Confronting John Yoo in San Francisco

By the San Francisco chapter of World Can’t Wait

“ not a polite debate.
Torture is a crime against humanity.
Torture isn't just a war crime.
Torture is an abomination and a crystallization of everything John Yoo stands for…
It is your responsibility here to not sit politely while John Yoo speaks.” – protester, January 27, Commonwealth Club San Francisco

Wednesday night, January 27, “Torture Memos” author John Yoo was confronted by about two dozen protesters at the San Francisco stop of his national book tour for “Crisis and Command”.
Joined by Code Pink, We Are Change, 9-11 Truth and others, World Can’t Wait flyered outside the Commonwealth Club of California (sponsor of the event) and interrupted Yoo’s presentation inside, 7 times over the course of an hour, identifying the speaker as a War Criminal and denouncing the Torture State he continues to advocate, and challenging the event’s moderator to take a stand: “Professor Weiner, you may be a good person, an ethical professor… but why are you giving John Yoo legitimacy by speaking on the same stage with him?”

Torture is a war crime, and under Nuremburg [ ] lawyers who assist war crimes are guilty of war crimes. Yoo’s argument for executive privilege (that the President can do anything he pleases) carefully avoided the real issue of what that power was used for.

The audience response was mixed at first, but more and more applauded the disruptions as protesters were led from the room. I noted about a third of the attendees reading our brochure [ ], which exposes the lies hiding under the guise of  “war on terror” and properly identifies Yoo’s work as being a crucial weapon of a War OF Terror. We distributed about 200 brochures in total, and had some good discussions with people after the event, including in particular a Commonwealth Club member who expressed her outrage at Yoo’s statements and promised to complain to the Club for giving him a platform.
The event was recorded by NPR for future airing, and should be available as a podcast on the Commonwealth Club website [ ] soon.

John Yoo speaks for the criminals who set up a torture state. Who speaks for their victims – who speaks for the detainees at Guantanamo – at Bagram? Fire, disbar, and prosecute John Yoo, Bybee, Addington, and stop the secret renditions and torture NOW!

Main Reports on Protest & Resistance Confronting John Yoo in San Francisco


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.