SANTA ANA — Tom Reinhart-Marean marched with 40 to 50 demonstrators to the street corner outside of the Orange County district attorney's office here to condemn a reported Orange County Grand Jury investigation into college students who interrupted a speech by an Israeli official last year at UC Irvine.
"Indicting these students would have a severe chilling effect on the exercise of free speech on campus and elsewhere," said Reinhart-Marean, a Newport Beach resident and former pastor at First United Methodist Church in Orange.
The so-called "Irvine 11" were detained by UCI police Feb. 8, 2010, after repeatedly interrupting a campus speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.
The eight UCI students and three from UC Riverside were reprimanded by their respective universities but never charged with a crime.
The Orange County Grand Jury is investigating the 11 for potential criminal charges, said Los Angeles attorney Carol Sobel, who represents six MSU-supporters who were subpoenaed and testified before the Grand Jury in January.