Community Group Airs Concerns Over Gang Injunction

Kyle Rokes (Santa Barbara Independent) | October 28, 2013

PODER Santa Barbara held a forum at La Casa de la Raza last Thursday night called “How Will a Gang Injunction Affect Your Community?” Billed as a chance for community members to learn about the city’s proposed lawsuit against 30 alleged gang members, PODER reiterated its reasons for opposing it, took barely any questions, and instead hosted an evening of passionate speakers with at times bombastic rhetoric.

As proposed, the complex litigation and civil action intends to restrict 30 individuals from specific areas of the city and from congregating with each other. If caught doing so, the injunction would result in a fine and/or jail time for the violation. A judge has not yet decided on whether to even allow it.

But to PODER, the anti-gang lawsuit reeks of social injustice and the suggestion that some of the city’s parks and schools be deemed “safety zones” free of gang activity is in fact a calculated attempt to criminalize the entire Latino community. “Gang injunctions are a manifestation of racism, oppression, and police brutality,” opined one.

“Chumash were wiped out here because of strategies like the gang injunction,” said a visiting member of Todo Poder al Pueblo, an Oxnard group that shares PODER’s view. He added that the injunction would amount to a “suspension of civil and human rights in target zones.” Thomas Carrasco, a professor of Chicano Studies at SBCC, declared it an attempt at “controlling brown bodies in Santa Barbara. … It’s unethical craziness,” he added.

PODER believes that to lower crime, more counseling, job training, and funds for schools and activities are needed rather than an injunction, which they claim promotes incarceration and racial profiling. They also repeated that they feel the city should have consulted the community.

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Photo: Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk

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4 Comments for “Community Group Airs Concerns Over Gang Injunction”

  1. bmbsatnght

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  2. bmbsatnght

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  3. bmbsatnght

    surenos moms cant cross but clean

  4. bmbsatnght

    ki*led a

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