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The Berkeley Says "No" to Torture coalition was joined by the Berkeley City Council with a unanimous vote on their Peace and Justice Commission's resolution "to educate the community about torture."

For detailed information on the growing number of events, participants and other news, go to:

9-26-10,  Contact: Linda Jacobs (415) 410-4484
Berkeley City Council Declares "NO To Torture" Week Oct. 10-16

In a move welcomed by civil liberties and human rights groups nationally, last week the Berkeley City Council unanimously approved a resolution declaring "Berkeley Says No to Torture" Week (October 10-16).  The resolution emerged from a grassroots campaign supported by many local organizations and leaders.The campaign will present a week of public educational events, featuring prominent writers, attorneys, protest leaders, artists and religious leaders...
On 1-27-10, the San Francisco Commonwealth Club nationally syndicated NPR Program featured John Yoo Author of the notorious "Torture Memos" promoting his book about presidential power "Crisis and Command" - was shut down five times by WORLD CAN'T WAIT protesters throughout this program. This NPR program is currently being replayed around the country on NPR radio affiliates. Throughout the evening, many protesters engaged attendees coming in and out of the prestigious Commonwealth Club. The program was moderated by Stanford Law School professor Alan Wiener who was also protested for legitimizing Yoo by participating...regardless of a few hard ball questions at the end of the program. Below are transcriptions of the protesters comments. Protesters start times are indicated because each was spaced 5-15 minutes apart throughout the program. Each protester was quickly and peacefully escorted out by police. This Minnesota Public Radio audio program begins with a brief commentary and is briefly interrupted for commentary.

1:49 John Yoo is a war criminal. He is directly responsible for the torture of thousands of people, thousands of innocent people all over the world. John Yoo is a war criminal. He should be in prison. He shouldn't be teaching at UC Berkeley. He should be fired, disbarred, prosecuted for war crimes...

13:51 John Yoo is a war criminal. War Criminal! The Nuremberg judgments say attorneys who assist in the commission of war crimes are war criminals. You are a war criminal. Torture is a war crime. A war crime.

19:20 Professor Wiener, you may be a good person. You may be an ethical professor. But, why are you giving John Yoo legitimacy? What you have to make a decision whether you think torture is okay or not. Torture is never okay. It is not okay to torture. He is a war criminal. John Yoo is a war criminal. He should be prosecuted to the fullest...

31:38 Torturer. Torturer. Your victims will have their justice John Yoo. The people of the world will have their justice. You murderer. You murderer. Your victims will have their justice. War Criminal. You murderer. YOU SMUG SMUG MURDERER! Your victims will have their justice.

33:50 Torture is not a polite debate. Torture is a war crime. It's a crime against humanity. Torture is a crystallization of what John yoo stands for. To sit here politely with the most important torturer on earth is wrong.

For several hours last night, a loudly chanting line of two dozen protestors marched slowly back and forth across the entry of the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf.  Some wore the orange jumpsuits and black hoods representing the detainees - some wore giant human billboard signs denouncing torture as a war crime,and John Yoo as a war criminal who should be fired, disbarred, and prosecuted for his role in green lighting torture for the Bush Regime.  The action was planned overnight, with activists learning of Yoo's appearance at this conference only late the previous evening. TV news cameras caught the sunset footage of the demonstration and interviewed World Can't Wait speakers including SF Bay Area KTVU, Fox News, Channel 2. Click the picture below to view:play2.jpgThis TV News coverage aired in juxtaposition with comments by College Republicans praising Yoo and claiming that torture isn't really torture.  (The College Republicans are a campus organizing wing of the David Horowitz school of fascist thought, and actively mobilize for it in this area, for example by promoting the annual Muslim-bashing hate speech of "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" and in flag-waving counter-protests at anti-war events.  They invited John Yoo to their state conference to be greeted as a "hero...(to)...tell behind the scenes stories we really want to hear..."College Republican leader and conference co-organizer Leigh Wolf is pictured here being confronted outside the conference. Leigh Wolf frequently leads bigoted radical-right political demonstration like the 2-18-08 "Battle of Berkeley" where nationally syndicated radical-right shock-jock Melanie Morgan's front-group "Gathering of Eagles" protested the Berkeley City Council taking a principled stand against the Berkeley Marine recruiting Center.

Many of the tourists from other countries who happened upon the scene expressed strong sympathies with World Can't Wait's message, were glad to see the action, and gave words of encouragement.

Although hotel security kept non-Republicans out of the convention proceedings, as Yoo rose to speak to his audience of several hundred, their welcoming applause was disrupted suddenly by thundering chants: demonstrators had discovered a (non-see-thru) glass wall between the auditorium and the street, and aimed their voices straight into the room: "TORTURE IS A WAR CRIME!  JAIL JOHN YOO!" "GUANTANAMO  GUANTANAMO! WAR CRIMES, WAR CRIMES....   ABU GHRAIB, ABU GHRAIB! WAR CRIMES, WAR CRIMES...."  For all of Yoo's 30-minute talk, dismayed College Republicans had to listen to their "hero" against a constant echoing string of truthful, powerful chants.

(Unrelated audio is the falungun club doing a presentation nearby.)

Fire John Yoo and World Can't Wait spoke to hundreds of new students and their families about John Yoo's tenure at UC Berkeley Law (formerly Boalt Hall) demonstrating and providing information about Bush's "Architect of Torture" teaching United States Constitutional Law at the UC Berkeley. Cal Day is a big outdoor celebration centered at historic Sproul Plaza where all the student groups and departments gift food and other stuff, meet and greet the families. John Yoo is perhpas the leading US advocate of torture today. As White House legal counsel under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Jay "bugs" Bybee, Yoo legally "authorized" torture and actively worked to confuse and distort the law of torture through his notorious torture memos. UC Berkeley Law Dean Edley is dissembling when he says he cannot do anything except defend Yoo's Academic Freedom of speech. Dean Edely has a right to - and a responsibility to - take a public stand against John Yoo perpetuating torture. Yoo participated in and sometimes led the formulation and development of a broad system of torture and Crimes Against Humanity.
caldaymaryannsuperpicket4-19-09.jpgWelcome to UC Berkeley!

The FJY blogger coordinating on cell phone from the Sproul Hall steps
danner_flyer_final540px-wide.jpgDownload the above flyer(PDF4mg)
For more info, contact Jaime Wright:

In the days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and after agreement by the highest government officials, the United States began to torture prisoners. Beginning as far back as late 2002, and especially after the Abu Ghraib photographs were revealed in the spring of 2004, this torture has increasingly become public. Americans have tortured, they had done so officially, and they know they have done so. The question that remains is how the polity - American citizens as a community - will cope with these actions and with their knowledge of them. We have tortured. Now: What is to be done?

Mark Danner is a writer and reporter who for 25 years has written on politics and foreign affairs, focusing on war and conflict. Recently, he broke a story based on a secret document from the International Committee of the Red Cross that concluded that the Bush administration knowingly allowed treatment of prisoners that "constituted torture." Danner is Professor of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley and James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs, Politics and the Humanities at Bard College.
New York Review of Books: "U.S. Torture: Voices from the Black Sites"

Condoleezza Rice has officially returned to Stanford, after working eight years as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State under the Bush administration. The student group STANFORD SAYS NO TO WAR is initiating a coalition of Stanford community members to create a campus-wide movement to hold Condoleezza Rice accountable for human rights & international law violations.

Propelling prisoners' heads into concrete walls by means of towels wrapped around their necks, savage beatings with fists and rifles that left prisoners crippled, hanging prisoners by the arms with their arms strung up behind them, depriving prisoners of sleep for weeks on end, which has been thought the worst torture possible for 500 years, causing prisoners to freeze -- sometimes to death, and waterboarding are but a partial list of the torture methods ordered by America's highest officials. In the "Preliminary Memorandum of the Justice Robert H. Jackson Conference on Federal Prosecutions of War Criminals," law school Dean Lawrence Velvel, the founder of the Jackson Conference, details the full spectrum of tortures performed in wholesale combinations -- not one torture by itself -- on detainees around the world. His Preliminary Memorandum is a precursor to a formal legal complaint to be filed with the Justice Department this spring.

The Preliminary Memorandum identifies 31 culprits and details the war crimes they committed, the laws they broke, and the many fulsome warnings they received regarding their actions from numerous governmental lawyers and officials high and low, including the Judge Advocate Generals of all the armed services. The culprits who should be prosecuted include Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, Addington, Tenet, Bybee, Yoo, Haynes, Chertoff and others. Furthermore, the Preliminary Memorandum calls the Bush administration's illegal acts "an attempted constitutional revolution that succeeded for years." It began six days after 9/11, when Bush secretly gave the CIA permission to "murder . . . people all over the world." It continued in a series of secret, wholly specious legal memos authorizing torture, electronic eavesdropping, wholesale violations of law, and Presidential usurpation of the role of Congress.

Public pressure eventually forced the administration to declassify a few of the memos. These purported to authorize war crimes outlawed by the Geneva Conventions and U.S. anti-torture laws. Among them was John Yoo's infamous "torture memo" defining torture as "requiring the pain associated with organ failure or death," saying torture supposedly couldn't exist if the torturer wanted information, and urging that the President could do anything he wanted, including paying no attention whatever to Congressional laws. Meanwhile, Bush administration officials and lawyers ignored extensive warnings given them by government officials that they were engaging in criminal acts; the warnings were given both orally and in extensive memos.

to say the least!
Yesterday's lecture was a huge disappointment to me; surely experts in her position can do much more.  It's up to us, folks.
Anna Hiatt/Staff

Linda Greenhouse, former Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, lectures in Barrows Hall on the Bush administration's legal handling of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

 The audience asked questions about what Greenhouse thought of Boalt Hall School of Law professor John Yoo, who wrote memos for the Bush administration that provided the legal basis for detention and interrogation techniques such as torture.

Greenhouse responded by quoting Sen. Barack Obama, saying, "You're asking profound questions that are above my pay grade."


P A Y   G R A D E ?

By Judith Scherr

The Berkeley Daily Planet, Friday August 01, 2008
Peace activists have taken a page from the book of Budweiser and--in addition to using the web and other modern means--are spreading their message by old fashioned billboard advertising.

"Silence + torture = complicity," says the billboard above Round Table Pizza on University Avenue near Milvia Street, its orange background evocative of the Abu Graib prisoner jumpsuits.

That billboard is not exactly what activists had envisioned. They wanted an image of a torture victim and the words: "Fire John Yoo," with a link to, said Giovanni Jackson, of the Fire John Yoo Coalition.

The coalition is made up of the World Can't Wait, the Coalition for an Ethical American Psychological Association, Act Against Torture, the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute and individuals such as Elliot Cohen from the Peace and Justice Commission and Gray Brechin, noted author and UC Berkeley geography professor

They thought that at the $500 per month billboard rent, they could craft the message as they saw fit.

However, billboard companies, it appears, get to control the message. CBS Outdoor, who owns the billboard, turned down the originally proposed "Fire John Yoo" billboard, but accepted the other, Jackson said.

CBS Outdoor did not return Planet calls or e-mails for an explanation.

John Yoo is the UC Berkeley law professor who, when working for the Bush administration, wrote documents that many people--the National Lawyers Guild among them--say lay the foundation for rationalization of torture of prisoners that has taken place in Iraq.

On Thursday evening, a group of young people stood on the University Avenue median displaying a large "fire John Yoo" banner. They got positive "honks" from cars going by, though it's not clear if the drivers linked the banner to the billboard above.

Elliot Cohen of the Peace and Justice Commission came out to support those holding the banner. He told the Planet that his commission had passed a resolution on July 7 calling on the university to investigate Yoo and to demand that classes required for graduation taught by Yoo would also be taught by another professor, so that students would not be forced to study with Yoo..

The resolution will go to the City Council in September.

In a phone interview Friday, Brechin told the Planet he has worked to fire John Yoo for several years, demonstrating outside Yoo's classroom and at Sproul Plaza. He said he was disappointed that the university faculty and students don't seem bothered by Yoo's presence on campus.

The university's silence on the question of Yoo makes it complicit with torture, Brechin said.

The dean of Boalt Hall has refused to take up the issue of firing Yoo. "He said his hands are tied," Brechin said. [See Dean Christopher Edley, Jr.'s letter at in which he points to academic freedom among the reasons for not firing Yoo.]

Brechin said Edley argued that Yoo would have to be convicted of a criminal act to be fired, but, said Brechin: "The federal courts are so corrupted, so politicized, that won't happen."

For more information see
Shame on the University of California and it's law school at Berkeley
This anti John Yoo billboard went up yesterday, July 24, 2008. It declares "Silence + Torture = Complicity". This wording challenges the apathetic and those who refuse to get off the fence as well as the University of California and it's law school at Berkeley. This well positioned billboard on University Avenue at the intersection of Milvia Street in Berkeley, CA is just FOUR BLOCK FROM THE UC BERKELEY MAIN ENTRANCE! where John Yoo will be teaching United States Constitutional Law as a tenured professor again at the end of August. For those who don't know the Bay Area, University Avenue is the main street in Berkeley running from the Bay through the downtown straight to the main front entrance of The University of California and it's law school at Berkeley. This pictures below are from the press conference and demonstration at the un-veiling yesterday. Click here for the complete photo gallery.

Pictured above is a World can't Wait activist with her sign featuring one of the designs rejected by the billboard company.

Pictured above is the initial view of the billboard as you approach the University by car.
part 1

part 2

Videos courtesy of "the video team" of The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of THE WORLD CAN'T WAIT - DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME! For more of our videos, go to our youtube channel.

Press Conference

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With continuing exposure of the Bush torture program worldwide, World Can't Wait--Drive Out the Bush Regime! has initiated a billboard campaign in support of the NO TO TORTURE - JOHN YOO MUST GO! coalition.

A Press Conference unveiling of the billboard will take place this Thursday, July 24th at 1pm at 2017 University Avenue in Berkeley. The billboard containing the following equation: "Silence + Torture = Complicity" seeks to expose that the inhumane practice of torture will continue if we do not take action to uphold human dignity for all citizens of the world.

UC Berkeley Billboard

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