Many students, civil libertarians and others say the university’s sanctions of Muslim students who disrupted Israeli ambassador’s speech are sufficient. Eleven students could face criminal charges.
February 2, 2011
More than 50 protesters — some with masking tape plastered over their mouths — rallied in front of the Orange County district attorney’s office Tuesday, objecting to subpoenas and a grand jury investigation that could lead to criminal charges against 11 students who disrupted a speech by the Israeli ambassador last year.
The Muslim Student Union, which denied planning to obstruct the speech, was suspended by the university for one year. It was one of the first instances in recent memory where the school recommended the ban of a student group for an action other than hazing or alcohol abuse.
Some have criticized the students’ method of protest, but the “Irvine 11” have gained widespread support from students, civil libertarians and religious leaders. A top UC Irvine administrator said that university sanctions were sufficient and that the district attorney should stay out of the case.