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Standing up to Obama: An interview with Medea Benjamin

Source: Alternet
“I’m willing to cut the young lady who interrupted me some slack, because it’s worth being passionate about. Is this who we are? Is that something our founders foresaw?”—President Obama on Medea Benjamin

By now, the world knows Medea Benjamin as either the woman who challenged—or heckled—President Obama last Thursday during his speech on drones and Guantanamo Bay.

“People think you’re rude and crazy,” a CNN reporter told Benjamin, the co-founder of two global peace organizations, CodePink and Global Exchange. But Benjamin, already well-known among peace activists and political progressives (she was a major force during Ralph Nader’s 2000 presidential campaign) has also inspired legions of new fans astonished that someone had the nerve—or the passion—to stand up to one of the most powerful men on earth. read more

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Resist these dark times: Advice From an Afghan Mother and Activist

When she was 24 years old, in 1979, Fahima Vorgetts left Afghanistan.  By reputation, she had been outspoken, even rebellious, in her opposition to injustice and oppression; and family and friends, concerned for her safety, had urged her to go abroad.

Twenty-three years later, returning for the first time to her homeland, she barely recognized war-torn streets in urban areas where she had once lived.  She saw and felt the anguish of villagers who couldn’t feed or shelter their families, and no less able to accept such unjust suffering than she’d been half her life before, Fahima decided to make it her task to help alleviate the abysmal conditions faced by ordinary Afghans living at or below the poverty line – by helping to build independent women’s enterprises wherever she could.  She trusted in the old adage that if a person is hungry it’s an even greater gift to teach the person how to fish than to only give the person fish. read more