Groups Protest Ahmadinejad

Sunday, 23 Sep 2007 10:49 PM

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Organized protests against the appearance of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the U.N. began even before he arrived in New York City.

A group of about 40 elected officials and civic leaders gathered Sunday outside Columbia University, where Ahmadinejad is scheduled to speak on Monday.

Some carried placards with slogans such as "Don't give a platform to hate," and "Go to hell," while denouncing Ahmadinejad as a "Hitler wannabe" and a Holocaust denier.

Said New York state Assemblyman Dov Hikind: "There is no excuse to invite this madman, this little Hitler. "This is immoral. This is outrageous. This is sick. Do we have to invite him into our community? ... There is absolutely no justification."

Added city Councilman David Weprin: "This invitation is a slap in the face to all New Yorkers and especially to those families who lost loved ones on Sept. 11 right here in New York City."

Among the protests scheduled:

  • A noon rally across the street from the U.N. led by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Community Relations, in cooperation with the United Jewish Communities, the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Speakers include Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.

  • A rally outside Columbia University from 1 to 3 p.m. By students from Columbia and other universities including Rutgers, Brooklyn College and Queens College, area high school students and dozens of Jewish organizations all outraged by the appearance of Ahmadinejad.

  • Demonstration outside of Washington's National Press Building protesting Ahmadinejad's video linked speech at a luncheon at National Press Club from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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