Only Orwell himself could describe the continuing saga of the UC Irvine, which has become the “Animal Farm” of the University of California system (with other campuses not far behind). The OC Register has the latest:
Eleven current and former university students pleaded not guilty Friday to misdemeanor charges for disrupting the speech of an Israeli diplomat at UC Irvine last year.
Seven of the so-called “Irvine 11” defendants were present for the arraignment, and each answered “Not guilty, your honor,” to the charges. The other four entered their pleas through their defense attorneys.
Last month, the defendants filed a motion asking Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter J. Wilson to remove the Orange County District Attorney’s Office from the case, saying prosecutors illegally issued subpoenas and referred to the case internally as the “UCI Muslim Case,” a term they say is evidence of “religious bias” against them.
Prosecutors say the defendants have failed, among other things, to support their motion with affidavits from witnesses competent to testify to its facts, and must demonstrate that the “conflict is so severe that it is unlikely” they will receive fair treatment. They add that the defendants’ claims of prosecutorial misconduct are unsubstantiated and untrue.
Use of the term “UCI Muslim Case” in the heading in an internal district attorney e-mail does not show bias against Muslims as defendants, prosecutors wrote in their opposition papers.
“The term UCI Muslim is not a disparaging or derogatory term,” the opposition papers say.
Wilson set June 17 as the date to hear arguments on the motion to recuse the district attorney from the case. Before that happens, the judge on May 13 will hear arguments and could rule on whether grand jury transcripts from the investigation that led to charges against the students should remain sealed.
The diplomat referred to above was, of course, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren (also a brilliant historian, as many of you know). This group of junior jackboots attempted to stop him from speaking at UCI, jumping up and screaming in the assembly hall . If they are not convicted in court for this behavior, it will be another stake in the heart of free speech in our country, not to mention another notch in the steady decay of the UC system.
As I noted on the The Tatler yesterday, the UC Irvine administration has already humiliated itself by placing its students in harm’s way via a secret meeting with Hamas, not to mention encouraging them to lie to their parents about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some good potential law suits in all this. I know if I were the father of one of those students I’d be considering one.