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Presidential Candidate Jill Stein Attacked in St. Louis

Don Fitz ( writes for and is on the Editorial Board of Green Social Thought where this article first appeared. He has been the St. Louis Green Party candidate for County Assessor and candidate of the Missouri Green Party for State Auditor and Governor. He is author of Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution (2020).

Written by

Don Fitz


Originally Published in

Green Social Thought

After attacking Dr. Jill Stein, St. Louis police charged her with assaulting them. Stein is the presumptive Presidential candidate of the Green Party. On April 27 she spoke at a program of the Green Party of St. Louis and then went to support student protesters at Washington University. There, she was arrested along with Green Party campaign managers Jason Call and Kelly Merrill with about 100 others.

As students peacefully gathered in tents and on the lawn, they were soon confronted by police from four departments: University City, Richmond Heights, St. Louis City and St. Louis County. When Stein arrived at the campus, students asked her to help defuse an already tense situation.

She identified herself to onlooking university administrators as a Green Party Presidential candidate, Stein, along with St. Louis Aldermanic President Megan Green and Alderwoman Alisha Sonnier, attempted to persuade university administrators to let students stay. Police moved to block the conversation. A reporter from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who attempted a discussion with university vice-chancellor Julie Hail Flory was ordered to leave the campus.

Merrill and Stein looked for a restroom and found all doors locked, but a student was able to unlock one door. Hearing yelling that the police were about to attack, they quickly went outside. They walked into the space between students and police, pleading for calm. But the police stormed in.

Merrill reported that “This was the first time I understood why so many police are on bicycles. They picket them up and used them as weapons to push people down. When police began assailing protesters, they targeted Stein first and did not bother the two Democratic Party officials. They threw Stein on her head, threw Merrill to the ground, jumped on Call, and dozens became their victims.

Students were charged with trespassing and disruptive behavior. Those who were arrested have been prohibited from re-entering campus even if they will miss final examinations and not graduate. The administration-police reaction followed a pattern at universities across the US as if it had been scripted in Joe Biden’s office.

Being assaulted, arrested and jailed was only the beginning of Stein’s ordeal. Not being told what would happen to her, Stein sat alone in a cell for hours before being released. Exhausted, she did not make it to our house to sleep until 3:00 in the morning.

On Monday morning, April 29 Stein took a break from her mid-states tour to get checked out at University Hospital in Colombia MO. They found that, though very bruised, her rib was not broken; and she continued to Kansas City.

Bob Suberi is a Jewish member of the St. Louis Green Party who has made several solidarity visits to the West Bank. He brings back stories of the Israeli Defense Forces’ deliberately provoking Palestinians in order to have an excuse for over-reacting, sometimes with a massive raid. Similarly, the Washington University students committed the minor infraction of occupying space regularly used for events such as carnivals and this became the excuse for the police invasion.

The similarities between practices in Palestine and on US campuses is unmistakable. This is true not only for intolerance of dissent and brutality. It is also the case with the way Israelis destroy sanitary facilities in Gaza, leaving them with nowhere to relieve themselves except on sidewalks. This serves both to humiliate Palestinians and create a health crisis.

The mounting opposition to Israel’s war is reflected by the wide variety of speakers at the St. Louis Green Party event: Andrew de las Alas (Asians Demanding Justice), Saish Satyal (College Democrats), Lila Steinbach (Jewish Students for Palestine), Bahar Bastani MD (Dar al-Zahra Mosque and Education Center), Shahab Mushtaq (Green Party of St. Louis), Bob Suberi (Veterans For Peace), Chibu Asonye (Green Party of Illinois), Zaki Baruti (Universal African Peoples Organization) and Omali Yeshitela (African People’s Socialist Party).

Jewish herself, Stein insists that “The students are not the villains in this struggle against Israeli violence. They are in fact the heroes, defending the right of free speech and to peacefully protest. Many already see the villains being the Washington University administration, those who conspired with them to destroy free speech, and the Biden gang whose fingerprints are all over efforts to shut down peace initiatives. Out of one side of his mouth Biden claims he is working to end the killing and maiming of Palestinians. From the other side of his mouth comes the push for billions of war dollars that are causing the genocide.”

Dr. Stein joined tens of thousands of students in campuses across the US who are demanding university divestment from Boeing and other companies that manufacture weapons used by Israel. Students presented Washington University with five demands:

  • Cut ties with Boeing.
  • Boycott Israel educational institutions.
  • Drop charges and suspensions against protesters and defund university police.
  • Stop buying land in surrounding communities and make payments in lieu of taxes to University City and St. Louis.
  • Release a statement condemning Palestinian genocide and calling for an immediate ceasefire.

University officials told the press that they felt that they had to take action because the demonstrators “had the potential to get out of control and become dangerous.” Apparently skilled at ignoring the obvious, these officials have never noticed that the corporate behavior of their partner, Boeing, has vastly exceeded the “potential” to become dangerous.

One of the great ironies of the episode is that above the April 28 Post-Dispatch story which carried the story about the Washington University students was another front page story reporting that Boeing was abandoning efforts to outsource much of its work. It announced the good news that this would save 550 St. Louis jobs.

Of course, the Post-Dispatch has not published stories regarding the creation of peace-related jobs for Boeing employees if the war-manufacturer were to be downsized. Also worthy of note is the fact that no Boeing executive nor government official working with them has been arrested for crimes against humanity, complicity with genocide or any other charge. Maybe they would have to peacefully sit in a tent on the Washington University campus to get busted.

Don Fitz ( writes for and is on the Editorial Board of Green Social Thought where this article first appeared. He has been the St. Louis Green Party candidate for County Assessor and candidate of the Missouri Green Party for State Auditor and Governor. He is author of Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution (2020).