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“No Torture” Week Brings Top Experts to Berkeley To Denounce Torture

A grassroots campaign in Berkeley is drawing national attention to an upcoming week of public educational events, art events and political protests to take place. Now declared the official “Berkeley Says No to Torture” Week by the Berkeley City Council, the week-long series of panels, debates, and cultural events will bring together in one program for the first time:

British journalist Andy Worthington, who has documented the cases of all 774 Guantanamo detainees -- Marjorie Cohn, past president National Lawyers Guild – Ray McGovern, human rights activist after 27 years as a CIA analyst – Debra Sweet, director of World Can’t Wait -- Shahid Buttar, Bill of Rights Defense Committee -- Jeffrey Kaye and other prominent psychologists – Argentinian torture survivor Patricia Isasa – Peter Selz, founding director Berkeley Art Museum – Ann Wright, retired Army colonel – Chicago people’s lawyer/author Jeffrey Haas – devorah major, former poet laureate of San Francisco -- Louis Vitale, anti-war Catholic priest – writers Justine Sharrock, Barry Eisler and Rita Maran – and more.

For full schedule and more information:

“Reckoning with Torture,” a staged reading of recently declassified documents – legal memos, FBI emails, and testimonials by detainees – was originated by the ACLU and the American Pen Center. This West Coast premiere production of “Reckoning” will be performed on stage by civil liberties leaders, poets and actors on October 15 at UC Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall).

On their website the organizers say: “[We] are condemning the American torture program made infamous to the world through the leaked photographs from Abu Ghraib and a wealth of damning evidence marshaled in recent years through the work of journalists, legal and civil rights forces, and filmmakers. Under the regime of Bush/Cheney, their program of nightmarish war crimes was committed in our names then – but illegal torture and abuse, and the shredding of basic legal and human rights for whole “enemy” populations, is continuing now, long past Bush and under the new Democratic administration.”

The “Berkeley Says No to Torture” Week is a collaborative project of World Can’t Wait, National Lawyers Guild (San Francisco), Progressive Democrats of America, Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, National Accountability Action Network, Code Pink, Fire John Yoo, Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee, Rev. Kurt Kuhwald, Beyt Tikkun Synagogue, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Flashpoints Radio (KPFA), Haiti Action Committee, La Raza Centro Legal, Moe’s Bookstore, Revolution Books, School of the Americas Watch(SOAW) East Bay & SF, Fr. Louis Vitale OFM, War Criminals Watch, Al Young (California Poet Laureate Emeritus) and more.



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