Medea Benjamin Calls President to Account

Medea Benjamin Heckled ObamaWhile President Obama was delivering remarks about American foreign policy pertaining to the administration’s drone program and practices of indefinite detention at Guantanamo bay, CODEPINK Co-founder, Medea Benjamin, stood up and spoke out several times. She called on the President to use his power as Commander-In-Chief  to close Guantanamo prison, release the 86 Guantanamo prisoners who have been cleared for release, and stop the killer drone program that is causing the deaths of innocent civilians, violating international law, and making us less safe here in America. The President responded to her comments by remarking, “the voice of that woman is worth paying attention to.”

“Will you compensate the families of innocent victims?” is one of the questions Benjamin asked. When asked why she spoke out during the President’s speech, Medea Benjamin responded, “We have been so disappointed with Obama; we expected him to to make serious changes like taking drones out of the hands of the CIA, stopping the signature strikes, apologizing to innocents who have been killed, families of the innocent, and announcing that he, as Commander-in-Chief, would close Guantanamo, so when he did not I felt compelled to speak out.”

CODEPINK has launched an urgent call to save the lives of the prisoners on hunger strike in Guantanamo and has been staging actions across DC for the last several weeks. Over 1,200 people from around the world have joined a rolling hunger strike. Diane Wilson, a CODEPINK activist from Texas, has been on a water-only hunger strike since May 1st. CODEPINK is also organizing a delegation to Yemen in June to meet with drone victims and families of Guantanamo prisoners. CODEPINK also has launched an anti-drone campaign and more information about that can be found at droneswatch.org.

Published by the LA Progressive on May 23, 2013
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About Medea Benjamin

Medea Benjamin is a cofounder of both CODEPINK and the international human rights organization Global Exchange. She has been an advocate for social justice for more than 30 years. Described as "one of America’s most committed -- and most effective -- fighters for human rights" by New York Newsday, and called "one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement" by the Los Angeles Times, Medea has distinguished herself as an eloquent and energetic figure in the progressive movement. In 2005 she was one of 1,000 exemplary women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the millions of women who do the essential work of peace worldwide. In 2010 she received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation.