News / USA

UNGA Session Draws Broad Palette of Protesters

Members of advocacy group Avaaz take part in a protest wearing masks outside the UN headquarters. September 24, 2013. Members of advocacy group Avaaz take part in a protest wearing masks outside the UN headquarters. September 24, 2013.
x
Members of advocacy group Avaaz take part in a protest wearing masks outside the UN headquarters. September 24, 2013.
Members of advocacy group Avaaz take part in a protest wearing masks outside the UN headquarters. September 24, 2013.
Carla Babb
Demonstrators blanketed the park outside the United Nations headquarters Tuesday to raise awareness on issues ranging from the situation in Syria to Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Some demonstrators just wanted to celebrate. A group of men, for instance, sang the praises of Liberia’s president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Others called for action against repressive governments, for support for ethnic minorities in Sri Lanka and religious minorities in China.
 
But two focused on Iran's newly-elected President Hassan Rouhani. One wanted him out of office; the other wanted his help.
 
While some protesters used cartoon-like costumes to draw attention, the symbolism behind them was dead serious. Attesting to this was a large hourglass filled with tiny balls resembling blood. It sent the message that time was running out to stop the bloodshed in Syria.

There, to drive that point home was Ian Bassin, campaign director of the human rights group Avaaz.
 
“There will have to be a negotiated solution. And the question is whether that happens before more people die or after," said he.
 
Ian Bassin organized this protest calling on Rouhani to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama to help end the Syrian conflict. More than 100,000 people have been killed in that civil war. 
 
“On behalf of the lives hanging in the balance and more than one million people around the world, we’re calling on President Rouhani and President Obama to sit down and get to a ceasefire before more lives are lost,” said Bassin.
 
Just a few meters away, anti-Rouhani protesters urged world leaders not to trust him. Former New York mayor Rudolph Guiliani reminded the crowd that the Iranian president was a nuclear negotiator about a decade ago.
 
"While Rouhani was negotiating in the past, the Iranian regime was just moving forward with enrichment and with becoming a nuclear power," said Guiliani.
 
Protesters also spotlighted Iran’s human rights abuses. They called on the U.N. General Assembly to hold Iran and its leaders accountable for what they said were crimes they were committing against their own people.

UNGA Session Draws Broad Palette of Protestersi
X
September 25, 2013 1:30 AM
Demonstrators blanketed the park outside the United Nations headquarters Tuesday to raise awareness on issues ranging from the situation in Syria to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. VOA’s Carla Babb brings us their stories.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid