GLIMPSES: On fringes of UN perimeter, placards and protests

LIEN QUAN – Inside the great United Nations hall, world leaders will convene this week, one by one to speak at the senior leaders’ meeting at the United Nations General Assembly. It is a practice rooted in a strict protocol and diplomatic style.

But walk a few blocks – past metal detectors and through the maze of police fences – and another tradition unfolds: protests. Here, fewer rules apply. And lots of cheers are welcome.

With the world’s attention focused on the General Assembly and the leaders gathered there, disparate groups with far-flung grievances gathered in hopes of catching some of the limelight in Midtown.

Here’s what some of them look like:

—People put up signs and stop pedestrians with questions like: “Do you want to live in a world where nuclear arsenals are growing?”

—Searchers holding signs for Indigenous rights in the Amazon.

—A truck moved through traffic carrying a large sign calling for the president of Iran to be prosecuted.

—Supporters of the Falun Gong spiritual movement decry the Chinese government’s treatment of this group.

These causes may not make it to the podium of the UN. But the protests and banners fanning their message ensure that they too will be heard.

For more information on the AP about the UN General Assembly, visit

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