Report from SF Bay Chapter: Confronting Torture Professor John Yoo at California College Republicans State Convention

 For several hours Saturday night, a loudly chanting line of two dozen protestors marched slowly back and forth across the entry of the Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf. Some wore the orange jumpsuits and black hoods representing the detainees – some wore giant human billboard signs denouncing torture as a war crime,and John Yoo as a war criminal who should be fired, disbarred, and prosecuted for his role in green lighting torture for the Bush Regime. The action was planned overnight, with activists learning of Yoo’s appearance at this conference only late the previous evening.

TV news cameras caught the sunset footage of the demonstration and interviewed World Can’t Wait speakers [see footage – add link to Channel 2?] – which aired in juxtaposition with comments by College Republicans praising Yoo and claiming that torture isn’t really torture. (The College Republicans are a campus organizing wing of the David Horowitz school of fascist thought, and actively mobilize for it in this area, for example by promoting the annual Muslim-bashing hate speech of “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” and in flag-waving counter-protests at anti-war events. They invited John Yoo to their state conference to be greeted as a “hero…tell behind the scenes stories we really want to hear…”
Many of the tourists from other countries who happened upon the scene expressed strong sympathies with World Can’t Wait’s message, were glad to see the action, and gave words of encouragement.


Although hotel security kept non-Republicans out of the convention proceedings, as Yoo rose to speak to his audience of several hundred, their welcoming applause was disrupted suddenly by thundering chants: demonstrators had discovered a (non-see-thru) glass wall between the auditorium and the street, and aimed their voices straight into the room: “TORTURE IS A WAR CRIME! JAIL JOHN YOO!” “GUANTANAMO GUANTANAMO! WAR CRIMES, WAR CRIMES….   ABU GHRAIB, ABU GHRAIB! WAR CRIMES, WAR CRIMES….” For all of Yoo’s 30-minute talk, dismayed College Republicans had to listen to their “hero” against a constant echoing string of truthful, powerful chants.


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.