Anti-Torture Protesters Say “Torture Lawyer” Not Fit to Teach Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

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PHOTO OPS: Protesters, Graduates Denounce Torture

Anti-Torture Protesters Say “Torture Lawyer” Not Fit to Teach Law

Protest Demonstration: FIRE, DISBAR and PROSECUTE JOHN YOO
    Friday, May 13, 2011
    9:00-10:00 AM Outside Hearst Greek Theater, Gayley Road, UC Berkeley
    12 Noon to 1:30 Outside Boalt Hall during the Reception

For a fourth year, the UC Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) commencement ceremony will be the site of protest initiated by the national organization World Can’t Wait and other anti-torture organizations, lawyers, and activists.

World Can’t Wait organizer Stephanie Tang said yesterday: “Boalt harbors a known war criminal on its faculty, and the University of California leadership as a whole is responsible for this total breech of academic and ethical responsibilities to its students and to the public.  On Friday we’ll greet the graduates, inviting them all to join the fight to end America’s torture program, and end UC and Boalt’s complicity with it.”

Yoo was a tenured Boalt professor on sabbatical when he worked as a key legal architect for the Bush-Cheney administration, designing illegal torture policies and practices (.e.g, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib).  Most recently he has been in the media spotlight calling the death of Osama bin Laden proof that America’s torture program “worked.”  Since January 2010, UC and Boalt officials have assigned Yoo’s classes to secret campus locations to avoid unwanted attention.

A national campaign by legal, activist, and religious organizations has for several years called for the officials dubbed “The Bush Torture Team” to face prosecution for designing and ordering torture, a war crime.  Frequent protests and arrests in the Bay Area and elsewhere continue whenever Yoo or other Bush-Cheney team members appear publicly.

“We speak out because justice and the law mean nothing if the torturers walk free, enjoying academic respectability and public celebrity while their victims go unheard,” said Curt Wechsler, editor of FireJohnYoo.org.