Muslim Students Convicted of Being Mean to Israeli Ambassador

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WilderMore
Muslim Students Convicted of Being Mean to Israeli Ambassador

Total Bullshit. USA = insanity

Muslim Students Convicted of Being Mean to Israeli Ambassador

Last year, when Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren announced his intention to speak at the University of California at Irvine, some members of the school's Muslim Students Union plotted to inform Oren of their feelings about some of Israel's policies. They used their voices to do so. This is illegal!

Today 10 members of the so-called "Irvine 11" (charges against one of the original eleven students were dropped) were convicted on misdemeanor charges of disrupting a meeting and conspiracy to disrupt a meeting in a Santa Ana, Calif., court. Here's what they did, which is a crime:

In February 2010, as Oren began to speak about the U.S.-Israeli relationship at a campus speech, the students rose one-by-one to object to Israel's occupation of the West Bank. One shouted, "Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech!" As the offender was removed from the audience, a designated compatriot shouted, "You, sir, are an accomplice to genocide!" And so on. According to an attorney for one of the students, the longest of the interruptions lasted roughly 8 seconds, and the total amount of time taken up by their outbursts—combined—was roughly one minute.

That's one minute too long when you're talking about Muslim students interrupting the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. to inform him that some people think his country's policies are unjust, which is illegal, so don't do it.

http://gawker.com/5843400/muslim-students-convicted-of-being-mean-to-isr...

 

Hoodeet

What is bullshit?  Interrupting the ambassador or being convicted for it?

Mr.Tea

I don't think it deserved criminal charges by the county. The University has already disciplined the students appropriately and I think it's a campus issue versus a criminal one.

However, the rticle above isn't a fair representation. They were not disciplined for "using their voices" but for repeatedly and, after several warnings, continuously interrupting a speech that other people were trying to listen to (their intention according to their own words was to "shut down" the speech.

There were lots of other people protesting outside teh auditorium who weren't disciplined. That sort of protest is free speech. What happened inside was trying to stifle free speech. Big difference.

WilderMore

If the Israeli ambassador is saying things in a public forum that go against your understanding of what's happening in Palestine then you should be able to disrupt him. Free speech isn't a blanket waiver to tell lies about the genocide in Palestine. Those Muslim students are true heroes, in the broadest sense of the word.

MegB

Mr.Tea wrote:

I don't think it deserved criminal charges by the county. The University has already disciplined the students appropriately and I think it's a campus issue versus a criminal one.

However, the rticle above isn't a fair representation. They were not disciplined for "using their voices" but for repeatedly and, after several warnings, continuously interrupting a speech that other people were trying to listen to (their intention according to their own words was to "shut down" the speech.

There were lots of other people protesting outside teh auditorium who weren't disciplined. That sort of protest is free speech. What happened inside was trying to stifle free speech. Big difference.

I disagree.  You cannot define free speech as something orderly, something coloured inside the lines - so to speak.  The Muslim students wanted to shut down the speech of the Israeli ambassador.  Since the position of the ambassador is over-represented in the US and elsewhere, and the ambassador comes from a position of relative power and privilege, there is no curtailing of freedom of speech.  The students were exercising their own right to free speech and freedom of expression.  When you have two competing interests vying for verbal territory, you cannot apply freedom of speech and expression to one or the other.  Given that Israel's violent occupation of Palestinian territory, their human rights abuses against Palestinians, etc., etc., etc., continue unabated and supported by the US government, I have no sympathy for the Israeli ambassador and fully support the actions of the Muslim students.

 

Mr.Tea

First of all, they planned to disrupt him long before the speech and not knowing what he would say. So it's rather silly to use the article that their disuptions were in response to any specific statements.

I'm having trouble posting links for some reason but if you google "Michael Oren UC Irvine" you can see the video of the event in question and it's clear that the interruptions came right from the start in response to innocuous things, not to anything provocative. 

But furthermore, NO, if hes saying things that "go against your understanding of what's happening in Palestine", you certainly do NOT have the right to interrupt him or try to shut him down. You have the right to ask questions and challenge him and engage in debate. You don't have the right to ruin the ability of hundreds of other people who are interested in hearing what he has to say to be able to do so.

I think you're arguing this issue based on your feelings towards Israel/Palestine. I'm arguing based on my committment to free speech. So, let's reverse it. Let's say a Palestinian speaker came to campus to give a talk and a group of thugs from the Jewish Defence League showed up and repeatedly screamed at him and interrupted the speech, would you defend them as well? Again, in such a case, I don't think they'd deserve criminal charges but I also certainly wouldn't call them "true heroes". Just a bunch of immature bullies who can't stand to have someone say anything that they don 't like.

WilderMore

Mr.Tea wrote:

First of all, they planned to disrupt him long before the speech and not knowing what he would say. So it's rather silly to use the article that their disuptions were in response to any specific statements.

I'm having trouble posting links for some reason but if you google "Michael Oren UC Irvine" you can see the video of the event in question and it's clear that the interruptions came right from the start in response to innocuous things, not to anything provocative. 

But furthermore, NO, if hes saying things that "go against your understanding of what's happening in Palestine", you certainly do NOT have the right to interrupt him or try to shut him down. You have the right to ask questions and challenge him and engage in debate. You don't have the right to ruin the ability of hundreds of other people who are interested in hearing what he has to say to be able to do so.

I think you're arguing this issue based on your feelings towards Israel/Palestine. I'm arguing based on my committment to free speech. So, let's reverse it. Let's say a Palestinian speaker came to campus to give a talk and a group of thugs from the Jewish Defence League showed up and repeatedly screamed at him and interrupted the speech, would you defend them as well? Again, in such a case, I don't think they'd deserve criminal charges but I also certainly wouldn't call them "true heroes". Just a bunch of immature bullies who can't stand to have someone say anything that they don 't like.

 

OK, I understand what you're saying. Lots to consider. I agree that it would have been better to challenge him by asking very pointed questions.

Mr.Tea

Rebecca West wrote:

I disagree.  You cannot define free speech as something orderly, something coloured inside the lines - so to speak.  The Muslim students wanted to shut down the speech of the Israeli ambassador.  Since the position of the ambassador is over-represented in the US and elsewhere, and the ambassador comes from a position of relative power and privilege, there is no curtailing of freedom of speech.  The students were exercising their own right to free speech and freedom of expression.  When you have two competing interests vying for verbal territory, you cannot apply freedom of speech and expression to one or the other.  Given that Israel's violent occupation of Palestinian territory, their human rights abuses against Palestinians, etc., etc., etc., continue unabated and supported by the US government, I have no sympathy for the Israeli ambassador and fully support the actions of the Muslim students.

I salute you for your honesty in acknowledging that the goal of the protesters was to "shut down" the speech. 

Since we are in agreement on the basic facts, that makes it possible to have a more nuanced and thoughtful discussion on the appropriateness of the action.

That the ambassador comes from a position of "relative power and privilege" vis a vis the students in attendance, while accurate, isn't that meaningful and opens up a pandora's box. I'd argue that pretty much any invited speaker at a campus about to give a talk to hundreds of people has "privilege and power" disproprtionate to the students in the audience. If a Palestinian official or a critic of Israel like Noam Chomsky were speaking, tehy to would hold disproportionate pwoer and privilege compared to the audience. By that logic, do students have the right to shut down any speaker they choose?

And while your comments about Israel/Palestine may also be accurate, I also don't think they're what's important to the fundamental issue at hand. Free speech isn't about who is right and who is wrong. I support free speech for the idiot as much as for the genius, for the asshole as much as for the hero. I think the issue is whether they have the right to speak and whether their audience has the right to hear.

I'll confess that I'm not a huge fan of Maya Angelou's poetry. But if she were invited to give a poetry reading on campus in front of hundreds, should I and 10 friends feel free to shut her down? After all, poets are "over-represented" in the US and elsewhere and Dr. Angelou, by virtue of her book deals, media profile, numerous speaking engagements, financial status, etc. holds a position of "relative power and privilege" compared to anonymous, little me, who will probably never be invited to address a campus audience. Unless it's a lecture to the dental school. In which case I now hold the power and privilege. And, I suppose, can therefore be shouted down. And, well, it's just a viscious cycle....

MegB

Free speech is not necessarily polite and constrained.  You may not like the form it takes, or agree with the sentiment expressed, but if you truly support it, you cannot reasonably conclude that the Muslim students were stifling the ambassador's freedom of speech. The filing of criminal charges against the students is a fine example of the criminalization of free speech, the stifling of debate - orderly or not. 

Land of the free, home of the brave. Yeah.

ETA: When I speak of relative power and privilege, I mean it in the broadest sense, as in the relative power that Israel has over Palestinians, the US over Iraqis and Afghanis, etc., "Christian" western imperialism over Muslim self-determination.

Hoodeet

The position of privilege was not inherent in Oren's position at the lectern, but as a representative of a government coddled by the one superpower and a government that is considered to be committing, and to have committed, war crimes and crimes against civilian populations. 

It's disingenuous of Mr. Tea to liken the ambassador of that rogue state to a poet.   A poet, however much one may dislike her or him, certainly does not represent the kind of abusive power that elicits the kind of behaviour that is -and I grant this- an expression of relative powerlessness.

 

Mr.Tea

Rebecca West wrote:

Free speech is not necessarily polite and constrained.  You may not like the form it takes, or agree with the sentiment expressed, but if you truly support it, you cannot reasonably conclude that the Muslim students were stifling the ambassador's freedom of speech. .

But, then, how far do you extend that? If someone is giving a poetry reading and I determine to shut it down by repeatedly getting up and screaming and interrupting, can you not reasonably conclude that I was stifling the poet's freedom of speech through my "not necessarily polite and constrained" assertion of my own expression?

Mr.Tea

Hoodeet wrote:

It's disingenuous of Mr. Tea to liken the ambassador of that rogue state to a poet.   A poet, however much one may dislike her or him, certainly does not represent the kind of abusive power that elicits the kind of behaviour that is -and I grant this- an expression of relative powerlessness.

Well, lets take someone even worse. Let's take the worst exercise of free speech that I can think of in the United States, those yahoos from that church in Kansas who protest people's funerals by waving signs that say "God Hates Fags." You'd be hard-pressed to find a more reprehensible example of speech. I think those people are disgusting. But I support their right to be disgusting within reason. So, as much as it bothers me, I support their right to stand on a sidewalk across from the church where the funeral is being held and waive their ugly signs and chant their ugly slogans. However, if ten of them go into the church and repeatedly get up and disrupt the eulogy, they've tehn violated the free speech of the person giving hte eulogy and of the people listening to it.

I'm not basing my argument on the content of the speech in question. I have much more smpathy for the protesters at UC Irvine than I do for the protesters outside the funeral, in terms of message. The question isn't their message but their actions. If the UC protestors didn't actually try to shut someone down, this wouldn't be an issue.

MegB

Mr.Tea wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:

Free speech is not necessarily polite and constrained.  You may not like the form it takes, or agree with the sentiment expressed, but if you truly support it, you cannot reasonably conclude that the Muslim students were stifling the ambassador's freedom of speech. .

But, then, how far do you extend that? If someone is giving a poetry reading and I determine to shut it down by repeatedly getting up and screaming and interrupting, can you not reasonably conclude that I was stifling the poet's freedom of speech through my "not necessarily polite and constrained" assertion of my own expression?

So, you're saying a poetry reading is analagous to the political issues of Palestinians and Israelis?

Mr.Tea

Rebecca West wrote:

So, you're saying a poetry reading is analagous to the political issues of Palestinians and Israelis?

No, I'm saying that my right to sit in an audience and listen to a poetry reading is analogous to my right to sit in an audience and listen to a discussion about Palestinians and Israelis. 

Erik Redburn

That I can see.  There are reasonable limits to 'free speech' if they relate to OThers freedom to hear their own, without feeling threatened by hate-addled idiots. 

Erik Redburn

Mr.Tea wrote:

First of all, they planned to disrupt him long before the speech and not knowing what he would say. So it's rather silly to use the article that their disuptions were in response to any specific statements.

......

I think you're arguing this issue based on your feelings towards Israel/Palestine. I'm arguing based on my committment to free speech. So, let's reverse it. Let's say a Palestinian speaker came to campus to give a talk and a group of thugs from the Jewish Defence League showed up and repeatedly screamed at him and interrupted the speech, would you defend them as well? Again, in such a case, I don't think they'd deserve criminal charges but I also certainly wouldn't call them "true heroes". Just a bunch of immature bullies who can't stand to have someone say anything that they don 't like.

 

There is however a difference in comparing these two.  One is that Israel alone has the ear of Western power, to the exclusion of the other main party in this 'dispute' now.  Another is that its pretty much a foregone conclusion what the amassador is going to be speaking for, especially under this government

MegB

Mr.Tea wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:

So, you're saying a poetry reading is analagous to the political issues of Palestinians and Israelis?

No, I'm saying that my right to sit in an audience and listen to a poetry reading is analogous to my right to sit in an audience and listen to a discussion about Palestinians and Israelis. 

So, this discussion is no longer about free speech, but the freedom to listen?  There is no point to this discussion if you keep moving the goal posts.

Mr.Tea

Freedom to listen is an aspect of freedom of speech. The reason the protestors got into trouble is for interfering both with the ambassador's ability to give his talk and with hundreds of people who came out and wanted to hear what he had to say.

Merowe

Mr.Tea wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:

So, you're saying a poetry reading is analagous to the political issues of Palestinians and Israelis?

No, I'm saying that my right to sit in an audience and listen to a poetry reading is analogous to my right to sit in an audience and listen to a discussion about Palestinians and Israelis. 

I see the Israelis shot another Palestinian to death today.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44639799/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/#.Tn...

I see it was during a violent confrontation between Israeli settlers who - INEXPLICABLY - were in a Palestinian village.

I'm sure Israel's ambassador to the United States had a lot of really interesting stuff to say. But here's the thing, Mr.Tea: I wouldn't wipe my ass with it and I have the same warm feelings for his audience. With notable exceptions.

Mr.Tea

Erik Redburn wrote:

 Another is that its pretty much a foregone conclusion what the amassador is going to be speaking for, especially under this government

That it's a "foregone conclusion" what he's going to say so, therefore, he can be disrupted is a silly argument. If a theatre company is doing a production of Hamlet, it's a foregone conclusion that they're going to perform Hamlet. Doesn't give me and 10 friends the right to interrupt the performance. Nor does the fact that Hamlet is already a popular play and very well-established within the theatre community and that you can easily see the play elsewhere is also irrelevant. The actors have the right to perform the play and the audience has the right to watch it and not have that interfered with by people disrupting it.

Mr.Tea

Merowe wrote:

I'm sure Israel's ambassador to the United States had a lot of really interesting stuff to say. But here's the thing, Mr.Tea: I wouldn't wipe my ass with it and I have the same warm feelings for his audience. With notable exceptions.

Then you have the right to not attend his speech. Or to protest outside of it. Or to ask him questions and challenge him afterwards. Or to write an editorial in teh campus paper attacking it. Or to invite a different speaker to refute. Or etc. etc.

The point is that some people DID care what he had to say should be allowed to hear it and form their own opinions.

I have no particular interest in seeing the latest shitty romantic comedy at the theatre. But some people do and I don't have the right to go and interrupt the movie. It's not for me, you or anyone else to deny people the right to express themselves or deny people the right to listen to that expression.

WilderMore

You make some very good points Mr Tea.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..israeli government policy that cause incredible hardship and death to palestinians is in violation of, most certainly, human rights and, likely, crimes against humanity. israel in these matters plays by it's own rules. it's ridiculess to now turn around and try and set rules for people opposed to these behaviours that require them to just sit and listen to feeble justifications when the rare opportunity comes around to do otherwise. whatever the proper protocol is, it's not to passively sit there. this screams out take action! say something!

 

Erik Redburn

Mr.Tea wrote:
Erik Redburn wrote:
Another is that its pretty much a foregone conclusion what the amassador is going to be speaking for, especially under this government

That it's a "foregone conclusion" what he's going to say so, therefore, he can be disrupted is a silly argument. If a theatre company is doing a production of Hamlet, it's a foregone conclusion that they're going to perform Hamlet. Doesn't give me and 10 friends the right to interrupt the performance. Nor does the fact that Hamlet is already a popular play and very well-established within the theatre community and that you can easily see the play elsewhere is also irrelevant. The actors have the right to perform the play and the audience has the right to watch it and not have that interfered with by people disrupting it.

 

Were not talkiing about a theatre group though, on a harmless nights entertainment, however 'controversial' it might be.  We're talking about an ambassador to one of the most uncompromisingingly reactionary goverenments in the WEst.  One which gets far too much slack as it is, more even than loony religionists picketing funerals.  One which has a decided negatoive influence on costly regional conflicts we too have been dragged into.  Therefore what could arguably be taken as heckling is as permissable as in any other theatrre of politics or war.     Except that this 'disruptive element maybe facing more serious c0nsequences than simply being tossed out.

Erik Redburn

Which all goes back to the point that some 'disruption' is more justifiable than others, while some responses aren't, even if on some non-existant theoretical plane (in politics) all politicaol opinions should be allowed the same slack, on the equally abused theory everyone has an equally valid opinion or equal podium to speak from. 

Merowe

Nah, Tea, you're not getting it. Israel routinely violates THE MOST BASIC Palestinian rights with virtual impunity, up to and including the right to life.

All the ambassador's fine words, whatever they may have been, dry up like so many autumn leaves, stop cold in the face of the reality of the actual deaths HIS administration daily realizes in its quest for Palestinian LAND. There is an unreal quality to all your talk of 'rights' and 'speech' when you and I both know that today, Essam Kamala, some Palestinian guy, was shot dead in a Palestinian village by Israeli soldiers as he protested Israelis ongoing land-theft. He won't be coming home to dinner. And his plans for tomorrow are DEFINITELY off.

Fuck, man! If the average Cairo man-in-the-street instinctively understands the proper way to treat Israeli ambassadors, why is it such a stretch for such a bright, western-educated cat like yourself?

Mr.Tea

Iran has also shot people in the street. And Ahmadinejad was invited to speak at Columbia university. Can people, therefore, decide to shut down his speech and not face any consequences?

And your reference to Cairo: they forced the ambassador, his wife and family to flee in fear for their lives. Is that what you consider the "proper way" to treat them?

Hoodeet

Oh dear, the good liberals have definitely trolled their way into control of this and other threads.

There is a war on, in case Mr. Tea and his enablers hadn't noticed:  it's the war of a nuclear power with thousands of tanks and drones and helicopter gunships against a population whose land was grabbed in June 1967.  The occupying power  has been illegally enabling thousands of Israeli citizens to settle on that land which the United Nations and other international organizations have said time and again does NOT belong to Israel and that Israel does not have the right to settle, any more than it has the right to steal its water and uproot the olive trees and demolish the homes of the residents of that territory and assassinate or kidnap people inside that territory. 

The ambassador goes out to speak only to push the  propaganda of a racist garrison state  People who are engaged in trying to change the situation of the Palestinians consider whatever that ambassador has to say to be an act of propaganda to gain further support for his country's policies.

There. I think I've pretty much spelled it out for the good liberals who equate Oren with a representative of the Palestinian people or with a poet or a mediocre comedy.

Oren is no mediocre comedy act -- I wish he were, but he's a slick, effective speaker with the same sick script that exploits the memory of the Shoah to justify every outrage committed by his government. 

 If he is a poet in his private life, good for him, but he's not here to give a poetry reading or to promote anything but the increased support by the west  of  his militarized and increasingly fascistic state, which by the way is bankrupting itself in the construction of apartheid highways and walls and in the defence of the thousands of fanatics --most if not all of them foreign born-- who claim a God-given right to force native Palestinians off their lands to the other side of the Jordan river.

I think that's it in a nutshell for the good liberals who think we can continue business as usual in the face of the ongoing landgrabs and humiliation and assassinations of the legitimate dwellers of Palestine.

What a waste of our time, having to justify the politics of this website to apologists for NATO and now for Zionist propaganda.

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Babble went through [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/coulter-cancelled]the same stupid "free speech" debate last year[/url] with Ann Coulter's speaking tour.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Here's what the Harvard College [url=http://www.harvardpsc.com/statement-in-solidarity-with-the-irvine-11/]Pa... Solidarity Committee[/url] has to say about the "Irvine 11":

Quote:
The Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee and the GSAS Alliance for Justice in the Middle East stand in solidarity with the "Irvine 11." We are appalled by the criminalization of these students for nonviolently protesting a 2010 speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.

Yesterday, the Orange County Superior Court found ten University of California-Irvine students guilty of two misdemeanor counts of disturbing a meeting and of conspiring to disturb a meeting. The students had stood up during Oren's speech and raised objections to Israel's criminal assault on Gaza, during which more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed, including over 300 children. The interruptions lasted several minutes, and the protesters were escorted out of the room.

The Irvine 11 should be commended for confronting Oren's propaganda effort to whitewash Israel's criminal actions and policies in front of college audiences. Instead, they have been unjustly punished for constitutionally-protected dissent that is a routine part of student activism, including here at Harvard.

On November 23, 2009, Harvard students also staged a walk-out of a speech by Oren at the Harvard Kennedy School. Last year, AIDS activists from Harvard and other colleges heckled and interrupted President Obama while he spoke in Boston. In neither case were students punished for exercising their right to protest.

We also note with dismay that the selective prosecution of the Irvine 11 would likely never have gone forward if the protesters were not Muslim. As Jewish Voice for Peace noted: "Our young Jewish members engaged in a nearly identical protest of Israeli policies-only the venue was larger and the target was the Prime Minister of Israel, Bibi Netanyahu. They were let off without even a mark. Their Muslim peers were tried and criminalized."

The decision to criminalize the Irvine 11 for their courageous action is an attack on all people who seek peace and justice in Israel/Palestine. However, such intimidation techniques will neither silence students nor will they quell protest. We call on students to support the Irvine 11 as they move ahead in appealing this unjust verdict. Further, we call on students to redouble their Palestine solidarity efforts. This attack only reinforces the urgency of continuing to organize in support of equality, justice and freedom for Palestinians and all oppressed peoples.

(For additional information about the protest of Oren's speech at Harvard, see [url=http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2009/12/14/oren-harvard-students-crime... op-ed in the Harvard Crimson[/url].)

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

The hypocrisy of American politics is disgusting.  How many tea baggers were arrested for shouting out at the town hall meetings where health care debates were happening?  Oh yeah none and not only that they got to shout down their opponents while carrying handguns for emphasis.

Pro-Israeli trolls like it when people are arrested for supporting Palestine, seems to be the main message in this thread.  Be nice to Israel or we will send you to jail unless you are in Palestine in which case we may just destroy your home and family with a missile strike.  

Quote:

The memo, authored by Robert MacGuffie, who runs the website rightprinciples.com, suggests that tea partiers should "pack the hall... spread out" to make their numbers seem more significant, and to "rock-the-boat early in the Rep's presentation...to yell out and challenge the Rep's statements early.... to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda...stand up and shout and sit right back down."

MacGuffie is a volunteer for FreedomWorks, the industry funded group that helps organize and support the tea party protests. But he denies that his small group has any direct affiliation with FreedomWorks. "We are recommending with that memo that other grassroots groups that share our view should go to the townhalls of their members and use the strategy that we did," MacGuffie told me, confirming the memo's authenticity. "We are trying to get into that town halls to make them understand that they do not have the unanimous support from people in their communities."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/08/tea-party-town-hall-strategy-...

Mr.Tea

Hoodeet wrote:

The ambassador goes out to speak only to push the  propaganda of a racist garrison state  People who are engaged in trying to change the situation of the Palestinians consider whatever that ambassador has to say to be an act of propaganda to gain further support for his country's policies.

So because they consider what he says propaganda, they have the right to shut him down? If I feel that what you're saying is propaganda, can I shut you down as well? Who among us qualified to determine who gets free speech and who doesn't?

Mr.Tea

Northern Shoveler wrote:

The hypocrisy of American politics is disgusting.  How many tea baggers were arrested for shouting out at the town hall meetings where health care debates were happening?  Oh yeah none and not only that they got to shout down their opponents while carrying handguns for emphasis.

 

What point are you trying to make? Do you WANT the tea partiers to be arrested? Or is your position that since some people on the right disrupt meetings, the left should be able to do it to? Is it a question of "they behave badly so we should too"? Or is it that it's okay for the left to shout people down but not the right.

I think it's perfectly reasonable to oppose tea partiers disrupting health care meetings and also oppose UC protesters disrupting a speech.

I dont think either should go to jail, as I made clear in my first post. And these protesters won't. They got a slap on the wrists and no jail time.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Mr.Tea wrote:

So because they consider what he says propaganda, they have the right to shut him down? If I feel that what you're saying is propaganda, can I shut you down as well? Who among us qualified to determine who gets free speech and who doesn't?

Your passionate defence of the free speech rights of representatives of the criminal Zionist regime of Israel is truly touching.

But badly misplaced. The Israeli ambassador has far more right to speech and far more access to the mass media to promote his racist, colonialist agenda than you or I or any of the Irvine 11.

Ask yourself who, in this situation, was allowed to speak fully and freely? Surprise! It was the Israeli mouthpiece!

You seem convinced that the rich, the powerful, and the morally corrupt are entitled to more rights than the rest of us; that they are entitled to spread their hateful and malicious message anywhere and anytime, while their opponents keep a respectful silence. 

Jacob Two-Two

Mr. Tea, the protesters didn't shut anyone down. The whole affair lasted less than a minute. The ambassador went on to give his talk. His freedom of speech was not compromised. he got to speak exactly as he intended to. The only difference is that he had to endure the stressful sights and sounds of people disagreeing with him and raising objections to his words. Poor baby!! Should we get him a tissue? Or you, perhaps?

 

People who interrupt me for a second are not removing my right to speak. People who arrest me for making one interruption are. Funny that you side with the latter and not the former, under the guise of defending free speech. Maybe you should think about this some more.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:
The students referred to as the Irvine 11 stood up to Israeli Ambassador Oren's lies, his misstatements, his bending of the truth - they stood up to the propaganda that allows Israel, after 60-plus years, to still sell itself as "victim" instead of "victimizer".

Oren was sent here as part of the Israeli "re-branding" campaign to polish its image - an image only slightly tarnished in the US by the murder and injury of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip at the turn of the 2008-9 new year.

How do you rebrand the image of a country that is condemned by more UN Human Rights Council resolutions than any other country in the world? You do so by silencing the truth tellers, by denying the truth and calling those who tell it liars and criminals - and that is what we see happening right now. Prosecution attempts to depoliticize Oren's speech and this trial ring hollow.

The occupied are under no obligation to provide for the comfort or protection of the occupier - just as people of conscience in the United States are under no obligation to provide cover for the lies of Israeli officials.

At most, these students are guilty of displaying a lack of courtesy by interrupting Oren, but one could very simply argue that the brutal occupation of Palestine, the ethnic cleansing of Bedouins within Israeli boundaries and the major attacks on Lebanon are the discourtesies, not the voicing of opposition to these policies and to those who promote them.

[url=http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/09/24-3]Source[/url]

Mr.Tea

M. Spector wrote:

 

But badly misplaced. The Israeli ambassador has far more right to speech and far more access to the mass media to promote his racist, colonialist agenda than you or I or any of the Irvine 11.

 

That's completely irrelevant. Any campus speaker has more access to the mass media to promote their views. The question is whether they have the right to speak or not. I say they do. You say they don't cause you don't like what they have to say. Plenty of people, I'm sure, don't like what you have to say so I guess they should feel entitled to shut you down if they feel like it.

And, yes, this WAS about trying to shut him down. The protestors plainly stated that that was their intention. And, no, it didn't last "a minute". That's misleading. Te actual outburst may have lasted a minute, each followed by a lot more hooting and hollering from their supporters. If a professor is giving a lecture or an author giving a reading, should I be able to disrupt him, if only for a minute?

There was a Q&A session for after the event. They had plenty of opportunity to challenge him. They could have protested outside. They could have written editorials denouncing him. They could have brought in their own speaker to present the other side. Inside, they felt entitled to deny someone his right to speak and to deny 700 people who came out to hear what he had to say their right to listen. It's selfish, immature behaviour and completely unnecessary.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Behold the blinkered politics of the civil liberties fetishists, where all points of view – both pro-oppression and anti-oppression – are presumed to be on an equal playing field, and nobody ever has the right to dare tell the oppressors to shut the fuck up!

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Actually both sides have the right to tell each other to shut the fuck up... not that neither one would listen to the other.

 

I like how Bill Moyers deals with hecklers...

deb93

Northern Shoveler wrote:

The hypocrisy of American politics is disgusting.  How many tea baggers were arrested for shouting out at the town hall meetings where health care debates were happening?  Oh yeah none and not only that they got to shout down their opponents while carrying handguns for emphasis.

Pro-Israeli trolls like it when people are arrested for supporting Palestine, seems to be the main message in this thread.  Be nice to Israel or we will send you to jail unless you are in Palestine in which case we may just destroy your home and family with a missile strike.  


I think your point makes sense. Why is the 'law' applied in this case and not others? And what kind of law is that anyway? Do we have a law against "disturbing a meeting" in Canada? I sure hope not!

That's a law that can be employed against free speech in a lot of situations. What about a corporation seeking to put a quarry where people don't want it? They could have the police remove and charge all the dissenters.

Something wrong with that law, and with applying it selectively against Palestinian dissent

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

deb93 wrote:

Do we have a law against "disturbing a meeting" in Canada? I sure hope not! That's a law that can be employed against free speech in a lot of situations.

If you "cause a disturbance" in a public place by, among other things, using insulting language, you can be charged with causing a disturbance under section 175 of the Criminal Code.

If you wilfully disturb or interrupt "an assemblage of persons met for religious worship or for a moral, social or benevolent purpose" or disturb the "order or solemnity" of such an assemblage you can be charged under section 177 of the Criminal Code.

If you are one of three or more persons "who, with intent to carry out any common purpose, assemble in such a manner...as to cause persons in the neighbourhood of the assembly to fear...that [you] will disturb the peace tumultuously" you can be charged with unlawful assembly under sections 63 and 66 of the Criminal Code. 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

M. Spector wrote:

Behold the blinkered politics of the civil liberties fetishists, where all points of view – both pro-oppression and anti-oppression – are presumed to be on an equal playing field, and nobody ever has the right to dare tell the oppressors to shut the fuck up!

Well said. Equality cannot be advanced by allowing oppressors to make propaganda speeches unopposed.  There is no fucking responsibility to be polite to mass murderers.  There is no moral equivalency between the two sides given the brutal and inhumane treatment of the Palestinians. 

Jacob Two-Two

Once again Mr.Tea, the right to speak was quite obviously not denied because the man did get to speak. This is a simple logical equation. If he had actually been prevented from speaking then your arguments would have some merit, but he wasn't so you are arguing from the point of view of some fantasy world. They briefly disrupted his speech. Happens to me every day, and it is not denying me the right to speak. It's just interrupting me. The fact that you think this man should be so privileged that nobody should ever interrupt him shows where your bread is buttered, and it isn't on the side of freedom.

Hey maybe I should keep security guards around me at all times so I can arrest anyone who dares to interrupt my sacred words. That sounds reasonable doesn't it?

Mr.Tea

Again, how far do you take it? Why should they feel free to interrupt him when he is there giving a speech to people interested in hearing him? Should people feel entitled to disrupt and delay any speech or event they choose as long as teh speaker gets to speak eventually...

Again, I don't agree with the criminal charges but I don't defend their behaviour either. They could ahve asked questions following the speech. Instead, they disrupted. And their stated intent was to shut it down.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Personally I have only so much outrage and I don't have enough to be outraged at people for interrupting murderous politicians with blood on their hands. I do have enough to condemn those civilian killers. Its like having Cheney in town to promote his memoirs of torture for fun and profit.   Some things are wrong, wrong, wrong and having war criminals protected from voices demanding justice for the people they oppressed is one of them.  

Hate speech is hate speech and it includes standing on a stage and defending the genocide, murder and torture committed by militaristic states like the US and Israel.

Pogo Pogo's picture

I view it as civil disobedience where you take actions knowing that they are punishable.  Like Mr. Tea I agree that the punishment is far too excessive

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

"Too excessive"?

There should be no punishment at all!