Shame in Irvine

Muslim students hating on Israel. No big story there. Eleven Muslim students decided to, one by one, stand up and interrupt the Israeli ambassador as he gave a speech at UC Irvine. The police escorted them out of the room for being disruptive. No big deal. Then, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas filed criminal misdemeanor charges against them for “disturbing a public meeting” and “conspiracy to disrupt a public meeting.”

“In our democratic society, we cannot tolerate a deliberate, organized, repetitive and collective effort to significantly disrupt a speaker, whom hundreds assembled to hear,” Rackauckas said in a statement. (source)

The students face a year in jail.

Think about that.

A year in jail for interrupting a speaker? Really?

Orange County must be a wonderful place to live, where the prosecutor’s office has nothing better to do than to try and put 11 kids in jail for expressing a political opinion. That must be a great place to be a comedian — hecklers will be thrown in prison. It must be a great place to be a politician, if someone yells “YOU LIE” while you are addressing a crowd, they go to jail!

Oh, wait, that rule only applies to swarthy and ruddy dirty Muslims.

I have no problem with dragging these kids out of the auditorium. But criminal charges for unpopular political speech? Wrong. Shame. Tony Rackauckas is our asshat of the week.

5 Responses to Shame in Irvine

  1. rahulandra says:

    its bout time for the third intifada

  2. Ken says:

    They’ve been convicted.

    I think that shouting a speaker down is vile, despicable, censorious, and an assault on freedom of expression.

    I also think that the criminal charges were disproportionate. If they had done it multiple times, they might be appropriate.

  3. […] Social There is such thing as proportionate punishment. If some students interrupt someone giving a speech, they should be removed from the place. But is sentencing them to jail appropriate? […]

  4. cb says:

    Tony Rackauckas also just brought murder and manslaughter charges against two police officers who beat a mentally ill homeless man to death — okay, almost to death, and he died in the hospital a few days later — so he gets a few points as a sort of a sometimes-okay asshat.

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