On February 24, 2010, 17 UCI students and community supporters sat in outside Chancellor Drake’s office, issuing demands for workers rights on campus, increased access for underrepresented students, and amnesty for the Irvine 11. They were quickly arrested and evicted from the building by dozens of police without a single administrator offering to hear their demands.
Nine months later, those 17, along with 2 students who were outside Aldrich Hall during the action, received criminal charges by mail. After months of hearings and attempts at reaching a plea, the UCI 19 are headed to trial, beginning September 27. Over 19 months since the initial incident. The 17 are being charged with trespassing, disturbing the peace, and refusal to disperse. The other two are being charged with false imprisonment, blocking a thoroughfare, and being a public nuisance. Everyone potentially faces over a year in jail if convicted.
In the last 40 years nationally, there has never been a sit-in prosecuted to the extent that this one is. The charges faced by the 17 are excessive. The other two defendants are being selectively prosecuted for an incident involving 30 students outside the sit-in, and it is clear they are being singled out because of their past political involvement.
Don’t let UCI and the DA criminalize dissent! Demand that all the charges be dropped!
We’re counting on your support to beat the charges. A strong showing of campus and community support on the first day of trial will send the message to the DA and the court that we’re here to fight.
Trial officially begins at 8:30am on 9/27, though it never starts on time. Please try to come as early as you are able to. It will also not likely conclude on the first day, but will instead be drawn out, so please also pay attention for future dates.