Hofstra Debate: “Free Speech”/Public Area Speakers list

Update 10/19/2008: The Free Speech Zone was not that bad. It was very big. And, it bordered the sidewalk where the peace demonstration was. When Ian showed up to speak at 3pm, there were only about 20 people. But, when Betty Davis and I spoke at 7pm, there were hundreds of people inside, as well as the hundreds of people on the sidewalk outside who could still hear the microphone. Please check the blog for various live blogging entries, and photos. I better go to sleep…KW


I think it will be interesting to see how open to free speech that Hofstra is tomorrow. I do think that some of the Hofstra professors are open to the peace message. And, I am grateful that a peace demo has been allowed for across the street from the debates. Though, not sure how Hofstra will be on the scene. And, not sure if the peace-loving professors also embrace the rights of third parties and/or radicals. I think there may be a lot of Obama loyalists lurking about.

As it is, there is a “Public Area” with a podium and sound system that members of the public were able to sign up for. And, I was impressed that I signed up over the internet and got on it. And, there are people on the list who look different than the “usual suspects” of the Long Island left. So, pretty good on that level.

Though, I think the Public Area is very far from the action of the debate. And, very far from the action of the peace demonstration. So, I am wondering what that is all about. Hope this Public Area does not wind up being like the chain-linked in “Free Speech Zone” at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston. It was so far away and so scary looking, no demonstrators really used it. I do hope that it will be worth it to speak at the Public Area set up at Hofstra tomorrow. And, Ian and I hope to keep to our times (especially since they are before and after the peace demonstration.)

We hope to hear a lot of voices at the Public Area calling for an end to the War in Afghanistan, an end to nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, and asking for the debates to be open. It is clear to so many of us that every presidential candidate who has the potential to win in the electoral college should be in the debates. That would give us a debate with: Cynthia McKinney (Green Party); Ralph Nader (independent); Bob Barr (Libertarian); Chuck Baldwin (Constitution); Barack Obama (Democrat); and John McCain (Republican).

From the Hofstra web-site: here.

The Public Area at Hagedorn Hall is open from 3 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. and is open to everyone. [Hagedorn Hall is on the South Side of Hempstead Turnpike, on the furthest, east end of Hofstra Campus, where the first footbride over the road is.] Registration is not required to enter the Public Area, but is required to speak at the podium and use the provided sound system.

Start of Scheduled Speaking Time     Speaker     Organization

3:00     Ian Wilder     Babylon Greens
3:10     Peaches Diamond     Brooklyn College Veterans Association
3:20     Carl Lanzisera     Americans for Legal Reform
3:30     Cheryl Wertz     Peace Action New York State
3:40     Tom Siracuse     Manhattan Green Party Local
4:00     Michael S. Smith     G-PACT
4:10     Jessie Rock     Every Child Matters – LI
4:20     Tara Keenan-Thomson     NYCLU – Nassau
4:30     Charlotte Koons     “Suffolk NYCLU/ Code Pink LI/LI Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives/ Suffolk Peace Network”
4:40     Camillo Mac Bica     Veterans For Peace Long Island
5:00     Eryka Sajek     Progressive Students’ Union
5:10     Susan Donnelly     Code Pink Long Island Women for Peace
5:20     Janet Egan     Suffolk Peace Network
5:30     Martin Melkonian
5:40     Margaret Melkonian     Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives
6:00     Gregory Maney     LITHR
6:10     Jo Ann D. Smith     Planned Parenthood of Nassau County
6:20     Sheila Croke     Pax Christi Long Island
6:30     Jeff Ahking     Progressive Students’ Union
6:40     Michael LaFemina     Progressive Students’ Union/ Center for Civic Engmnt
7:00     Sergio Argueta     STRONG Youth, Inc.
7:10     Kimberly Wilder     Green Party of Suffolk
7:20     Megan M. O’Handley     Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives
7:30     Christopher Molaro     United States Military Academy
7:40     Jeff Jensen
8:00     Rachel Astarte Piccione     Gentlefish Productions
8:10     “Linda Sullivan, Matthew Sullivan, Stephen Sullivan, & Catherine Sullivan”
8:20     Gavin Wilson
8:30     Danielle Williams
8:40     Dwight L. Wallace
8:50     Felicia Nichols
9:00     Bill Hendrick
9:10     Chris Chalfant     Code Pink/Brooklyn for Obama/moveon.org

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