Multiple protesters heckled former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on Tuesday while he delivered a speech at New York University's Stern School of Business.
NYU invited Kissinger, who was celebrating the 45th anniversary of receiving his Nobel Peace Prize Award, as part of a series entitled "In Conversation with Lord Mervyn King."
Roughly 100 people gathered to protest Kissinger, according to NYU News. Some held signs calling him a "war criminal" while others shouted “rot in hell” and “hey, Kissinger, what do you say? How many kids have you killed today?”
A disrupter getting escorting as she tells Kissinger to rot in hell. pic.twitter.com/64T4ze1rp5— Esor🌹 (@EsorFas) October 16, 2018
Kissinger’s Nobel prize has been widely criticized by those who say that he participated in war crimes during the Vietnam war.
Protesters could also be seen holding signs reading "injustice must end” and “you can fight imperialism with violence.”
NYU students, as well as local groups, organized the protest “No War Criminals,” claiming that “Kissinger is regarded as criminal internationally, having formed imperialist policy that caused human rights crises in South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.”
The 27 groups involved in organizing the protest were comprised, in part, of the NYC Democratic Socialists of America, NYU Against Fascism, and the NYU branch of the International Socialist Organization.
The groups penned and signed a letter urging the “NYU community” to reconsider hosting Kissinger.
“Mr. Kissinger has left a legacy of economic devastation, physical destruction, violence, human misery, and death,” the letter states. “His greatest contributions to U.S. history are those of illegal bombing campaigns, failed military threats, direct involvement in coups and support for dictatorships, and the elongation of devastating, bloody wars for his own political gain.”
“He was the architect of programs which were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, the destabilization of several nations, and the enabling of brutal, genocidal regimes,” the letter continues. “He leaves behind a legacy of decisions and policies so violent and horrific that any acknowledgement [sic], or validation of him by NYU is an indefensible act at odds with the values NYU claims to represent and the values of the NYU student body and faculty at large.”
"The event went forward as planned, but during the course of it, there were a handful of brief interruptions; those who stood up and shouted were promptly escorted from the room by our public safety officers," NYU spokesman John Beckman told Campus Reform on Wednesday.
"Our rules are clear: NYU values and respects dissent, but it is impermissible for dissent to take the form of shouting down an invited speaker," Beckman added. "Those who do so make themselves subject to sanctions."
A spokesman for Kissinger declined to comment when contacted by Campus Reform.