New York's Columbia University is bracing for stormy protests when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad begins to speak under heavy guard around 8 p.m. (2 p.m. EDT) Monday. University President Lee Bollinger has resisted pressure to withdraw the invitation for the Iranian president to speak. "We must ... in every instance where there is an issue of academic freedom, act on principle," Bollinger said in a University Senate meeting on Friday.
Those attending will have to present proof that they are allowed to attend. Ahmadinejad will speak in his native Farsi language, and his speech will be simultaneously translated into English. University president Bollinger will introduce the Iranian president and vowed to challenge him on Holocaust denial and support of terrorism.
A protest rally is planned at the university and will host speeches shortly before Ahmadinejad speaks.