Youth protest Kissinger speech

St. Louis, Mo. – When Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger spoke at the Powell Symphony Hall here Dec. 6, he was met by protesters. Kissinger was invited as a guest of Maryville University and KMOX and RCGA radio stations.

Over 150 people, mostly youth and students, protested the event. Serena Karp, a student from Washington University, standing next to a plastic grave stone, said, “I am disgusted at the atrocities that Kissinger is responsible for.”

Kissinger helped to topple the democratically elected socialist government of Salvator Allende in Chile, and bring to power the brutal dictator Agusto Pinochet. In 1976 Kissinger and Pinochet met. During their discussion Kissinger said, “We welcome the overthrow” and he hoped that “our relations and friendship improve.”

“We are here to confront what Henry Kissinger did,” said Bill Ramsey of the Human Rights Action Network/War Tax Resisters. “Nearly 30 years ago, when I was in college, Kissinger orchestrated the invasion of Cambodia ... It is great that we are out here.”

The protest was very festive. Giant puppets, mocking caricatures of Kissinger, paraded the street and sidewalk, as people driving by honked their horns in support. An anti-Kissinger pom-pom squad sang and danced.

Steve Hollis, president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3354, said, “It is great to see all the young people here. You are the seed of the peace movement.”