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Duke students to protest John Bolton talk on campus Monday

Duke University students will rally Monday to protest an event featuring John Bolton, the former United States Ambassador and Trump administration National Security Advisor whose forthcoming book is said to reveal damning details about the Trump presidency.

Bolton will be interviewed on stage at Page Auditorium as part of the school’s Program in American Grand Strategy. The conversation, which will begin at 5:30 p.m., is expected to explore Bolton’s experiences as part of the presidential administrations of presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

The student rally will begin at 5 p.m. at Duke Chapel, which is adjacent to the auditorium.

“As a Duke student, I’m ashamed that my campus would honor Bolton, who has long made a career of not only undermining but actively violating international and human rights law, causing untold suffering worldwide,” said Aman Aberra, a graduate student at Duke, in a press release on the rally this week.

Students say they oppose Bolton’s role in vetoing U.N. resolutions critical of alleged Israeli human rights abuses and participation in efforts to violently overthrow regimes in Iran and North Korea as well as obstructing investigations into alleged war crimes by American troops in Iraq.

“John Bolton’s portrayal of Islam as dangerous to and incompatible with the U.S. has made so many Muslims vulnerable to acts of violence. Bringing him to campus wholly neglects our experiences reminds us of the trauma we continue to face as a consequence of his actions.,” said Musa Saleem, a junior at Duke, in this week’s release on the rally.

“Bolton’s continued defense of the Iraq War and his escalating campaign for war in Iran reflect his deeply Islamaphobic ideology which frames the Muslim world as irrational, barbaric, and in need of Western intervention and control,” Duke student Victoria Verzi said in the same release. “If Duke really has ‘high ethical standards,’ as our mission statement says, we should not be hosting someone with these deeply racist views who’s never faced accountability for his war crimes.”

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