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'Irvine 11': UC Irvine says it supports free speech

September 23, 2011 | 11:53 am

Photo: Fr. John Conrad stands with people from many faiths and cultures for to support the "Irvine 11" during a gathering of community leaders outside the Central Justice Center. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times UC Irvine is reacting to the verdict Friday against 10 Muslim students guilty of two misdemeanors to conspire and then disrupt a February 2010 speech by the Israeli ambassador to the United States at the campus.

"UC Irvine, which fully and actively supports the lawful expression of free speech, completed its disciplinary procedures in this matter last year and considered those sanctions sufficient," the university said in a statement. "We nurture a campus climate that promotes robust debate and welcomes different points of view."

PHOTOS: 'Irvine 11' trial

The trial centered on conflicting views of who was being censored. Prosecutors argued that Ambassador Michael Oren was “shut down” when his speech was interrupted by students who took turns shouting preplanned phrases in a crowded UC Irvine ballroom.

Six defense attorneys argued that the students, seven from UC Irvine and three from UC Riverside, were only following the norm of other college protests and were being singled out.

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-- Nicole Santa Cruz and Mike Anton

Photo: Father John Conrad stands with people from many faiths and cultures Monday to show support for the "Irvine 11" during a gathering of community leaders outside the Central Justice Center. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

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