Hillary Clinton scolded a far-left protestor who interrupted her speech at Columbia University on Monday night who was heckling her for three minutes over President Joe Biden’s funding of Israel and Ukraine.
Clinton was on stage in New York as part of a panel discussion to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The former Secretary of State was joined by Michelle Bachelet, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former president of Chile, and journalist Maria Ressa, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with Filipino investigative news website Rappler.
Clinton was speaking when activist Robert Castle stood up and began berating her.
Hillary Clinton is seen on Monday night telling Robert Castle to sit down and stop interrupting her event
Castle – who describes himself on Substack as an ‘independent researcher, disillusioned optimist’ – was praised by far-left peace activist and anti-nuclear campaigner Diane Sare, who challenged Chuck Schumer for his New York seat in the Senate in 2020, and will challenge Kirsten Gillibrand for hers in 2024.
Sare wrote on Twitter: ‘Excellent job by another person on my team!’
Castle asked a question, and when Clinton attempted to move on, Castle continued speaking.
‘I’m sorry,’ he said, as he continued talking over her.
‘Well, I’m not sorry – you sit down,’ she said.
‘I know you’re not sorry: that’s the point,’ Castle continued. ‘The hypocrisy of this speech.’
Clinton attempted to move the panel on to talking with another of the panelists, Frank Mugisha, a Ugandan LGBTI rights advocate.
But Castle would not let him speak.
‘Can you please make a statement about President Joe Biden’s speech. This is clearly a warmongering speech. President Joe Biden is calling for $100 billion of funding for Israel, Taiwan, and Ukraine, and we’re just supposed to bundle these together and rush to World War Three,’ Castle said.
Castle refused Clinton’s repeated requests for him to sit down and allow others to speak
Castle continued ranting for over three minutes
Clinton told him: ‘This is not the way to have a conversation. If you want to have a conversation, you’re welcome to come and talk to me afterwards.’
Castle retorted that he did not believe her, and then carried on speaking, as the panelists looked on.
Columbia University officials attempted to ask Castle to sit down, but he clung to the microphone.
Castle declared that ‘the American people’s voice needs to be heard, and it’s not being heard.’
Clinton replied: ‘Well that’s your opinion, and we’ve heard your opinion, so sit down.’
Castle continued yelling: ‘I’m not going to sit down! I’m not going to stop!’
Clinton said she wanted to turn ‘to people working on the frontlines of human rights.’
Castle yelled that he wanted to ‘exercise my freedom of speech’.
Clinton retorted: ‘It’s not free speech when you are disrupting everybody else’s opportunity to speak.’
Castle continued shouting about free speech, Eleanor Roosevelt, General Augusto Pinochet and the CIA.
‘You’re brilliant in your historical cherry picking,’ replied Clinton, sarcastically.
The former Secretary of State was joined by Michelle Bachelet, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former president of Chile, and journalist Maria Ressa, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with Filipino investigative news website Rappler
His tirade continued, with Castle at one point shouting: ‘It’s not football. It’s not Team America.’
Clinton replied: ‘Some of us are on Team America, despite our flaws and our problems.’
The audience applauded her retort.
Allida Black, editor of The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers and a professor of history and international affairs at The George Washington University, admonished Castle.
‘Every person on this stage has risked their life, their income, their reputation, their careers – and what have you done, other than stand up and disrupt?’
Castle declared: ‘I will respond: what I have done is asked Hillary Rodham Clinton to denounce the president’s openly warmongering, suicidal, idiotic speech.’
Clinton replied: ‘And I have given my answer. I will not do that. But I’ll still meet you outside.’