Students for Justice in Palestine At UC Irvine Sanctioned

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Students for Justice in Palestine’s antics are catching up with them, with the UC Irvine chapter put on probation and facing a possible ban if they violate again.

Students for Justice in Palestine filed an appeal with UC Irvine yesterday after administrators sanctioned the group for disrupting a speaking event with Israeli soldiers in May. Back then, activists built a mock apartheid wall on campus to raise awareness during “Anti-Zionism Week.”

Pro-Israeli groups pressed UCI administrators this summer to take action against SJP, alleging students to have acted in violation of school policies. Students Supporting Israel, StandWithUs and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law sent a letter on July 6 to Anteater Chancellor Howard Gillman demanding accountability. The groups even called for misdemeanor charges against the students for disturbing a public meeting.

UCI admins responded by sanctioning SJP on August 22 for “disruption” and put strict terms on their campus organizing. The student group is now under a two-year probationary period. Its members have to attend 12 mandatory meetings on free speech as well as meet with admins two weeks before putting on any events. Any violation during SJP’s probation could lead to the group being suspended or banned.

Being sanctioned is nothing new for SJP. They faced similar punishment for protesting a screening of the pro-IDF film Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front after being denied entrance to the on-campus venue hosting the event last year. The probationary period ended in March before the student group got slapped with another, lengthier disciplinary action. And, of course, there’s the “Irvine 11” case where the Orange County District Attorney’s office gained convictions against ten Muslim Student Union members for disrupting a February 2010 speech by then Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren that came a year after Israel’s Operation Cast Lead..

The latest infraction happened during a Reservists on Duty panel at campus.

Here are these champions of free speech in action.




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