EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The University of California system has gone out of its way to protect BDS activists by shielding them from prosecution. However, recent efforts by StandWithUs and the Brandeis Center to prosecute event disruptors seem to have had a deterrent effect on BDS activity on California campuses – at least for the time being.
Organized disruptors – both students and non-students – who shut down a pro-Israel gathering at University of California Los Angeles in May 2018 might not be prosecuted, according to information from LA City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office. Instead, they will be called to a confidential but mandatory proceeding called a “City Attorney Hearing,” an alternative to prosecution that can be described as a “warning” not to repeat the conduct. One legal expert compared it to a “deferred prosecution,” but stressed that a full trial could still result.
Victims generally do not appear at such a hearing, the City Attorney’s office explained, and generally no criminal record attaches to the accused. Still, the prosecutor retains the right to issue charges later if he feels the illegal conduct has recurred or may recur.