Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was told to "rot in hell" and called a "war criminal" by protesters at New York University on Tuesday, Washington Square News reported.
It's the 45th anniversary of Kissinger receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, and after he was named a guest for the Stern School of Business speaker series, the paper said more than a dozen student groups organized a protest against him titled, “No War Criminals at NYU” and wrote a letter calling on school officials to cancel the event.
Around 100 people — armed with megaphones — gathered in a plaza amid a heavy police presence and yelled, “Hey, Kissinger, what do you say? How many kids have you killed today?” the News said.
Others held signs reading “Prosecute Kissinger” and yelled insults directed at the 95-year-old, who's been called a war criminal for his part in bombing Cambodia and North Vietnam, the paper added.
The News said protesters gained access to the invite-only event and interrupted proceedings several times.
“You are responsible for the murders of thousands of Latin Americans, including people who are close to my family!” one audience member yelled, pointing at Kissinger, the paper said, before security removed him from the venue.
But another audience stood up and told the former diplomat, “You are a war criminal, you have committed genocide,” the News said, adding that protester was escorted out as well, as was each person who interrupted things.
How did Kissinger react?
The paper said Kissinger remained quiet amid the outbursts and managed a speech about his time as a Cold War-era diplomat, his perspective on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and his views on President Donald Trump’s popularity.
Then another outburst broke through the air.
“Are you serious?” a woman asked, according to the News. “Are you telling me that you’re not a war criminal? That you do not deserve to go to jail for the crimes you’ve enacted? You deserve to answer to your crimes, to crimes against humanity. You deserve to go to jail and rot in hell.”
Other insults claimed Kissinger was “as bad as the Nazis” and has "blood on [his] hands,” the paper said.
What did other student protesters say?
Grace Klein — who's with the NYU chapter of the International Socialist Organization, one of the groups that organized the protest — told the News that NYU brought in "someone who represents the [United States] imperial project," which "shows very clear allegiances.”
Student Miranda Coplin told the paper she protested Kissinger in the plaza.
“[NYU doesn’t] understand how it affects students that, you know, still see the damage being done in their countries from the destabilization he’s caused,” Coplin added to the paper. “I think it’s just very careless and insensitive to say to students who have been personally affected by that, that the institution seems not to care.”
(H/T: Campus Reform)