For an inside report of the lecture in the guarded off hall of Cambridge Student’s ‘Union Society’ I can recommend the student’s paper ‘The TAB Cambridgetab.co.uk” in its issue of Saturday, 10 March 2012 which has several readers comments from within the Cambridge student community:
<quote> Dominique Strauss-Kahn managed to talk about economics for most of the evening to an under-capacity Union, but the ex-IMF Chief was forced from home turf when a student asked about rape allegations made earlier this year. Will Lawn, a 3rd year student from King’s College asked Strauss-Kahn to “explain why Diallo had vaginal bruising the day after you met her,” referring to the hotel maid who alleges that DSK raped her in May 2011. Security, who flanked DSK throughout the talk, tried to rush him out, but both Strauss-Kahn and Union President Katie Lam let him finish his question. Strauss-Kahn responded by saying: “I’m not quite sure that’s the topic of this evening. New York dismissed the case… What more do you want?”</quote>
<quote>But while there was limited opposition within the chamber, outside the Union the atmosphere was vitriolic. Behind the debating chamber over 200 protesters clashed with police and security, parading anti-DSK placards and chanting slogans such as “No more violence, no more rape” and ”DSK, go away, justice for Diallo.” Activists also clashed with a pro-DSK campaigner, ripping the sign he was carrying, which was covered in free speech slogans.</quote>
<quote>Chants were audible throughout the talk, but when asked about the protests Strauss-Kahn said: ”We live in a culture of freedom; they are allowed to do what they want, even if I think they are wrong.”</quote>
<quote>In a statement released shortly after the event, the Union emphasised that: “there was no restriction on questions from the audience or on their content”, adding that Lawn was approached by security after his question because “a private security guard mistakenly interpreted this question as an attempt to disrupt the event… his actions had not breached the code of conduct for the event.”</quote>
I id post a reaction on this blog that can be found at the end of this posting. (**)
The lecture took place on Friday, March 9 at the University of Cambridge with a confident Strauss Kahn in spite of protests outside the lecture hall.
(*) Documentation on the mechanical schemes of the functioning of the human body by Fritz Kahn, can be found here…
(** )My reaction on the TAB Cambridge blog and its comments:
“Not guilty until proven” seems to be a strong proDSK argument, but those who use it apparently did NOt follow the way how someone with lots of power and lots of money could wriggle out of almost any justice procedure.
Casting doubt on the status of a victim is one of the ugly aspects of such a process. Next are conspiracy theories and there were several suggestions of attempts at framing a prospected French President candidate. The the colour of the victim versus the colour of the perpetrator and discriminatory law practices was brought in also, amplified with the aspect of class differences and discrimination of women. Differences also of culture, between a more protective attitude toward private life of politicians and officials in France versus the overt judgemental morality stance taken in the USA further obscured the issue. This bristle cloud of public debate has thrown so much dust in the air that Dominique Strauss Kahn’s lawyers managed to wriggle him out of prison, into a luxurious safe house and finally had him acquitted and free to leave the USA. There is NO Truth to be found in this kind of sensational cases. They do get Mythical and a myth is a unstable piece of lore that – nevertheless – does have some founding in a real event that occurred in whatever way in the past.
There was an escapade of DSK in a New York Hotel and the chances that this was just a spontaneous consensual ‘rendezvous’ are at best hypothetical. More important DSK has a history of non-consensual relieve of his libido upon the bodies of ladies of which some have found the courage to express their disgust and anger publicly. All cases not formerly proved, none that has lead to a conviction. Muffling by hired lawyers of free speech, and whatever undisclosed means of pressure available to a man of political power like DSK, form the basis of his actual standing. Arguing that honouring an earlier invitation to the Student Union of Cambridge (as I understood) of DSK should be kept in the name of ‘free speech’ is preposterous.
What remains is DSK’s record as an economist and his abilities to influence the global market in a remarkable way. None of this seems to be true in the eyes of economists, there are monitoring and evaluation reports of his own International Monetary Fund – nicely put on-line – that take a critical stance at his performance in this field. Here is an introductory text and the source link “The affair DSK and the forgotten IMF self-criticism report of May 20, 2011”: http://wp.me/pw0cu-11S
My suggestion is a less emotional and more analytical approach to the now historic DSK in Cambridge case. What I did find most ‘endearing’ was not only reading your magazine, but also the photographof the actual crummy stage of the Student Union lecture hall, that must have been such a non-glorious and shaming stand for Dominique Strauss Kahn to end up as a speaker in such an environment. Just compare it with the glamorous settings of his Far East come back attempt as a speaker on an economic conference in Bejing in December 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76fm35fycG4
In contrast an image of the Beijing business conference performance of Dominique Strauss Kahn, this come back event was arranged before DSK was once more publicly associated with a prostitution ring embracing two continents, form Lille in the North of France to New York. (***)
(***) Le Monde: Infographie Comprendre l’affaire du Carlton en trois minutes. Mis à jour le 20.02.12. An animated information graphic in the form of a narrated organigram that explains the complicated set up of the Lille/New York prostitution ring (L’Affaire Carlton) in which Dominique Strauss Kahn also plays his own role. The narration is in French.
(****) “The global financial climate, globalization and the Eurozone” at http://www.cus.org with several applauding comments in favour of DSK..