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Arresting Prof John "Torture Memo" YooFebruary 18, 2012
Bay Area CODEPINK
CODEPINK did a workshop at the Fresh Juice Party's Whistleblower Conference at the International House on the UC Berkeley Campus, right across the street from UC Berkeley Law School where "Torture Professor" John Yoo is teaching "Advanced Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers."
Our workshop was an action illustrating what CODEPINK does as part of our "Arrest the War Criminals" campaign -- street theater dramatizing what we'd like to see happen in the real world.
As we were waiting for the morning workshops to begin in the I-House auditorium with conference attendees, John Yoo (played by antitorture activist Ray McGovern wearing a John Yoo face mask) entered the room looking for some students. Musician Hali Hammer and Ingrid Kepler May, who were with our group, suddenly said "Isn't that John Yoo?" Quickly one after another of us started calling out "That's John Yoo!" "Hey, there's the torture professor", and "War Criminal John Yoo is over there!"
Then the cry went up to "Arrest him for torture" and "Hey, come on! Let's go surround him and make a citizens' arrest."
We all rushed over to make the arrest. Allan Michaan, owner of Oakland's Grand Lake Theater, whipped out a bright pink banner saying "Shame on Yoo!" and another person started surrounding the area with yellow crime scene tape. Then CODEPINK's Nancy Mancias got out her fuzzy pink handcuffs and cuffed Yoo.
And then, to our great delight, Attorney General Eric Holder stepped forward to tell Yoo that he was under indictment for complicity in torture! Holder was played by none other than Justice Party candidate for President of the United States Rocky Anderson, the former Mayor of Salt Lake City, and a prominent torture accountability and human rights activist. Holder/Anderson informed Yoo/McGovern of the indictment and why he was being arrested.
Yoo/McGovern kept protesting that he was only doing his job when he gave legal authorization to the military and CIA to violate the Convention Against Torture, the U.S. criminal code, and other U.S. and international laws that prohibit cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, including torture, of detainees.
But no matter how much Yoo protested, the arrest kept on moving forward. Torture accountability and CODEPINK activist Cynthia Papermaster put a black and white convict outfit on Yoo, and thanked Holder wholeheartedly and repeatedly for finally doing his job.