Students protest Strauss-Kahn's speech at UK university

Strauss-Kahn protest in Cambridge
Strauss-Kahn protest in Cambridge

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    Strauss-Kahn protest in Cambridge

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Strauss-Kahn protest in Cambridge 02:04

Story highlights

  • Two people are arrested after scuffling with police
  • Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been linked with a number of sex scandals
  • Cambridge students carry signs reading, "DSK is not welcome here"
  • He spoke Friday before the university's debating society
Shouting such chants as "Shame on you" and "DSK, go away," a throng of students at the University of Cambridge gathered Friday to protest an appearance by former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn before the school's debating society.
At least two people were arrested after scuffling with police monitoring the demonstration. A 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and a 23-year-old woman is being held on suspicion of breaching the peace, Cambridgeshire police said.
In the past year, Strauss-Kahn has been linked with a number of sex scandals -- one of which torpedoed his expected plan to run for the French presidency -- but he has not been convicted of any crime. He stepped down from the top job at the International Monetary Fund after a New York hotel maid accused him of sexual assault and attempted rape in May. The criminal case fell apart after prosecutors cited credibility issues with the maid's story despite forensic evidence that showed a sexual encounter had occurred. She is pursuing a civil lawsuit.
Students at Friday's protest carried signs that read, "DSK is not welcome here" and demanded that he address allegations of predatory sexual behavior.
"Giving him the invitation is choosing to give a valuable space to someone who has admitted that he has committed sexual aggression," one protester said.
The protest followed a petition to the Cambridge Union Society by a women's group to rescind the invitation for Strauss-Kahn to speak.
The Cambridge Union Society defended its choice of speaker, saying in a post on it website, "the purpose of the Union is to provide a neutral platform for free speech."
"An invitation to the Union does not imply support or endorsement, or indeed disapproval, on the part of the Society or any of the individuals in it," the post said. "We invite people to speak at the Union regardless of their ideology, background or personal history. We feel Mr. Strauss-Kahn is exceptionally well qualified to speak on some of the most prominent international headlines of 2012, namely the global financial crisis and the French presidential election, and so we believe he will give a pertinent and interesting speech."
Strauss-Kahn was questioned last month over his involvement in an alleged prostitution ring in France. The probe, nicknamed the "Carlton Affair" by the French press, kicked off in October. It centers on Lille, where investigators began looking into claims that luxury hotels, including the Carlton, served as a base for a high-profile prostitution network. While prostitution is not illegal in France, it is illegal to profit from the prostitution of another person.
Strauss-Kahn has not been arrested or charged in connection with the Carlton Affair, but the incident continues a string of sexual allegations against him.
A French writer has accused him of attempted rape. Tristane Banon alleged a 2003 attack, when she was 23, but it was not pursued because of a statute of limitations.
Strauss-Kahn denied the allegation and has filed a countersuit in France, alleging slander.