For several hours Saturday night, a loudly chanting line of two dozen protestors marched slowly back and forth across the entry of the Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf. Some wore the orange jumpsuits and black hoods representing the detainees – some wore giant human billboard signs denouncing torture as a war crime,and John Yoo as a war criminal who should be fired, disbarred, and prosecuted for his role in green lighting torture for the Bush Regime. The action was planned overnight, with activists learning of Yoo’s appearance at this conference only late the previous evening.
Although hotel security kept non-Republicans out of the convention proceedings, as Yoo rose to speak to his audience of several hundred, their welcoming applause was disrupted suddenly by thundering chants: demonstrators had discovered a (non-see-thru) glass wall between the auditorium and the street, and aimed their voices straight into the room: “TORTURE IS A WAR CRIME! JAIL JOHN YOO!” “GUANTANAMO GUANTANAMO! WAR CRIMES, WAR CRIMES…. ABU GHRAIB, ABU GHRAIB! WAR CRIMES, WAR CRIMES….” For all of Yoo’s 30-minute talk, dismayed College Republicans had to listen to their “hero” against a constant echoing string of truthful, powerful chants.