|May 5, 2000
U. Maryland students 'arrest' Kissinger
College Park, Md.
With chants of "Henry Kissinger, you can't hide, we charge you with genocide" and "One, two, three, four, he's a criminal of war; five, six, seven, eight, time to incarcerate," a group of about 30 University of Maryland students marched outside of Tawes Theatre protesting the honorary doctorate degree of public service being presented to Kissinger Thursday night.
Before the group gathered at Tawes, an audience of more than 100 sat and listened as a variety of speakers spoke at the Nyumburu Amphitheater on "mistakes" made by Kissinger during his tenure as secretary of state.
Speakers ranging from a professor to students talked about foreign policy decisions Kissinger made concerning Chile, Cambodia and East Timor that didn't take into account the humanitarianism that the United States supposedly prides itself on.
Amy Goodman, a reporter for Pacifica Radio, talked about her experiences in East Timor and blamed Kissinger for setting up the events that led to the "Indonesian government oppression of the East Timorese people."
"It's a great shame that a university that supports open discussion will honor a crook like Henry Kissinger," Goodman said. "Common criminals do not do as much damage as Henry Kissinger does. He's a criminal on a global scale."
Campus President Clayton D. Mote Jr. said the protesters had a right to evaluate the former secretary of state's viewpoints in whatever manner they wanted.
"There is nothing wrong with people expressing opinions lawfully, as long as they do it peacefully," Mote said.
When the group moved from Nyumburu to Tawes Theater, where the Anwar Sadat Lecture For Peace was being held, chants began and protesters displayed a sign that read "Arrest Henry Kissinger for Murder."
Campus police allowed the demonstrators to protest in front of Tawes. Marching in a circle, chanting and carrying cardboard handcuffs, the group shouted louder, trying to make enough noise to make sure their voices were heard by the audience inside.
"This is about activism. These people here have friends, who will tell their friends, and that will make people aware and have them make noise, because it is the squeaky wheel that gets greased," said Kevin James, a freshman history major. "That's why I'm here and that's why I feel its important for people to come out and demonstrate."
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