The Univeristy of California, Riverside Student government passed a resolution in support of the Irvine 11, holding administration accountable by resolving that they issue an apology to the students. We commend the Associated Students of the University of California, Riverside for ensuring all students’ rights to free speech are protected.

Author: Derek Roberts

Co-Author: Ammer Haffar

Section 1:

Students’ free speech and right to protest were taken away in what became known as the Irvine 11. A peaceful protest turned into a condemnation of 11 University of California students, 8 from Irvine, and 3 from Riverside. The prosecution of these students is a clear violation of our rights given to us as citizens of the United States, and our rights as students to be free from prosecution for non-violent protests on a college campus. We must stand with the Irvine 11. A threat to students’ rights here is a threat to students’ rights everywhere.

Section 2:

WHEREAS, February 8th 2010, the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Political Science Department and School of Law welcomed Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren to discuss U.S.-Israel relations,  [1]

WHEREAS, eleven students in the audience stood up and vocally expressed their opposing opinion in protest of Ambassador Michael Oren, [2]

WHEREAS, 3 UCR students and 8 UCI students felt the need to voice their opposition in a peaceful manner,

WHEREAS, the students were escorted from the room voluntarily, without any resistance,

WHEREAS, law enforcement officers proceeded to arrest the eleven students,

WHEREAS, Michael Oren was able to finish his scheduled speech,

WHEREAS, the University seeks to provide a “…supportive learning environment that helps make a difference in the world, [3]

WHEREAS, UCR, as a public University, serves a platform for the exchange of diverse ideas, cultures, and political ideology among students, faculty, and administration,

WHEREAS, the administration and the Office of Student Conduct already disciplined the eleven students as well as the Muslim Student Union (MSU),

WHEREAS, months after the students were disciplined by the Office of Student Conduct, the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas, proceeded to charge the 10 students, [4]

WHEREAS, each of the students were charged with two misdemeanor counts, and “All 10 defendants in the Irvine 11 case have been found guilty of “disturbing a public meeting and engaging in a conspiracy to do so”. [5]

WHEREAS, American Civil Liberties Union stated “Even if protests on college campuses occasionally cross a line from protected speech into conduct, prosecutors cannot selectively intervene to punish students who say things they do not like, [6]

WHEREAS, students reserve their right to peacefully advocate for their belief and should have a safe place on a public campus to do so,

THEREFORE; BE IT RESOLVED, that ASUCR opposes the criminalization of peaceful student protesters,

THEREFORE; BE IT RESOLVED,  that ASUCR commits to protect the rights of students and their rights to express an opinion, political, or otherwise, even though these opinions may be controversial,

Let it further be resolved,  that ASUCR commits to protect the rights of students and their rights to express an opinion, political or otherwise, even though these opinions may be controversial,

Let it further be resolved, that we are in support of the Irvine 11′s right to protest and hold the OCDA accountable for wrongfully prosecuting students for peaceful protest and democratic participation.

Let if further be resolved, that ASUCR request a public reassurance from the UCR administration to protect students’ rights to free speech and protest on campus.

Let it further be resolved, that ASUCR, on behalf of the student body, requests a public apology from the UCR administration for wrongfully reprimanding the three UCR students.

References:

[1] http://www.socsci.uci.edu/node/921

[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcaryZbL3gE

[3]http://www.ucr.edu/academics/colleges.html

[4]http://www.orangecountyda.com/home/index.asp?page=8&recordid=2588

[5] http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2011/09/irvine_11_verdict.php

[6] http://www.aclu-sc.org/releases/view/802932

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