Interview with Medea Benjamin

Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK made waves when she interrupted President Obama during his policy address at the National Defense University on May 23, 2013.  Even the President said, “That woman is worth paying attention to.”

Benjamin spoke to Cool Revolution about Obama’s speech on drone strikes in the Mideast and the future of Guantanamo prison detainees. She explains why she thinks he isn’t making a change in policy at all. She also explains why she spoke up and why disrupting speeches like this one is the result of “desperation.”

“We’ve done everything conceivable… we’ve run out of options.”

Protests mark opening of GITMO a decade ago

For ten days, figures in orange jumpsuits and black hoods have haunted the White House. And on Wednesday, January 11, the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo detention center, protestors in orange and black will try to span the area between the White House and the Capitol.

Witness Against Torture, a campaign of the Center for Constitutional Rights, had held annual demonstrations to mark the anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo. This year, fifty people have undertaken a ten-day hunger strike, and Amnesty International and other human rights organizations will join them in their call to close the infamous detention center and “black sites” like Bagram.

At a small demonstration of street theater in front of the White House on Sunday, a speaker said that many Guantanamo detainees are “guilty of nothing but being at wrong place at wrong time and being Muslim.”

Carmen Trotta with Witness for Torture called the failure to shut down Guantanamo “the most significant failure of the Obama administration.” He added that the recent National Defense Authorization Act‘s curtailment of civil rights was “completely expected,” because Gitmo was “bound to come home in several different ways.”

The January 11 Day of Action will begin at noon in Lafayette Square.