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March 19: A Day of Protests Against Iraq War

March 19, 2009
By Jennifer Mascia and Jason Grant
New York Times

On the eve of the sixth anniversary of the United States' invasion of Iraq, hundreds of protesters in New York City made it clear on Thursday that while they welcomed the change in American political leadership, they would not relent in urging President Obama to accelerate the withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq.

The protests were perhaps more muted than the massive demonstrations of years past, but no less fervent.

In Union Square, where about 120 people huddled together under the awning of a subway station, staying out of the rain, some protesters said that Mr. Obama, the new president, who as an Illinois state senator had opposed the war, had continued some of the Bush administration's most controversial policies.

Debra Sweet, 57, one of the protest organizers, said the Obama administration had continued the policy of secret renditions of terrorism suspects, and she called for "righteous anger at this occupation." Many in the crowd were high-school students.

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Bush policymaker escapes Berkeley's wrath

 

UC Berkeley Professor John Yoo, who crafted the administration's policy on torture, is teaching at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, where the protests against him aren't as intense.
 
By Susannah Rosenblatt, Los Angeles Times
February 11, 2009
 
In Berkeley, city leaders branded him a war criminal and human rights activists put up a billboard to denounce him. But in suburban Orange County, Professor John Yoo -- the primary architect of the Bush administration's policy on harsh interrogation techniques that many consider torture -- has found relatively calmer waters.

Yoo is a visiting professor at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, on leave from his tenured post at UC Berkeley to teach foreign relations law.
Although a handful of protesters, one in a Statue of Liberty get-up and another in an orange Abu Ghraib jumpsuit and hood, demonstrated against Yoo on campus recently, law students said they appreciate the prestige and exposure he could bring the law school.

But a small group of local activists said they hope to stir up anger at the 14-year-old law school in the thick of conservative Orange County.

"Our aim is to get the man fired -- he has no business being in our community," said Pat Alviso, 56, of Huntington Beach, who heads the Orange County chapter of Military Families Speak Out. Her son is a Marine serving in Afghanistan who completed two tours in Iraq.
Chapman law school alumnus Michael Penn agrees: "I think it's a black eye to the school. . . . To me, he's a war criminal."

Yoo, a former Justice Department attorney, achieved notoriety by crafting memos -- later withdrawn by the department -- that narrowly defined torture and argued that Bush's authorization of controversial interrogation tactics against Al Qaeda did not violate the Geneva Conventions. The memos justified harsh treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, including the controversial waterboarding technique.

"People obviously love having someone as accomplished as he is there," said first-year law student Roxana Amini, adding that she would have preferred a different visitor. "Since Chapman's relatively new, we're just getting our name more out there. . . . Any publicity's good publicity."

That seems to be what Dean John C. Eastman had in mind when he invited Yoo, a friend from their days as clerks for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to the Orange campus.

"We are working very hard at fostering a broad ideological diversity here at the law school," Eastman said. Another of Chapman law school's visiting professors this school year is human rights expert Richard Falk, who has criticized the war in Iraq.

Yoo, who has taught at a number of universities around the world, said he was eager for the chance to spend time on a smaller, newer campus and to experience living in Southern California. Students and faculty, he said, have received him amiably.

"At Berkeley," Yoo said, "if you had three or four people, weird people dressed up in costumes in the same place, that would just be like people in line buying coffee."

As a conservative voice on the liberal UC campus, and with reams of essays and articles blasting him, Yoo said he is accustomed to being in the minority.

"I certainly don't get upset about being criticized," said Yoo, sitting in his fourth-floor campus office. "I would feel I wasn't doing my job as an academic if I wasn't writing or saying things that other people disagreed with."

For the most part, students at the Chapman law school have taken Yoo's presence in stride. Even those who don't agree with Yoo's conservative-leanings aren't mobilizing for his ouster. Rather, they seem to welcome his policy experience.

"I think it's interesting to have him there," said Billy Essayli, a second-year law student who heads the campus California Republican Lawyers Assn. Still, Essayli conceded that he was surprised there wasn't a greater public outcry at Yoo's arrival in January.

Chapman law professor M. Katherine B. Darmer "vehemently" opposes Yoo's ideas on broad executive power, but respects that he has taken responsibility for his views. However, she wrote in an e-mail: "There are many other faculty members -- including others on the political right -- whom I personally would have chosen rather than someone who is so closely associated with the use of tactics such as waterboarding."

The Berkeley City Council, for one, isn't crazy about Yoo. In December, city leaders agreed to send a letter to the U.S. attorney general supporting prosecution of Yoo and other Bush administration officials for war crimes, and urged UC Berkeley to fire him if he is convicted of human rights violations.

A spokeswoman for Berkeley Law said that the university respects city officials' opinions but that the city can't direct university policy. Most agitation against Yoo comes from the community, rather than students, although some law students have worn armbands against Yoo at graduation, said spokeswoman Susan Gluss. Outside protesters crashed one of Yoo's classes at Berkeley several years ago and were escorted out by police; he's been a faculty member there since 1993.

The anti-war activist group World Can't Wait has been most active in organizing against Yoo. The group maintains a website in protest, FireJohnYoo.org, and hopes to stage panels and distribute petitions at Chapman.

Yoo's ouster is more relevant than ever, according to organizers, as last month President Obama ordered the closure of Guantanamo Bay and secret CIA prisons, and barred torture.

For his part, Yoo has stayed true to form since arriving at Chapman: Last month, he wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal criticizing President Obama, saying he had opened the door to future terrorist acts in the U.S.
 

 

College Republicans Crash Berkeley Anti-War Protgest

The Daily Californian, UC Berkeley (CA)
November 10, 2008

Contributing Writer


Tim Maloney/Photo
 
Members of World Can't Wait protest on Telegraph Avenue as police and passersby look on.

 

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Demonstrators Stage Waterboarding

 

Demonstrators stage waterboarding in the Quad, Oct. 30

The Inquirer, Diablo Valley (CA) Student Voice

Curtis Uemura

Issue date: 11/6/08

Political activists from World Can't Wait and Contra Costa Radical Action groups simulate waterboarding, the highly criticized interrogation method used by the U.S. government on suspected terrorists. This demonstration was held Oct. 30.

Media Credit: Adalto Nascimento

Students passing by the Main Quad at 12:15 p.m., Oct. 30, would have witnessed a young man being dragged through the crowd by someone wearing army fatigues.

"What do you know about Shaheem Pedir?" the man in fatigues repeatedly shouted.

With the help of two men dressed in shirts and ties, the captive was hustled into an orange jumpsuit and informed he had no rights.

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The World Can't Wait! No Matter Who Becomes President, Only YOU Can Stop the Crimes of Your Govt!

The World Can't Wait! No Matter Who Becomes President,
Only YOU Can Stop the Crimes of Your Government!

The crimes of your government are so deeply shocking that huge numbers of people in the U.S. want to put the hated Bush years behind. We must stop these crimes. But we can't vote them away.

YOUR GOVERNMENT, on the basis of outrageous lies, is waging a murderous and utterly illegitimate war in Iraq, with other countries in its sights.

YOUR GOVERNMENT is openly torturing people, and justifying it. YOUR GOVERNMENT puts people in jail on the merest suspicion, refusing them lawyers, and either holding them indefinitely or deporting them in the dead of night.

YOUR GOVERNMENT is moving each day closer to a theocracy, where a narrow and hateful brand of Christian fundamentalism will rule. YOUR GOVERNMENT suppresses the science that doesn't fit its religious, political and economic agenda, forcing present and future generations to pay a terrible price.

YOUR GOVERNMENT is moving to deny women here, and all over the world, the right to birth control and abortion.

YOUR GOVERNMENT enforces a culture of greed, bigotry, intolerance and ignorance.

Who is going to stop the fascist re-making of US society & endless war?

Not McCain. A McCain/Palin "victory" would mark a locking in of the whole fascist direction that has made 8 years of Bush a nightmare for the planet. McCain is himself a war criminal who dropped carpet bombs on Vietnam and has suggested staying in Iraq for "a hundred years of war." Palin is a religious fascist who won't accept the science of evolution, opposes abortion, calls the war on Iraq "God's will," winks at racist outbursts from her audiences and suggests that those who oppose her are "terrorists."

And NOT Obama, who:
IS PRO-WAR! He voted, as recently as June 2008, and every time he could, to fund the war in Iraq; 50-80,000 troops there until at least 2013, and plans to increase the size of the U.S. military by 92,000 troops. He says "We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission" in Afghanistan, where the U.S. military has regularly killed scores of civilians. Obama suggested that Bush launch missile strikes inside Pakistan, which Bush began secretly in July, killing scores of civilians. Obama threatens Iran with "all options" (including nukes).
IS FOR POLICE STATE SPYING! Voted for Bush's FISA spying bill which gave immunity to those who broke the law, and allows more government spying than Bush even asked for.
IS FOR RESTRICTING, NOT DEFENDING, WOMEN's RIGHT TO ABORTION! He will expand Bush's faith-based programs. Obama seeks "common ground" with religious fanatics who want to criminalize abortion and birth control.

Only you - not your government - can bring any of this to a halt. If you want these crimes to end, don't put your hopes in empty promises of "change." The whole world hopes to see the people in the U.S. break out of the killing confines of official politics and take things in a radically different direction.

We need an increasingly visible, independent political force of RESISTANCE, PROTEST, and ACTS of CONSCIENCE that people can join with and persevere with until this whole direction is stopped.

There is such a movement, but it's not big enough. The World Can't Wait! For the past three years, we have been resisting the fascist program of our government, and no matter who wins, we are not going away after the election!

No matter who the president is, stop the endless wars!

People of conscience must take responsibility for what their own governments do. Step UP as someone who won't allow these crimes. Stop thinking like an American, and start thinking like a human being!

The World Can't Wait

 

President Addresses General Assembly For Final Time

from NY1.com

Delivering his final address before the United Nation's General Assembly Tuesday morning, President George W. Bush reiterated his pledge to honor human rights and urge other nations to follow.

For years, Bush has criticized the U.N. as an indecisive and costly bureaucracy. But in his speech Tuesday, he stressed the need for multinational diplomacy and said the organization is needed more urgently than ever.

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November 2, 2005 Launches a National Movement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 30, 2005

www.worldcantwait.org

CONTACT: Connie Julian (917) 449-9064 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

THE WORLD CAN'T WAIT-- DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME

November 2, Launches a National Movement to Drive Out the Bush Regime.

No School, No Work

On the first anniversary of Bush's "re-election," a new movement is being born across the country with a single, practical objective: to drive out the Bush regime and its program of war, torture and theocracy. On November 2, people in 185 cites and campuses (at last count) will walk out of school and work and demonstration in city and town centers.

 

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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.