The room was packed full of people who gathered to applaud an unlikely bunch: a group of men who had been convicted of misdemeanors less than 48 hours ago.
The men — part of the Irvine 11 found guilty of disrupting a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren — on Sunday told those gathered at the Islamic Institute of Orange County in Anaheim of their activism and expressed gratitude for community support. At one point, the nine men stood to applause.
On Friday, after deliberating for two days a jury found the 10 Muslim students guilty. A judge sentenced the men to community service, probation time and fines. Charges against an 11th defendant will be dropped pending completion of community service in Costa Mesa.
The students were in support of the Palestinian cause, and shouted phrases such as "You, sir, are an accomplice to genocide," at Oren during the event at UC Irvine last year.