Transcript edited by Pierce Butler
This is the 26th in a series of transcript excerpts from the collection of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida.
Medea Benjamin was interviewed by Derick Gomez [G] in 2014; the first part of this transcript was featured in the March 2015 Iguana.
B: I moved to Washington, D.C. about five years ago after my children finished college. I put most of my focus onto issues of war and peace. But I also am involved in local things, like gentrification, where so many black families that have been there for decades are getting priced out of their own city.
Just this week, people came to town from around the country who were involved in fracking, and I went out at 7 [AM] to their demonstrations to say, right on! It was a lot of young people, and it made me cry to see them blocking the entrances of the Federal Energy Commission, locking arms and getting arrested. I think, that’s our future.
by Jacque Betz, Code Pink Gainesville
In early November, the Gainesville chapter of Code Pink organized a series of events featuring the co-founder of Code Pink, Medea Benjamin.
Code Pink is a woman-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.
Also a co-founder of Global Exchange, Medea is a visible leader in the peace movement, not shy at all about raising her voice and carrying out creative protests at public event and governmental hearing (as any viewer of CSPAN can attest).
Her events included a meeting at the Women’s Studies Center at UF entitled “Empowering Women in the Peace Movement,” a discussion on “Justice for Palestine” at the Mennonite Church, taking part with local activists in a Drone Warfare Protest at Main and University Avenue, which included a march to Prioria Robotics, a local drone maker, and a talk at the Civic Media Center entitled “Drone Warfare, Killing by Remote Control.”
Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CodePink, Women for Peace, will be speaking in Gainesville on Nov. 6–7.
On Nov. 6, she will be at Ustler Hall, University of Florida, at 6:30 pm with a reception to follow. The title of her talk is Empowering Women in the Peace Movement.
On Nov. 7, there will be a protest from 3-5 pm starting at Main Street and University Avenue, and proceeding over to Prioria Robotics for a demonstration at 4:20 pm.
Photos by Mary Bahr.
by Gainesville Veterans for Peace
When the Gainesville chapter of Veterans for Peace first came up with the idea of Memorial Mile eight years ago, we had no idea that, in 2013, we’d still be displaying the tombstones of American service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. We thought the wars would be over, that the U.S. would be disengaged from these unjust occupations.
But instead, the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq just passed (with relatively little fanfare), and we’re going on 12 years in Afghanistan. Instead, the state of warfare is in flux, and the U.S. is waging even more secretive attacks through drone strikes, killing an unknown number of innocent civilians.
This is why we will erect the Memorial Mile display by sunrise on Sat., May 25, along the Solar System Walk. The display will stay up through sunset on Memorial Day, May 27.
Veterans for Peace encourage the public to stop by and walk the stunning mile at any time, believing this is the best way to take in the reality of these wars. Each tombstone representing individual Americans also represents the friends and family of the deceased who were and still are affected by these wars.