Irvine students found guilty for protesting Israel ambassador await sentencing

Ten University of California students were today found guilty of on charges of “conspiracy” and “disrupting” a public meeting for a February 2010 protest against Israeli ambassdor Michael Oren.

The Irvine 11 case (there were originally 11 defendants) became a test of the limits of freedom of speech.

The Electronic Intifada’s Nora Barrows-Friedman has been in court for much of the trial and providing full coverage.

The students and their lawyers were due to hold a press conference during while they awaited resumption of the court session so that sentencing could be scheduled.

Barrows-Friedman will post a more detailed report later today.

Barrows-Friedman and other Twitter users were in court today when the verdict was read, and live-tweeted some of the reactions:




They and their supporters just don't get it, because they continue to show a lack of any understanding of the 1st Amendment and the rights in America that they seek to trample upon. As Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Irvine's law school, so aptly stated, "There's no free speech right to disrupt an event. ... It's not a matter of free speech because there's no free speech right to shut someone down." That is the fact none of these people can comprehend as they blindly shout that their 1st Amendment Rights are somehow violated.

The simple concept that they cannot comprehend is that while they had every right to hold a peaceful protest outside the event (but that is not the type of people they are), they had no right to enter in order to disrupt and prevent the event. They showed they are actually opposed to free speech, not faslely claimed supporters of free speech. Democracy and free speech live, not die, by the correct verdict. If they held an event to support their rhetoric, and it was interrupted by a planned conspiracy to prevent their event and speech, they would want to have those responsible arrested. These people did not "st[and] up against the face of oppression" as they spout -- they are seeking to oppress rights of others that they disagree with. It is called hypocrisy.