Scenes from the Angry Protests Outside the Presidential Debate
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Scenes from the Angry Protests Outside the Presidential Debate

The people who were the most passionate about the debate didn't even watch it.
September 27, 2016, 7:30pm

A group of demonstrators protesting against injustices they say have been to Haiti.

The people who cared the most about Monday night's debate weren't watching it—they were surrounding it in a ring of anger, waving signs, and chanting in an attempt to divert some attention to their cause.

I found myself among them outside of Long Island's Hofstra University. Without access to the debate itself, I ended up following a tip from a student who said he saw Trump's Helicopter land on one of the playing fields. I meandered through the campus, dodging security checkpoints and constantly telling guards that I was going to check in, until I found a helicopter in a football field. Unfortunately, it didn't have the massive "TRUMP" logo emblazoned on its side.

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I pushed on and came across a group of Green Party candidate Jill Stein supporters marching on Earle Ovington Boulevard. Half a mile from their destination, an area reserved for protest labeled the "Free Speech Zone," the group realized that the road was closed. Some of them sat down to demand access to the zone, resulting in a few arrests.

But the road was eventually cleared, and they headed to their destination, where they met their counterparts—groups of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump supporters, backers of Libertarian Gary Johnson (who, like Stein protesters, wanted their candidate to be on the debate stage), a smattering of other fringe folk, like perpetual presidential candidate Vermin Supreme. Almost no one was there to hear any of these protests, except for a few members of the press, and the lack of attention they were getting may have contributed to the surprisingly civil and respectful exchange that ended up taking place. It was a stark contrast to the battle going on inside the debate itself.

Scroll down for more of Pete Voelker's photos:

Police officers stationed to prevent demonstrators from entering private property

A Green Party supporter

One of the vehicles used to take officers to areas where protesters gathered

This demonstrator was arrested along with other pro-Stein activists when they sat down on the ground after Nassau County Police created a long detour to the Free Speech Zone

A hat vendor

Demonstrators were mostly found outside the designated Free Speech Zone and along the barricades lining the Hempstead Bethpage Turnpike

Vermin Supreme, a perpetual presidential candidate who is a mainstay at protests during campaign season

Gary Johnson supporters handed out large masks depicting the candidate's face in an effort to make sure he’s seen.

An activist dressed as Abe Lincoln who was also at the Republican National Convention

After a handful of peaceful arrests, a group of pro-Stein protestors were finally rerouted and guided by an officer to the designated demonstration area.

This activist marched with a large contingency of Stein supporters who were demanding that the debate be opened to third-party candidates.

A child watches the protests.