It was a perfect early fall morning- not hot enough to wear shirtsleeves, not cool enough for a jacket; the sky was cloudy, but not like it was ready to rain- and high school aged Jewish day schoolers, old people, and a contingent of pro-Israel Evangelicals stood outside the United Nations.
They were there to protest Iranian President Ahmed Ahmedinejad’s presence at the UN General Assembly. I was there to cover the protest.
The protest was staid, considering Ahmedinjead’s violently anti-Semitic rhetoric. There was no fist pumping or adrenaline raising chanting that I picture a protest having. More mid season baseball game than Latin American soccer match.
Ellie Wiesel, the holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate spoke. So did Natan Sharanksy, the Soviet Jewish dissident who, before being allowed by the USSR to make aaliyah, spent years in the gulag.
But the two, impressive if aging, failed to fire up the crowd.
Wiesel: Ahmedinejad wishes to follow in Hitler’s footsteps. This makes him an arche criminal. Honor is absent from his life and his vocabulary. Stop Iran now.
Sharansky: Iran is the evil empire. It must never go nuclear.
As I was scouring the crowd for interviews I bumped into a reporter from the New York Sun. I didn't get her name but she was young, probably around my age, and I shadowed her for a while. Although interviewing might look straight forward, it's not. So I wanted to see her MO for finding good people to interview and her way of asking questions.
Regrettably, the reporter is probably out of a job now. Last week the New York Sun closed its doors. Not good.
The former President of Chile, Ricardo Lagos, was in town for the UN General Assembly as well. He spoke at NYU- although he didn't really say much- last Monday evening and I covered it for the Washington Square News, NYU's student newspaper. It's not exactly The New York Times but hey, I got a clip.