War criminal John Yoo got protested by more people than he attracted in two appearances today. His presentations were
disrupted with questions at least six times, and a venue was wrapped in yellow “crime scene” tape.
150, maybe more, came out in Charlottesville to protest John Yoo’s appearance at the University of VA as part of a book tour on Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush.
Local peace and accountability activists did newspaper ads, posters, and lots of preparation so that students and others knew that Yoo was coming. A small number of students joined the protest; but more came by to talk to us and see what the protest is about. Other youth did a “Funk the War” march on the STOP TORTURE theme.
While protesters gathered in a park across from a 3:30 pm lecture, a few went inside, and, one by one, called Yoo a war criminal, calling him out for promotion of aggressive war and torture as war crimes. Yoo’s customary remark when he’s met by protesters that “Berkeley has followed me here” turned out to be true, as several of the protesters came from the Bay Area.
When I spoke to the crowd about our responsibility to the people of the world, who can’t wait to stop these crimes, two people in orange jumpsuits and hoods stood with me. Afterward, police told them it was illegal to wear masks in the city, and threatened to arrest them if they weren’t removed. Cindy Sheehan grabbed one of the hoods, and wore it when she spoke about having met men who had been detained in Guantanamo under harsh conditions.
David Swanson, Ray McGovern, Mike Ferner, Susan Harmon, Ann Wright, Shahid Buttar, and Mark Lane also spoke to the crowd, before we marched to the hall where Yoo was speaking, and attempted to enter. A dozen city cops blocked the way.
Some rest now before the big protest tomorrow. You can join this movement: in the streets and through supporting the $10,000 fundraising effort underway now, that will fund the We Are Not Your Soldiers tour.