SANTA ANA — The arraignment for 11 student activists accused of disrupting a speech at UC Irvine by the Israeli ambassador to the United States was delayed Friday until April 15.
But the debate over who is fighting for free speech — Orange County prosecutors or the "Irvine 11" — continued immediately after the proceedings at a news conference and accompanying demonstration of support.
Attorneys for the eight UCI and three UC Riverside students denounced the misdemeanor charges of
conspiracy to commit a crime and disrupting a meeting.
Some 100 supporters, many with tape over their mouths to symbolize what they called an assault on free speech, also gathered at the Central Justice Center here.
Defense attorney Dan Stormer called the allegations an "absolute affront to the Constitution."
Prosecutors claim they're protecting speakers from being drowned out by organized disruptors.
"The case is a clear violation of law, both in writing and on video," said Susan Schroeder, chief of staff for the district attorney. "We had no choice but to file."