A protester from the group Code Pink repeatedly interrupted President Barack Obama on Thursday as he gave a speech on the U.S. policy on the use of drones and the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.
More than 30 minutes into the president’s speech in Washington, a woman who was thought to be Medea Benjamin of Code Pink began shouting about the detainees on hunger strike at Guantanamo.
“It’s very important!” she yelled. “It’s not Congress, it’s you, sir. There are 102 people on a hunger strike! These desperate people!”
“I’m about to address it, ma’am, but you’ve got to let me speak,” the president replied.
“You’re our commander in chief. You can close Guantanamo today!” Benjamin insisted.
As the activist continued to interrupt, the president became visibly frustrated.
“Ma’am, let me finish,” he said. “This is part of free speech, is you being able to speak, but also you listening. And me being able to speak. Alright?”
Benjamin was later reportedly removed from the hall after refusing to be silent.
“I’m going off script as you might expect here,” Obama quipped. “The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to. Obviously, I do not agree with much of what she said, and obviously she wasn’t listening to me in much of what I said.”
Update (3:35 p.m.): Politico reported that Benjamin may have gained access to the president’s speech by using a press pass with the name “Susan Benjamin.”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast May 23, 2013.