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NORTHWEST NEWS

Photos: Oregon Welcomes Shakespeare Festival’s Newly Appointed Artistic Director

On Wednesday, June 12, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival hosted a reception at the Froelick Gallery to welcome newly appointed artistic director Nataki Garret.

Juneteenth Celebrations Expand Across Metro Area, State

Gresham, Vancouver events join decades-old Portland celebration of the effective end of slavery

Portland Black Pride in June

Midway through Pride Month, there are still a number of events throughout Portland that celebrate LGBTQ community members of color.

Family, Police Seek Answers in Death of Black, Queer Portlander

Otis/Titi Gulley was found hanging from a tree on Rocky Butte May 27

NEWS BRIEFS

Must-See Shows Open in OSF Outdoor Theatre

New shows are Alice in Wonderland, Macbeth and All’s Well That Ends Well. ...

Roosevelt High School Students Earn National Recognition for Resiliency

Students from Roosevelt High School who recently started a storytelling and resiliency-building initiative have been invited to...

Seattle Art Museum Appoints Amada Cruz as New Director and CEO

The Board of Trustees of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) announced today that Amada Cruz has been chosen as the museum’s new Illsley...

The Oregon Historical Society Presents a Lecture on Oregon’s Enigmatic Black History

Join the Oregon Historical Society for an evening exploring Oregon’s enigmatic history in relation to Blacks ...

Lisa Loving ‘Street Journalist’ Reading

On June, 2, Lisa Loving, former news editor of The Skanner News, read from her new book at Powell’s Books on Burnside ...

Oregon city stops jailing poor who can't pay court debts

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — The eastern Oregon city of Pendleton has stopped jailing people unable to pay fines, a city official said, following the settlement of a federal lawsuit contending city officials were running a debtors' prison.The East Oregonian reports in a story on Saturday that city...

North Entrance Road Opens at Crater Lake National Park

CRATER LAKE, Ore. (AP) — The North Entrance Road and West Rim Drive in Crater Lake National Park will open for travel Saturday morning.Superintendent Craig Ackerman says visitors now can drive to and from the park using the popular route and access spectacular views of the lake from West Rim...

OPINION

U.S. Attempt to Erase Harriet Tubman

Traitors like Jefferson Davis and other Confederates are memorialized while a woman who risked her life time and again to free enslaved people is simply dismissed. ...

Watching a Father and Son

You must have seen this video of a father speaking with his pre-verbal son about the season finale of Empire. ...

The Congressional Black Caucus Must Oppose HR 246

If every tactic that was used by African Americans in the Civil Rights Movement and/or in the fight against apartheid South Africa was either criminalized or attacked by the US Congress, how would you respond? ...

Jamestown to Jamestown: Commemorating 400 Years of the African Diaspora Experience

We are now able to actualize the healing and collective unity so many generations have worked to achieve in ways which bring power to our communities in America, Africa and throughout our Diaspora. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Mexico vows to help Central American migrants amid crackdown

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Saturday his country must help Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence, even as it increases security and revisions to deter migrants from passing through Mexico on route to the U.S.Mexico plans to...

Democrats favor more access to capital for black businesses

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Four Democrats vying for their party's presidential nomination honed in on the economic concerns of the black community during a forum Saturday in South Carolina, a state where nonwhite voters will play a major role in next year's primary election.Appearing on stage...

Cross-sports push at World Cup for gender pay equality

PARIS (AP) — Venus Williams joined retired soccer star Julie Foudy and ice hockey player Hilary Knight in the Eiffel Tower to highlight the push for pay equality for women athletes.The trio gathered Saturday night for a forum sponsored by LUNA bar and moderated by Catt Sadler, who quit E! in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Aniston to Sandler before kissing scenes: 'Oil up the beard'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When it came to their kissing scenes in Netflix's "Murder Mystery ," Jennifer Aniston had one requirement of co-star Adam Sandler."I did have him learn to oil the beard up a little bit," the actress said in a joint interview this week. "Conditioned."Sandler said kissing...

Democratic contenders bash Fox News on Fox News

NEW YORK (AP) — Julian Castro is the latest Democratic presidential contender to follow the trend of criticizing Fox News Channel while appearing on the network for a town hall.The former Housing secretary's scolding of Fox on Thursday for its coverage of Hillary Clinton was mild compared to...

'Gosh!' Cult comedy 'Napoleon Dynamite' turns 15

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The cult comedy Napoleon Dynamite turns 15 years old this month, a milestone for a movie that became an early breakaway hit in today's era of pop-culture geek celebration.The movie created the "Vote for Pedro" T-shirt and made Napoleon's disgusted version of "gosh!"...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Census says more than 60% of US men are fathers

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Fathers in the U.S. tend to be better educated than men without children, and...

Washington state waterfront owners asked to take dead whales

PORT HADLOCK, Wash. (AP) — At least one Washington state waterfront landowner has said yes to a request to...

Alabama orders 'chemical castration' of some child molesters

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Some Alabama sex offenders who abuse young children will have to undergo "chemical...

Aging grand hotel highlights the ethnic division in Cyprus

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — With Italian chandeliers still hanging in the lobby, the Ledra Palace Hotel in...

Notre Dame celebrates 1st Mass since devastating April fire

PARIS (AP) — The archbishop wore a hard-hat helmet, burnt wood debris was still visible and only about 30...

'We are trapped': Zimbabwe's economic crunch hits passports

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — With Zimbabwe's economy in shambles and political tensions rising, leaving the...

McMenamins
Amy Taxin the Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) -- A jury on Friday convicted 10 Muslim students of disrupting a talk by the Israeli ambassador on a university campus in a case that has stoked an intense debate about free speech.

The jury also convicted the students of conspiring to disrupt Ambassador Michael Oren's speech in February 2010 at the University of California, Irvine. They were charged with misdemeanor counts after standing up, one by one, and shouting prepared statements such as "propagating murder is not an expression of free speech."

Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter J. Wilson sentenced the defendants to 56 hours of community service and three years of informal probation. The judge found that the incident did not merit jail time and he added that the probation period would be reduced to one year if the community service is completed by the end of January 2012. Minimal court fines and fees were also assessed against the 10.

About 150 people, including relatives and supporters of the students and Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, attended the verdict. Some community members gasped and started crying when the verdict was read and about a dozen walked out.

The students showed little reaction but later huddled with their attorneys and shared hugs with family and friends.

Shakeel Syed of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California said he was shocked.

"This is yet another reaffirmation that Islamophobia is intensely and extensively alive and thriving in Orange County," he said. "I believe this will be used as precedent now to suppress speech and dissent throughout the country. This is the beginning of the death of democracy."

A coalition of Muslim and Christian community leaders denounced the verdict and vowed to stand by the students. They praised the students' courage for standing up to Oren and protesting the Israeli government's actions in Gaza in the tradition of American civil rights leaders.

"This attack against Muslim students and the Muslim community is an attack on democracy. It's an attack on all of us," Father Wilfredo Benitez, rector of St. Anselm of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Garden Grove. "It's an attack on all of us. It's an attack on all those people who believe in the U.S. Constitution and freedom of speech."

UC Irvine said in a statement that it supports free speech.

"We nurture a campus climate that promotes robust debate and welcomes different points of view," said Rex Bossert, a university spokesman.

The verdict was praised by the sponsor of Oren's speech, the Rose Project of Jewish Federation & Family Services, Orange County.

Shalom C. Elcott, JFFS president and CEO, said in a statement that the verdict reaffirmed that it was a planned and systematic disruption used to "trample on the free speech of others and crossed the moral, social and intellectual line of civility and tolerance."

Prosecutors said the students broke the law by interrupting Oren's speech on U.S.-Israel relations and cutting short the program, despite calls to behave from campus officials. Defense attorneys argued the students had a right to protest.

Some community members called the trial a waste of taxpayers' money and said prosecutors were singling out the defendants because they are Muslim.

Prosecutor Dan Wagner told jurors the students acted as censors to block the free flow of ideas and infringed upon the rights of 700 people who had gone to the Irvine campus to hear Oren.

Wagner showed video footage of university officials pleading with students to stop, but they kept interrupting the lecture. Wagner also showed emails sent among members of UC Irvine's Muslim Student Union planning the disruption and calculating who was willing to get arrested.

Defense attorneys countered there were no hard rules for the speech, and the students might have been discourteous but didn't break the law.

Lawyer Reem Salahi, who represents two of the defendants, said the demonstration was modeled after a series of protests at UC Irvine and elsewhere in which students shouted at lecturers but weren't arrested.

She said the students never intended to halt Oren's speech entirely but wanted to express their views on the Israeli government's actions in Gaza.

During the case, attorneys showed dueling pie charts breaking down how much time the students demonstrated, how long their supporters cheered and how much time Oren spoke. The evidence was intended to show whether the meeting suffered a significant disruption.

Attorneys for the students - who attended UC Irvine and nearby University of California, Riverside - argued before the trial that charges should never have been filed and that the issue was already handled on campus.

In 2010, the students were cited, released and disciplined at UC Irvine, which revoked the Muslim Student Union's charter for a quarter and placed it on two years of probation.

Earlier this year, Rackauckas filed criminal charges against 11 students, prompting an outcry from the American Civil Liberties Union and a host of Jewish, Muslim and campus groups. Charges against one defendant later were dropped.

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