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Medea Benjamin Intvw Transcript, Part 2: How To Speak Out to Power, Including Presidents-- Tips, Advice, Strategies

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I interviewed Medea Benjamin on May 27, 2013 a few days after she'd interrupted President Obama three times in a major speech. 

This is part one of a two part interview. Here is a link  to the audio podcast.

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Thanks to Don Caldarazzo   for doing the transcript.

Rob Kall:   OK.  Have you prepped or trained other people to do this kind of thing?

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Medea Benjamin:   Yes.  We have a whole cadre of people who have done, and do, this kind of thing.  Sometimes, people get scared and just don't do it at the end, and that's fine.  Sometimes they do it and it doesn't go too well, in that they don't get too much out.  Sometimes folks really feel that they got their message out loud and clear, and were really excited about it, and wanted to do it again.  So peoples' reactions are very different. 

 

I remember once there was a woman whom we trained and trained, and she went into the event, and instead of pulling out her banner in front of everybody, she actually went into the bathroom (laughs) and put it up on the bathroom wall; and we were saying, "What?  Why did you do that?" and she said it just got too scary there.  Some people just feel very intimidated, and rightly so, because these venues can be extremely intimidating, especially when it's during something like a presidential race, and you're in a very partisan atmosphere where everybody is Republican/Right wing, and you're coming up with a totally different message.  Or, what's extremely scary is when we do this inside the meetings of AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, because that's where you're almost guaranteed that somebody is going to beat up on you.  The audience there is very violent.

 

Rob Kall:   Really!

 

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Medea Benjamin:   Yes, and we have had people like Rae Abileah, who worked with Code Pink for ten years, a young woman who interrupted Bibi Netanyahu, actually got her neck twisted and had to have over a year of therapy - ended up in the hospital.

 

Rob Kall:   Was there any recourse legally, in terms of the people or person who did that to her?

 

Medea Benjamin:   Yes, because she was brilliant.  Instead of just letting it go, she found the person who did it, pursued him, and did a lawsuit against him; and he was forced to settle with her and pay for her medical expenses, and apologize to her.

 

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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