Green Party Activist and Founder of Code Pink Medea Benjamin Heckles President Obama

Published on the Ballot Access News website on May 23rd: 

Medea Benjamin, a Green Party activist, and the party’s U.S. Senate nominee in California in 2000, is the subject of many news stories on May 23. She was in the audience at President Obama’s speech to the National Defense University, and she interrupted the President with questions about why he doesn’t close Guantanamo Prison and related matters. See this story, one of many. Also this story talks about how she gained admittance to the room. Here is a you tube of what Benjamin said.

In 2000 she polled 326,828 votes for U.S. Senate in California, 3.08%, placing third in a race with seven candidates on the ballot.

An excerpt from the first article, by Aaron Blake, published in the Washington Post May 23rd:

President Obama had a run-in with a heckler on Thursday, when a founder of the anti-war group Code Pink interrupted his speech on drone policy and other national security issues.

Toward the end of Obama’s address, a woman identified in the White House pool report as Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of the anti-war organization Code Pink, implored the president to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and otherwise criticized his foreign policy.

Through three separate episodes, the president traded words with the woman, asking her to let him finish and succeeding — at least momentarily — twice.

“Why don’t you sit down, and I will tell you exactly what I’m going to do,” Obama said, ending their first exchange. “Thank you, ma’am.”

But soon, Benjamin was back, apparently not happy with Obama’s comments about sending detainees to other countries, pleading with him to “release them today.” She was again quieted, and Obama even acknowledged her opinion was valid.

10 thoughts on “Green Party Activist and Founder of Code Pink Medea Benjamin Heckles President Obama

  1. Jill Pyeatt

    Good for her! This got quite a bit of press, which means she accomplished her goal.

    We’ve got Dubya coming to town in June and John Yoo coming this week, but I’m just not nervy enough to do this. I hope Code Pink shows up to both of them.

  2. Jill Pyeatt

    Here’s the event I mentioned above: I don’t know if there will be press there. Would someone like to attend with me? I promise I’ll behave. Email me if you can

    Libertarian Law Council

    Dear Colleague:

    I am pleased to invite you to the next meeting of the Libertarian Law Council. The event is co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society.

    Drones and Due Process

    At this luncheon, John Yoo (UC Berkeley), Greg McNeal (Pepperdine), and Ahilan Arulanantham (ACLU) will discuss the due-process, privacy, and national-security implications of drone use for targeted killings overseas and aerial surveillance at home.

    Speakers: Prof. John C. Yoo, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law

    Prof. Gregory S. McNeal, Associate Professor of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law

    Ahilan Arulanantham, Deputy Legal Director, ACLU of Southern California

    Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 12:00 Noon

    Place: McCormick & Schmick’s, 4th & Hope Streets, Downtown Los Angeles

    MCLE Credit: One Hour

    RSVP: Please RSVP by sending an e-mail
    to if you’d like to attend.

    The cost of the luncheon is $25. Public employees, public-interest lawyers, students, and law clerks may pay a discounted rate of $20. Payment may be submitted in advance by sending a check made payable to the Federalist Society to: Andrew Pappas, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, 333 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90071. Payment (cash or checks only) will also be accepted at the door.


    June 18 — California Supreme Court Round-Up
    August 5 — U.S. Supreme Court Round-Up

    Attendance at these events is not restricted to lawyers, and we’d be delighted to welcome any of your colleagues or friends who might be interested in attending.

    Manny Klausner
    Manuel S. Klausner
    Chairman, Libertarian Law Council
    Executive Committee, Federalist Society Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group


    Libertarian Law Council

    “[T]he dichotomy between personal liberties and property rights is a false one. Property does not have rights. People have rights.
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  3. Deran

    I agree with Jill, I could never be that nervy.

    I admire Medea Benjamin, even after she quit the Greens and joined “Progressive Democrats of America”. I understand quitting the Greens, it’s the Democrat part I find dubious.

    She’s good at this sort of thing because she doesn’t start screaming, or using abusive language. She uses a raised tone of voice, but never threatening, and she stays on point. I know she’s had years of practice at this sort of thing, but I do admire Code Pink for this sort of action.

    I could see Libertarians working with Code Pink around button-holing regressive politicians like Obama (or Dubya).

  4. Ben Schattenburg


    It’s worth noting that while she jumped on “anybody but Bush” bandwagon in ’04, she endorsed Jill Stein in ’12. I think if you talk to most Greens they will have a positive opinion of her.

  5. Deran

    “She was planted by obama to distract the media from the scandals.”

    Ah, conspiracy, the lazy person’s explanation for anything they can’t or don’t want to explain.

  6. Steve Scheetz

    I am not sure what part of her points would be discounted if she was a plant, so I am not sure what the point of saying: “She was planted by obama to distract the media from the scandals.”

    I for one was not distracted. I think the Drone Issue is a scandal in and of itself…. Government murdering people and spying on them?

    Anyway, the murdering and spying on people with drones is a very important issue. We, as citizens should be doing more about it.

    Steve Scheetz

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