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The Irvine 11 - by Stephen Lendman
Muslim students being prosecuted for exercising their First Amendment rights.
On February 9, New York Times writer Jennifer Medina headlined, "Charges Against Muslim Students Prompt Debate Over Free Speech," saying:
On February 8, 11 Muslim students interrupted Israeli ambassador Michael Oren's University of California-Irvine speech, criticizing him and Israeli injustice. In fact, they exercised their fundamental First Amendment right doing so.
Nonetheless, Orange County "District Attorney Tony Rackauckas....filed misdemeanor criminal charges against (them), accusing them of disturbing a public meeting and engaging in a conspiracy to do so."
Afterwards, the Southern California ACLU sharply criticized him. In addition, about 100 faculty members urged him to drop the charges. He refused.
Orange County is a hotbed of right-wing extremism, reflected in its district attorney, acting more like an Israeli enforcer than defender of constitutional rights.
During Oren's speech, students rose one at a time to interrupt, finally getting Oren to "huddle with his aides to decide whether to continue. He did, but by the time" he ended, all 11 students were arrested.
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