A UC Irvine professor overstepped his boundaries when he told students that no disruptions were allowed during the Israeli ambassador's visit on campus last year, according to testimony given Wednesday in the so-called Irvine 11 trial in Santa Ana.
UC Irvine professor Rei Terada, an expert on the history and guidelines of free speech, told the Superior Court jury that fellow professor Mark Petracca, the event's emcee, had no authority to set stringent ground rules.
Before bringing Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren to the stage on Feb. 8, 2010, Petracca told the audience that he expected the highest civility.
"This is, after all, not a street corner; it is a university," Petracca said in a video of the event shown in court. "It is not the British Parliament; it is a university. And it is not even a joint session of Congress hearing the president of the United States. It is a university."