Free Speech Triumphs Over Irvine 11

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Prior to the trial, the defendants’ attorneys argued that charges should never have been filed, noting that the issue had been handled on campus. UC Irvine did cite, release and discipline the individuals involved, they revoked the Muslim Student Union’s charter for a quarter, and they placed the student organization on two years of probation. Other community members claimed the trial was a waste of taxpayer money and that the defendants were singled out because they are Muslim.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, who conducted a news conference after the trial, wasn’t buying any of it. ‘Today, an Orange County jury sent what I believe to be a strong message that First Amendment rights belong to everybody, and we will not tolerate a small group wanting to shut down speeches on a campus or anyplace.” He dismissed the bigotry angle as well. ‘It’s not Islamophobic; it’s not against or for any particular group,” Rackauckas said. “This is strictly about the rule of law and not allowing one group to shut down another. And, if it was the opposite and it was an Israeli group shutting down a Muslim group, we’d do exactly the same thing.”

He further noted that the First Amendment is not absolute, and that it does not include the right to cancel out someone else’s exercise of free speech. “If heckler’s veto was allowed, then no one would have the right to free speech. Freedom does not mean that no one can tell me what I can do. That’s not freedom; that’s anarchy,” he said.

Rackauckas also took issue with defense lawyer Jacqueline Goodman’s characterization of the students as “heroes” who acted in the “tradition of the finest American political activists.” “They’re not being civil rights heroes, they’re actually being an opposite of that,” he countered. “They’re trying to stop somebody from exercising their civil rights.”

Undaunted by the verdict, defense attorney Jacqueline Goodman vowed to appeal. “We’re going to stand up and fight this,” she said, “even if it means going to the Supreme Court.”

Shalom Elcott, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation & Family Services, Orange County, and one of the sponsors of Oren’s UCI talk, released a statement praising the verdict. “The verdict reaffirms that the Muslim Student Union’s planned and systematic use of disruptions to trample on the free speech of others crossed the moral, social and intellectual line of civility and tolerance. While we accept the right and requirement of a public institution to provide an unfettered forum for diverse points of view, we do not, nor will we ever, support ‘hate speech,'” it read.

The legal essence of this case turned on the point at which one exercise of free speech constitutes censorship or suppression of another exercise of free speech. But other implications are clear. Politicized Islam, particularly on campuses, is an aggressive movement, and the Muslim students involved in this case have adopted the totalitarian tactic of “shouting down” a speaker with whom they disagree — or worse, engaging in a level of disruption or intimidation that prevents a speaker from speaking at all. Sadly, they have convinced a number of young Americans that such tactics, which they use to promoting racist, anti-Semitic demagoguery, are legitimate forms of free expression.

Roqayah Chamseddine, whose Web site identifies her as a Lebanese-American based in the United States, expressed the essence of that demagoguery. “I hope they don’t think the guilty verdict will cause us to stop mobilizing, disrupting, smashing apartheid; we’re going to get louder.” Mobilizing? Mobilize away. Disrupting and smashing? Orange County prosecutors have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that decent Americans no longer have to tolerate anarchy masquerading as free speech.

Hopefully other prosecutors will follow their lead.

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  • Sam

    This article is way better than the many the L.A Times wrote, great reporting!

  • Chezwick_mac

    We've made martyrs out of these bastards. I'll bet two or three go on to have political careers.

    The ideal solution would have been expulsion from UCI, but that would have required a spine from the jellyfish who administer that hapless university.

    • Flipside

      I know, right? They should have had felony convictions and their eyes burned out.

      • Hank Rearden

        You are confusing the US of A with a muslim country.

        • Flipside

          So is Chezwick.

          • Chezwick_mac

            I lament the prosecution of these kids, wishing instead that they had been dealt with by the university, and you – in your penetrating analysis – liken this to advocacy of physical torture.

            You're very deep, Flippy.

  • StephenD

    Chez is right. They should have been banished to obscurity. Bringing this issue off campus may actually have propped up their “cause.” Now, they’ll have “air time” through appeals, discussions, etc. instead of being waved aside as they should have been. Kick them out and rescind the charter for the student association. Be done with them.

    • Flipside

      That’s a bit of a conundrum dating back to Farrakhan. How can Zionists punish their enemies privately and without making a scene?

  • Lyone

    Chez may be right–but it was also important to have set a legal precident (however that is spelled). We have to get some decisions on the books for law makers to cite in their rulings.

    • Flipside

      I love when law makers make rulings.

  • Raymond in DC

    When the punishment is limited to a few hours of community service, I don’t see that the right message has been sent. Jail time, however brief, followed by deportation for those who here on visas would have made clear there is a price to be paid for such behavior.

  • Infidel Task Force

    " This is the beginning of the death of democracy.”

    I disagree……!!
    I believe this is the death of the Islamic suppression of free speech.

  • guest

    send them to a pork packing plant

    • NotaBene

      Not big on that whole 'no cruel and unusual punishment' thing in the Constitution, are you?

  • maturin20

    Hilarious that people are being convicted for their speech and that's a triumph for free speech. Hilarious.

    • logdon

      Somehow maturin, I don't think you're up to speed with the argument.

      They were shutting down Oren's perfect right to speak by their hostile heckling. That's not free speech, it's plain demagoguery.

      Get that?

      • Flipside

        But what is stand-up comedy without hecklers?

        • logdon

          By that I infer you're suggesting Oren is a comedian?

          How droll.

        • Foolster41

          Gee, what a surprise you are for suppression of freedom of speech as well. One would never guess from your neo-nazi-esque Jew hating conspiracy theories and apology for oppressive Muslim terrorists and sponsors of terror.

      • blueline

        But they didn't shut down Oren's speech… they interrupted it, but he gave his full lecture. President Obama was interrupted by some crazy guy who shouted some craziness and called him the anti-christ in Los Angeles. I sincerely doubt if he will be prosecuted by the DA.

      • maturin20

        I get that free speech doesn't mean freedom from interruption. Anyone with kids knows that.

        • logdon

          There was a point in Christian history when debate raged around how many angels would fit on the head of a pin.

          This is one such moment.

          Free speech is an ability to make a point without being shut down. Those Muslims had an active agenda to barrack Oren, thus shutting down his access to the rest.

          Ergo, they were intent upon curtailing Oren's perfect right to make his point. That is not free speech. It is the tactic of an organised mob.

        • aspacia

          He had the platform and the Muslims did not wait for the question and answer session; they only made fallacious ad hominem attacks. Their intent was disruption not dialogue and you d@mn well know it.

          • maturin20

            I don't know that, I wasn't there.

          • aspacia

            Watch the video. Their only intention was to insult Oren and Israel.

          • maturin20

            A video is not the same as being there.

          • aspacia

            Did you even bother watching it?

          • maturin20

            Nope. I clicked the link, but then my bacon started burning.

          • aspacia

            Typical Lefitist: "I know what I know; do not bother me with the facts.

          • maturin20

            A video is not a fact.

    • sedoanman

      Help me out. If everyone is shouting at each other, is there free speech?

      • maturin20

        I'd say so, yeah. There's an abundance of rudeness, but these shoutfests tend to tire themselves out quickly if left alone.

    • aspacia

      The prevented another person free speech thus violated the law.

      • maturin20

        But they didn't. Oren finished his speech and went to a basketball game.

        • aspacia

          Oren could not continue giving his speech while they were in the room. He only finished after security escorted them from the building. They were trying him from giving his speech, which is illegal.

          Additionally, they were not interested in dialogue only insulting Oren and Jews.

          • maturin20

            Insults are protected under free speech, and it's not illegal to disrupt someone else's speech. It's an implicit risk that any speaker takes when they address a public audience, and good speakers know how to use it without resorting to arrest. Like I said, the whole event worked out for everyone, and the subsequent court case seems needless and stupid.

          • aspacia

            They sure are, along with criticism of any person, concept or faith. Too bad most Muslims resort to violence when faced with valid criticism of Islam.

            The point is that Oren was invited to speak, and was paid for this. Many people went to hear him speak and not be rudely interrupted. When any person or group intentionally disrupts a paid for event, this violates the speakers right to earn her/his pay, the university's right to gracefully host a speaker, and the polite audience members right to hear the speaker without interruption or personal insult.

            The university has every right to be insulted and every right to expel these mendacious, disruptive students. Oren has every right to be insulted. The audience has every right to be both insulted and angry when these immature, angry students prevented them from hearing the speaker without rude interuptions.

          • maturin20

            Speakers have no right to earn pay, nor universities a right to host, nor audiences a right to lack of interruption. They have expectations, not rights. They certainly have the right to be insulted and angry, just like I'm insulted and angry when I see people talking to each other during a movie, but it doesn't mean you take them to court. I think the defense's argument was on point here, about discourtesy not equating to breaking the law. Seems like the judge gave out about the right sentence, too, given the guilty verdict. The jury are the jerks in this case, but what do you expect? People are so fragile these days.

          • aspacia

            You just made it to Flipped status with this ludicrous claim: "Speakers have no right to earn pay, nor universities a right to host, nor audiences a right to lack of interruption."

            That is, you have just lost any credibility.

            What a fool

          • Foolster41

            Like Flipside, they beleive that everything that is good (capitalism, freedom of speach (from interuption or hosting people to speak on subjects), resistance to islamo facism) is evil and evil is good.

          • maturin20

            Too kind. But I note that you haven't provided a substantive response. I appreciate you exercising your right to insult, though.

          • Foolster41

            Not substantive? How about this, you, like Muslims and far-left leaning liberals believe in micromanaging governments with total power that oversee when, where and how people may make profits, express their freedom of speech (including withholding protection of from hecklers and regulating when people may be asked to appear at public functions)

            To which we, the free people reply: hands off.

          • maturin20

            I don't believe any of that.

          • Foolster41


            You said: "Speakers have no right to earn pay, nor universities a right to host, nor audiences a right to lack of interruption. They have expectations, not rights. They certainly have the right to be insulted and angry, just like I'm insulted and angry when I see people talking to each other during a movie, but it doesn't mean you take them to court."

            This sounds pretty clear.

          • maturin20

            It's pretty clear to me. I'm arguing that the courts, an arm of the government, should not be used to silence and punish people's free expression. You're the one advocating for a micromanaging justice system to monitor public gatherings and apportion punishment. Big government types like yourself rarely have any self-awareness.

          • Foolster41

            That's pretty funny, trying to make me out to be a "big government type" when I am not, and in fact argue the OPPOSITE. In the end it just seems a petty smear.

            Shouting someone down in a meeting (public or private) is NOT "freedom of speech", whether you believe it with all your heart or not. The government is only stepping in to DEFEND another's freedom of speech from being trampled (when called by the injured party), and has nothing to do with your "monitoring and micromanaging" bogyman nonsense. If what you say is true, then anyone has a right to do this without fear of arrest for public disturbance.

            You see, it is perfectly within the rights of the government to punish those who try to take the rights of others. That's what goverment is for.

            Also, though you did address one of the three things I quoted from you, how does someone not having the right to make a profit, or choosing someone to speak impede someone else's rights? Shouldn't those rights, not delegated be not withheld from persons or the state?

          • maturin20

            I don't think it's petty . Using government to silence free expression is a tyrannical and un-American position.

            That's true, anyone does have a right to do this without fear of arrest. That's why it's free.

            The speaker's ability to collect a fee, or a university's ability to host them, are just that, abilities, not rights.

          • aspacia

            Your claim is fallacious. Any institution may hire most individuals to speak.

            Again, you reveal you have zero credibility by making such a stupid claim.

          • maturin20

            Who are the individuals that any institution may not hire to speak?

          • aspacia

            Who can not speak at U.S. institutions?

          • maturin20

            You wrote: Any institution may hire most individuals to speak.

            I was asking who the individuals are that any institution may not hire to speak.

          • aspacia

            You are baiting me. You know any institutions may hire most whoever they want to speak.

          • maturin20

            I'm not baiting you, I'm just curious why you wrote "most" instead of "all". Who is it that you're thinking of?

          • aspacia

            Some are person non grata in the U.S.

          • maturin20

            Would you say that a university's freedom to hire speakers is bounded by the laws of their land?

          • aspacia

            All living in the U.S.A, are bound by the laws of the land, including you. If you dislike our laws, legally try to change them or move to another county. I hear Turkey is nice this time of year.

          • maturin20

            How do you change laws in an oppressive country with no legal means of amendment and reform?

          • aspacia

            We have had many amendments. Besides, if you dislike the U.S., move to the Muslim-majority lands since you like them far more than this oppressive place with its strong Israeli support.

            Why don't you quit whining and move to a better land.

          • maturin20

            27, even. But I wasn't referring to the US. I was wondering what you would suggest for people living in countries that are ruled by manifestly unjust and corrupt governments.

          • aspacia

            Do what most do when run by tyrants–rebel. Dangerous, and many die, but eventually they may gain what they want.

          • maturin20

            There are situations, then, where the law should be disobeyed?

  • Dwight Ash

    These 2 Christian priests who supported these 11 hoodlums should spend their time advocating for the thousands of Christians in the middle east who are being persecuted and killed by Islamic terrorists. What misguided fools they are.

    • Guest

      The catholic church is no stranger to hatred of Jews.

      • Poppakap

        …but it doesn't openly despise, persecute, and kill them today like the descendants of Ismael do.

    • Flipside

      What are you, the archdiocese?

  • Dudes

    They were trying to supress free speech. Muslims don’t seem to be able to discuss, just lash out, shout, moan, whine and basically cause as much intimidation as possible for the person they try to silence. They should discuss, not supress others views.

    • heidifromoz

      How can you ask a robot or a machine to hold a discussion?

    • jackson

      Shouting, moaning etc. are the first and perhaps only behaviors which uneducated, illiterate people resort to when they are required to think. Thinking is a very dangerous thing in islam.

    • mlcblog

      Right. And we must stand up to them.

  • jcrue

    Just look at what they do with the countries they run without Israel to blame for their failures. The entire Muslim problem is rooted in an inferiority complex which they validate every time they act like this.

  • Flipside

    I bet Michael Oren, socialist, still got to cash his check.

    • Poppakap

      Could you please find a way to stay on course rhetorically? Your extra-topical non sequiturs are boring.

      • Flipside

        We can't all be as exciting as as a Mac person with a blown out knee.

  • —old school

    back in the day we would have done a little night riding and given these boys a good old fashioned haircut!!! now we give them “diversity” visas.

  • Moishe Pupick

    Tu., 09/27/11 common era

    The Irvine 11 were justly convicted; their disruption is an example of "soft" jihad. Beheading Nick Berg, on the other hand, is an example of "hard" jihad. Sadly, the ACLU will likely handle their appeal, with at least one Jewish lawyer participating. We Jews have no shortage of useful idiots for our mortal enemies.

    Shana Tova 5,772!

    • Poppakap

      very good point Moishe. I appreciate the reminder of the difference between hard and soft jihad. Both further the same goal and are odious to those who love and respect democratic governance.

    • mlcblog

      Lovely to hear from a Jew who gets it. Thank you, Moishe.

  • Regina

    Exactly! This was there intention ..I mean how hard is it for anyone to look at their pattern of behavior? IS lmaphobia BS? YES

  • Huliganthropus

    Shut (TF) Up Israel!
    Boycott Apartheid Israel!
    Israel Terroriste Lobby!

    • Ted

      Blah Blah! Blah! Anyone can do that…

      Free arab occupied Judea and Sumaria!
      Tell the truth about the false prophet whats his name…!

      But Can you make a valid point?

    • stern


    • Poppakap

      what a juvenile…

    • Martin K.

      @Huly….. and is it not Apartheid when Muslims in Medina allow no JEWS to come into the Saudi State and City ? Jews (I am not one but from Austria and I know what I'm talking about) have been chased out of more cities in this world as the victims of Apartheid….
      Besides why should Israel aid the enemies? But they do in many ways.. I know of no other land in which the selling of landproperty can lead to heavy penalties to the seller, but in Judea and Samaria as well as the Gaza-Strip. Palestinians? Why do REAL people call themselves after a mythical people who either have never existed, or long vanished from the globe?

    • aspacia

      And you did not make one valid claim.

  • sam hall

    It seems to me that many of those who claim a "Constitutional right" want to be excused for running afoul of some law: none of these rights are absolute in every situation. We have laws against libel, slander, perjury, treason, calumny, fomenting insurrection, inciting a riot, public disturbance, for a few that come to mind. If Immaturin had finished high school, he'd know he's not alloweedf to shout "Fire" in a crowded theatre, even if Muslim. He seems to believe that their right of free speech gives them the right to deny me mine.

  • rulierose

    are any of these students getting federal student loans? cut'em off. why should we taxpayers help them to go to school so they can trample on others' rights?

    • Flipside

      You’re right. Go get their monnnnneeeeey! Give it to Israel.

  • Brujo Blanco

    It seems that leftists see nothing wrong with drowning out someone else’s speech. But don’t even think about interrupting them. Free speech do me but not for thee.

  • Coupal

    They’re going to appeal? I wonder WHO is going to foot the bill. Years ago I was told: Your freedom to express yourself ends where it impedes MY freedom to express myself. (and vice versa) This is the way it must be and continue to be.

  • jzsnake

    These people behave like spoiled children always use to getting their way. Heaven forbid they got a slap on the wrist and now they have a temper tantrum. Their whole culture can never take any responsibility for the situation they are in.

  • mike

    they disrupted a meeting and then cowered behind the First Amendment, this had nothing to do with free speech

    supressing someone's free speech is not free speech in itself, but the denial of free speech

  • pxxat5

    Freedom of Speech is a Constitutional right, and the government can't trample it. However a denial of a right does not necessarily carry a civil penalty, if the infringement was not by a governmental entity.
    This is the same position Black Americans were in, when they had a right to vote, but was denied it by some states, with pole taxes, intimidation, and just plain denials. The 1964 Civil Rights act did not give Blacks any rights the Constitution had not already afforded them. What it did was CRIMINALIZE the DENIAL of those rights.
    That is what this country need now, a CRIMINILIZATION of denial of ones right of Free Speech. To deny someone the right to speak, and be heard by their intended audience, should be a crime, punishable with a stiff fine and jail time. The institution (University) should be liable for civil damages (aka- sexual harassment) if a student’s free speech rights are not protected. This would curb the power of Left wing tenured professors who berate, and mock students that do not toe their ideologies, (this is as much A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT, as a sexualized work place and should be treated as such.
    The right of protesters to protest is left intact to boo, hiss, peacefully protest and disagree with a speaker( Ann Coulter, David Horowitz.. etc.) up to the point of "disturbing the peace, and causing a nuisance", where upon they would be asked to leave.
    Heavy fines and penalties should be levied upon Universities for not, controlling their students and faculties on their campuses, for these criminal activities, especially the ones that cause physical harm, and intimidation to INVITED GUEST SPEAKERS, and conspiring with faculty and students to deny these speakers their Constitution right to speak or have access to the campus, when they have been properly invited.
    The Criminalization of the Denial of the right to speak, would make the atmosphere on Universities and in other civil discourse more open and less hostile, because it would be fought with Ideas, and words, and not, pies in the face, violent protesters chaining door, attacking cars, and denying others their rights.
    American’s say…"I disagree with what you say, but I will fight to the death your right to say it"
    Progressive – left say…"power comes from the barrel of a gun".
    Mao se Tung was not a founding father.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    This problem is not going to go away, it must be sent away and the sooner the

  • notme

    These students were as wrong as wrong can be. The fact that they and their defenders are vociferously defending their actions with these illogical, nonsensical arguments is just icing on the cake of bad behavior and their nefarious motives.

  • Joe

    Deport them all. I don't care if where they're from, deport them to somewhere that agrees with their stupid religion.

  • MTnman

    Groups sponsoring speakers should have their own "protection squads" on the ready to step in and prevent such episodes. Those blocking free speech should be shown no mercy. If we do not defend our Constitution and BOR from obvious despots, we can only blame ourselves when liberty and freedom are lost.

  • KKKK

    i support the jugde's decison to find these students guilty, but they should have been given jail time and then expelled from the country.

  • Sterling Stanzak

    Outlook 2010 no Office/14.0 regkey in the place you specified, 12.0 was the highest value. Creating the regkey there had no effect.

  • stern

    Oh dear Ktrina, it's really quite simple.
    Michael Oren has the right to fee speech.
    Muslim students have the right to free speech.
    What the Muslim students did was not an exercise of their right to free speech. Had they requested equal time or organized a competing event in another room, they would have been exercising their right to free speech.
    Instead, they tried to PREVENT Michael Oren from speaking. They denied him his right to free speech.
    Therefore, this sentencing confirms that while everyone has the right to free speech, no-one has the right to prevent somebody else from speaking freely.
    Got it?

  • rulierose

    you sure do!

    the victory for free speech was that the people who stopped it from happening were convicted. the speaker, an invited guest of the college, was not able to give his speech because of the louts in the audience. the louts in the audience were found guilty. that's a victory.

    do you get it now?

  • Flipside

    He got his fee speech. Probably at least a few hundred bucks.

  • Poppakap

    So Laura, any interest in debating the issue of the day? Or are your rhetorical skills limited to cut and paste? The words "brainwashed" and "robot" come to mind.

  • aspacia

    No joke, she is a typical Muslim, mindless woman.