Jewish group protests charges vs Muslim students

A Jewish group has delivered thousands of signatures to the Orange County district attorney's office protesting his decision to charge 11 Muslim students with misdemeanor conspiracy for disrupting the Israeli ambassador during a speech at the University of California, Irvine.

Estee Chandler, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, said more than 5,000 signatures were delivered Wednesday to District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

The students were charged after protesting during Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech on U.S.-Israeli security last year, forcing the diplomat to stop his remarks for 20 minutes.

Chandler says many members of her group have protested in a similar fashion and not been arrested because their actions qualify as free speech.

DA spokeswoman Susan Schroeder says the prosecutor is following the law.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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