Hecklers interrupt Sen. Clinton at university


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Anti-war protesters interrupted U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech at Brown University on Saturday night by heckling the New York Democrat for four solid minutes before police escorted them out of the auditorium.

Clinton was about eight minutes into her 50-minute speech, “Women Leaders,” when an unidentified man stood and shouted “Is it leadership to support the war?”

He was quickly joined by two other hecklers as he stood on his seat and continued to criticize Clinton for her vote to authorize the U.S. invasion of Iraq and her subsequent votes to fund the war.

Despite the heckling, Clinton did not stop her speech, which was general in tone. Her only direct reference to the Iraq war was to decry the substandard equipment issued to American soldiers. She did not address allegations that President Bush authorized the release of classified national security information to the media.

Before the speech, about 70 protesters rallied outside the auditorium and said they targeted Clinton because her votes on the war mirror the Bush administration’s policies despite her being considered the front-runner among Democratic presidential hopefuls in 2008.

A group called Military Families Speak Out was among the protesters outside. They carried picket signs and yelled “He lied, she complied, they died. Bring the troops home now.”

Clinton’s speech in Meehan Auditorium was attended by about 3,000 people.