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Controversial Yoo still attracts protesters

By Gina KimJohn Yoo

John Yoo didn't set out to become the face of torture.

But that's what happened after the former attorney in the George W. Bush administration wrote memos justifying the expansion of presidential powers - including how the government treats suspected terrorists - following the 9/11 attacks.And it's a label that continues to stick to the 43-year-old Yoo, who has since returned to teaching constitutional and international law at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Anti-war Leaders at the United States Social Forum Condemn U.S. War on Afghanistan, No Matter the General or Strategy

June 24, 2010

Press Release
                                                                                                    Contact: Elaine Brower 917 520 0767
                                                                                                                   Worldcantwait.org
 
Anti-war Leaders at the United States Social Forum Condemn U.S. War on Afghanistan, No Matter the General or Strategy
 
What: Rally & march against US war on Afghanistan
When: Thursday June 24 3:00 pm
Where: Cobo Hall, front doors
 
Gathered in Detroit today for the US Social Forum, anti-war leaders will address Barack Obama’s replacement of General Stanley McChrystal with General David Petraeus and condemn his strategy of expanding the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. 

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Life with Father

by Peter Stevenson June 28, 2010

 
The other evening, two sisters sat in the back yard of their Park Slope brownstone and talked about their childhoods.
“We never felt safe,” Emily, a blue-eyed thirty-one-year-old with dirty-blond hair, said.
“Our father was always sharing with us his distrust of government,” Sarah, a thirty-three-year-old brunette with brown eyes, added.
“Some kids fear ghosts and monsters,” said Emily, who had on flip-flops and red toenail polish. “I feared the police, the President, and the F.B.I.”
Sarah (flip-flops, gray toenail polish) said, “All our father’s stories about Attica, about Wounded Knee—”

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Gulf Emergency Protesters Present Demands to Unified Command Center, New Orleans

June 21, 2010
Press Release
                                                                                                            Contact: Larry Everest 504 644 7214
 
Gulf Emergency Protesters Present Demands to Unified Command Center, New Orleans
 
25 people mounted a spirited protest today in New Orleans, embodying the determination of Saturday’s Gulf Emergency Summit which resolved to get out the truth about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, and to build mass independent action to stop it. This is the first time protesters went into the offices of the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command Center, which recently moved from Roberts, LA.

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Obama Embraces Clean Energy, Pledges to Make BP Pay

From Environment News Service

WASHINGTON, DC, June 16, 2010 (ENS) - In a speech from the Oval Office Tuesday night, President Barack Obama stressed that the federal government is in control of the response to the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and that the responsible party, BP, will do as the government directs the company to do. "We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused," he vowed yet again.

The larger lesson to be learned from this spill, emphasized Obama, is that now is the time for America to transition to clean energy and away from fossil fuels.
"The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now," he said. "Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash America's innovation and seize control of our own destiny."

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Emergency Summit Organizers Denounce Obama’s Gulf Speech: “Utter Failure to Stop Gulf Oil Catastrophe” – Call for “Broad Peoples’ Response”

 

June 16, 2010
Contact: Larry Everest 504-644-7214                                                                 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Emergency Summit Organizers Denounce Obama’s Gulf Speech: “Utter Failure to Stop Gulf Oil Catastrophe” – Call for “Broad Peoples’ Response”
 
Organizers of the Gulf Emergency Summit refuted President Obama’s Tuesday night speech:

* "The claim that BP will soon capture 90 percent of the gushing oil is likely yet another in a 59-day string of government and BP deceptions about the magnitude of the blowout and the effectiveness of BP’s "fixes." Just today the size of the gusher was increased to between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels a day – 60 times what BP and the government initially claimed. Some experts warn oil could be pouring into the Gulf for months more," said Emergency Summit organizer Larry Everest. 

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Actors, Writers, Performers, Lawyers Say President is Wrong to Target U.S. Citizen for Assassination

 Press release from the national office of World Can’t Wait

 
The May 27 issue of the New York Review of Books, appearing on newsstands tomorrow, will run a statement signed by hundreds criticizing Barack Obama for continuing civilian deaths in the global war on terror begun by the Bush administration.
 
The statement, published as a paid ad, opens by challenging the president’s plan to assassinate a Muslim cleric now living in Yemen , a U.S. citizen. 
 
“In the past few weeks, it has become common knowledge that Barack Obama has openly ordered the assassination of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, because he is suspected of participating in plots by Al Qaeda. Al-Awlaki denies these charges. No matter. Without trial or other judicial proceeding, the administration has simply put him on the to-be-killed list.”
 
Bill Quigley, a law professor at Loyola University of New Orleans, and a signer of the statement wrote Monday, “Murdering anyone in the US is a criminal act that is prosecuted regularly in courts across this country. Why should secret cold-blooded murder by government forces outside the U.S. be treated any differently?”
 
The statement goes on to say, “Such measures by Bush were widely considered by liberals and progressives to be outrages and were roundly, and correctly, protested.  But those acts which may have been construed (wishfully or not) as anomalies under the Bush regime, have now been consecrated into “standard operating procedure” by Obama, who claims, as did Bush, executive privilege and state secrecy in defending the crime of aggressive war.”
 
Among the signers are Edward Asner, Noam Chomsky, James Cromwell, Daniel Ellsberg, Donald Freed, former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel, Chris Hedges, Kathy Kelly, Ray McGovern, Tom Morello, Michael Ratner,  Rev. Dr. George F. Regas, Mark Ruffalo, Cindy Sheehan, Sunsara Taylor, and Cornel West.

Reports from Protesting the 7th Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq

Anti-war protester
Debra Sweet
Elaine and Matthis arrested
We Are Not Your Soldiers!

Racist bigots with the "Tea Party Movement" aren't the only ones in the streets, as we proved March 18th - March 21st with coast to coast protests against the wars and torture the U.S. is still carrying out.

What has this war meant for the people of Iraq? Despite 7 years of "shock & awe" for the people of Iraq, their nightmare of US invasion is not over... 7 years of bombs and home-raids, repeated massacres of whole families.

One of the speakers at the protest in Chicago was Fatma Hindi, a former professor of journalism at the University of Baghdad and now an Iraqi refugee working with the Refugee Center for Hope in Chicago:

"I have not [got anything] to say because I want to scream, because I want to cry," said Hindi, whose sister's family in Iraq was killed in an explosion two weeks ago and who was herself both kidnapped and raped before finding a safe haven in Chicago. "I want to thank you so much because you are here with me now."

The war and occupation of Afghanistan was never justified & must end also.  ONLY the people can do this; only through mass visible protest, not hemmed in to official politics can we bring these horrors to a halt. In doing so, we give heart to the people of Iraq & Afghanistan and all over the world.  These wars are being carried out in our names and it is our responsibility to stop them.

Report from the ground in DC by Debra Sweet
Some people from Toledo, OH put up a huge display memorializing the 5,400 soldiers killed, as well as the million+ in Iraq. There's a class of Cal State students here with their professor. They're coming from different backgrounds and different majors: women's studies, art, film... we sat down and talked about John Yoo and what's behind the protest of him tomorrow night. They wanted to know - what does it take to put together a movement like this?

There was a press conference today - the AP and Washington Post came out. A reporter asked us if it's harder to stage a protest movement against Democratic presidents. We all know the movement isn't where it should be. But on the other hand this is the first time when we're marching across the country in a big way against Obama's wars.

There are thousands of posters up around the city for the march on Saturday. ANSWER has $9,000 in fines for putting them up but they are fighting this political repression and not accepting it.

What World Can't Wait is bringing into the mix:
We have to take people back to the basics: this was a preemptive, aggressive, illegitimate war, and we need to end it. We've been right all along: this wasn't a "dumb" war, this was an unjust war - a crime against humanity! We are marching Saturday to take responsibility for the future and to stop the crimes of our government. Look what it's led to, seven years later.

As for the war in Afghanistan - it is now truly Obama's war. The current military offensive is the biggest offensive in the history of the war and has led to repeated killings of dozens of civilians. It is being done in our name but is not about saving the people of Afghanistan. The torture state continues - these are crimes. In fact, the situtation is worse under Obama. People are being detained indefinitely, tortured, held in isolation and force fed in the most inhumane ways. Now, denied the right to defend themselves in Bagram prison in Afghanistan.

Cindy Sheehan was interviewed on Democracy Now! on Friday, and then she, I and others were on Free Speech Radio News talking about the anti-war movement.

Then, we went to protest John Yoo at the University of Virginia law school. He was in fine form as usual, telling David Swanson that there was nothing that could stop the President from nuking U.S. cities.

There were thousands marching in DC. Read AP report. Watch the AP video. Watch the local video coverage:

Video

Report from Debra, March 28th. Watch Debra's speech

You can read Debra Sweet's speech here. After the march, several protesters were arrested in front of the White House, including Cindy Sheehan, Elaine Brower, and Matthis Chiroux. They were in jail for more than 48 hours, disrupting Cindy's ability to lead the Camp Out Now protests on the following days. Read Matthis' account of why he burned the U.S. flag, and why he doesn't regret it. Watch the video:

Protesting at the White House

More photos from Washington, DC and around the country

Reports from World Can't Wait Chapters in:
Los Angeles
San Francisco
Chicago
Seattle
Hawai'i

Seattle Anti-War Protest on 7th Anniversary of Invasion of Iraq

Emma Kaplan   High school students

On Sunday March 21st in Seattle, hundreds gathered to protest the illegitimate wars and occupations. We got mainly positive response from people on the sides of the streets and some joined in the march on the spot. The We Are Not Your Soldiers flier was tremendously popular and people really like that we are doing something to actually STOP the wars instead of just dissenting against them. Teenagers in particular were interested and had though about military recruiting some but weren’t sure how to go up against it. There was an ex-school teacher who really were glad to see us out there, recalling the days when recruiters would come into the schools completely unopposed and try to suck on youth to join the military. He hated it but also wasn’t sure how to go up against it. We had 4 high school students join our contingent, all very energetic and wanting to do something that would contribute to stopping torture and the war. One high school woman said, “ I was in second grade when 9/11 happened and this is all we have really known.” Another high school student said, “You always hear about 9/11 but they don’t teach you in school why it happened, what led up to it (referring to what the U.S. does in the world), it wasn’t until my freshman year that I really started to understand this.” People are frusterated but they are also inspired to see others criticizing what Obama is doing and there largest applause came when we said that millions of people need to stay in the streets until Bush, Cheney and all war criminals are prosecuted and sent to jail for war crimes. People also expected to be more college students from the student strikes but this did not translate. One young woman said, “Maybe they are not coming out because this doesn’t affect them directly.” The approach some of the organizers had was to try to show that the war affecting students directly by building for the action by saying money for education not for war and occupation, thinking that would convince them to come out. However, what was compelling those who wanted to stop the war and have consistently been out in the streets have been those who have an understanding about what the reality of these wars are, the atrocities that are committed against the people in Iraq & Afghanistan and seeing that these are a part of wars for empire.

This is what needs to be brought out to people. One student said, “ If somebody could convince us that these wars are wrong, who’s to say we can’t convince the world.”

Hawai'i Anti-War Protest on 7th Anniversary of Invasion of Iraq

NO WAR  Picasso banner

About 15 people holding banners and signs demanding an end to wars, occupations and torture lined a busy intersection in Honolulu on Saturday. Response from passers-by was overwhelmingly positive. Many people walking by stopped to thank us, shake our hands, and even say "everyone should be doing this".  But when we invited them to join us most said they were busy (and headed to Hawai`i's largest shopping center across the street).   Many people honked their car horns or gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up.  Trolley drivers clanged their bells, and many tourists on the open-air trolleys waved in support.  Japanese tourists held up cameras and cell-phones and we're confident that the messages on our banners went far beyond our state.

The turn-out for the signholding was disappointing, but not surprising.  We had not built for this protest as broadly as we usually do.  Some supporters said they had been discouraged with the number of people responding to recent anti-war protests and didn't want to feel discouraged again.   But for those who came, it was heartening to hear and see the support of the people passing by and to know that the demand to end the war resonates with the majority, even while the ability to transform this sentiment into action remains elusive. 

Main Media Press & Press Releases

About

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.