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

Growing Our Roots: Reclaiming Our Fruitvale

On Sunday, August 7th community members from across Fruitvale came together with Stop the Injunctions Coalition (STIC), Eastside Arts Alliance, and other community-based organizations to beautify and celebrate our neighborhood. The mural and block party were proposed by Ruben & Mikey–members of STIC & defendants on the injunction list. Thanks to their energy & hard work, they were able to pull together other coalition and community members for what we hope is just the first of many more safe spaces for our youth, friends & family.

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We would like to give thanks to everyone that came out to show support & help make this event happen:

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!

What Gang Injunctions Look Like: Police Repression of Individuals, Communities, and Neighborhoods

To date, grassroots organizing and legal defense has successfully held at bay another harmful California gang injunction from being enacted below the radar of intense public scrutiny in Oakland. Despite being incredibly out-funded by the once-powerful City Attorney and the Oakland Police Department, community-based opposition has already won several key victories: waiving fees of close to $1000 that defendants would have had to pay to appear in court, forcing the OPD and City Attorney’s office to report to the City Council on the costs of gang injunctions (close to $1 million spent so far), and winning the right for each named individual to defend themselves in court. Six months after its initial filing, the proposed Fruitvale/San Antonio injunction, which was expected to pass quickly and quietly like the North Oakland injunction, has not been approved.

Unsurprisingly, the strength of community opposition has been met by the City Attorney and OPD with escalated repression tactics aimed at discouraging named individuals from defending themselves in court or on the streets. Of the two defendants who have testified so far in the case, Abel Manzo lost his job after his coworkers were harassed with repeated police visits and subpoenas. The other, Javier Quintero, is currently locked up in San Quentin prison on a “parole violation” related to meeting with a co-defendant and their lawyer.

If the Oakland gang injunction case has anything to teach us, it is as a fairly predictable case study on the design, intentions, and impacts of police suppression tactics. Gang injunctions are part of a long history of racialized and violent policing that regularly claims the lives of poor people and people of color in Oakland. In the face of this daily reality, the City Attorney’s office mounted an aggressive public relations campaign claiming that Oakland’s gang injunction is somehow different from the rest and that gang injunctions do not lead to racial profiling. We know from our own experiences that this is a clear and dangerous lie. Despite the fact that the City Attorney claims that the power to determine who is enjoined or not rests in the hands of the courts, enforcement of these gang injunctions (stopping, detaining and arresting individuals) relies on the police visually identifying young men of color. This guarantees, and provides legal justification for, a dramatic increase in police harassment of young men of color in the so-called “safety zones.”  In the case of Javier’s arrest—the car he was riding in was pulled over for playing loud music at 6pm on a Friday night.  One wonders if young white men in the affluent Rockridge neighborhood would be subject to the same kind of policing.

As with gang injunctions in other cities, Oakland’s two injunctions were filed in low-income neighborhoods that border higher-income neighborhoods with higher property rates.  As has been seen in other highly policed “border” areas, we can expect these tactics to raise the profile of the police and push criminalized communities off the street—paving the way for gentrification. Indeed, cover for the Oakland police department and city attorney’s office—both vying for financial and political power when the city is facing a $26 million budget shortfall and is spending 40% of its 2011 budget on OPD and the City Attorney’s office when Parks and Rec and Libraries only get 4% respectively—was provided by business and property owners who would financially benefit from the gentrification of nearby streets through increased policing (mainly through the power they exert in Neighborhood Crime Prevention Councils).

The individuals named on the North Oakland and Fruitvale injunctions are subject to restrictions similar to parole conditions that are responsible for sending approximately 50,000 people to prison in California on technical violations every year.  These same conditions, combined with targeted political repression, have sent Javier to jail for a minimum of 30 days and maybe up to a year, for sitting in a car with a friend and co-defendant. Others, such as Yancey Young, an individual named in the North Oakland injunction have been subject to similar repression. These repression tactics have been used in the cases of individuals who have taken up a more active role in the movement against gang injunctions in Oakland through speaking to the press, attending events and becoming more public figures. This is testimony to the fact that our grassroots efforts are winning; putting the City Attorney, OPD, and pro-gentrification forces on the defensive (albeit with violent consequences for those targeted by repression). With a third, as yet unspecified injunction on the horizon, it is paramount that we keep up the fight.

Winning the fight against gang injunctions depends on the participation of people who are named on the injunction and their families.  The state is doing everything it can to prohibit this participation.  We must meet them, and beat them, at every step. Here is how you can support Javier, Abel, Yancey and the rest of the gang injunction defendants:

1. Pack City Hall! Tuesday May 3rd, 5pm, 14th and Broadway. Show City Council that you oppose the Oakland Gang Injunctions!

2. Pack the Courtroom! Friday May 6th, 1pm Press Conference, 2pm Final Arguments in Phase 1 of court hearings on the Fruitvale injunction, 1225 Fallon, Dept

3. Free Javier! Call Inspector General Bruce Montross at 800-700-5952 to demand an investigation into the arrest and detention of Javier Quintero.

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

Coverage of the Bike Rides against Injunctions

Last Tuesday, March 2, two bike rides traversed the North Oakland and Fruitvale “safety zones” to protest the injunctions in Oakland.  Over 30 riders biked through the North Oakland “safety” zone, stopping at just a few of locations in North Oakland that have been part of Oakland’s radical organizing history, such as the stoplight at 55th and Market (read the article to find out why stoplight is so rad!).

The North Oakland ride was a real fun evening that generated lots of conversations with folks on the sidewalk, traveling in cars and waiting at bus stops.  Good outreach, sharing of history, and unpoliced movement in the streets.  It also gave us some first-hand examples (*ouch*) of what better ways Oakland could use our money: fix the roads, fill the potholes!!! Let’s really make safer streets for all!

Please email stoptheinjunction@gmail.com if you have any photos of the Fruitvale or North Oakland rides that you want to share.

Last stop at the It's All Good Bakery, former headquarters of the Black Panther Party (Oakland chapter)

Read Oakland North’s coverage of our North Oakland “safety” zone and Black Panther Party history ride here.