Press release: Oakland Community Stands Against Gang Injunction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2010

Contact: Stacie Szmonko 339-222-8771

Oakland Community Stands Against Gang Injunction
Diverse group says more policing will not solve violence

Event: Rally at court hearing
Where: 1221 Oak Street, Department 20, Oakland
When: 1pm, April 22nd 2010

Oakland, CA – On April 22nd, hundreds of community members from across the Bay Area will rally outside the courthouse hearing at 1221 Oak Street to oppose the controversial gang injunction recently filed by Oakland City Attorney John Russo. The newly formed group to stop the injunction is composed of a wide array of locals who have been meeting weekly in North Oakland to discuss how the gang injunction will negatively impact their neighborhoods, communities, and family members, while failing to address the root causes of violence in Oakland.

“To create real safety in our communities, we need to invest in education, community centers, affordable housing, and jobs for youth, not more policing. This injunction will break up families, push people out of their neighborhoods, and increase racial profiling. It will send young people to prison for associating with their friends, or dressing a certain way. Our young people need more opportunity and support, not more police harassment,” says Manuel Fontaine of All of Us or None, a member organization of the coalition effort.

The injunction is a civil court order that would prohibit certain activities by named and unnamed individuals, including associating with one another, loitering, and other usually legal activities within a 100-block area in North Oakland. The injunction takes away peoples’ basic rights and has led to increased police harassment of young people in the neighborhood. Its estimated costs are $420,000.

“It is unacceptable for this city to spend almost half a million dollars on a gang injunction while funds for education, food assistance, art, and healthcare are being cut, and people are losing their homes and jobs,” says Zaylia A. Pluss, North Oakland Resident and member of Plan for a Safer Oakland.

Margaret White, North Oakland resident and mother says, “This racist injunction is simply a modern day version of Jim Crow and Black Code laws. This injunction will not stop violence, just as the “War on Drugs” did not stop the flow of drugs running through our communities. Where is the investment in the future of our youth? Instead of locking them away; create opportunities so they too can hope for a brighter tomorrow.”

The ACLU and Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights has filed court papers against the injunction: https://stoptheinjunction.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/press-release-aclu-lawyers%E2%80%99-committee-for-civil-rights-file-court-papers-against-proposed-oakland-gang-injunction. For more information about the coalition to stop the injunction visit https://stoptheinjunction.wordpress.com/

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