AMY GOODMAN: Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala were held for about eight hours before being released. … Jill Stein, what happened? You were arrested and held for eight hours? Where and how?
DR. JILL STEIN: We were held at a facility, especially created for detaining protesters at the debates. It appeared to be a warehouse which had been specially equipped. It was obviously—you know, they were prepared to handle a lot of people. They had 13 officers there and three plainclothesmen. For most of the time, it was just Cheri Honkala and myself, yet they felt the need to keep us in tight plastic restraints, tightly secured to metal chairs.
AMY GOODMAN: You were handcuffed to chairs?
DR. JILL STEIN: We were handcuffed to chairs for the entire duration of our time there.
AMY GOODMAN: How long were you handcuffed to the chair?
DR. JILL STEIN: It was about eight hours. And we were charged only with violations, not even with misdemeanors, and yet they felt compelled, despite having 13 officers there to keep these two women, mothers, handcuffed to chairs for the entire time.
AMY GOODMAN: Did you ask to be released?
DR. JILL STEIN: Yes, yes, and they said, no, we couldn’t be released because then we might go wandering around. And we said, “Well, how about if we tell you that we will stay in our chairs?” And they said, “No, that’s not OK.”
AMY GOODMAN: Handcuffed to the chairs—
DR. JILL STEIN: That’s right.
AMY GOODMAN: —for the eight hours.
DR. JILL STEIN: That was their procedure for handling people who were arrested at the debates.
AMY GOODMAN: Did you get to see the debate in the warehouse?
DR. JILL STEIN: Absolutely not.
AMY GOODMAN: And then they released you as soon as the debate was over?
DR. JILL STEIN: No, they held us for about another half-hour, hour, and then they released us, telling us that our car was waiting in the parking lot. It was actually a Secret Service car, apparently, that was waiting in the parking lot. We didn’t—we weren’t allowed to make a phone call. There was no phone that was working. They wouldn’t—we didn’t have ours. We had given our phones to our assistant, so it was—you know, it took quite a bit of work to be able to borrow a cellphone from someone in a gas station—you know, there we are in the freezing cold—to even be able to find our staff.
AMY GOODMAN: They didn’t give you an opportunity to make a call during this entire period of your detention?
DR. JILL STEIN: No, they did at one point. They allowed me to return a call to our lawyer. But at the time, we didn’t know when we would be released, so there were no arrangements made for a pickup. And they actually told our staff that they would be arrested if they continued to wait on site, so they had to leave.
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