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Protesters who disrupted Israeli ambassador at UC Irvine charged by prosecutors

The Orange County district attorney’s office on Friday charged 11 defendants with conspiring to disrupt a meeting and a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the United States at UC Irvine last year.

The move comes after about 50 protesters rallied in front of the Orange County district attorney’s office Tuesday. Though some have criticized the students’ method of protest, many said that university punishment was sufficient enough for the “Irvine 11,” as the students came to be known.

In a statement, Orange County Dist. Atty.Tony Rackauckas said the case was filed because of an “organized attempted to squelch the speaker.” He also said the students “meant to stop this speech and stop anyone else from hearing his ideas, and they did so by disrupting a lawful meeting.”

“We must decide whether we are a country of laws or a country of anarchy,” he said. “We cannot tolerate a pre-planned violation of the law, even if the crime takes place on a school campus and even if the defendants are college students. In our democratic society, we cannot tolerate a deliberate, organized, repetitive and collective effort to significantly disrupt a speaker who hundreds assembled to hear.”

The Muslim Student Union, which denied planning to obstruct the speech, was suspended by the university. It was one of the first instances in recent memory in which the school recommended the ban of a student group for an action other than hazing or alcohol abuse. Individual students were also disciplined by the university.

The Feb. 8, 2010, incident sparked a debate about free speech at the campus after a group of students disrupted a speech by Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Oren was shouted down repeatedly, and supporters cheered as students were escorted away by police.

The students are accused of meeting with other members of the Muslim Student Union to discuss options to respond to the speech as far out as six days before the event.

According to prosecutors, students circulated e-mails and held multiple meetings to plan the disruption of the speech. One of the students is accused of sending an e-mail to the MSU-UCI message board announcing that “we will be staging a University of Chicago Style disruption of the Ambassador’s speech.”

Approximately 500 to 700 people had assembled for the meeting, authorities say.

Eight of the defendants are students at UC Irvine and the other three were students at UC Riverside. Each is charged with one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to disturb a meeting and one misdemeanor count of the disturbance of the meeting. If convicted, they could be fined and/or sentenced to probation with community service or six months in jail.

The students will be arraigned March 11 in Santa Ana.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Comments () | Archives (144)


You want Muslim rights. OK, lets impose Shiri law and stone them to death. Happy now?

the DA said it well: are we nation of law or anarchy, especially the anarchy imposed by political correctness? Many of the supporters of the MSA student will assume that those who disrupted are to be indicted because they were Muslim. Not true: they will be indicted because the broke the law and conspired to break the law.

the corrupted regimes, both Shah Iran and Mubarak of Egypt ARE MUSLIM TRAITORS!, supported by zonist US and Israel.
More than a million gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square as massive countrywide protests are held against President Mubarak.
Source : Aljazeera

Ben Franklin quoted "God helps those who help themselves."

Allah will not change a condition of a people, until they change themselves

(Quran 13:11).

Out of humanitarian ground, Iran ready to aid injured Egyptians
Thu Feb 3, 2011 4:32PM

The OC prosecutor is pandering to (some) public opinion on this issue. There is no justification for turning this into a criminal case--what the kids did was wrong, and they have been punished for their actions, but it wasn't criminal. Let them go!

The irony is that had they protested in the manner in which the ladies in the picture above did, there message would have more effective. Sometimes silence is louder. All they gained with the tactic they employed of coordinating to silence the voice of their "opposition" is a greater scrutiny and re-enforcement of the stereotypes of extremism they are trying to combat.

"We can do anything we want, we're college students!"

Animal House 1978

Of course, on the other hand, do you know that Palestine is ringed at every entry point by Israel soldiers? In order to enter anywhere in Palestine from an outside country, one needs to provide documentation to Israelis in order to enter...and you may not get permission to enter.

Not exactly proactive, eh?

This is an abuse of power by the DA's office, pure and simple, and it must be stopped.

All heck would break loose and everyone would be screaming if someone tried to stop a muslim from speaking...
Nobody is above the law.


Not enough jaywalkers, muggers or corrupt politicians? Rackauckas has to spend taxpayer money on this?

When zionist students disrupted George Galloway's talk, no action was taken at all. Not academic discipline, nothing.

If Michael Oren would have been from any country other than Israel, the D.A. would not have taken it this far. Goes to show you that pro-Israeli bias and influence is not limited to our state legislature and the U.S. Congress.

Where is talk of "intolerance" from our "political leaders?" Hyprocrites!

Give them felony records. Deport them. They're all using aliases anyway. Deport them.

Deviant Drew is talking about his homosexual desires in public again. Make him stop!

This is part of a larger campaign to criminalize Palestinian activists and those who support Palestinian self determination in the US. It is now a crime to organize for Palestine. As they are now saying in the Middle East (Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen etc).."Game Over".... Many of us citizens of the US are fed up with the double standard and blatant disrespect for human rights in Occupied Palestine and the stifling of voices for a just peace (and our tax money going to fund it all. These students were investigated by the University and disciplined. It will not stop the thousands of people who organize in this country to end Israeli Occupation. Enough already. Like the late historian Howard Zinn has said, how can u have a war on terrorism when war is terrorism (criminalizing Palestinian activism in this country is part of that terrorism).

I wonder if the DA is fishing for money from the Jewish community to run for higher office? At a time when city and county governments are letting violent criminals make plea deals because their is no money to try or incarcerate them Rackaukas wants to try these students. I would like to ask him if Jewish Students had behaved in a like manner towards say, the President of Iran, would he be as zealous. I know what he would say, but I also know that he wouldn't do it. This is just more institutional anti-Muslim acts committed for personal glory by a right-wing bigot.

That's why they call it the Orange Curtain. Maybe Mubarak could run the O.C. and show them how suppression is really done.

Talk about real injustice. People protest speeches all the time. UC Berkeley, Chicago and all over the world. Nobody stupid. They are being persecuted because they're muslims and the speaker is a jew. People should stand up to this kind of discrimination by the O.C DA office. Allowing such injustice to carry on endangers us all and our rights. Talk about bias. Shame...This should never be allowed, not to mention those students future career and studies being jeopardized. What a mess.

Nothing was ever done to the original Tea Party men who stood up at town hall meetings on healthcare and shouted down any speakers 2 years ago......

Censorhip is censorship.

Be aware that more of this is coming. At the behest of the Zionist Organization of America (visit their web site), the US Civil Rights Commission has adopted a formal regulation stating that on-campus debate over the legitimacy of the State of Israel constitutes racial harassment of Jewish students. The Commission will be suing in Federal court to defund universities that permit such debate. This is only the beginning.

"Steve" Are you referring to the disrubtion of Ahmadinejad's speech at the Durban Review conference in Geneva, Switzerland by French Jewish students?

Ok.. I've waited long enough to comment.. I've read the articles.. I've seen the comments.. Now I have my own. We are in America. Whoever else is here must follow our laws. That includes the Constitution.. and the right to freedom of speech. That does NOT mean to interrupt others who are speaking freely. I say if you don't like our laws and abide by them, go back to wherever you came from. If you were born here then you're also no diff. than anyone else anyways. You do the Crime.. you pay the Time. What's the Big Deal?

Deport them!
Fight Islamic Imperialism!
Stop the Islamization of America and Europe!

So some of you believe in tolerance. How about vice a versa? Did these academians learn tolerance at their university. Are we a nation of bigots or a nation that allows differences of opinion to be heard? These Muslim students did not extend that courtesy to the speaker. These muslim students are bigots.

Stop all immigration. they all bring their baggage here. Don't we have enough of our own issues. You want to protest go back home and kill each other.

The Muslims intent was to drown out a person from from Israel, to make him unheard, to take away his freedom of speech.

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