Bratton Too Toxic for Oakland: Amidst Community Outcry, Council Divided on Police Consultant Contract

At a fiery Public Safety Committee meeting, Stop the Injunctions Coalition mobilized last night with 200 other Oakland residents, strongly voicing opposition to a proposed $250,000 contract with controversial police consultant William Bratton. Bratton’s name has become synonymous with contentious zero tolerance police policies such as gang injunctions, stop and frisk, curfews, and quality of life policing; all policies that our communities have rejected time and time again. 

From 6pm to 9:30pm, Oaklanders spoke out loud and clear: a contract with William Bratton would be unacceptable, given his violent legacy.   Speakers noted that Bratton’s seeminglyimpressive statistics have begun to wither under scrutiny, with reports of manipulation of data and last week’s Supreme Court decision finding the NYPD’s use of stop and frisk a violation of residents’ civil rights. 

Newly-elected councilperson Lynette Gibson McElhaney (District 3) wondered if Bratton’s reputation was, “so toxic that he can’t be effective here.”  McElhaney continued, “He may be the best, but is he bringing so much baggage to your team, Mr. Wasserman, that he cannot hold town hall meetings?”

With Council members Kalb and McElhaney refusing to endorse a “short-term crime fighting strategy” contract that included Bratton, Councilmember Schaaf amended the proposal to include a recommendation that an alternative contractor be explored.  The item will now move to a full council meeting.  The dubious outcomes of Bratton-style policy and Bratton’s very reputation will be in question when the issue reaches the full Council for a vote next week.   Though the Council may decide to implement a version of the contract, last night’s strong showing demonstrated that Bratton is more of a liability than an asset in dealing with an engaged community that is fed up with policing scandals.

The public spoke loudly and clearly: Oakland residents don’t want Bratton in our city. For those of us working day in and day out to make our city a safer and stronger place, we understand that every dollar wasted on failed, quick-fix schemes is a dollar taken away from supporting effective, sustainable, and community-based solutions.

Read more:

Beware of Bratton, fact sheet from Critical Resistance (also included in email as attachment. Download! distribute! post!)

Oakland is wasting money on BrattonSFGate

 

ALL Out to City Hall: Tuesday October 25th

Last week on on October 4th, we successfully blocked City Council from expanding gang injunctions to Deep East and West Oakland and from hastily imposing youth curfews and anti-loitering laws. City Council has moved this suppression policing package to the Public Safety Committee, which will meet on Tuesday, October 25th. It’s up to us to stop them.  

Time and time again, we show up to City Hall & show City Council what real people power in Oakland is. Each time we mobilize we get even stronger. We are so close to a victory that will no doubt seriously shift power in our city, so that we can build the city we want & need.

Please come out to the Public Safety Committee meeting & tell council:

We cannot police our way out of poverty!

Our Oakland, Our Solutions!

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25TH

5:30PM

OAKLAND CITY HALL – 14TH & BROADWAY

Reclaiming Our Community

Santi, a member of Xicana Moratorium Coalition, talks at the 8/7 Block Party about how we can unite and reclaim our communities by taking pride in our art and culture, and connecting community members to resources and information.

Examples of organizations that use art & culture to connect community members include: Eastside Arts Alliance, Intertribal Friendship House, and Dignidad Rebelde.

How have YOU seen art & culture used to connect community members? PLEASE COMMENT BELOW!

TAKE ACTION NOW: Fight against the threat of new injunctions!

In the wake of the shooting death of 3 year old Carlos Nava, City Council-members have begun the call for more injunctions. Overlooking the fact that many of those that organized the vigil for Carlos & his family have also been vigorously organizing against the gang injunctions for months now, Larry Reid was quoted on KTVU advocating for a new injunction (http://www.ktvu.com/news/28830897/detail.html).

As many of us know, and as Kazu from the Peace Development Fund clearly states, “There’s a difference between just preventing violence and creating peace through justice”.


As we continue to build strength and power amongst community members and organizations we are asking that you help us to realize our demand of accountability from city government and increased decision-making power for all Oakland residents.

If you are a part of an organization, please sign on to this letter reminding City Council-members of their decision on May 17th to not enact any further gang injunctions. If you are a community member interested in plugging into the work, please email us at stoptheinjunction@gmail.com.

Video Of the City Council Meeting

Click Here to watch footage of the City Council meeting. The public comment session starts at 2:20 and a presentation by Stop the Injunctions Coalition starts at 3:40.

Also, check out Beyond Gang Injunctions, a recent community discussion on why some organizers in the coalition are a part of this fight, produced by the National Radio Project.  Click Here to listen.

Widespread community turnout at Oakland City Hall!

May 17th was a significant and inspiring show of people power in Oakland!
Thank You for packing City Hall and for standing up in defense of our communities. Your phone calls and emails to City Council made an impact. Whether you went up to the mic to speak, ceded time to someone else or held up a “Stop the Injunctions Now” sign, your work and presence helped amplify the voices of many different communities in Oakland in this crucial fight to be heard and recognized.

At least 300 people packed City Hall Tuesday night to oppose the preliminary gang injunction in North Oakland and the proposed Fruitvale injunction.  The public comment included 30 Oakland organizations, 160 individuals, and a 25 minute Power Point presentation by the our Coalition outlining their opposition to the injunctions and offering solutions to violence and economic problems facing Oakland.

City Council’s Vote

may 17th city hallThe City Council voted to continue bleeding Oakland’s already dry budget by funding the injunctions. Council members Larry Reid, Libby Schaff, Pat Kernighan, and Ignacio De la Fuente all voted to fund a watered-down version of the injunctions, while Nancy Nadel, Desley Brooks and Rebecca Kaplan voted to defund them.

Many of the sentiments of the residents opposing the injunctions were echoed by council members Nancy Nadel and Desley Brooks.  Brooks spoke with anger and disappointment at the OPD, The City Attorney, and even her fellow council members.  “Facts ought to lead the conversation,” said Brooks. “You know factually [the injunctions] haven’t worked. We have to stop selling the public remedies that do not work.”

We walked out Tuesday night with a resolution from the Council to not spend money on any new injunctions without independent evaluation. Council also decided that no resources are to be expended adding anyone new to the Fruitvale injunctions (meaning “John Does” won’t be added to the Fruitvale injunctions). This is crucial considering City Attorney John Russo raved about ramming at least 10 injunctions throughout Oakland before the end of 20

Building People Power

5/17/11 oak city hall – More than 30 organizations came through to support the coalition by voicing opposition to the injunctions, many of which had not yet publicly denounced the injunctions before.

- Nearly 160 people shared their opposition to the injunctions and what they want for our city in clear, passionate, and politically sharp ways.

- About 300 people came out to show their opposition and packed City Hall, the majority of whom stayed passed midnight–long after most of pro-injunction supporters left.

-Youth continue to show a tremendous amount of leadership in this fight and have regularly played a pivotal role in speaking out to City Council.

-We prevented the agenda item from being pushed to the end of the meeting.

-We got through to Nadel and Brooks, who used the Stop the Injunctions Coalition’s evidence and arguments in discussing the issue with the rest of the Council.

-While the City Council can vote to pay for injunctions, they don’t have the power to impose injunctions or make them permanent.  There is still no permanent injunction in place in this city.

Stop the Injunctions Coalition and all of the support hundreds of people have given in the past 18 months has clearly made an impact and put the Council on the defensive.Together we are building a dynamic movement against the gang injunctions and the violence of policing that will carry us through the next stages of this fight and beyond.

Our Oakland, Our Solutions!

3 point plan pt 2
One of the coalition’s central demands is for community self-determination. This means that our struggle is for the long haul, and has to draw in the strongest possible community participation. When we stand and work together we grow our collective strength for self-determination. Tuesday night shows us that we are in better shape than ever to move our work forward. Our fight has shifted but has definitely not ended!

Week of Action in Review

 

“We want education, we we want education! Keep us out of jail, keep keep us out of jail! No police violence, no no police violence! Stop the gang injunctions, stop STOP THE GANG INJUNCTIONS!”

-Youth chant as they marched to City Hall to voice their demands and stop the injunctions.

MONDAY– 2/28 Press Conference @ Fremont Federation of Schools

Speakers included:

Betty Olson-Jones, President of the Oakland Education Association; Candice Valenzuela of Media College Preparatory High School in the Fruitvale; and Jackie García of Xicáno Moratorium Coalition will speak out against the injunctions and draw attention to trade offs in the City’s budget priorities.

For photos from Press Conference click here!

TUESDAY– 3/1 Our Communities! Our Solutions! Bike Rides around the “Safety Zones”

Cyclists ride through the “safety zone” to protest gang injunctions (North Oakland)

Pictures from North Oakland Ride

WEDNESDAY– 3/2 Day of Education & Youth Concert

“We want the funding that is going into these gang injunctions to be going towards our education, after school programs, thing that will actually be helping out community.” -One of the Youth who was part of the High school walk out that kicked off the Friday rally.

THURSDAY– 3/3 Stop ALL Violence Vigil @ Lake Merritt

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FRIDAY– 3/4 Rally to Stop the Gang Injunctions @ City Hall

Youth March and Rally Pictures

Scores rally at Oakland City Hall to protest proposed Fruitvale gang injunction

Information and Pictures from Rally

Overview of Week:

KPFA Report and Interviews **go to around 7 mins, after headlines

Oakland Tribune My Word: Oakland residents must stop the gang injunctions (Angela Davis op-ed)

Interview about the Gang Injunctions

From Cairo to Madison to Tripoli–thousands of people are standing up for what matters most to them and their cities. It’s now time for OAKLAND and the larger BAY AREA to rise up and demand what our communities really need!!!

We need EVERYONE to rally against the injunctions. Right now our power is in our presence. Please bring as many people as possible with you!

There will be organizers of all ages from all over Oakland,
including Professor Angela Davis, speaking out against the injunctions.

There will also be theater and performances!

FREE CHILDCARE WILL BE PROVIDED, FOR MORE INFO, EMAIL US: stoptheinjunction@gmail.com

This rally is part of a week of action to stop gang injunctions.
Please join us for any of the other events leading up to the rally too!!!

Week of Actions: : Our Oakland, Our Solutions- What we want instead of the Gang Injunctions – Mon. February 28th – Fri. March 4th

Day #1: Mon. 2/28/11

Decriminalizing Our Youth and Our Communities:

We Denounce Violence, Stand Up for Education, & Demand Community Self-Determination!

Press Conference @ 10:30am

At: Fremont Federation of Schools (47th and Foothill)

Day #2: Tues. 3/1/11

Youth Empowerment-In Your Face:

Lifting Up Our Voices!

Bike Ride through the “Safety Zones”

-Fruitvale Ride Beginning At: East Side Cultural Center (2277 International) @ 3:30-5pm

MAP OF FRUITVALE ROUTE

-North Oakland Ride Beginning At: Bushrod Community Center (Shattuck and 59th ) @ 5:30-7pm

MAP OF NORTH OAKLAND ROUTE

Day #3: Weds. 3/2/11

Each One Teach One:

Community, Education, & Resources for Our Schools and Neighborhoods!

All Day Teach-ins

At: All High Schools in Oakland

Youth Concert @ 7-9pm

At: East Side Cultural Center (2277 International)

Day #4: Thurs. 3/3/11

STOP ALL VIOLENCE:

Healing Wounds of Oppression!

Vigil @ 5:30-7pm

At Lake Merritt Pavilion

Day #5: Fri. 3/4/11

Stand Up-El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido:

Gang Injunctions are Ineffective, Harmful and an Attack on Youth!

Rally @ 4-6pm

At: City Hall