favor and browse his full YouTube channel here.

So, as I'm still clawing my way out from under the weather this week, allow me to let Camp fill you in on what happened last night when Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein and her running mate Cheri Honkala --- who will be on 85% of the ballots in the U.S. this November, qualifying them for more than enough electorate votes to actually, ya know, win the Presidency --- were arrested and then reportedly shackled to metal chairs for 8 hours thereafter, for little more than having the temerity to show up and try to gain entrance to the "official" Presidential Debate at Hofstra University in New York.

I'm more than happy to associate myself with Camp's outrage...

Video of the arrest of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, for "blocking traffic", and the somewhat remarkable transcript of what was said during the first part of it, courtesy of Democracy Now!, follows below...

DR. JILL STEIN: We are here at the barred gates of American debates to say that we need to open up this debate and make it a full, fair and inclusive debate.

CHERI HONKALA: It shouldn’t just be whether or not you have billions of dollars that determine whether or not the American people can hear about your platform.

DR. JILL STEIN: Our Green campaign is on the ballot for 85 percent of voters. Eighty-five percent of voters deserve to know who their choices are in this election and what the real solutions are that can solve the desperate problems that we’re facing. The Commission on Presidential Debates makes a mockery of democracy by conducting this fake and contrived debate.

HOFSTRA OFFICIAL: Do you have credentials?

CHERI HONKALA: Yes, we do have credentials.

HOFSTRA OFFICIAL: Can I see?

CHERI HONKALA: We’ve been on the ballot in 85 percent of the country.

DR. JILL STEIN: Eighty-five percent of voters.

HOFSTRA OFFICIAL: This is an event. This is something that Hofstra has sponsored. It’s an event, an educational experience for our faculty, our students.

DR. JILL STEIN: Well, we think it’s more than that.

POLICE OFFICER 1: You’ve got to move out [inaudible] run over by a car.

POLICE OFFICER 2: If you could just slide over here.

POLICE OFFICER 3: Just slide over is all we need you to do, just for a minute while she makes [inaudible]

POLICE OFFICER 1: [inaudible] a little bit. You’re going to get run over.

POLICE OFFICER 2: You can stand here, just slide over.

POLICE OFFICER 1: Move in with the traffic cone.

POLICE OFFICER 3: While she makes her phone call [inaudible].

POLICE OFFICER 2: Just right over here.

POLICE OFFICER 3: Ma’am, please.

DR. JILL STEIN: Well, we’re here to stand our ground. We’re here to stand ground for the American people, who have been systematically locked out of these debates for decades by the Commission on Presidential Debates. We think that this commission is entirely illegitimate; that if—if democracy truly prevailed, there would be no such commission, that the debates would still be run by the League of Women Voters, that the debates would be open with the criteria that the League of Women Voters had always used, which was that if you have done the work to get on the ballot, if you are on the ballot and could actually win the Electoral College by being on the ballot in enough states, that you deserve to be in the election and you deserve to be heard; and that the American people actually deserve to hear choices which are not bought and paid for by multinational corporations and Wall Street.

POLICE OFFICER 4: Ladies and gentlemen, you are obstructing the vehicle of pedestrians and traffic. If you refuse to move, you are subject to arrest.

Remove them. Bring them back to arrest them, please.

Full transcript, including interview this morning with Stein describing what happened once she and Honkala were taken into custody and held for eight hours is here...

Also, see Allison Kilkenny's report at The Nation for more on the arrest, and on Stein and her running mate.

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here).