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11 UC students charged for disrupting speech

February 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Eleven Muslim students have been formally charged for interrupting a speech at the University of Irvine.

Eight U.C. Irvine students and three students from U.C. Riverside are facing misdemeanors in connection with the protest of a speech by Israel's ambassador to the United States at UCI last year.

The Orange County district attorney said the case was filed because there was an organized attempt to protest the speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren on Feb. 8, 2010.

The DA filed charges of misdemeanor conspiracy to disturb a meeting and misdemeanor disturbance of a meeting.

Each defendant allegedly stood up one after the other to shout, "Michael Oren, propagating murder is not free speech," and other declarations such as "Michael Oren you are a war criminal."

The American Civil Liberties Union is calling for the charges to be dropped.

City News Service contributed to this report.