Thursday, March 03, 2011

US Students Face Jail Time for Disrupting Israeli Official's Speech

Eleven University of California students face criminal charges and possible jail terms for protesting and disrupting a speech by an Israeli official as the Orange County district attorney's office engages in what one of the students' attorneys calls "selective and discriminatory prosecution"

In a University of California at Irvine auditorium on 8 February 2010, ten student activists nonviolently confronted Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, with prepared statements of protest. They stood up and challenged Oren's defense of Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip in winter 2008-09 -- during which more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed -- and the state's ongoing human rights violations.

"Propagating murder is not an expression of free speech," shouted one student before he was escorted out of the room. "You, sir, are an accomplice to genocide," another stood up and stated before he, too, was led away by police.'


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