This video is called Anti [Iraq] War March – London, Feb 2003.
If the personal and the political sometimes merge for Mr. Pinter, the events of the last few years — his illness, his Nobel Prize, the celebrations of his prodigious body of work — have tended to happen in a blur, too. Leaving Dublin two years ago after a retrospective marking his 75th birthday, Mr. Pinter slipped on the pavement at the airport and gashed his head. The next day he learned he had won the Nobel. And then, at home writing his Nobel lecture, he got a call from his doctor. The news was bad; Mr. Pinter needed to go to the hospital immediately.
The ambulance was already on its way, but Mr. Pinter managed to finish writing the lecture. He was briefly released from the hospital to deliver it, which he did from a wheelchair on a bare stage at a London television studio, obviously ill, a blanket across his lap, his voice hoarse but steady. The lecture was a blistering indictment of American foreign policy, and it gave Mr. Pinter a world stage for his political views, which over the years have included protests against the NATO bombing of Serbia, censorship, the gulf war and the war in Iraq.
Mr. Pinter reserves much of his great outrage for the United States. In his Nobel address, he said it was guilty of “systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless” crimes. “You have to hand it to America,” he said. “It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good.”
Mr. Pinter, who last visited the United States in 2001, for a festival of his work in New York, refuses to go back. But he has prodigious charm to go along his irascibility, and he related an anecdote that hints at somewhat more complicated feelings, or at least proves he can laugh at himself.
About 20 years ago he traveled to Nicaragua as a guest of the Sandinista government and had to change planes in Miami on his way back. “So I joined the line to Immigration, and there’s a very big woman on my line, and I knew she was going to ask me, ‘What were you doing in Nicaragua?’ and I was going to say, ‘Mind your own damn business.’
“So I got up there, and she opened my passport, and she said, ‘Are you the Harold Pinter?’ And I said yes, and she said, ‘Welcome to the United States!’
“So I thought, there are very many sides to America.”