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UC Irvine protesters convicted for disturbing the peace

Nearly a dozen UC Irvine protesters were convicted Tuesday of disturbing the peace in a February 2010 incident, with another six protesters also facing charges.

Just weeks after the infamous “Irvine 11" protest that shined a national spotlight on the college, hundreds of people shut down the school’s administration building.

Unlike the Irvine 11 protesters — the group of Muslim Student Union members and friends who shouted down an Israeli ambassador as he tried to give an on-campus speech — this group was demonstrating against student fee hikes and the university’s deal with one of its labor groups.

While hundreds surrounded Aldrich Hall, a smaller contingent went into the building and occupied the fifth floor, where Chancellor Michael Drake’s office is.


Despite repeated instructions to leave, the group — 11 students and supporters in all — shouted chants, sat down and banged on the walls and floor.

Eleven of the protesters pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and refusing to disperse. Seven were sentenced to 60 hours of community service and one year of informal probation.

Three were sentenced to 10 days of Caltrans work and three years informal probation, and one was sentenced to five days of Caltrans work and one year informal probation.

Six other demonstrators face the same charges.


The convicted demonstrators Tuesday were: Moosa Matt Azadian, 21, Anaheim; Fernando Chirino, 29, Irvine; Saron Ephraim, 23, Tustin; Dennis Lopez, 33, Irvine; Sylvia Van Pham, 22, Fountain Valley; Whitney Lauren Shepard, 23, Irvine; Samiyyah Jowharah Tillman, 23, Irvine; Juan Antonio Castillo, 49, Santa Ana; Evangelina Nevarez, 37, Los Angeles; Celen Perez, 29, Los Angeles; John Bruning, 25, Santa Ana.

— Joseph Serna

Twitter: @JosephSerna