The ripple that could become a wave on American campuses
Campus police at University of California, Irvine will in the near future refer anti-Israeli event disruptors of a May 3, 2018 pro-Israel event to Orange County prosecutors, according to a UCI spokesperson. Referral will occur, says the spokesperson, as soon as the campus police investigation concludes.
If so, UCI will be the second UC campus, after UCLA, to refer loud and raucous anti-Israel disruptors to prosecutors for violation of California’s statutes prohibiting disruption of public meetings, disturbing the peace, and conspiracy to do either.
After the police referral, it will be up to District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to decide whether actual prosecution should ensue. Rackauckas previously made history with the 2011 prosecution and conviction of the famous “Irvine 11,” who disrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren in 2010 when he spoke at UCI. Rackauckas is considered one the state’s most seasoned, no-nonsense DAs.
The new UCI case arises from a May 3, 2018 effort by UCI’s College Republicans to host a panel with Israeli Reservists on Duty. After about 40 minutes, a parade of anti-Israel agitators filed in to stage a well-orchestrated and unruly disruption, using a bullhorn and shouting derogatory chants. The disruption was documented by at least two dozen videos. reviewed by this writer, including this long video at minute 42:00. After the disruptors were ushered out, the boisterous disorder continued to disrupt from the corridor under police protection, according to the videos.
Three statutes pertain. Title 11, Sec. 403 concerns meeting disruption. “Every person who … willfully disturbs or breaks up any assembly or meeting … is guilty of a misdemeanor.” This was the very statute Rackauckas used to successfully prosecute and convict the “Irvine 11.”
Title 11, Sec. 415 involves disturbing the peace. The statute calls for jail time for “any person who maliciously and willfully disturbs another person by loud and unreasonable noise” and also “any person who uses offensive words in a public place which are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction.” A bullhorn was used to hurl provocations at the UCI event, and attendees reported they had to cover their ears due to the continuous cacophony.
Title 11, Sec. 182, a conspiracy statute, can be invoked when “two or more persons conspire to commit any crime.” The May 3 UCI protestors are seen filing into the room as a group, as viewable on the video at minute 41:10, and engaging in coordinated disruption thereafter.
A key disruptor with her face covered, frustrating identification, seen at minute 42:45, can be observed full-face and unmasked at minute 42:09.
If the UCIPD refers the case for prosecution, it will be an enormous turnabout for a campus where many of the disrupted students and community members feel the university administration itself actually stage-manages such disruptions.
Kimo Gandall, president of the College Republicans, stated, “To many of us in the room, it seemed very suspicious—as if the entire disruption was pre-arranged in advance with the Administration and the UCIPD. The disruptors were allowed in, protested loudly for about 10 minutes, and then all left on cue when given a hand signal by the UCIPD to leave.”
Debbie Glazer, a leading local attorney in StandWithUs’s pro bono legal network who attended the event, echoed a similar sentiment, stating it appeared the UCI police and/or the Administration actually “enabled” or “helped to facilitate” the disruptive incident.
By: Edwin Black
(Front Page Mag)
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