Press Releases


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

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Contact: Linda Jacobs (415) 424-7358
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ATTN: Daybook/News Desk

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

Artists, Scholars, Writers Gather to Discuss "U.S. Empire, Islamic Fundamentalism: Both Deadly. Is There Another Way?"

Press Advisory

April 25, 2011

Contact: Debra Sweet
 718 809 3803

Discussion of Alternatives to Both U.S. Intervention and Islamic Fundamentalism

What:  Artists, Scholars, Writers Gather to Discuss "U.S. Empire, Islamic Fundamentalism: Both Deadly. Is There Another Way?"

Where:  Tishman Auditorium, The New School, 66 W. 12th Street, New York City

When:  Wednesday, April 27 6:30 pm

Iraqi artist Wafaa Bilal, NYU professor Sinan Antoon, Laura Lee Schmidt of the Platypus Affiliated Society, Revolution writer Sunsara Taylor, and Gregory Wilpert will speak at The New School in New York City  on their views of what people of conscience should do in response to the state and direction of the world. The event, on Wednesday, April 27, is co-sponsored by the Platypus Affiliated Society and World Can't Wait, is  free and open to the public. 
Speakers will address the need to oppose both the U.S. government's claim of the right to militarily intervene in any country in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa as well as to oppose Islamic fundamentalism and theocracy.

Debra Sweet, Director of World Can't Wait and organizer of the event, states, "Is there an alternative to both empire and Islamic fundamentalism? At a time when the uprisings in the Middle East have given renewed hope to many, there is a chance to break through this impasse and to explore, debate and frame the possibilities of a different way, adding to the urgently needed political oxygen that the peoples of Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere have injected into the atmosphere."

Message from Pro-Choice Movement: Dr. Leroy Carhart is a Hero

Press Advisory
January 22, 2010

Contact: Debra Sweet

What:  Public Abortion Rights Presence in Support of Dr. Leroy Carhart
Near:    Germantown Reproductive Health Services
13233 Executive Park Terrace Germantown, Maryland 20874
When:     Sunday January 23, 2010

Dr. LeRoy Carhart, long-time colleague of Dr. George Tiller, the Wichita Kansas doctor assassinated by an anti-abortion activist in May 2009, was named “Target #1″ of Operation Rescue, after Tiller’s death.  Dr. Carhart, in addition to expanding services at his Abortion and Contraception Clinic of Bellevue, Nebraska, recently began providing “advanced gestational” abortions in suburban Washington D.C.  The clinic has been targeted by anti-abortion protesters.

On the eve of the annual anti-abortion march on the Supreme Court in Washington, Operation Rescue, the group who surrounded Dr. Tiller’s clinic for years, and others will hold a rally outside Germantown Reproductive Health Services where Dr. Carhart practices.  World Can’t Wait  is cooperating with the National Organization for Women and other abortion rights activists to gather near the clinic in a “show of visible support for Dr. Carhart and his courageous lifetime of service to women.”

Debra Sweet, Director of World Can’t Wait, stated, “Abortion is not murder, fetuses are not babies and women are not incubators. Dr. Carhart has devoted his life to providing women with crucially needed reproductive healthcare in the face of incredible intimidation. He is a hero to everyone who cares about the humanity of women.  He is unapologetic and bold about the service to women he has devoted his life to, and has repeatedly challenged repressive laws restricting women’s rights, including two Supreme Court battles.”

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At Jon Stewart’s Rally for Sanity, Anti-War Activists Say: Stop the Crimes of Your Government

Press Advisory
October 29, 2010

Contact: Elaine Brower 917-520-0767

At Jon Stewart’s Rally for Sanity, Anti-War Activists Say: Stop the Crimes of Your Government

What: Protest Against Continuing War Crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan & Pakistan
Where: Washington, DC, Constitution & 7th Street
When: Saturday October 30 at 12 noon

Washington, DC: Activists with anti-war organization World Can’t Wait will gather in Washington, DC for comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally for Sanity & to Keep the Fear Alive. While rally organizers have called for a “million moderates” to express dissatisfaction with the tone of national political debate, anti-war activists plan to express opposition to both the Tea Party movement as well as the continuing war crimes carried out by US forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Elaine Brower, mother of a Marine who served multiple tours in Iraq, and member of World Can’t Wait, said, “the choice between the racist, fascist, and homophobic tea party and a war-mongering Democratic leadership is no choice at all for the majority of humanity.” She and other anti-war organizers will bring a large papier mache representation of a Predator Drone to the rally in DC, similar to what is being used on hundreds of bombing and surveillance missions in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Recent media attention has focused on incidents of violence and hate speech coming from Tea Party candidates, while the Obama administration has quietly placed a US citizen on an assassination list without charges or trial. In addition, whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has released new internal military documents showing numerous war crimes including torture and thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of pursuing investigation of these incidents, the Obama administration has arrested a US soldier accused of leaking this information and threatened news organizations for publicizing the revelations.

The mission statement of World Can’t Wait, founded in 2005, states: “the fascist direction initiated by the Bush regime… will not be reversed by leaders who tell us to seek common ground with fascists, religious fanatics, and empire. It can only be possible by the people building a community of resistance - an independent mass movement of people - acting in the interests of humanity to stop, and demand prosecution, of these crimes.”


Dissident Soldier Ethan McCord and Pardiss Kebriaei of CCR to Speak in New York City

Contact: Debra Sweet, 866.973.4463 
Elaine Brower, 917.520.0767
Speakers are available for interviews
Dissident Soldier Ethan McCord and Pardiss Kebriaei of CCR to Speak in New York City:
A Discussion of “Collateral Murder & Targeted Assassination”
When: Wednesday, October 20, 7:00 PM
Where: LGBT Center, 208 West 13
th St., NYC
This program will also be live webcast at:
New York, NY – Former US Army Specialist Ethan McCord, who was a member of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, will speak about his experience in the 2007 helicopter attack in Baghdad, shown in a leaked video released last April by WikiLeaks.   The video publicized as “Collateral Murder”, will be screened.  McCord will recount his story as he was on the ground rescuing civilians in the aftermath of the incident. 
Last July, McCord spoke about the video to attendees at a United Nations Peace Conference. "If this video disgusts you, it should," he told the audience. "It happens daily in Iraq. ... The rules of engagement in 2007 when this happened was, 'If you feel threatened by anybody, you're able to engage that person.' Many soldiers felt threatened just by the fact that you were looking at them, so they fired their weapons at anybody who was looking at them, because 'I felt threatened.'" 
"We were told that if we were to fire our weapons at people and we were to be investigated, officers would take care of you," McCord continued. "We were given orders for 360 degree rotational fire whenever we were hit with an IED. We were told by our battalion commander to kill every motherfucker on the street. ... If you didn't fire, the NCOs in your platoon would make your life hell." 
This week McCord released further videos gathered in Iraq showing systematic abuse of detainees in Iraq. 
He states, "I started to 'acquire' these videos and some pictures once I realized that what we are doing in Iraq is wrong," McCord wrote on Wednesday in a blog entry at "These videos are of detainee abuse. Not the type of abuse that’s physical, but the mental, emotional, degrading type." 
Pardiss Kebriaei, staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, is challenging the Obama administration's targeted assassination order on Anwar Awlaki, an American citizen residing in Yemen. The lawsuit brought by Awlaki’s father seeks a court order enjoining the President from assassinating his son with no due process. Ms. Kebriaei will discuss this case, as well as the “state secrets” argument presented by the Obama administration’s continuing justification of the Bush doctrine. 

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.