Peace activists silenced at Hillary speech
Trouble was brewing at a progressive conference this week when Campaign for America's Future chose Senator Hillary Clinton as a keynote speaker to open up Day 3 of the Take Back America conference. Numerous groups and people were buzzing about the choice, since Hillary isn't exactly what anyone would call "progressive" -- especially when it comes to Iraq.
Peace group CODEPINK took CAF to task for choosing Hillary to speak. Their efforts were met with a willingness to negotiate the terms of dissent... at first. From Medea Benjamin:
Fearing that CODEPINK would openly confront Clinton on her pro-war policy, the organizers of Take Back America entered into negotiations with CODEPINK a few days before the conference. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We had lengthy discussions where they pleaded with us not to protest during her keynote breakfast address,Ã¢â‚¬Â explained Gael Murphy, one of the cofounders of CODEPINK. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Instead, we were told that we could distribute flyers explaining HillaryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pro-war position to the crowd inside and outside the hotel, and we would be called on to ask her the first question after the speech. We agreed.Ã¢â‚¬Â
That's not how it went down, though. The morning of the speech, the activists were met by security guards who told them they were not allowed inside, and that the speech was a closed, private event. A few of the women had tickets and managed to get inside, but found that Clinton wouldn't be taking any questions at all. More from Medea: