Protesters target Ahmadinejad's New York hotel

A woman crosses the road as a United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) group holds a demonstration outside the Warwick Hotel in New York on September 24, 2012 to protest the Warwick and its guest, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will make his final appearance at the United Nations this week. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY

NEW YORK: Protesters targeted the Manhattan hotel where Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was staying on Monday while attending the UN General Assembly.

About 50 people yelled slogans and waved placards near the upscale Warwick Hotel where the Iranian leader had booked in for the second year running during the annual UN get-together.

"Warwick, Warwick, shame on you," they chanted.

One person held a placard reading: "Out of the Warwick, out of New York, out of the UN."

Police kept the small crowd a block from the hotel, where concrete barriers had been installed to block the sidewalk to vehicles. Security guards manned a metal detector set up outside the sole entrance to the hotel.

In a statement, the Warwick said: "We have hosted delegations from different nations since 1926 and remain committed to supporting the City of New York's long tradition of providing an open door to those attending the General Assembly. While it is our policy to respect the privacy of our guests, we also respect the rights of those who choose to voice their opinions."

David Ibsen, with protest organizer United Against Nuclear Iran, called for a boycott of the hotel. "A lot of different venues have decided not to host him because his regime is the world's biggest sponsor of terrorism," he said.

In addition to cartoonish depictions of Ahmadinejad, one protester carried what appeared to be the photo of a woman being buried ahead of being executed by stoning. Another waved an Israeli flag.

And, because this was New York, one protester was a weathered-looking man on a pink bicycle, naked except for a woman's tiny two-piece bikini and pink sandals.

"Not welcome in NYC" read an anti-Ahmadinejad poster attached to his bicycle's handlebars -- alongside several handbags.





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