Protesters will denounce torture, and the University of California’s continuing connection to torture, outside tomorrow's commencement ceremony at UC Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall).
As in previous years’ graduation demonstrations, protesters including those costumed to represent prisoners at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and other sites where the U.S. currently manages a regimen of illegal rendition, detention, and torture, will gather outside the commencement before and during the ceremony. They will call for an end to, and accountability for, this illegal program wherever it has been operating.
Berkeley Law professor John Yoo is on the list of Bush Regime officials who they say should be prosecuted for war crimes. Yoo was on sabbatical from UC when he spent two years in the Bush-Cheney Department of Justice. He was the key legal architect of the torture policies and practices set up at that time, which came to light via photos from Abu Ghraib, and have since then intensified and spread, including under the Obama administration.
World Can’t Wait spokesperson Stephanie Tang said today: “John Yoo teaching constitutional law to the next generation of lawyers and judges is a perverse mockery of what a law school education should be. Yoo’s infamous disregard for , and destruction of, basic legal principles under the U.S. Constitution and international law, including the Geneva Conventions, renders him unfit to teach.”
When: Friday, May 11, 2012
Where: Hearst Greek Theater, Berkeley
9 AM: Protest outside Commencement (10 AM Ceremony)
Over the past years many diverse voices have called for John Yoo to be held accountable for his work enabling torture, joining the demand for Yoo to be fired, disbarred, and prosecuted. Curt Wechsler of FireJohnYoo.org calls Yoo’s legal work “a work product akin to that of the German lawyers and judges who were found guilty of war crimes at Nuremberg after World War II.”
At UC Berkeley, Yoo’s presence on the faculty has been defended by the outgoing Chancellor, the dean of Berkeley Law, and the rightwing Federalist Society. Their position echoes the Obama administration’s declaration to “Look forward, not back” regarding any accountability for the many Bush-Cheney officials responsible for the torture and related governmental crimes committed during that regime.