Kissinger Accountable leaflet distributed at these demonstrations (PDF).
Download and print out to spread the word.FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Hughes, 412/421-4163
October 26, 2011
PITTSBURGHERS TO PROTEST WAR CRIMINAL KISSINGER VISIT
Protesters prepared to make a citizen's arrest
PITTSBURGH, October 26-Members of Pittsburghers for World Peace
and the Antiwar Committee of the Thomas Merton Center will protest the
visit of Henry Kissinger on tonight at the Carnegie Music Hall in
Oakland. Mr. Kissinger's talk, scheduled for 8pm, is the culmination of
a day-long business conference organized by the Pittsburgh Middle East
Protest organizers recently learned of Kissinger's visit and decided
that it was a moral responsibility to not let his presence in Pittsburgh
The protest organizers are extremely disappointed that the PMEI has
chosen Kissinger as its conference closer given the former Secretary of
State and National Security Advisor's role in multiple international war
crimes. Kissinger has refused to disclose information in his possession
to defend against charges that he was either the chief architect or a
participant in the following:
* 1968 On behalf of Richard Nixon's candidacy for
president, Kissinger is alleged to have secretly scuttled the Paris
peace agreement reached by the Johnson Administration to end the war in
Vietnam, thus leading to a continuation of that war for 7 more years and
the deaths of 32,000 US military personnel and millions of Indochinese. * 1969 As Nixon's National Security Advisor,
Kissinger suggested and oversaw the illegal bombing of Laos and Cambodia
and the gassing of thousands of civilians. * 1970 Kissinger headed the '40 Committee' which
used illegal and clandestine means to destabilize the Chilean economy.
The plan included the kidnapping and murder of the president's chief
military advisor General Rena Schneider and eventually the overthrow of
the democratically elected government and the assassination of president
Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973. * 1971 Kissinger refused to stop the Pakistani
invasion of East Pakistan, resulting in hundreds of thousands of
civilian deaths. * 1974 Kissinger refused to intervene to halt the
plot by the ruling fascist Greek generals to overthrow
Mihail Makarios, the democratic leader of the unarmed republic of
Cyprus. * 1975 Kissinger secretly supported and illegally
armed Indonesian dictator Suharto's invasion of East Timor which
resulted in the massacre of an estimated 200,000 civilians. * 1976 Kissinger was involved in 'Operation
Condor,' a project of the military governments of Chile, Uruguay and
Argentina to conduct targeted assassinations of opponents throughout
Latin American, Europe and the US, the most famous of which was the
murder of the former Chilean Ambassador to the US Orlando Letelier and
his wife in a car bomb in Washington DC in September 1976.
"It is incredible how this war criminal keeps avoiding
accountability for his crimes," said David Hughes, protest organizer.
"Obviously, the PMEI's members' interest in business deals trumps their
concern about being associated with this supreme international
"Instead of being given an invitation to speak, Henry Kissinger should
be given an arrest warrant for his role in war crimes that span nearly a
decade" said Pete Shell, organizer with Thomas Merton Center's antiwar
Protesters plan to be peaceful despite the deep emotions felt in
connection with what Kissinger did in so many corners of the world.
However, if the opportunity presents itself they are prepared to conduct
a citizen's arrest of Kissinger.
Protesters resurrect claims of Kissinger's war
Thursday, October 27, 2011
By Taryn Luna, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Local activists protested Henry Kissinger's keynote lecture of the
Pittsburgh Middle East Institute's Fourth Annual Conference at the
Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland on Wednesday night.
The protesters, about 20 members of Pittsburghers for World Peace
and the Thomas Merton Center Anti-War Committee, say the 88-year-old
former secretary of state and 1973 Nobel Peace Prize recipient is
responsible for "heinous war crimes," including but not limited to
the extension of the Vietnam War, the 1969 bombings of Laos and
Cambodia and arming Indonesian dictator Suharto when he invaded East
Timor in 1975.
"Emotions are very high, and people are livid about this," said
protest organizer David Hughes, 65, of Squirrel Hill.
The activists, who were mostly men over the age of 50, said it was
their moral responsibility to not let Mr. Kissinger's presence in
Pittsburgh go unchallenged.
Simin Curtis, founder and president of the Pittsburgh Middle East
Institute, said the fact that Mr. Kissinger drew a packed crowd to
the 2,000 capacity Carnegie Music Hall proves that the protesters
and their beliefs are not strongly represented in Pittsburgh.
"I think that Americans know very little about their history, and I
think it's important for them to hear of great men from history
whether they agree with them or not," said Ms. Curtis, 51, of
Shadyside. "We learn about history from different points of view. So
get out of your comfort zone."
Ms. Curtis -- whose institute was formed four years ago with the aim
to foster educational, business and cultural ties between the Middle
East and the United States -- said Mr. Kissinger was selected to
speak on Wednesday night because he is "a brilliant man and an icon
of foreign policy of the last century."
Mr. Kissinger served as assistant to the president for national
security affairs from 1969 to 1975, a post he held throughout
controversial President Richard Nixon's tenure in the oval office
and as the Vietnam War waged on.
Mr. Kissinger also served as secretary of state from 1973 to 1977
under Gerald Ford. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in
negotiating peace in Vietnam and signing a cease-fire agreement in
1973, even though violence continued in the region until the fall of
Saigon in 1975.
Mr. Kissinger has never stood trial for any claims of war crimes
against him and has publicly defended some of his political
Brian Johnston, a 79-year-old emeritus professor of dramatic
literature at Carnegie Mellon University, said he joined the
protesters to remind people of Mr. Kissinger's history so it doesn't
"Henry Kissinger is involved in the worst part of American history,"
Mr. Hughes hoped the protest would served as a message to future
"Don't think that eventually you'll get away with it, because people
won't give up," he said.