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John Yoo, Advocate of Torture, in Beverly Hills

April 13, 2011
CODEPINK LA
Los Angeles, CA




Ten of us handed our fliers about John Yoo while answering the questions of passersby about who this war criminal is. He advocated torture; we want him held accountable for crimes against humanity.

Although reports had come earlier in the day that the Spanish court had folded to US pressure to not try the Bush Six, our messages were clear: “John Yoo and the Bush 6 Must be Tried for War Crimes”, “Hold Yoo Accountable”.

Jeri came all the way up to LA from San Diego with her time worn sign: “Who Would Jesus Torture”. Our crowd was gathered just moments after three of us were escorted out of the Roma Café in Beverly Hills where John Yoo was addressing a tiny crowd of 10. His detractors outweighed his supporters this evening.

Sharon jumped from the table where she was casually eating appetizers in order to blend in. Yoo was passing by en route to a closed-off back room. “I am conducting a citizens arrest! You are wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity… you authorized the crushing of children’s testicles, Democracy demands a fully functioning legal system – one that does not bend to not so hidden pressures and political agendas…” She waved her CODEPINK handcuffs in the air and read from a fact sheet that we had written earlier in the day to include the latest setback from the Spanish court.

But despite the dismissal of the complaint against the Bush 6, on the streets of Beverly Hills the passersby were with us. Most people wanted to know who he was. To quote Berkeley Councilmember Max Anderson in the SF Chronicle: “John Yoo took a material involvement in the deaths and torture of untold numbers of people… The broken bodies, the broken spirits, the broken trust he wrought with his actions – that’s why they call these crimes against humanity.” With a bit of information they said okay, we get it, keep going with this.

And among those who already knew was a woman who approached to accept a flier and said, “Good for you ladies, keep it up, I am so proud of you.” And being Beverly Hills, there was an open-top tour van passing by. The tourists wanted to see our signs. We held them up and told the driver about John Yoo. Through his tour bus megaphone, as the van proceeded in traffic, we could hear, “John Yoo, war criminal… Wanted for against humanity… Member of the Bush Six… Advocated torture…”

We may have lost in the courts yesterday, but we won in the streets.

Kristen, Sanaa, Sharon, Jeri, Jeff, Kurt, Toby, and several more, plus Mike who took great photos, CODEPINK LA, World Can’t Wait, and friends of humanity

Check our Flickr page for more photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/codepinkalert/sets/72157626374993121/