Revolution #167, June 7, 2009

Thursday, May 28:

National Day of Resistance to U.S. Torture
Prosecute the War Criminals!

Grand Central May 28. Photo: Special to Revolution

Throughout May—especially on May 28, when Barack Obama had originally promised to release 2,000 photos of U.S. torture—protests took place around the country called by World Can’t Wait and others. There were protests in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia and Honolulu. In Benton Harbor, Michigan, where Bush was speaking, the local mainstream press quoted a protester saying, “We feel George Bush is a war criminal and he ought to be prosecuted,” and that the protesters were “trying to impress upon President Obama that he can’t just sweep the facts of torture that have taken place in America’s name under the rug.”

In Los Angeles, when Barack Obama spoke on May 27, he was met with protesters who got major coverage in the L.A. mainstream media. The LA Times quoted  Dennis Loo, a professor of sociology at Cal Poly Pomona and a member of the national steering committee for World Can’t Wait, saying, “In terms of national security and state policy, Obama and Bush are one in the same.” And, “In fact, Obama is extending the war in Afghanistan and into Pakistan. A lot of people feel betrayed because they expected something different from him.”

At many protests, like at New York Grand Central Station, people wore orange jumpsuits and black hoods, and displayed photos of U.S. torture.  A “Museum of Torture” in San Francisco brought to light the horrific forms of torture that were legalized and legitimized by the torture memos. In Philadelphia, protesters did a waterboard demonstration outside the Philadelphia Inquirer where architect of torture John Yoo now has a guest column every week. In New York, protesters marched from Grand Central to the National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP) 35th Anniversary Gala and Award Dinner where John Negroponte, who helped orchestrate the United States-backed Contra campaign of terror against the Sandinista government and peasants in Nicaragua, was scheduled to give the George F. Kennan Award for Distinguished Public Service to war criminal General Petraeus.

(reports from contributed to this report)

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