imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Irvine 11

by Stephen Lendman Saturday, Sep. 10, 2011 at 5:01 AM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

state terror

The Irvine 11 - by Stephen Lendman

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.

They're called the "Irvine 11," even though three were University of California-Riverside students.

In recent years, southern California Jews called SC-Irvine a hub of anti-Israeli activism. The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) accused university officials of not confronting the issue.

Others call targeting Muslims when they speak out courageously the real problem, especially about Israeli lawlessness and injustice.

It's one thing calling them too outspoken or rude. It's quite another falsely accusing them of lawbreaking by exercising their free speech right.

In fact, if Jewish students confronted a visiting Muslin official, it would have gone unnoticed, no matter how many did it or what they said.

In 2009, ZOA also accused UC-Irvine's Muslim Student Union (MSU) of sponsoring an event to raise money for Hamas, asking the FBI to investigate. No charges were filed.

However, university officials accused MSU of coordinating with students to interrupt Oren's speech. As a result, in mid-June, they suspended the organization for a year, placing it on disciplinary probation.

At the time, attorney Reem Salahi, representing MSU, said the action would have a "massive chilling effect," adding:

"What does it mean to suspend an organization that represents hundreds of Muslims on campus? What (UC-Irvine is doing) is depriving those students of the right to associate."

"It's not only the punishment, but the vilifying of these students that's concerning. Whether it was rude is not the issue. The issue is that they were trying to air their (legitimate) grievances in a peaceful way."

She also said so-called evidence used was flawed, explaining:

"A lot of (it) was anonymous. We don't know who was testifying. A lot of the evidence was redacted. We don't know what was said in full."

We do know that UC-Irvine acted like an Israeli enforcer, defiling constitutional rights in the process.

On September 8, Los Angeles Times writer Lauren Williams headlined, "Irvine 11's trial begins with both sides citing 1st Amendment," saying:

The trial for 10 students began. In August, charges against the 11th were dropped. If convicted they face up to a year in jail, not for lawbreaking - for being Muslim in America at the wrong time, as well as challenging Israeli lawlessness.

At issue is why everyone doesn't do it and why Washington uses taxpayer money to fund it.

"Prosecutors said (students) 'shut down' ambassador Michael Oren, preventing him from freely exchanging ideas with those who went to hear him speak...."

"Defense attorneys argued that the students expressed political views in a legal protest and that prosecuting them infringes on their rights."

Orange County Deputy District Attorney Dan Wagner said defendants shouted scripted lines, calling him a war criminal. "They didn't want to have an exchange of ideas to see who was telling the truth and who was not. What their intention was, make no mistake, was to shut him down."

Defense attorney Salahi (one of six) told jurors precisely what students said, including:

"Michael Oren, propagating murder is not free speech."

They did it peacefully before walking out. They broke no laws. An unnamed UC-Irvine professor, father of one of the defendants, called prosecutors politically motivated, adding that they targeted students for being Muslims.

According to Father Wilfredo Benitez, Garden Grove St. Anselm of Canterbury Episcopal Church rector:

"This smells of persecution. In a free country....this should simply not be happening."

Mountaz Herzallah, father of one of the defendants, said he immigrated from Gaza "to have peace, dignity and honor." But Rackauckas "threw the Constitution in the trash" by filing false charges.

Irvine11.com presents a timeline of events as follows:

February 8, 2010

-- 11 students interrupted Oren's speech peacefully, accusing him and Israel of injustice;

-- afterwards, students received death threats as well as other racist slurs;

-- although they conducted themselves peacefully, they were arrested and threatened with academic punishment;

February 15

-- university Chancellor Michael Drake, Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, and others were petitioned to drop all criminal charges, as well as threatened suspension or expulsion;

-- West Bank Birzeit University's Omar Qassis (a student activist) wrote the students, saying:

"What you did was an expression that helped us inside Palestine feel proud, helped us feel united as a people, and helped us feel strong. You stood in the face of our oppressors and refused to let him whitewash the atrocities of his government, and you refused to let him justify the murder of our civilians and children, the destruction of our cities, refugee camps and villages."

"What I am intending to say is, thank you. Thank you for standing up for Palestinians' right to education. Thank you for standing up for justice. Thank you for risking your own education and future for the sake of others."

February 17

During a New Hampshire speech, protesters interrupted Obama. He responded, saying:

"Let me just say this though. Some people got organized to do that. That's part of the American tradition we are proud of. And that's hard too, standing in the midst of people who disagree with you and letting your voice be heard."

-- UC-San Diego's Associated Students unanimously passed a resolution, condemning UC-Irvine's disciplinary action.

February 22

-- 100 UC-Irvine professors urged charges against the Irvine 11 be dropped.

February 23

-- UCLA Associated Students passed a resolution, condemning charges and disciplinary actions against the students.

March 6

-- UC-Irvine alumna Marya Bangee condemned UC-Irvine's actions, commending the support groups gave the persecuted students, including:

(1) the Associated Students of University of California, San Diego (UCSD);

(2) Undergraduate Students Association Council of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA);

(3) Associated Students of the University of California, Berkeley (UCB); and

(4) Associated Students of the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

March 15

-- the advocacy Stand with the Eleven group published a response to Oren's open letter in New University, a weekly UC-Irvine publication.

March 18

-- UC-Berkeley's student senate passed a divestment resolution against Israel.

May 27

-- UC-Irvine suspended the Muslim Student Union (MSU) for a year;

-- lawyers representing MSU appealed.

August 31

UC-Irvine vice chancellor Manuel Gomez reaffirmed MSU's suspension.

September 2

MSU's suspension became official.

December 31

-- Its suspension was lifted ahead of schedule; it remained on probation for two academic years.

February 7, 2011

-- Orange County district attorney charged Irvine 11 students with two counts of misdemeanors as explained above.

March 5

-- Stand with the Eleven campaign's community call for action event featured attorney Reem Salahi, Father Wilfredo Benitez, Jewish Voice of Peace activist Rachel Roberts, Council for American-Islamic Relation, Los Angeles's (CAIR-LA) Hussam Ayloush, and Muslim Public Affairs Council's Edina Lekovic.

March 7

-- Stand with Eleven campaign released a supportive video.

March 11

-- over 150 supporters attended the pre-trial court session.

March 12

-- Stand with the Eleven campaign established an "offense/defense" fund with Muslims Lawyers Fund of America (MLFA).

April 9

-- a fundraising dinner featured distinguished speakers.

June 16

-- a motion to demur (dismiss) was dismissed.

June 17

-- a second fundraising dinner was held.

June 30

-- a decision on Attorney General Tony Rackauckas was considered; Irvine 11 lawyers demanded he be removed from the case; Deputy District Attorney Dan Wagner appeared in court for opening arguments.

An initial August 15 trial date was set. On September 7, it began. At issue, of course, is right v. wrong at a time Muslims are vilified for their faith, ethnicity, and suspicion of being a dangerous fifth column threat.

Follow ongoing events and actions on irvine11.com supportively for justice. In a post-9/11 world, it's very much in short supply, perhaps heading toward disappearing altogether unless good people stand firm to restore it.

A Final Comment

A previous article discussed the wrongful death sentence given Troy Anthony Davis, one of many innocent men facing capital punishment. Access it through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/05/troy-anthony-davis-unjustly-sentenced.html

Detailed information about him can be found at troyanthonydavis.org.

The state of Georgia set September 21st for his state-sponsored murder.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court wouldn't hear his final appeal.

Georgia's Board of Pardons & Paroles now is key. Shortly, it will hold a final clemency hearing. Without great pressure, it will let an innocent man be executed.

Sign the below-linked petition to save him:

http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=6645049&aid=12970&msource=W1109EADP01&tr=y&auid=9445274

It's his only chance unless Georgia's governor offers an 11th hour reprieve, what appears very unlikely.

America's penal system is notoriously unjust in cases involving Blacks, Latinos and Muslims, in contrast to America's elites. No matter how serious their crimes, they hardly ever run afoul of the law, and when do get off lightly.

Unless that's changed, justice denied always will be. It's up to people of conscience to demand otherwise by backing up their principles with commitment. It's the only way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Report this post as:

Local News

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen Heads to Portland, Oregon N20 8:39PM

Socialism in American English N20 12:04PM

Noske, noskisme réactualisé N20 11:29AM

Oprah Please Stop Selling Dead Animal Pieces N20 3:32AM

Down In Smoke SF N20 12:03AM

Credit Mr. Richard Enos with outstanding penmanship N19 6:08AM

Master list=====47 million american on foodstamp List State plus Federal N18 8:21PM

Cholesterol Medicine Causes Alzheimers N18 7:40PM

Lucifers Banker N18 7:38PM

Paraphysique du scientisme N18 9:19AM

USDA Withholds Names Of Turkey Companies Spreading Salmonella N17 7:51PM

Hebron, Ben-Gurion, and UNESCO N17 6:00PM

What Can Destroy Enclosure? N17 1:47PM

Please Help Mississippians Vote For Mike Espy On Nov 27th N17 7:42AM

The Incredible & Brilliant Work of Dr TOMO SHIBATA N17 5:19AM

October 2018 Honduras Coup update N16 9:22PM

Profit de guerre, guerre de profit N16 11:58AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen Heads to Seattle N15 7:22PM

Paraphysique du prodrome oukase N15 12:39PM

President Trump: Hurricane Relief Should not Pay Puerto Rico Debt N14 8:54PM

94 Of Rick Scott's, Brian Kemp's, the Mississippi GOP's & Other Republican Campaign Crime N13 9:42PM

30 Of Brian Kemp's Felonious Racist Vote Suppression Crimes N13 8:42PM

Help translation of From Islam To Womanism book on IndieGoGo N13 12:04PM

COP 21, 25, 32, de l'écocide organisé N11 11:45PM

fbi & fmj are ' Lord of the Flies ' N11 8:26PM

Parangon d'une grande infestation N11 12:03AM

Video: Beautiful Country Burn Again, 39 min N10 10:19PM

OBAMA WERE POW'S LEFTBEHIND IN AFGHANISTAN IRAQ AND LIBYA N08 7:57PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy