CHELSEA CLINTON was among a group of American students which disrupted an anti-war meeting in Oxford, it was revealed last night.
Frustrated at anti-American feeling, the daughter of the former President arrived at the 500-strong meeting in Oxford Town Hall with a dozen friends who heckled speakers.
Miss Clinton, a postgraduate student in international relations at University College, Oxford, her father’s alma mater, has confessed that she is feeling isolated and threatened by the mood she has detected at the university. She found it difficult encountering “anti-American feeling” from peace demonstrators.
As soon as last Thursday’s meeting, organised by the Oxford Stop the War Coalition, began, members of her mostly American group shouted patriotic slogans from the back. Speakers were prevented from continuing after other young Americans approached them and unfurled a Stars and Stripes flag.
Chris Harman, editor of Socialist Worker, said: “When the group turned up I thought, oh no, we’re going to have some rugby-type fracas, but luckily it was nothing like that.” The flag-bearers were eventually sent back to their seats by a 76-year-old American woman called Barbara, an Oxford resident.
Katy Beinart, a student CND member who spoke at the meeting, said that Miss Clinton had arrived “making a lot of noise”.
When John Haylett, editor of the Morning Star, began to argue that the media had failed to consider the effects of the bombing on Afghan civilians, Miss Clinton and her friends called out that he should remember the victims of the terrorist attacks on New York. Mr Haylett responded that such meetings were the only way to put an alternative viewpoint to that portrayed in the media.
Miss Clinton left with her Secret Service bodyguards shortly afterwards, stopping to buy a copy of the Morning Star from a vendor, and making “yet more noise”, according to Ms Beinart. “It was a shame that Chelsea Clinton felt the need to interrupt a peaceful discussion with what I felt were inappropriate comments,” she said.
Speakers at the meeting, including the MP Jeremy Corbyn, said yesterday that Miss Clinton took their comments too personally.
Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd.