Irvine 11 Trial: Verdict Expected Soon

Categories: School Daze
irvine11trial.jpg
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
Closing arguments concluded yesterday in the Irvine 11 trial. Twelve jurors are in deliberations, weighing about a week of testimony.    

The defendants--Mohamed Mohy-Eldeen Abdelgany, Khalid Gahgat Akari, Aslam Abbasi Akhtar, Joseph Tamim Haider, Taher Mutaz Herzallah, Shaheen Waleed Nassar, Mohammad Uns Qureashi, Ali Mohammad Sayeed, Osama Ahmen Shabaik and Asaad Mohamedidris Traina--are charged with disturbing a public meeting and engaging in a conspiracy to do so. If convicted, they face up to a year in jail.  

"These aren't hoodlums drinking in the parking lot," said defense attorney Jacqueline Goodman in her closing arguments. She called them "heroes" for their protest at the Feb. 8, 2010 speech by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren, where they were arrested.

"Are they criminals or are they activists?" she asked the jury.

Lead prosecutor Dan Wagner argued that the students were conscious of their guilt, showing the jury one protest planning email that stated "don't share this with anyone."   
   
"The defendants were obviously bright enough to get into a prestigious university," Wagner said. "They understood the widely held norm. But they didn't care." 
     
This morning, Jacob Boyd sat outside the courtroom at Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, awaiting the verdict. He's been watching the trial almost every day and says the case is a "free speech versus free speech issue" and has been "well argued on both sides."

As a member of the Jewish community, he says it's tricky topic as he believes nobody wants to stop free speech. Rather, people are simply looking for respect.

A "not guilty" verdict, he said, "may signal to pro-Palestinians that it's okay to harass Jewish speakers."  
  
Stay tuned for updates.  

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Melodi
Melodi

It looks to me Gromit and over half of the others criticizing the peaceful protest did not actually watch the complete video of the event.  The students spoke loudly, no shrieking.  It was a few sentences and then each one walked to where the officers were waiting for them and left without any trouble.  The point about the emails that the DA was trying to make was ludicrous.  In a student protest, the kids are either going to talk to each other or write one another.  So all of a sudden even planning a protest is illegal.  Did the DA think that a group protest on campus in the past was just a coincidence.  How lucky all the anti-abortion people manage to show up together, etc.  How can planning a protest itself be made illegal, when speaking out at lectures has always been acceptable on college campuses.  That should frighten all Americans who have enjoyed the freedom to disagree in America.   It should really frighten the teabaggers who have crossed some legal lines in their get-togethers.  Is it too late to charge all of them with conspiracy to gather illegally.  Can the moron in Florida who announced he was going to burn the Qu'ran be arrested, since he conspired with his people.  He was planning on burning material without a burn permit.  Let's get him!!  What next?  Are they going to prosecute union workers for conspiracy to picket a place of business, because they blocked the sidewalk or screamed at the customers. 

This is so obviously bias or it would have happened to the many others who actually caused real problems.  These kids did not keep the speaker from speaking.  They delayed it a bit, but only because the crowd started making too much noise for him to continue.  It is almost humorous to note that after this incident happened, students in a New Orleans college did the same thing to Israel's PM.  They were not charged with conspiracy or anything else, as far as I could tell.  Why not?   Well they were Jews and no one dared to try and make an example of them.  I know quite a few Jew who hate what their government is doing to the Palestinians, including several who live in Israel, but that is a whole other story.

If they find these boys guilty, they are going to have to start prosecuting the other students for protesting or show their real bias.  That might be kind of fun to watch.  I'm proud of these boys for speaking up and there isn't one of them who wouldn't do it again.  It gives me hope that America won't always just look the other way, while we aid those committing war crimes.  Again, to those who ignorantly throw out the silly labels and accusations of people "hating, being anti-Jew,  a Nazi, etc. and no doubt will say that to me; the Jewish people are a great and accomplished people.  I admire many of them and I consider them brothers and sisters in humanity.  We are all so much more alike than different.  But I hate their government, which is a whole different thing.  I am filled with contempt at some of America's politicians too.  That does not mean I hate myself or other Americans.  I disagree with some things Obama has done and I don't hate black people either. 

People need to grow up and realize how ignorant it is to accuse people of bigotry, just because we disagree with something that is being done or said by a people or by their government.  It is a deceptive tactic done by those who are ignorant and lazy and have not bothered to learn about what is really going on.  I hate to see people led by fear-mongers and being manipulated to promote another sleazy politician.  Disagreeing doesn't mean hatred.  Maybe we need bumper stickers that say that!  Sorry this is so long.

Jeff Klives
Jeff Klives

"People need to grow up and realize how ignorant it is to accuse people of bigotry"

Isn't that what so called Muslim leaders did after the verdict?

It is reasonable to argue that university discipline of the students would have been sufficient, and they should not have been criminally prosecuted.It was wrong for the students to prevent others from hearing the speech.

One's right to free speech, as the courts have long held, does not extend to attempts to erase the rights of others.

There were many valid ways the students could have expressed themselves, such as holding picket signs and handing out leaflets outside the building.

Melodi
Melodi

Jeff......I have to say I'm not sure if you are being deliberately obtuse or you really think the comparison is valid.  Let me reword it, to see if it helps.  If I say that I believe the Israeli government is murdering innocent Palestinians, very often, I am hit with claims that I am anti-semitic, a jew-hater, a bigot, etc.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  These students did the same thing and of course they are being accused of the same 'mantra'.  The reasoning is seriously flawed.  If I say that  Bush murdered innocent civilians, that does not mean that I hate Americans or I'm anti-America.  Again, nothing could be further from the truth.  The point is... we can dislike a government or ruling force, without hating it's people.  The students didn't speak out against Jews.  That would have been prejudiced.  They spoke out against a governments actions.

The real problem.  When the students did the same thing that many people do, they were arrested and charged with crimes.  When the Jews did it, they were not arrested.  When the anti-abortion people did it, no arrest.  When all kinds of groups have done the same thing, they have never been arrested and charged with criminal activity.  Even those who did the same thing 'after' the Muslim kids did, were not charged.  The authorities have punished one group for behaviour that it ignores from everyone else.  We are supposed to have equal rights and that should include equal protection and equal punishment under the law.  If a group is singled out for punishment because of who they are and who they are protesting against, bigotry is impossible to deny.

I don't object to the boys being hauled out and punished by the school, which they were.  I would have done the same thing, if I were the school security.  I would have been majorly angry if I'd been the school official who tried to stop the protest.  The school has the right to legislate and discipline in whatever way they see fit and typically they have standards and laws that all students are held accountable for and are protected by.  The school did the right thing.   But when the District Attorney decided to get involved, which is just not done when it comes to peaceful campus protest, then things like precident and fair and equal treatment must be involved. Even the school objected to criminal prosecution. 

One interesting thing to note is a big thing has been made about the college being hostile to Jews, but relatively unpublicized were all of the Jews who disagreed with the district attorney.  Unpublicized are the Jews who stepped up and said they did the same thing and were not arrested or threatened in any way.  Or the students who say they feel safer at Irvine in the last few years than ever before.  The kids get along great, but the Zionist organizations are claiming differently.  Many of the students know the difference between being 'anti-Zionist' and prejudice or bigotry.

Again, I agree with the students being stopped, but it became bigotry when only Muslim students are charged for peaceful protests on campus.  It should be interesting to see what happens when another group of non-muslim students has a protest.  The whole world is watching.  The DA has started something indefensible.  And what a shame that hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent by the government for misdemeanors, when real crime goes unpunished.  And since the students are most likely appealing the conviction, many more thousands are still going to be spent.  Meanwhile the DA can't keep his own cops from beating a mentally ill homeless man to death.  Go figure.  The DA should have to justify such absurd decisions.

 

LA Resident
LA Resident

The City of Irvine, UCI and the rest of Orange County are controlled by a bunch of right-wing teabaggers. These kids should tranfers to UC Berkely or UCLA. LA RULES!

909Jeff
909Jeff

Well they will be at the Santa Ana Courthouse for sentencing.  Perhaps you can go talk to them for us?  

Know Respect, Know Peace.
Know Respect, Know Peace.

Are people still really behaving in such a disgusting manner and still continuing to use such hateful words towards Israelis, Jews, Arabs, and Muslims? All this hate really raises my blood pressure any time I read about it, and I'm too young to have high blood pressure. :( 

It's terrible disheartening because I'm convinced that these are all mature adults, the ages of my parents, even. And I thought with age, you grow to be more open-minded...I hope I don't grow up to become like this towards anyone. 

Contrary to the empty words on previous posts, there are Palestinian Christians and Muslims, and there are Arab JEWS, Muslims, and Christians. It's a melting pot of a region, and it could be the most beautiful region in the world, with the most beautiful people, and there is such rich history to contribute. It's something its people should be proud of.

EACH government has failed, not only the Israeli government, but Hammaas as well. You all use the term "terrorist" so freely without even considering who it may effect. Must we go back to grade school to learn how to treat people respectfully?  

On that note, to take the life of ANY human being is morally wrong. Period. Each religion supports that statement. What happened in Jenin IS terrorism, just as buses blown up by Hamaas IS terrorism. Neither are excused as acts of "defense". You can't defend yourself from Palestinian children who have no weapons to fight back with, just as you can't defend yourself from an innocent Jewish boy on a bus. 

We should take offense that something so terrible was done in our name, such crimes of hatred were committed in the names of our religions. We shouldn't support it with, "It's well-deserved." All our beliefs go against such disrespect and ignorance, and the life of a human being is worth much more than that.

I hope everyone has a nice day. :)

Avicenna
Avicenna

President Obama was interrupted by anti-abortion activists in New Hampshire. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... Why weren't any of them arrested or tried in court? What makes Michael Oren more important or deserving of respect then the President? Let's cut the Freedom of Speech bull! It's not a coincidence that these students (who happen to be members of America's latest targeted minority) were arrested and are being prosecuted for speaking out against an Israeli official in one of the most conservative areas in California. Edward Said was right about criticism of Israel being "America's Last Taboo". Anytime anyone dares to speak out against Israeli injustices they are fired/asked to resign (i.e. Norman Finkelstein or Helen Thomas), accused of being anti-Semitic, self-hating Jew, or arrested like these brave students. 

Ted
Ted

People speak out against Israel at UCI all of the time without getting arrested.Pro-palestinian speakers speak at UCI all of the time without getting arrested.

Chipper
Chipper

Such nonsense.   The main Middle East history professor at UC Irvine speaks out against  Israel's policies he disagrees with all the time.   He has not been fired. 

909Jeff
909Jeff

ARE YOU FU(KING KIDDING ME!  The taboo is that like I said EVERY terrorist action agains the United States was perpetrated by Muslims except one... But dont profile! Go stick your head back in the sand!

Taj Ashaheed
Taj Ashaheed

I think your head was in the sand...and too long if you really, really believe that every terrorist action against the US was perpetrated by Muslims...

Avicenna
Avicenna

Maybe if we stop invading/occupying their lands, exploiting their natural resources, setting up puppet dictators, killing their people and making billions of dollars for private contracting corporations and by selling weaponry to their enemies, they won't have a reason to kill us. But what difference does it make what we do... it has no impact on their actions. Noooo... in your twisted mind they're evil because the Koran tells them to be. Has it ever occurred to you that before the 90s America's enemies were communists and socialists not Muslim extremists. Gee... I wonder what happened in past two decades. I know how much you love hearing the sound of your own voice (evident by your numerous comments) but maybe you should try listening to what others have to say for a change. 

Pjreitan
Pjreitan

They were not arrested for "exposing the truth" - they could have done that outside the hall - and you are doing it here.  They were arrested for disrupting a public event.

Guest
Guest

Cut all the Jew vs Muslim / Israel vs Palestine crap out and you have a bunch of people disrupting a speaker.

It's amazing when you cut the religion and race cards out of the equation how much more clear this case is.

Is their right to free speech so powerful they can remove his right to the same free speech? Did they conspire to do as much damage (verbal) as possible?

Host
Host

if you think Oren's right of free speech is being "removed", when he is a "diplomat" with the world's media at his service, you're cutting a little too much out of the "equation" you refer to. If speaking loudly (because you don't have a microphone) and being arrested is "removing" the free speech right of a microphone holding Oren (who just doesn't have the courage to answer back and wants to continue with pointless foreign minister jokes), you're being plain stupid sir.

Gromit202
Gromit202

I think you know perfectly well that these folks were doing considerably more than "speaking loudly (because [they] [didn't] have a microphone)."  By prearrangement made via emails, they took known turns standing up, shrieking so that the speaker could not possibly be understood, and then got arrested and hauled away -- whereupon, cue the next prearranged disruption, rinse, repeat 11 times.

Now, you can argue that shouldn't be a crime, but "you're being plain stupid, sir" -- more like dishonest -- when you pretend that the disruption was somehow necessary, that the shrieking was only because the disruptors didn't have microphones, etc.

Guest
Guest

its you being dishonest when you say a guy holding a microphone "could not possibly be understood" ...are u serious? Yes they planned to make their voices heard.. nothing wrong with that.. If Oren had the guts to face them, he could asked for the arrests to stop and could have addressed the issue directly, but he is a coward whose only goal was to hide the truth these young men were "shrieking"..lol @ your choice of words btw..nice try but you should know that these students didn't murder anyone..Oren did.. these students were trying to expose the truth..Oren was on a mission to cover it. Time to put your head in the sand if you don't like facing the truth

Asher B. Garber
Asher B. Garber

What happened in Jenin, Champ? 23 terrorists dead and you call it a Genocide?  Cut to 9-11 and the Palestinians are tossing candy about 3000 dead Americans because, sheesh, dontchaknow America supports the Apartheid, Genocidal regime of Israel so it's all cool and stuff? Meanwhile, Syria has killed over 5000 citizens over the past 6 months, and the Palestinians have shot over 10,000 missiles the past 10 years.... But you're the one fighting for peace. Thank goodness, because someone has to.

Billg
Billg

Oh yeah, Ms. Goebbels,"Don't mind Israel blowing up the store, get the guys who stole a candy bar from there".

Asher B. Garber
Asher B. Garber

So when you have nothing else to say you just call the guy a Nazi? And I'm supposed to refrain from calling you an anti-Semite, right? Because that would Islamophobic of me and stuff. And don't forget, the Zionists control sharks and vultures and drink the blood of children. You are such a victim.

BTW: I suggest the next time Palestinian leadership want a state, that they actually accept the offer. Or come up with a counter offer. And not start another war. Poor, silly, Jew hating ingrates always want everything served to them on a platter.

Asher B. Garber
Asher B. Garber

So I'm the idiot? That's amazing, Ergo. Because I see you as a tiny brained, tunnel-visioned, anonymous message board poster who thinks that thumping his chest enough times in front of a computer monitor is going to finally-- FINALLY-- right the wrongs of the past-- like the war started and lost by the Arab portion of the 2nd split of the Palestinian madate-- to bring this world its 23rd Muslim controlled territory.

Yes, Ergo, you are a genius. A big, fat, flippant genius.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Goebbels hid behind the authority of the Furher... A sock puppet just like you! I addressed the substance of your post yet I see no response.  Let me help you out, the little wheel on your mouse will scroll you up to where I posted that Hamas, which coincidentally runs the alleged palestinian state ruthlessly attacks Israeli citizens from the cover of Mosques, schools and Hospitals.  and then cries foul when Israel dares defend itself.

Ergo
Ergo

True, you do not deserve to be called Goebbels; you are far from his sophistication and persuasion level.

You are just a dumb propaganda hack wannabe,

unable to address the substance of my post and resorting to lame ad-hominem BS instead.

"Mom, we didn't do anything wrong, it's just that everyone hates us."

Good luck with that toddlerish excuse once you grow up.

Jew
Jew

bla bla bla

Asher B. Garber
Asher B. Garber

You exemplify the intelligence of the typical Jew bashing fool, with the anonymous handle of a basement dweller to boot. Pull your pants up, Boy.

JeffKlives
JeffKlives

Defense attorney Jacqueline Goodman went so far as to liken the 10 students to Rosa Parks,Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez.  What has she been smoking?    They are a bunch of dopey college kids who determined that Michael Oren should not be honored with the privellege of speaking on the campus.  They determined that they ought to make interupts throughout his lecture.   That is not something that is worthy of any praise.

Fight ideas with ideas.   Don't try to shout down a speaker.  Protest outside next time.  Invite a speaker that shares your persective at a different location on the campus or at the same location on a different date.

If you want to debate if this should have been a criminal case, fine.  That is a separate discussion.   These kids were wrong to act like they did in a lecture hall at a university.   I wish people who supported these students would say the tactics these kids used was wrong before they go on with their attempts to portray of these kids as being victims or civil rights heroes.

Diana D380
Diana D380

whether or not it was morally wright or wrong or if it was rude is one thing, arresting students for speaking is another.  They didn't attempt to prevent the speaker from finishing his speech.  They said what they said and walked away, that's it.  We don't arrest people for being rude or for have immoral conducts.  We arrest people that are doing things that are unconstitutional.  The person that yelled "You lie" to our president was quieted by the speaker, no legal action was taken.  The few people that yell something else to a different speaker get arrested.  Where is the logic in that? 

909Jeff
909Jeff

"whether or not it was morally wright or wrong or if it was rude is one thing, arresting students for speaking is another.  They didn't attempt to prevent the speaker from finishing his speech.  They said what they said and walked away, that's it."

Indeed, it was rude, and it was also conspiracy (Illegal) They didnt walk away they continued their disturbance until they were escorted out, with the intent (via conspiracy) to shut the entire event down.

"We don't arrest people for being rude or for have immoral conducts.  We arrest people that are doing things that are unconstitutional."

Murder isnt unconstitutional but it is against the law in the state of California... so is conspiracy 

"The person that yelled "You lie" to our president was quieted by the speaker, no legal action was taken.  The few people that yell something else to a different speaker get arrested.  Where is the logic in that?"

That was a spur of the moment off the cuff comment by one individual... Not a crime.  11 Individuals conspiring to disrupt a speech is a crime.  There is your logic!

JeffKlives
JeffKlives

Joe Wilson was the guy who yelled "you lie"  actions were denounced by both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.   Wilson knew he was wrong and apologized.

He said in a statement:

"This evening I let my emotions get the best of me.  While I disagree with the president's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility."

It would be great if these students followed Wilson’s lead and apologized for their lack of civility.

909Jeff
909Jeff

I'm sure Oren will apologize... around the same time that Hamas quits attacking Israel and its citizens from Mosque's, schools and Hospitals. The mark of true cowards!

geoff kl
geoff kl

how about you apologize for being a jew hating jihaidist

name one war crime that oren has committed

Guest
Guest

it would also be great if Oren acknowledged he is a war criminal and apologized for killing thousands of Palestinians

Jew
Jew

its not logical to sue students for speaking their mind, its jewlogical though ;)

JeffKlives
JeffKlives

I am not smart enough to make sense of what you are trying to say.

They are being charged with Penal codes § 403 and 182. 

Penal code § 403 dictates that anyone who “willfully disturbs or breaks up any assembly … not unlawful in its character … is guilty of a misdemeanor,” that the offenders must have “substantially impaired the conduct of the meeting,” and do not have to engage in violent or dangerous behavior in order to be charged. 

Penal code § 182 deems it illegal for anyone to conspire to commit a crime, ‘conspire’ being defined in the code as “a specific intent crime requiring an intent to conspire or agree, and a further intent to commit the target crime.”

Jew
Jew

except, there is a prosecution and there is a defense. If you were making a general statement, then the courts must be out of business.

Billg
Billg

"Fight ideas with ideas"?Hello Mr. Goebbels,This is not about fight of ideas -- Israelis are blowing up entire cities with bombs  and then dispatching operatives to disseminate their propaganda around world.

JeffKlives
JeffKlives

This occurred in a university campus lecture hall in Irvine, California.   No one was bombing anyone in Irvine.

A group of dopey college kids thought they were more moral than everyone else and thought they should be able to dictate who should be able to speak on the campus and who should not be afforded that honor.   They did not like an invited speaker and developed a game plan where they would stay for the majority of the program and would disrupt the invited speaker throughout the entire time they stayed.

Then they lied to the university administration.

The school punished them.   That is probably where the incident should have ended.   The DA decided to charge them for two misdemeanors.

One of their defense attorneys tries to make the case her clients are heroes.       

Taj Ashaheed
Taj Ashaheed

oh, and the majority of terrorist attacks in the US have been perpetrated by non-Muslims - and i will point out one more attack that belies your claim of "with the exception of one"...:

1996...Centennial Olympic Park...Atlanta GA

Taj Ashaheed
Taj Ashaheed

Sirhan Sirhan was not a middle eastern muslim man...

909Jeff
909Jeff

Middle eastern muslim men aged 18-25 have been responsible for every terrorist attack in or against the United States since Sirhan Sirhan killed Bobby Kennedy in 1968.  With the exception of one... Oklahoma city.  The Irvine 11 may have only interupted a speech, then what?

Ergo
Ergo

What an odd quote chosen by Ms Woo:"A not guilty verdict may signal to Pro Palestinians that it's okay to harass Jewish speakers." 

No mention that pro-Palestinian speakers are regularly harrassed by pro-Israelis.Much less that Palestinians themselves are not just harassed, but killed in large numbers by the fascist state now trying to hide its vicious crimes and propaganda behind free speech rights.

geoff kl
geoff kl

total bs

but trust me...if found not guilty, not one arab, muslim or pro terrorist speaker will be allowed to open his/her mouth anywhere in the us

this i promise you

909Jeff
909Jeff

But the Israelis don't blow up buses with civilians in them!

Zooz
Zooz

 yeah but they blow up houses and cities with families in them!

Ergo
Ergo

Of course not,Israelis only blow up entire  cities with civilians in them (Jenin, Gaza).

909Jeff
909Jeff

Fish I couldnt agree with you more and Golda Meir said "Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us"  I certainly hope we see that day!

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

Yes, let's kill more people to prove that killing people is wrong. That is one of THE most ridiculous, misanthropic rationalizations ever.

geoff kl
geoff kl

hamas are the legal reps of gazan people

you lose

nuke gaza

geoff kl
geoff kl

jenin was never bombed...you idiot

but it should and will be

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

Still doesn't mean it's ok to assume everyone in Gaza emphatically supports Hamas and therefore deserve to suffer because of it.

909Jeff
909Jeff

New York Times journalist Steven Erlanger reported that "Hamas rocket and weapons caches, including rocket launchers, have been discovered in and under mosques, schools and civilian homes. Another report published by Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center revealed that Hamas used close to 100 mosques to store weapons and as launch-pads to shoot rockets. The report contains testimony from variety Palestinian sources, including a Hamas militant Sabhi Majad Atar, who said he was taught how to shoot rockets from inside a mosque. Hamas has also been criticized by Israeli officials for blending into or hiding among the Palestinian civilian population During the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict. The Israeli government published what it said was video evidence of human shield tactics by Hamas. Israel said that Hamas frequently used mosques and school yards as hideouts and places to store weapons, and that Hamas militants stored weapons in their homes, making it difficult to ensure that civilians close to legitimate military targets are not hurt during Israeli military operations. Israeli officials also accused the Hamas leadership of hiding under Shifa Hospital during the conflict, using the patients inside to deter an Israeli attack. The rocket attacks by Hamas have been condemned by Human rights organizations as war crimes, both because they usually target civilians and because the weapons' inaccuracy would disproportionately endanger civilians even if military targets were chosen. Human Rights Watch has also condemned the attackers for firing from near residential structures, thus putting Gazan civilians at unnecessary risk. 

909Jeff
909Jeff

I would bristle at saying a "Few Militants" Hamas has estimated 25k members and is funded primarily by Iran and Saudi Arabia. 

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

Or set up navel blockades so all the citizens of Gaza can pay the price for a few militants (Hamas).

XM
XM

Here comes the village idiot

RC
RC

Neither are Palestinian homes. How's that for "truth?"

909Jeff
909Jeff

What is idiotic about the truth?  The buses in Tel Aviv don't just explode by themselves...  

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