On Saturday, May 17, U.C. Berkeley’s School of Law held its graduation ceremonies. As graduates approached Boalt Hall for the reception, they were greeted by protesters.

In fact, more than just “greeted” — they had to run a gauntlet of demonstrators just to reach the entrance to the party.

Why would anyone protest a law school graduation? Because Boalt Hall is home to controversial law professor John Yoo, who in 2002 co-authored memos which theorized that the President of the United States would not be liable under the War Crimes Act if under times of national emergency he sanctioned “enhanced interrogation techniques” to get information from terrorism suspects. Setting aside whether or not “enhanced interrogation techniques” count as torture, and whether or not Yoo’s opinions were legally sound, it should be noted that the Bush administration formally repudiated the memos, and the Supreme Court rejected some of Yoo’s arguments, so the memos’ actual importance seems to be wildly overblown. Yoo’s opinion seems to be based on the argument that Al Qaeda terrorism suspects are unlawful combatants and thereby are not protected by the guidelines of the Third Geneva Convention, which they themselves violate — so they would have no legal basis for complaint if they were mistreated in custody. I’m not going to get involved in the cacophonous debate over the significance of these papers, which have come to be called “torture memos” by Yoo’s detractors. The internet is awash in information — and even greater amounts of misinformation and disinformation — about Yoo’s opinions, so if you’re interested you can Google his name for an avalanche of conflicting claims. This photo essay is just a report on the protest of May 17, not a legal brief.

Most of the protesters seemed to be members of various communist groups — primarily World Can’t Wait, but also (as seen here) the Spartacus Youth Club, among others.

Also present was a large contingent of 9/11 Truthers.

In fact, if you looked closely, most of the pre-printed signs (even those carried by protesters with other affiliations) seem to have been supplied by the Truthers.

As it turned out, the protest had reached its crescendo hours earlier a few blocks away when attendees were filing into Berkeley’s Greek Theater for the commencement ceremonies. There’s no way I’m getting up at 7am on a Saturday morning to cover a protest, but luckily Paul Chinn of the San Francisco Chronicle was on hand to capture the early-morning action. I arrived just as the protesters departed the Greek Theater and relocated to the reception at Boalt Hall, creating a surrealistic parade of John Yoos down Gayley Road.

The shadows across Yoo’s face gave the (unintentional) impression that he was already behind bars, which is exactly what the protesters were wishing for. Should a professor be fired and jailed for expressing unpopular views? If he’s a conservative professor, a lot of people would apparently say “Yes.”

Photos of the Abu Ghraib scandal were propped up around the reception, a sure way to garner sympathy from all the parents and students trying to have a celebration.

And while the majority of celebrants tried their best to ignore the protest, a surprisingly large number proudly wore the orange ribbons handed out by World Can’t Wait at the entrance to the reception. Did these people even know they were identifying themselves with a radical communist group? Doubtful.

Back up on the sidewalk, even the BP furries made an appearance — last seen at the Oak Grove Tree-Sit Anniversary Protest.

As a final aside: I’ve more and more begun to notice a substantial amount of overlap among the various far-left political groups behind these protests. For example, this World Can’t Wait member protesting against John Yoo was also seen in my previous report as a member of “Queers for Palestine” at the Nakba-60 Palestinian Festival a week ago. A woman of many identities!

24 Responses to “Anti-John Yoo protest at Boalt Hall law school graduation”

  1. 1DesertSage on May 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm:

    Why does Lefty hate Asian people?

  2. 2beetlejuice on May 20, 2008 at 4:34 pm:

    She needs a date…

  3. 3yochanan on May 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm:

    frankly some of these creeps should be in getmo.

  4. 4Urban Infidel on May 20, 2008 at 4:47 pm:

    I wonder what the creeps in Gitmo would think of the furries….

  5. 5Spiny Norman on May 20, 2008 at 5:40 pm:

    “Defend the gains of the Cuban Revolution”? Gains? What “gains” are these that she think need defending?

    The only reason the Cubans aren’t the poorest people in the Western Hemisphere is because Haiti is such a shithole.

  6. 6Your Mom on May 20, 2008 at 5:55 pm:

    Did you notice that these protesters never protest real atrocities, war crimes, and inhumanity to man that occurs daily around the world? They only protest against the United States for imagined issues.

    There is a word for their behavior. Help me figure it out.

  7. 7Vince on May 20, 2008 at 6:10 pm:

    Just as Dennis Prager said… If these people call George Bush “evil,” what word to they reserve for the truly evil?

    If one has never seen oppression, has never seen injustice… then the most benign of problems become the most oppressive thing they know.

    Ask a Vietnamese refuge, or a Soviet immigrant, or a Holocaust survivor if they know anything about “oppression.” They would laugh at these moonbats, scoff at their naivete.

    Sad people, really.

  8. 8Asmodeus on May 20, 2008 at 6:44 pm:

    “Vince on May 20, 2008 at 6:10 pm:

    Just as Dennis Prager said… If these people call George Bush “evil,” what word to they reserve for the truly evil?”

    That word would be: Friend.

  9. 9Edward on May 20, 2008 at 7:14 pm:

    The girl carrying the “DEFEND the GAINS of the CUBAN REVOLUTION” sign has a smokin’ bod, but her face… It’s COUNTER E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N-ARY!

    And what gains? A 49 year dicatorship? One Bearded White Latino Man rule?

    The only Term-Limit in Cuba is mortality. More “gains” have been achieved since Fidel was forced to step down by declining health.

  10. 10Czarmangis on May 20, 2008 at 7:39 pm:

    Condoleezza Rice would kick all of their snotty little asses.

  11. 11Orange Bill on May 20, 2008 at 8:11 pm:

    That troofer girl may be hanging around with whacked out leftist loonies but she sure is hot,hot,hot!

  12. 12Ringo the Gringo on May 20, 2008 at 10:14 pm:

    Orange Bill,

    That troofer girl may be hanging around with whacked out leftist loonies but she sure is hot,hot,hot!

    No…she is not hot, she’s a troofer….she’s an idiot.

    She’s digusting.

  13. 13Ringo the Gringo on May 20, 2008 at 10:23 pm:

    Oy….digusting = disgusting.

    She’s a frump.

  14. 14XPLODEIT on May 20, 2008 at 10:34 pm:

    Thanks for the report on the freaks.

  15. 15psaturn on May 20, 2008 at 10:59 pm:

    Today I had a client who exclaimed we are living in a dictatorship in the USA. I said we are not. If we really were in one, you could not protest. The fact that one could bitch and complain about it, means we really are not in a dictatorship. I said that I lived in a real dictatorship and I know what I am talking about. He acknowledged me and agreed with me…

    Gee…some people do get things out there !!

  16. 16psaturn on May 20, 2008 at 11:00 pm:

    I meant, I USED TO LIVE in a real dictatorship…in Franco’s Spain.

  17. 17Killshot on May 21, 2008 at 6:00 am:

    If you took the psychotropics away from this crowd they would all make a nice, tho incompetent, softball team.

  18. 18N. O'Brain on May 21, 2008 at 7:43 am:

    “At its most basic level, liberalism is nothing more than childlike emotionalism applied to adult issues.”

    -John Hawkins, RWN

  19. 19Adam on May 21, 2008 at 9:48 am:

    “Your Mom on May 20, 2008 at 5:55 pm:”

    That’s not entirely true. For instance, many of those same protestors were demonstrating against the atrocities comitted by China against its own people and the people of TIbet when the Olympic torch passed through San Francisco. Still, most of the time, they do indeed appear to root for the bad guys.

  20. 20USpace on May 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm:

    Great pictures of many crazy people…

    absurd thought -
    God of the Universe says
    be a silly moon bat

    demonize conservative
    minority lawyers

    Chinese Torture Methods



  21. 21Me on May 21, 2008 at 9:01 pm:

    I’m still trying to figure out who the hottie is. The Asian chick? She looks like she might be cute, but come on, it’s a bit of a stretch to go with that with such intensity.

  22. 22hybrid_t on May 23, 2008 at 2:22 pm:

    please someone tell me what “BP” furries are? I don’t live in the Bay Area anymore… I’m out of touch.

  23. 23Jacksonville on May 24, 2008 at 2:54 pm:

    Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.

  24. 24Typical White Person on May 24, 2008 at 6:01 pm:

    Now that I’ve seen several of these reports, it seems to me “truthers” will attend just about any liberal protest, regardless of the subject. They strike me as exactly the kind of people who post off-topic, nasty rants in forums. Neither behavior indicates rationality at all.

    Oh, and what’s the point of dressing up like animals like the people in the next-to-last picture? That kind of thing definitely doesn’t tell me I should listen to what the people doing it have to say.