Nearly one year after students voiced political dissent at a speech given by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, the Orange County District Attorney has pressed 'conspiracy' charges against 11 of them.
'Each defendant is charged with one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to disturb a meeting and one misdemeanor count of the disturbance of a meeting. If convicted, they each face a sentence ranging from probation with community service and fines up to six months in jail...The defendants are: Mohamed Mohy-Eldeen Abdelgany, 23; Khalid Gahgat Akari, 19; Aslam Abbasi Akhtar, 23; Joseph Tamim Haider, 23; Taher Mutaz Herzallah, 21; Hakim Nasreddine Kebir, 20; Shaheen Waleed Nassar, 21; Mohammad Uns Qureashi, 19; Ali Mohammad Sayeed, 23; Osama Ahmen Shabaik, 22; and Asaad Mohamedidris Traina, 19. This case is being filed because there was an organized attempt to squelch the speaker, who was invited to speak to a group at UCI.These defendants meant to stop this speech and stop anyone else from hearing his ideas, and they did so by disrupting a lawful meeting. This is a clear violation of the law and failing to bring charges against this conduct would amount to a failure to uphold the Constitution,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. ...The U.S. Supreme Court has found that the relationships and associations of the parties involved may be religious, and if a relevant circumstance to the existence of a conspiracy, are not barred from admission by constitutional provisions guaranteeing freedom of religion...The conspiracy charge could be filed as a felony. After taking into consideration all of the facts and circumstances of this case, the OCDA has exercised its discretion to file this count as a misdemeanor.'
The eleven have a scheduled arraignment March 11th. On December 9th, Rackauckas charged 19 other students with misdemeanor charges . Describing 'students and sympathizers for being disorderly ' 16 are charged with "one misdemeanor count each of trespassing, disturbing the peace, and refusal to disperse". Two others are being charged with "one misdemeanor count each of false imprisonment and obstruction of a public place."
In December 2010, at an “Operation Stormfront” Press Conference, Rackauckas went so far as to include officials from the Anti-Defamation League along with law enforcement agencies who he said "represent the Orange County law enforcement united front in our war against gangs." He recently gave an "exclusive interview" with the Simon Wiesenthal Center about the conspiracy case. When asked by the Simon Wiesenthal Center about critics who claim the criminal charges will 'have a chilling effect' on free speech, the D.A. replied "that is silly". He suggested that the Muslim students could have protested differently, explaining "There were many alternative ways to have their viewpoints heard. For example, silently hand out leaflets..."
During the student's 2010 Oren protest, a yet-unidentified yarmulke-wearing man attending the speech shouted "you are failing your exams" at the students as they were ushered out. In the aftermath, he Muslim Student Union was suspended by UC Irvine and forbidden to practice religion as a group on campus. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren recently admitted that he was 'making efforts' to meet with all of the new Republican Congressional Reps at their swearing in ceremony.Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured on LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, WorldNetDaily, National Motorists Association, KNBC4, and many others. You can view a full archive of his articles at LibertyFight.com