When I first read in UC Irvine's New University that there were representatives of the National Lawyers Guild affiliated with the UC Irvine Law School participating in the disruption of a pro-Israel movie screening Wednesday night, I was surprised. I had not been aware that there was any connection with this radical organization and the law school. But there surely is:
Here is the NLG/UCI Facebook link:
(It is currently not accessible. Understandable under the circumstances.)
To be fair, NLG has chapters on dozens of US university campuses across the nation. UCI is hardly the only one.
The National Lawyers Guild is a radical law group which was founded in the 1930s as a legal arm of the Communist party USA. Since then they continue to support virtually any cause designed to make this country look like a racist, imperialistic, unjust, genocidal hell-hole. More recently, the LA chapter of NLG, specifically the chapter leader, Jim Lafferty, was active in leading the Occupy LA sit-ins in front of City Hall in 2011. Lafferty, in addition, has spoken more than once at UCI on behalf of the Muslim Student Union during their annual anti-Israel week of events. I have personally heard him on two occasions at UCI (2008-2009) during one of which he stated that the Israelis should get out of the Middle East. (To be accurate I don't recall if he used the word Israelis, Zionists, or Jews.)
Plugging along, I came across this publication by NLG called the Radical Law Student Project (Manual). Like I said, NLG is a radical bunch -using their own words.
In addition, the UCI Law School web site lists NLG as a partner organization.
Finally, Dean Chemerinsky's CV, which is on the law school's website, mentions that NLG gave him an award in 2009.
But after all that, here is the point: It was reported by the New University that were "lawyers" from NLG at UCI Law School at the disruption who were announcing that the protesters had a right to enter the meeting room. While that is technically correct since it was a public event on a public campus, that right did not extend to shouting, frightening people, blocking exits and disrupting), The campus police had to be called to restore order. The Chancellor of the university, Howard Gillman, has denounced what occurred. Now we have the allegation that these so-called NLG/UCILS "lawyers" (possibly law students) participated in what has (once again) brought national attention and embarrassment to UCI. Here are some thoughts:
If lawyers actually were involved, their actions should be brought to the attention of the California Bar Association.
The university needs to investigate this possible connection. If they don't, they would be guilty of gross negligence. If such individuals participated, what exactly are their roles in the UCI Law School?
Maybe the university needs to take a second look at the participation of NLG in UCI's law school.
If these reports are true, Dean Erwin Chemerinsky needs to come out with some sort of statement. Is this the type of training and education that UCI law students are getting? Maybe the university needs to take a look at that as well.