Conventional wisdom and law, too, has dictated for so long that you cannot yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater where there is no fire, and even when a fire sparks, there is an appropriate way to alert and manage the crowd. What we rarely have seen in routine United States society and particularly with the judiciary is the move that occurred in California late last week when the Orange County district attorney’s office charged 11 students with conspiring to disrupt a meeting and speech at UC Irvine last year by the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. The defendants are charged with misdemeanors alleging a conspiracy to disturb a meeting and at least one was charged with the act of disturbing a meeting. If convicted, they each face a sentence ranging from probation with community service and fines up to six months in jail.
Charges in UC Irvine Speech Disruption Case Takes a Critical Look at What Some Say are Inalienable Rights