Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Uncivilized Tactics at UC Irvine
Film shows Israel's Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, trying to speak at UC Irvine on February 8, 2010, during numerous shouts trying to drown him out.
Ambassador Oren persevered, completing his speech, and 11 students who disrupted his speech were escorted out by police.
This film shows what happened on February 8 after students disrupted Ambassador Michael Oren's speech at UC Irvine. After the 11 students were removed from the room by police, approximately 75 students (who were cheering for the hecklers) all stood up and marched out of the room. Film shows a leader boasting that the group had succeeded in shutting down Michael Oren, and he invites everyone to all follow him to a "debriefing." The film also shows that Ambassador Oren actually was able to complete his speech after the disruptive students were escorted out of the room by police Learn more at http://www.standwithus.com/. Stand Up for Free Speech, beginning with UC Irvine.
A CRITICAL CALL TO ACTION:
STAND WITH FREE SPEECH
STAND UP AGAINST ABUSE OF OUR UNIVERSITIES, LIBERTIES, AND VALUES
In a carefully orchestrated action, over 75 Muslim students and their sympathizers repeatedly jeered and screamed raucously to silence Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren during his speech at UC Irvine (UCI) on Monday, Feb. 8. Eleven of the most disruptive Muslim students were arrested. The UCI administration is now considering what punitive actions to take. Watch the video of the event at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7w96UR79TBw.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and Muslim student groups have launched a campaign to defend the disruptive students, claiming that their right to free speech has been violated. It was not. From the outset, they were invited to stay and ask questions during the Q and A, but they chose disruption over education, embarrassing themselves and the university. Now, in a mockery of American values, they claim that free speech is the freedom to silence others. It is not.
Free speech is at great risk, and we need your help.
It should be noted that StandWithUs is very proud of the Anteaters for Israel student group for their leadership on behalf of free speech at UC Irvine. We feel it is our responsibility to support their efforts.
Write to UCI's administration and let them know:
You support their taking firm steps to sanction these raucous students and to prevent similar future occurrences. That such incidents must not be tolerated. Free speech is not the freedom to silence others.
Enough is enough. This event is a microcosm of what we have seen at UCI in the past and at far too many other campuses. It is time for responsible adults to say no to this thug-like intolerance, ignorance, and hate and restore reason and informed debate at our institutions of higher learning.
The university must demand respect for civil discourse during events.
The university must enforce freedom of speech.
The university must resist efforts at intimidation designed to prevent the free exchange of ideas.
The university must suspend or expel the students who were arrested.
The university should suspend university funding of the Muslim Student Union while investigating the role it played in planning the demonstration.
The president of the MSU was one of those arrested.
The university should demand that the students involved issue a public apology to Ambassador Oren, the State of Israel, the administration, the departments, the student organizations that co-sponsored the event, and to community members who came to learn from Ambassador Oren.
The university should require the offending students to undergo special training in civil discourse and the principle of free speech and to take a course that presents the Arab-Israeli conflict with all points of view.
The university should take firm, clearly articulated steps to ensure that this does not happen again at future events.
UCI is in a critical position as a result of this unfortunate incident. It has captured worldwide attention.
UCI has the opportunity and the responsibility to serve as a role model for other university administrations plagued with similar extremist efforts to silence dissenting views.
UCI must take the lead in restoring a reasonable climate on our campuses.
As part of your action, please also review the StandWithUs video of this event again at www.youtube.com/watch?v=7w96UR79TBw and make sure that you forward it to all your friends. Encourage them to become involved with us, and Stand Up for Free Speech.
ACTION: Please send a copy of the letter below (or write your own) to the addresses below. Don't leave this action to others. Imagine if everyone thought that others would take action. Please take five minutes and do this yourself. Now is not the time to be passive on this issue. Your activism can and will make a difference. We need you now.
Please write to:
949.824.5011 (You may call and leave a message.)
Office of the Dean of Students (who is determining the punishment)
Mark G. Yudof
President of the University of California
Please send a copy of your letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Chancellor Drake and Office of the Dean of Students,
I am appalled by the mob-like behavior of students who repeatedly disrupted Israeli Ambassador Oren's lecture on February 8 at UC Irvine. Please see the video at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7w96UR79TBw.
I applaud you for having the worst offenders arrested and fully support your taking strong disciplinary action against them and forceful measures to prevent similar occurrences.
The well-orchestrated effort by Muslim students and their political sympathizers to shout down and silence Ambassador Oren is an assault on free speech and an abuse of our universities, liberties, and values. It should not be tolerated.
You must not capitulate to the twisted logic of student groups and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), which have rushed to defend these students, claiming that their right to free speech was violated. It was not. From the outset, they were invited to stay and ask questions during the Q and A, but they chose disruption over education, embarrassing themselves, the university, and our community.
Nor has their voices been silenced on campus. Over the past several years, the Muslim Student Union has regularly hosted speakers, most of whom spewed anti-Israel and anti-Semitic diatribes that echoed traditional anti-Semitic tracts.
To my knowledge, Jewish and pro-Israel students have never disrupted these events, despite the damaging and flagrant hate, bigotry, and outright lies that characterized them. Yet, the Muslim students tried to prevent a distinguished speaker with dissenting views from speaking or being heard. In a mockery of American values, they and MPAC claim that free speech is the freedom to silence others. It is not. Such views must be forcefully repudiated.
Enough is enough. This event is a microcosm of what we have seen at UC Irvine in the past and at too many other universities. It is time for responsible adults to say no to this thuggish intolerance and bigotry and to restore reason and informed debate at our institutions of higher learning.
We urge you to:
Demand respect for civil discourse during events.
Enforce freedom of speech.
Suspend or expel the students who were arrested.
Suspend funding of the Muslim Student Union while investigating its role in planning the disruption. The president of the MSU was one of those arrested.
Demand that the students involved issue a written public apology to Ambassador Oren, the State of Israel, the co-sponsors of this event (including the UC Irvine administration), and community members who came to hear the lecture.
Require offending students to undergo special training in civil discourse and the principles of free speech and to take a course that presents the Arab-Israeli conflict with all points of view.
Take firm measures to ensure that this does not happen again at future events.
Seize this opportunity to take the lead in restoring reasoned and informed debate on campus. You are in the public eye because of this unfortunate incident. Your statements and actions can serve as a model for other university administrations also plagued with extremist efforts to silence debate and foment intolerance. We urge you to assume this critical responsibility and make the right choices.
I look forward to your response,
Posted by Lady Patriot at 8:42 AM