Anti-Yoo activists unveil Berkeley billboard

The No To Torture/John Yoo Must Go coalition — targeting the University of California Boalt Hall School of Law professor, former Justice Department attorney, and torture-memo author who tried to blow a gaping hole through the Fourth Amendment — has unveiled its first billboard, located on University Avenue near Milvia Street in Berkeley.

“Not speaking out and acting against torture allows torture practices to continue uncontested in violation of treaties against torture, to which the United States is a signatory,” said the news release. “The billboard expresses a call to action to stop gross misrepresentations of the law to continue in our names.”

Speaking at a news conference Thursday were human-rights activist Gerald Gray, who wants Cal alumni to withhold contributions until the school dumps Yoo; geographer and author Gray Brechin, who wants Cal faculty to publicly disavow Yoo; and Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission member Elliot Cohen, speaking about a proposed John Yoo resolution before the City Council. Collectively, they and the coalition want Yoo — who was rotisseried by the House Judiciary Committee last month — to be fired, disbarred, and prosecuted for war crimes; they’re trying to organize a “war crimes tribunal” this fall.

You might notice the billboard doesn’t actually name Yoo; coalition coordinator Curt Wechsler said a proposed design with Yoo’s name and an iconic Abu Ghraib figure was rejected by the billboard company:

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • BRAVI!!!

    The Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists has an orange NO TORTURE banner outside its north wall, on Cedar St. just above MLK Jr Way. World Can’t Wait donated it, for which we are grateful.

    Anybody have a digital camera to put a photo of it on the bfuu.org blog?

  • Nancy Chapman

    I was shocked and disappointed when I read that the University had hired John Woo. Having him for a lecture, or even a series of lectures here, would be one thing, but hiring him to teach and/or mentor and to be responsible for grades? No, this should not stand. I am ready to join any protest against his employment by Cal Berkeley.

  • Ron

    Gee…….. I wonder what these protesters position will be when we have an islamic extremist in custody knowing he has information about a terrorist attack that will cause mass horror, loss of life and devistation here in our country again. Exactly how would these protesters go about extracting information that is absolutley time sensitive? This isnt something that out of the series “24”. This can actually happen. Things are probably going to get worse before they get better. If muslims start targeting malls, schools, or God forbid daycares! What is going to these elitist positions then in extracting information in a timley manner? Will they send or donate care and aid packages to al qiada and its operatives like the university of california did with the north vietnamese during the vietnam war? What geneva conventions did the muslims observe while they had daniel pearl in their possesion in pakistan? what geneva conventions where afforded to the civilian contractor that was kidnapped and beheaded in saudia arabia in time to make the 6:00 oclock al jazeeras news? What geneva convention was observed by al qiada and other muslims that captured and dismemberd 3 of our troops manning a check point in southern iraq? The geneva convention is only observed by civilized western countries and not muslims as they do not obide nor recognize humanity………. Seems like the university of california at berkeley has a long history dating back to the 1960’s of giving every benefit of the doubt to this countries enemies. I am absolutley ASHAMED that I was born in berkeley. And code pink???????????? Wow!!

    Ron Aguilar