Protests surround Ahmadinejad's NYC visit
New York: Whenever Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comes to New York, protesters pay attention. They know where he's staying.
They stand outside the building when he makes a speech, holding signs calling him a dictator and comparing him to Adolf Hitler.
"We want him to see he's not welcome here," said Nathan Carleton, spokesman for United Against Nuclear Iran, which is gearing up for Ahmadinejad's arrival this weekend for the United Nations General Assembly.
Ahmadinejad, who is scheduled to make a speech at the UN on Wednesday, is expected to stay for the second straight year at the posh Warwick New York Hotel.
A spokesman for the hotel did not confirm whether the leader would be staying there. The hotel didn't confirm his stay there last year, either.
As they did last year, members of United against Nuclear Iran will be protesting outside and inside, reserving a room in hopes of taking their outrage as close to Ahmadinejad and his entourage as possible.
"We had people walking around the hotel wearing shirts with his face crossed out on them," Carleton said. The group is working to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. The anger extends to the hotel itself.
United Against Nuclear Iran and several prominent Jewish groups had urged the Warwick not to provide luxury accommodations for a man who denies the Holocaust and says the US orchestrated the September 11 attacks, and who has also come under criticism for Iran's repressive treatment of its people and its support of groups like Hamas.
"No more than you would host in your home a criminal, why would you make it easy here for a rogue regime?" said Daniel Mariaschin, executive vice president of B'nai B'rith International, the Jewish human rights advocacy group.
The organisation has sent letters to the Warwick asking that it not let Ahmadinejad stay there.