The first day of school can be rough for professors as they meet their students and start their courses for the semester. But former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo also had to deal with protesters gathered yesterday at University of California Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law in order to make it to the front of his civil law class this semester.
The protesters shouted “war criminal” at the tenured professor and “torture” memo author as he entered the law school building, The Associated Press reported. The demonstrators told The AP that Yoo should be prosecuted for war crimes, disbarred and dismissed from the university for his role in authorizing waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods.
Demonstrators also had a mock arrest of Yoo, according to The AP. A few wore black hoods and orange prisoner suits like the detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison photos, the news wire said.
“There is little doubt that John Yoo is a war criminal,” said civil rights attorney Dan Siegel, according to The AP. “John Yoo went to Washington and created the ideological, political and legal basis for the torture of innocent people.”
Yoo paid little attention to the protesters, according to The AP. Campus police arrested at least four people who not vacate the law school building, the news wire reported.
Berkeley law school Dean Christopher Edley Jr. said he would not consider dismissing Yoo unless the former Bush official was convicted of a crime. Read Edley’s 2008 statement here.
Yoo’s course is one of the law school’s most popular classes and is oversubscribed with 34 students on the waitlist, according to the San Francisco News.
The civil law class is the first course Yoo has taught at the Berkeley law school since 2008. He was a visiting professor at Chapman University School of Law in Orange County in the spring.