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Henry A. Kissinger '50, former Secretary of State, will address the triennial Nieman Convocation in Boston tonight. Three hundred and fifty journalists, both active and alumni fellows of the Nieman Foundation, will hear Kissinger's off-the-record remarks on an undisclosed topic.
The Foundation Curator, James C. Thomson Jr. '48, yesterday confirmed Kissinger's scheduled visit, which the foundation had not announced publicly.
A group of students yesterday began organizing a demonstration to take place at 6:30 pm today outside the Boston Museum of Science, where Kissinger will speak.
Last year more than 500 students marched in front of University Hall to protest Kissinger's arrival at Harvard to take part in a program on East Asia.
Sources within the Nieman Foundation reported yesterday that several fellows had declined invitations to hear Kissinger because of his alleged authorization of wiretaps on reporters, as well as his role in directing U.S. war policy in Southeast Asia.
Thomson said that interest in the reflections of a former high office holder motivated him to ask Kissinger to the gathering.
Grouping Kissinger's appearance with previous talks by William Colby, I.F. Stone, Larry Flynt and McGeorge Bundy, Thomson said, "Eclectism is, I think, our guiding star."
Kissinger this year accepted a teaching position at Georgetown University, after considering a faculty position at Columbia University.
Kissinger withdrew himself from consideration for the Columbia post amidst efforts by faculty and students to block his appointment.
Over 900 Columbia students signed a petition condemning the offer of a faculty chair to Kissinger. MIT professor Noam Chomsky, a previous Nieman speaker, suggested at the time that Kissinger be appointed to a "Chair of Death and Destruction."
Citing Kissinger's secret "scorched earth policy" and his lies to Congress and the American people, Columbia's "Graduate Political Science students opposed to the Appointment of Kissinger" accused him of violating the minimal standards of behavior for teaching.
In eventually accepting the position at Georgetown, Kissinger rejected an offer from the Harvard Government Department to return to the teaching post he held before joining the Nixon administration.
Secret Service agents will accompany Kissinger during his trip to Boston, Thomson said. The foundation and the special events office at the science museum were unaware of any other special security arrangements for this evening
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