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.