The Irvine 11 Go On Trial Monday
The trial was originally slated for Aug. 15 but was delayed because the attorneys and the Orange County district attorney’s office were not ready, One News Now reports.
These students from University of California, Irvine and University of California, Riverside are each charged with one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to disturb a meeting and one misdemeanor count of disturbance of a meeting.
During Oren’s Feb. 8, 2010 speech at UC Irvine the defendants stood up one at a time and called the ambassador a “mass murderer” and a “war criminal,” according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The disruption was organized to protest actions in Gaza. Oren walked off stage twice.
The eight defendants who were students at UC Irvine were members of the Muslim Student Union, which the university suspended for a year.
If convicted, each student could face up to a year in jail. Lesser punishments, such as probation with community service and fines are also possible.
Only 10 students will actually go on trial as charges against the 11th, Hakim Nasreddine Kebir, were dropped in exchange for completion of 40 hours of community service, according to ABC.
Kifah Shah, a spokesperson for Stand with the Eleven Campaign, an organization that is signing up supporters to attend the court sessions, said that the students were “being treated like criminals because they’re Muslim,” on the organization’s website.
Organizations such as the American Civil Rights Union deny this and claim that the defendants are not protected under the law.
"I think the prosecution will win the case because the evidence is overwhelming that these students, ahead of time, planned to disrupt the speech, carried out their plan, and pretty much ruined the speech," Robert Knight of the American Civil Rights Union told One News Now. "It's all on tape."
Mosques in Southern California have sponsored prayer services in support of the defendants. A Sunday night prayer service was held in Garden Grove where Muslim students gathered to show their support for the students, ABC reports.
Reach Hannah Madans here.
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