WCW Home Take Action Videos & Reports of Demonstrations 8-17-09 Videos of Berkeley Yoo Demo
8-17-09 Videos of Berkeley Yoo Demo PDF Print E-mail

By Vic Sadot

From No Lies Radio | Original Article

Click here to watch the videos.

Fire John Yoo Demonstration at UC Berkeley August 17, 2009

There was a spirited rally of about 100 people outside of the Law School entrance at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, California  as Professor John Yoo came to teach on the first day of the 2009 fall semester. It was an even more emotional and confrontational scene on the inside of the building at classroom 105. Police ejected several protesters from the room and threatened to arrest the crowd of about 75 who chanted, “Arrest John Yoo! Arrest John You!”

Four people were arrested in the late afternoon. They were members of World Can’t Wait and Code Pink Women for Peace. Stephanie Tang of World Can’t Wait told the officers that she was not afraid to be arrested, but they were arresting the wrong person.

John Yoo was the Bush-Cheney Justice Department author of memos used to justify torture that was then visited upon persons who were imprisoned for years as “enemy combatants” although they were never charged for any crime. Many of these people were swept up by the Northern Alliance of Afghanistan in response to thousands of flyers air-dropped by the US military that offered a $5,000 reward for “Al Qaeda”. Condoleezza Rice led discussions in the White House about which techniques to employ on suspected “terrorists”. According to the International Red Cross, children were tortured and over 100 persons died in these torture sessions based on John Yoo’s legal advice. Not only did the US imprison and torture people at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo prison in Cuba, but many others were kidnapped and taken for torture at third party countries or in secret CIA prisons. The kidnappings were called “rendition” and the torture was denied by using the legal briefings issued by several Bush-Cheney regime lawyers, including John Yoo.

An articulate group of speakers and protesters gathered outside Berkeley Law School. This group included Sharon Adams of the National Lawyers Guild; Attorney Dan Siegel, an activist since the Berkeley Free Speech Movement; Attorney Anne Wells, a Civil Rights and Free Speech veteran; Anne Fagen Ginger, founder of the Micklejohn Civil Liberties Institute; Marc Tizoe Gonzalez of the National Lawyers Guild; Ruth Fallenbaum of the American Psychologist Association; Stephanie Tang of World Can’t Wait; Susan Harman of Progressive Democrats of America; Holly Harper of Code Pink Women for Peace; and Cynthia Papermaster of the National Accountability Network.

Law school Dean Christopher Edly has defended the continued employment of John Yoo on the grounds of free speech. This position was criticized by numerous speakers who noted that it was the actions of Yoo as legal counsel to President Bush while on leave from the law school that are criminal, not his freedom of speech. In fact, Federal Judge Jeffrey White ruled on June 12 that U.S. citizen Jose Padilla can sue John Yoo for the torture he was subjected to based on Yoo’s legal advice. Several speakers pointed to the fact that the aim of the torture was precisely to get the detainees to make false statements that could then be used to justify the war on Iraq. These statements were not good enough to use in court, but they were good enough to go to wars which maimed and murdered millions.

Cynthia Papermaster issued a statement that said, “John Yoo’s actions have not made our country safer. We are all living with the shame and fear of having a government that tortures. Yoo should be dismissed from UC Berkeley Law School, disbarred, and prosecuted for his complicity in crimes of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. We stand in witness to his crimes against humanity.” The contact for Papermaster and the National Accountability Network is 510-333-6097 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Other groups with information on the John Yoo torture memos and the legal issues involved are online: National Lawyers Guild at http://nlg.org, firejohnyoo.org, afterdowningstreet.org, codepink.org, pdamerica.org, votersforpeace.org, and veteransforpeace.org.

A group of concerned citizens has been picketing John Yoo’s residence in Berkeley on Sundays from 4-6 pm. Their flyer called for people to join them there, and it states that “banners, posters, leaflets, handcuffs, and refreshments are provided”. Their contact info is codepinkgoldengate.org.

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