If you are feeling tremors recently, it is probably because R.C. Hoiles is spinning in his grave knowing how his beloved O.C. Register recently trampled on the First Amendment by opining that it was perfectly acceptable for defendants who are members of the Muslim Students Union (MSU) to shut down a speech because the speaker was Israeli.
In California, it is a crime to conspire to disturb or break up a lawful meeting. Even UCI Law Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, recent apologist for the MSU, wrote in February 2010, "Only the students who were actually disruptive should be punished. Whether there will be criminal prosecutions is up to the Orange County district attorney."
Last week, an Orange County jury sent a strong message that First Amendment rights belong to every American, and we will not tolerate a small band of people who want to hijack our freedoms.
The evidence showed that the defendants devised a meticulous, calculated "Game Plan" to violate the law. The defendants decided it was "our university" and planned the 'shutdown,' calculating who was willing to get arrested, but betting that UCI police would likely not act.
MSU emails stated: "[O]ur goal should be that he knows that he can't just go to a campus and say whatever he wants." "We don't want this guy to come back to UCI and give another speech." "[W]e will not allow a platform for him... whether it be at UCI or any other campus around the nation," "so that [he] and any other Israeli politician knows that we will not allow them to come here to our campuses ..."
They were to "disrupt the whole event," and "shut [it] down with individual disruption." Participating in a question and answer session was rejected as "not a good idea because he has control over the mic [which] would give him more control."
After 35 minutes had passed from the opening of the speech, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren had only spoken for two minutes and 21 seconds. The loud, calculated disruptions caused turmoil and total stoppages of the speech. The First Amendment rights of the 700-member audience were violated, including Holocaust survivors who were frightened by the defendants' actions that night. They were deprived of the opportunity to ask questions, as the question and answer portion was cancelled.
After the event, the defendants engaged in a cover-up. "Remember, MSU did not officially put this on...it was individual students." "MSU was not involved."
Even after the conviction, they remained defiant of the jury's verdict. They held press conferences stating they were wrongfully convicted and "proud" of their actions.
Lifelong member of the ACLU, Harvard Law and noted Constitutional scholar Professor Alan Dershowitz stated, "The problem with the ACLU account is that it is completely fictional – made up out of whole cloth – as anyone can see for themselves by viewing the video and listening to the Muslim Students Association leaders who described their aim to "shut down" – that is to censor – the speakers. That is why these students are being prosecuted, according to the District Attorney – not for merely "protesting" the speaker's views, but because they "meant to stop [Ambassador Oren's] speech and stop anyone else from hearing his ideas."
We invite the public to view the evidence at www.orangecountyda.com.
History tells us of the dire consequences when one group is allowed to shout down and intimidate another or a group of people so as to not allow them to have opinions or be heard. History requires us to draw a line in the sand against this sort of organized thuggery.
This case needed prosecution.Editor's note:
We doubt R.C. Hoiles would have been spinning in his grave at our opinion for the state to back off, considering that he once refused to stand, as ordered by the bailiff, when a judge entered the courtroom. The idea that the state should aggressively subdue and intimidate the boisterous would have been an anathema to him. He would have advocated that the dispute be settled and punishment meted out privately, as UCI did.