Politics and Protest: Scenes From the 2012 Hofstra Debate


Left-wing activist Aron Kay, known as the Pie Man for his pie-in-the-face attacks on everyone from former CIA director William Colby to former NY Mayor Abe Beame, was in a wheelchair on the corner of California and Hempstead Turnpike and was yelling, “Obama! Romney! Same old bologna! Plenty of bologna inside at Hofstra. White Wonder bread with bologna inside!” through a megaphone held by another man wearing a tricorner hat. A woman with a heavy Caribbean accent and a bright red fro-hawk paced back and forth with a white “Obama” flag shouting, “Obama set me free!” Nearby a dozen anti-Zionist rabbis in the background cried, “Down, State of Israel!”



A lone rubber boot rose above the glom of protestors, sitting plumly on the head of 2012 Democratic presidential candidate—Jimmy McMillan’s running mate—Vermin Supreme. With a long white beard, at least six un-matching ties around his neck and sporting what can only be called a pimp coat, he appeared as a wizard of sorts. The self-proclaimed performance artist, anarchist and activist promised the American people that if elected president, he would pass a law requiring teeth brushing, put in place a zombie-based energy plan and give a free pony to all Americans. “Why a boot?” asked the Press. “The boot stands for all the American people—and Italy.”



A furry elephant with slanted black eyebrows lumbered down Hempstead Turnpike alongside PETA campaigner Leila Sleiman, there to bring attention to the abuse and torture of animals, including circus elephants. They weren’t the only humans sticking up for animals or the planet outside the debate. Rachel Hope, an activist and organizer of the West Los Angeles den of Pissed-Off Polar Bears, who wore a life-size polar bear costume, and Curtis Hannum, the group’s co-organizer, from Denver, Colo.—who spoke ventriloquism through a polar bear hand puppet—spread the message about global warming.


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