- Tony RackauckasOrange County District Attorney
Ask the OC DA to Remove Himself from the Irvine 11 Case!
Join the “Irvine 11” in calling for the immediate dismissal of the Orange County District Attorney’s office from their case on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct. In the year-long criminal investigation, the OC DA secretly issued illegal subpoenas and obtained broad search warrants in its alleged felony investigation. In the course of this investigation, the OC DA acquired and relied upon both private and privileged information, in direct violation to the Irvine 11’s constitutional rights. Further, the OC DA acted with discriminatory intent as evidenced by internal documents labeling the case as the “UCI Muslim case” and by public statements made by District Attorney Tony Rackauckus and his chief of staff, Susan Schroeder, insinuating that the students were anti-Semitic and comparing them to the Ku Klux Klan.
In a packed courtroom in Santa Ana, CA, nearly 200 community leaders, students, parents and interfaith leaders gathered to support the eleven UC Irvine and UC Riverside students, who were set to be arraigned for one count of misdemeanor conspiracy to disturb a meeting and one count of misdemeanor disturbance of a meeting for peacefully protesting a speech by Israeli Ambassador, Michael Oren, at UCI more than a year ago. The attorneys for the students requested that the Orange County District Attorney’s office be disqualified and replaced by the California State Attorney General Kamala Harris. The judge continued the arraignment to April 15th. The hearing for the motion to disqualify the OC DA has not yet been scheduled.
After the arraignment, Irvine 11 defense attorneys, Jacqueline Goodman, Robert Hickey, Daniel Mayfield, Reem Salahi, and Dan Stormer, UCI Professor Irene Tucker, Rabbi Haim Beliak and Ali Mohammad Sayeed (one of the 11 students facing prosecution) held a press conference in the courthouse to discuss the case and the arraignment.
“The Orange County District Attorney is absolutely wrong in interjecting himself into this process and attempting to criminalize these students who did not commit any violence, did not resist arrest, did not engage in property damage and did not voice hate speech,” Salahi said. “These students merely stood up and expressed deeply rooted political dissent in a manner that was peaceful and tempered.”
Tell the Orange County District Attorney's Office to dismiss itself from the case and bring in California's Attorney General!
- Orange County District Attorney
On February 8th, 2010, Israeli ambassador Michael Oren spoke at UC Irvine. During his speech, 10 students individually spoke out and were arrested. An eleventh student was arrested as he attempted to leave the room along with a number of other students. All eleven students acted peacefully and did not resist arrest. No person or property was damaged in the course of the protest and Oren was able to complete his speech. The Irvine 11 have already been subjected to extensive administrative proceedings other and faced harsh repercussions.
Despite the university’s internal proceedings, the your office has subpoenaed six UCI Muslim students and compelled them to testify before a grand jury. A grand jury, with its secrecy provisions, can only exacerbate fear and division among the students at the University.
The apparent intention of the your office to file criminal charges against the Irvine 11, and possibly against other students including those subpoenaed, is excessive in extreme. Not only is the possibility of criminal charges extreme, but it also unprecedented and creates a chilling effect on student activism and student protest nationwide. Universities have the cherished tradition of being free marketplaces of ideas where students are encouraged to voice their opinions on a range of significant issues. For this reason, it is highly unjust and vindictive to criminally reprimand students for protesting in a non-violent and non-threatening manner.
As a concerned community member, I ask that you immediately remove yourself from this case, as has been recommended by the Irvine 11's attorneys.
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