Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Free Speech Loses Again—Irvine 11 Case Will Not Be Tossed

A judge last week denied a motion to dismiss charges against the Irvine 11, a group of students from the University of California Irvine and Riverside campuses who disrupted a speech by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren at UC Irvine in February, the Daily Pilot reported today. The defense argued the laws cited by the Orange County district attorney's office were not applicable because the law only prohibits disruptions of meetings that are not political or religious in nature. Oren’s speech on U.S.-Israeli relations was clearly political. Judge Peter Wilson, however, disagreed.

The students, members of the Muslim Student Unions at UCI and UC Riverside, had been arrested and were later released. The university administration also temporary suspended the clubs and forced the students to perform community service. The D.A. also filed criminal charges accusing the students of conspiring to disrupt the public meeting. However, the students claim they had not planned on disrupting the meeting.

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