Petition Closed
Petitioning Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
This petition will be delivered to:
Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas

Stop the Prosecution of the 'Irvine 11'

Orange County District Attorney, Tony Rackauckas, is prosecuting UC Irvine students who protested the speech of Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.

The "Irvine 11" have already been subjected to administrative proceedings and possible sanctions by the University administration. The Muslim Student Union (MSU) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), was suspended for one quarter and continues to face probation for two academic years. Despite the University's internal proceedings, the District Attorney subpoenaed six UCI Muslim students 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.

We believe that the Orange County District Attorney's decision to file criminal charges against the Irvine 11 is excessive and extreme. No person or property was damaged in the course of the protest, Ambassador Oren was able to complete his speech, and the students have already undergone disciplinary proceedings by the University. Not only is the possibility of criminal charges excessive, but it also creates a chilling effect on student activism and student free expression nationwide. Ask  DA Tony Rackauckas to stop the prosecution of the students and focus on real criminals rather than innocent students who implemented their rights as citizens.


Letter to
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
We, the undersigned, urge the Orange County District Attorney's office to drop its prosecution of the the eleven students, known as the Irvine 11, who last year protested the speech of the Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren. The Irvine 11 have already been subjected to administrative proceedings and possible sanctions by the University administration. The Muslim Student Union (MSU) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), was suspended for one quarter and continues to face probation for two academic years. Despite the University's internal proceedings, the District Attorney has subpoenaed six UCI Muslim students 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.

We believe that the decision to file criminal charges against the Irvine 11 is excessive and extreme. No person or property was damaged in the course of the protest, Ambassador Oren was able to complete his speech, and the students have already undergone disciplinary proceedings by the University. Not only is the possibility of criminal charges excessive, but it also creates a chilling effect on student activism and student free expression 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.

We call on the OC District Attorney to have a proper regard for justice and to not criminalize students whose only "crime" was expressing their sincerely held political views in the form of a protest.

We look forward to your reply at the responses email below.