Flush human rights: Activist stocks campus bathrooms with torture toilet paper

By David Edwards
Thursday, April 22, 2010 8:54 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

Human rights are getting flushed down the toilet over and over again.


In an attempt to draw attention to the practices of former Bush adviser John Yoo, an activist at the University of California Berkeley School of Law installed toilet paper printed with the United Nations Convention Against Torture in bathrooms across campus Wednesday. Aiming to draw attention to Yoo’s support of so called Bush “torture” memos, the paper suggests to users that they’re party to flushing human rights down the toilet. Yoo became a professor at Berkeley following his stint in the Bush Administration.

“The regular toilet paper at UC Berkeley was replaced with our Yoo Toilet Paper brand,” activist Matt Cornell wrote on his web site, yootoiletpaper.com. “This irreverent act of protest was meant to draw attention to the ongoing consequences, of the torture memos.”

In a press release, Cornell wrote: “Each roll of toilet paper contains text from the United Nations Convention Against Torture, just one of the many laws that critics say Yoo violated when authorizing the use of torture against detainees.”

He added, “Cornell says that the irreverent prank is intended to remind Berkeley’s law students that Professor Yoo helped turned human rights laws into toilet paper.”

In interviews, Yoo has defended authoring memos which allowed the Bush Administration to practice “enhanced interrogation,” which critics decry as torture.

“We had to fight effectively a new type of war where intelligence was going to be a primary factor in deciding who wins,” he recently told US News. “Our government had to deal with the fact that getting information out of al Qaeda members was going to be the thing that decided if we were able to win the conflict. I don’t regret the answers we had to give. I would give pretty much the same answers now.”

Artist Matt Cornell created toilet paper “made possible” by John Yoo.

This video is from YouTube, uploaded April 20, 2010.

Watch this video on iPhone/iPad

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.