When Protest Becomes a Crime

Truthdig - Is rudeness a crime, punishable by prison? Yes, says a district attorney as he pursues the prosecution of 11 Muslim students who disrupted a speech by the Israeli ambassador.

The incident on the University of California’s Irvine campus is the Arab-Israeli conflict in miniature, set in legendarily conservative suburban Orange County. The area has substantial numbers of Muslim and Jewish residents, and this episode reflects the intense enmity felt by both sides.

Most important, it raises this question: Why should a politician-law enforcement officer, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, have the power to limit free speech on a university campus? Read more.


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