Dr. Margaret Flowers, a Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland, was physically ejected from a Monday Goucher College senatorial debate featuring Republican and Democratic candidates after she took the stage in defiance of a last-minute rule change that reportedly caused her to be disinvited from the event.
Dramatic footage seen above captured the moment when audience members chanted “Let her speak” as she was being forced out of the building. Some audience members rushed the stage to argue in favor of allowing her to speak and were also subsequently ejected.
“Dr. Flowers was invited by the Baltimore Jewish Council to participate in early January. The forum had been scheduled for February 24th and Flowers accepted the invitation. Two weeks later the forum was delayed to March 28th and Flowers was once again invited to the rescheduled event. At the time, no conditions were placed on the invitation. In mid-March, Flowers was informed that she was no longer invited to participate in the event,” claimed a press release by the Flowers campaign.
Saying that too many candidates had accepted debate invitations, the Baltimore Jewish Council reportedly adjusted its debate criteria, requiring candidates to be participants in a contested primary on the ballot who are polling at or above 5 percent.
However, the Green Party is not allowed to place its candidates on Maryland’s primary ballot, and no polls have been conducted which include Dr. Flowers.
“I attempted to participate in tonight’s forum because there can be no democracy when voters aren’t allowed to hear from the candidates seeking public office. As a non-profit entity, the Baltimore Jewish Council has a responsibility to let all candidates speak. If it chooses to support a candidate or party over another, it should relinquish its non-profit status, act under the rules assigned to political advocacy groups and not solicit tax-deductible contributions,” said Dr. Flowers.
Sarah Mersky of the Baltimore Jewish Council told The Real News in footage seen below, “Lots of people did respond, and, again, they were given the information and criteria just as Dr. Flowers was. So, obviously, you’re not going to have a forum with 30 people. No one has a forum with, I think, more than 5 or 6 candidates. And almost every one has just been [featuring Democratic candidates] Van Hollen and Edwards, so…”
“People are not aware of how corrupt the political system is, and it was made that way by the Republicans and the Democrats to exclude third party voices and that’s why we’re stuck in the box that we’re stuck in — because third parties can’t get through these obstacles,” said Dr. Flowers.
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