Politics aside, the one thing Dr. Jill Stein carries with her no matter where she goes is hope. When she takes the stage to thunderous applause and adoring cheers, one cannot ignore the feeling that tomorrow will be brighter and stabler than today. She carries with her an air of defiance and unity with those around her. If revolution had a body, it would be Jill Stein.

On Nov. 6th, Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate, took the stage in the Grand Ballroom at the Stamp Student Union. Stein was the main attraction in a long line up of Green Party candidates for federal office to speak that day.

Next to take the stage was Senate candidate Dr. Margaret Flowers. Dr. Flowers is a graduate of this university. She praised the work of what she called the “people’s media,” or socially conscious news outlets. She condemned her opponent Chris Van Hollen for not debating her publicly. During the only televised debate for the open Senate seat, she stormed the stage and had to be forcefully removed by police.  

The Commission on Presidential Debates was a hot topic the entire rally. Green Party supporters are outraged their candidates are not being included in the televised debates.

“When the Commision on Presidential Debates, which you have to understand is a fake commission, is a private corporation run by the Democrats and Republicans, when it shut Dr. Stein and Ajamu Baraka out of the debates, they turned to social media … and reached millions, tens of millions of people with their voices,” Flowers said. “The establishment was not able to silence to truth and transformational change.”  

The only thing they seemed to hate more was the Democratic establishment. Many of the supporters in attendance declared themselves “reformed Democrats,” or left-leaning Democrats that left the party after Bernie Sanders lost the nomination. Master of Ceremonies Joe Corbett was met with thunderous applause after announcing he “officially gave up the Democratic Party on July 30 and became a member of the Green Party.”

Alli McCracken from Code Pink, a women’s peace organization, was next. She forcefully denounced how our government is being run, saying, “The military industrial complex only traps us in an unsustainable economy that is dependent upon endless war.”

Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party vice presidential candidate, spoke about race relations. He claimed the Obama presidency has misled the country into thinking race relations are looking up. He called for free public universities for everyone. Baraka looks to nations for the continuation of the “revolution” saying, “The conditions we see today … The revolutionary changes we fight for … will in fact take place.”

After much build up, Dr. Jill Stein faced an adoring and idealistic crowd. Stein gave an uplifting speech with her eyes toward the future. Right away, she attacked establishment politics and carried on Baraka’s power of the youth theme.

Stein cried, “We liberate you so you can lead the way for all of us.” She then went on to denounce the war on drugs, saying as president, she would legalize marijuana and decriminalize the non-violent use of all other drugs.

Stein finished up with foreign policy, calling for an end to most military spending saying, “We cannot fight terrorism with one hand and fund it with another.”

In an interview with The Writer’s Bloc after, Stein said she chose this university for her finale rally because it “is the vision.” She noted the university’s activism in workers’ rights, students’ rights and the fight against fracking.

“I’m just so honored to be here and have a chance to meet with the incredible leaders of the present, as well as the leaders of the future.”

No matter what you believe or what your political affiliation might be, you cannot deny the power and hope third party candidates carry with them. In an election cycle as crazy and upsetting as this one, third party candidates are a bright light in a storm of negativity. Stein’s overwhelmingly positive reception at at this university proves that.

Jill Stein is not going to be president come Nov. 9, but her candidacy proves there are people out there who care. People who believe that no matter how dark today seems, there is a brighter, more just tomorrow.   

Featured Photo Credit: Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein shakes hands with supporters at the Green rally in College Park on Sunday, November 6, 2016. (Julia Lerner/Bloc Photographer)

Sara Karlovitch is a freshman journalism and government and politics major and can be reached at skarlovi@terpmail.umd.edu. 

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