The protest against Dominique Strauss- Kahn’s appearance at the Union tonight was ongoing from 6.00pm outside the Union building, and it attracted large crowds who remained there until the end of the talk that was given by the disgraced former head of the IMF.
Several speeches took place during the protest that aimed to celebrate International Women’s Day and speak out against the silencing of those who have experienced sexual violence, which one student at Emmanuel College described as “incredibly moving”, telling Varsity that those who got up to speak and share their stories were “unbelievably brave, the experience was very humbling”.
The protest continued throughout the talk, but despite the crowds waiting outside of the Union for Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s reappearance at the end of his talk the French politician made a controversial secret exit from the Union building. It is unclear how Strauss-Kahn managed to exit the Union, as he ended up emerging at the Pizza Express building in Jesus Lane, next to the infamous Pitt Club.
A Cambridge citizen who works as a teacher, who wishes to remain anonymous, was having dinner in the restaurant when Strauss-Kahn appeared. He told Varsity that "They just marched through, it was like a procession. He was in the middle, maybe two or three security people. It was extremely surreal”.
They went onto note that "The other thing that makes me angry is the extraordinary cost of the operation tonight”: there was a large police presence throughout the protest, and the disruption caused by Strauss-Kahn was met with disapproval from many of those who witnessed it.
A waiter who was working in the Pizza Express at the time vehemently expressed his opinion of the evident elaborate exit plan Strauss-Kahn and the Union had in place, declaring it to be “farcical, almost pathetic”.