Toilet-paper prank targets Cal’s John Yoo

One of the many activists protesting University of California, Berkeley law professor John Yoo – who as a Justice Department lawyer helped build a legal framework for the “enhanced interrogation” techniques many now consider to be torture and for other perceived Bush Administration transgressions – has found a, well, creative new way to voice displeasure with him.

Students using the restrooms at Cal’s Boalt Hall Law School today reportedly found “Yoo Toilet Paper,” printed with text from the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

Los Angeles-based activist/artist Matt Cornell said the prank was meant to remind law students that “Yoo helped turned human rights laws into toilet paper.” At the bottom of each roll is a reminder that “this toilet paper was made by possible by John Yoo, Professor of Law.” He also said his toilet paper is both softer and better than that provided by the budget-crunched university, and that it contains “valuable reading material” for students.

(I’ll assume that the “Josh Wolf” listed in the video’s production credits is the very same UC journalism student who keeps getting in trouble with various authorities as he blurs the line between journalism and activism.)

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.

  • AJ

    Racist (returning the rhetoric against the tea partiers) pigs!!! Hey he’s Asian and so I am! All you racist against Asians!

  • Elwood


    All your bullshit are belong to us!

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Let’s get our biases straight. Good “Americans” opppose Prof. Yoo. Only “racists” oppose Prof. Liu.

  • JYu

    I am an Asian and I’ve heard and seen a lot in the past ten years, especially the trash talks across the country. (We all know how that was like.) There are many racists out there not just from a particular race but from many races. There are many who like to talk down others because they think they are better. So, really, there is no need to blame on one another. But the worst type of racists are those who take the opportunity to degrade people while they are being tortured and have so much fun with it. In essence, they are the people who support racism and torture.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Mr Yoo’s advisory opinions, which the public seized upon as being chiefly responsible for water-boarding and giving GIs the green light for rough and ready procedures–some said torture–were issued while Iraqi security agents were using their version of the third degree on Iraqi and other Arab detainees. The Abu Graib prison actions, while nobody’s idea of fun and games, were hardly new methods in Iraqi interrogation and prison discipline. While ideally U.S. personnel should adhere to higher standards, Iraq and the Islamic world reacted with highly selective outrage to the treatment of Baghdad prisoners.

  • OH Great now anybody who doesnt like human rights violations or torture gets race baited by Republican plants…What a blog!

  • YOO Supports waterboarding of Asians among other things. Just ask the innocent Asians at Guantanamo.

    HE SAYS ITS OKAY or some BS LIKETHAT (Hence, I guess, the toilet paper).

  • JYu

    I’d like to clarify my comment posted yesterday.

    To someone like me who knows how torture FEELS like, I am certain no human would enjoy being tortured or would support torture unless it is deemed necessary.

    There have been many open discussions about torture relating to Gitmo prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in these few years. However, to my surprise, there have been very few discussions, if any, about the torture committed against individuals here in America on AMERICAN SOIL.

    That includes individuals who have not been charged with a crime or have been granted due process. By the way, what kind of crimes would warrant such torture to take place in a lawful society such as America’s? Especially, torturing individuals with some type of high-tech equipment, such as the one that’s BROADCASTED to the public (to the world) everyday for many years (at least two decades) now, and it is still happening today.

    I certainly do not support this type of torture. Hopefully, we can put an end to this event and such torture one day in a non-violent way.