Volume , Number 0
There are no articles.Commentary
There are no articles.Culture
There are no articles.Features
Class & Gays
Anna marie Smith
Gabriel San román
Z Papers on Strategy
Nicolas J.S. Davies
Gay & Lesbian Community Notes
Son of Dick
There are no articles.
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Gang Injunctions Take Root in San Francisco
According to the People of California, as represented by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrer, The Oakdale Mob, by virtue of its criminal and nuisance activities, threatens the freedom of the peaceful citizens who live and work in the neighborhood. These citizens have the right to live without fear. They have the right to have the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of their community. Their children have the right to play in their own front yards and to ride their bikes down the sidewalk in front of their own homes without fear of harm from gang violence. As such, the Oakdale Mobs public nuisance behavior must be enjoined to restore and protect this community.
Apparently, Herrera was just the right person to give the people what they needed in order to live peaceful and harmonious lives, even if it was done largely behind their backs. For the Oakdale Mob gang injunction, only six months in its infancy, has been officially declared a success.
I will say that this has been tremendously effective over the course of the last several months. In fact, there have only been three arrests in that area and thats mostly because most of the activity that was there previously has disappeared and youve seen a tremendous reduction in the number of police calls and the like, said Herrera at a recent press conference.
The city attorney continued: Unfortunately, we have seen a migration of the violence to other parts of the city and county of San Francisco, more specifically the Western Addition neighborhoods and the Mission district.
Thus the need for more gang injunctions. The epidemic of violence must be targeted and brought under control.
Indeed. Gang injunctions leave communities targetednot by gang violence, but by a system with vested interests, for gang injunctions are but one of the many chokeholds being applied to select neighborhoods across the country.
Its important to look at the socio-economic profile of gang injunctions nationwide. They are only applied in poor neighborhoods of color in metropolitan areas that are targeted for gentrification, says Mesha Monge-Irizarry, director of San Franciscos only organization that holds police accountable and supports the families of victims of police misconduct. A Bayview/Hunters Point resident for the past 10 years, her son was shot to death 6 years ago by the San Francisco police48 shots, 9 officers, no chance.
If you look at San Francisco, there are dangerous, violent, homicidal gangs in many neighborhoods. You have Armenian and Russian gangs in the Richmond and in the Sunset. There are Korean, Japanese, and Chinese gangs in the Fillmore, in Japantown, and in Chinatown. There are Italian gangs in Northbeach, says Mesha. And yet those are not the areas being targeted by the recent gang injunctions. Los Angeles provides a case in point. There are a lot more injunctions in the LA area than in northern California. Injunctions do not exist in the most violent neighborhoods, which is where you would expect them, but they exist in neighborhoods that border white or gentrifying neighborhoods, says ACLU attorney Juniper Lesnik. It makes it look as if the government is taking action to make those neighborhoods safer, which gives people more confidence about living nearby.
In San Francisco, along 3rd Street, there is a new Muni T-line, the old warehouses are being torn down, and new condominiums are popping up. It is very obvious that in a couple of years youre going to have spas and Starbucks out here. Those palm trees here on 3rd Street, they cost $16,000 a piece. They were not put there for us. Its for the next population that is going to move in, says Monge-Irizarry. (According to Kristen Holland, Public Relations Officer at San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the trees cost between $2,300 and $2,512 each.)
In his court case, the city attorney paints a foreboding picture of the Oakdale Mob, describing it as a violent, turf-based, predominantly African American, criminal street gang that claims turf located within the Bayview/Hunters Point area...whose purpose is to commit criminal acts for financial and other gain. As a result, people in the community are forced to live with daily acts of violence, drug-dealing, thefts, vandalism, loitering, harassment, physical intimidation and threats of retaliation.
But members of the community paint a different picture. Jim Queen, an activist in the area for 39 years, says that he has not experienced gang violence, harassment, or intimidation. He continues by saying, I firmly believe that the gang injunction is not the right answer for violence in the community and will negatively impact families in the area. Betty Higgins, a retired Muni driver who has lived in the area for 50 years says that she does not believe that a gang injunction is the solution to the problems in our community.
Shanteak Harris was one of three people served in the Oakdale Mob injunction. According to the evidence presented by the city attorney (consisting entirely of police declarations and records), Harris is a member and leader of the Oakdale Mob who has contributed to the creation of this nuisance.
Again, people from the community paint a different picture. Reverend Ernest L. Jackson, pastor of Grace Tabernacle Church on Oakdale Ave., says he has worked with Harris to create a community center for the area. Officer Leonard Broberg stated that Harris was instrumental in brokering the ceasefire agreement that has been the most effective remedy for gang violence initiated by the community. Harris himself has stated in court documents that there is not a public nuisance, that he is not a member of the Oakdale Mob and that there is not a gang called the Oakdale Mob.
Others in the community question the existence of the Oakdale Mob as well. Monge-Irizarry, who also runs SF Village Voice Community Radio, was curious about what young people in the community had to say about the gang. We interviewed about 30 kids altogether. None of them have heard of the Oakdale Mob, she said. Damone Hale, the attorney who represented Shanteak Harris in court, concurs. Where is this gang? he asks. Its not because theyve done anything. Its because theyve been labeled and tagged a member of a gang that doesnt exist.
So where did the Oakdale Mob come from? One problem with gang injunctions is that they can target groups that are not necessarily gangs. The danger is that loose neighborhood affiliations get called gangs when they dont really view themselves that way and arent organized the way a street gang typically is, says Lesnik of the ACLU. So its dangerous, especially for young people, when theyre stopped by the police and asked, Where are you from? and the young person might say, Oakdale, and the police officer might write down, Admitted being a member of the Oakdale Mob.
People who are served a gang injunction are prohibited from engaging in a long list of activities, including no intimidation, no graffiti, no trespassing, and no loitering. But perhaps most disturbing of all is the Do Not Associate ban. Suppose that John Doe and Mike Smith are under a gang injunction. One day, they meet while applying for a job in their neighborhood. While waiting for everyone to finish, they catch up on whats going on. A police officer drives by, sees them, and promptly arrests them for violating the injunction. Shortly after their arrest, the employer calls their names. But they dont get the job because theyve been taken to jail. Seem unlikely? It happened last month in Bayview to James Powell and Ellis McGhee.
This is exactly what we feared, says attorney Damone Hale. Programs that are focused on trying to help these young men with opportunities so they dont have to make bad choices are being frustrated by cops, not because they did anything wrong, but because of a civil injunction that allows an officer who sees someone who hasnt done anything to arrest them.
Or what about when alleged gang members attend community meetings? Several Oakdale Mob members have attended such meetings in the past, but are now prohibited from doing so. As a result, the injunction is destroying some of the very people who are trying to make positive changes, says community activist Jim Queen.
Then there is the impact on families. Once an injunction becomes permanent, it causes people to live under probation-like restrictions for as long as they live in the area. Effect? People leave, says Lesnik. People wont want to live in these neighborhoods anymore if their son, brother, husband, grandchild, has to live under [these conditions] indefinitely, thus contributing to the further displacement of the African American community that has taken place over the past several decades in San Francisco.
A dark picture is emerging here, one far more disturbing than that painted by Herrera in his branding of the Oakdale Mob. Before you know it, were going to have a city blanketed [with injunctions], says attorney Damone Hale. Youre going to have young men who are going to have to prove that they have a legitimate reason to be in a particular area in San Francisco. What were going to have is comparable to South Africas pass laws.
It is now time to seriously reflect on Herreras earlier statements. Do gang injunctions cause the violence to go elsewhere or do they cause people to disappear? Combined with a lack of education, lack of jobs, lack of protection from toxic redevelopment projects, and lack of adequate health care, gang injunctions are but one piece of a much larger noose that is choking the community.
Chris Brizzard is an intern at the San Francisco Bay View newspaper.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: email@example.com; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; email@example.com; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; email@example.com http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; email@example.com; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.