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Oakland Teachers’ Union Joins Growing Opposition to Civil Gang Injunctions
by Michael Siegel
Sunday Feb 13th, 2011 5:19 PM
***For Immediate Release—February 14, 2011***
Oakland Teachers’ Union Joins Growing Opposition to Civil Gang Injunctions
Monday’s Hearing Will Determine Possible Start Date for City Attorney’s Proposed Two-Square Mile “Safety Zone”
Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros
Communications Director, Critical Resistance
ph. 510.444.0484
c. 510.517.6612

What: Case Management Conference, People v. Norteños
When: Monday, February 14, 2010, 2:00 p.m.
Where: Alameda County Administration Building, 1221 Oak Street, Oakland

OAKLAND, CA. One week after representatives of 3,000 Oakland teachers endorsed a resolution condemning the use of “gang injunctions” in Oakland, an Alameda County Superior Court judge will consider whether or not to delay proceedings on a proposed Fruitvale “safety zone.”

On Monday, February 7, the Representative Council of the Oakland Education Association endorsed, without opposition, the following resolution:

New Business Item # 1: the Oakland Education Association condemns the use of the civil gang injunctions in Oakland. Furthermore, the OEA urges its members to attend the February 22, 2011 meeting of the Oakland City Council Public Safety Committee, to be held at City Hall, beginning at 5:30 p.m., to express the position of Oakland teachers. Finally, the OEA urges its members to support the “Week of Action” of the Stop the Injunction Coalition for the week of February 28 through March 4, 2011, including the Coalition’s plans to conduct solidarity actions with teachers on the statewide day of action to defend public education on Wednesday, March 2, 2011.

Representatives from the Oakland’s citywide Stop the Injunctions Coalition welcomed the teachers’ support. “We are tremendously appreciative that the OEA has joined the struggle against these unlawful ‘safety zones’ that serve to oppress and divide poor and working people,” stated Aurora Lopez, a Fruitvale-based organizer who opposes the injunctions. “Like the teachers, we believe that our governments should be investing in schools and community development, not prisons and police.”

Monday’s hearing in the case of People ex rel. John Russo v. Norteños, et al. will determine the possible start date of the proposed gang injunction for the Fruitvale neighborhood. The injunction, as proposed, would cover two square miles of East Oakland – throwing a virtual net over more than 15,000 residences. Volunteer attorneys who are opposing the injunction will be asking the Superior Court to delay a ruling in order to allow defendants the opportunity to prepare their respective cases. “Most of the defendants have only had legal counsel for approximately seven days,” explained Michael Siegel, one of five volunteer attorneys who are working to represent up to 30 defendants. “We hope the Court will recognize that the defendants need more time in order to review the charges against them and raise opposition to any false and erroneous allegations.”

Comments  (Hide Comments)

Michael Siegel is less than two years out of law school. He's inexperienced and incompetent, and therefore, he neglected to file necessary paperwork to defend 30 Nortenos that he had promised to represent. Because of Siegel's mistake, 30 people don't get to have a lawyer represent them in court in this case.

Michael Siegel seems to be more interested in getting attention for himself. He seems more interested in making political noise. If he was really interested in being a lawyer, if he was really interested in defending these 30 men, he would have handed in his homework on time.

Read all about Siegel's screw up here
by Michael Siegel
Monday Feb 14th, 2011 8:41 AM
I note your persistence in opposing me on this issue. Of course, I have not been able to stand up and represent thirty defendants to a civil gang injunction. As you note, I am a rookie lawyer, and I have to work on various cases not just this one. Luckily, I have now been joined by five additional pro bono lawyers who are willing to donate their time to opposing the injunctions. We are doing what we can to prevent a major civil rights abuse.

I understand you are in favor of the injunctions. Why do you have such a big stake in the issue?
by Brendan
Monday Feb 14th, 2011 11:17 AM
There's no doubt that the '' Anti-Gang '' injunction is a reactionary measure . Aside from it's current provisions what's to keep the OPD and City Attorney's office from expanding it by labeling radical Youth groups as ''gangs ' ?
But i hope that all of the law firm of Siegel and Yee doesn't share the views of Mayor Quan's advisor Dan Siegel .
At a KPFA Station board meeting on Feb. 12 He tried to conflate opposition he's receiving from the OPD and others for his position against this injunction with those who are asserting that his appontment as Quan's advisor removes him from the board .(Obviously two very different issues )
The Pacifica network by laws prohibit any board members not only holding or running for public office but any political appointments to any commision or advisory position paid or unpaid . The reasons for that are pretty obvious , While members of the board have no direct influence over programming there can't even be the possibilty of a member affecting the coverage of a Public official . (like if Mayor Quan decides to support this injunction or back the OPD in a Oscar Grant style murder and KPFA programmers like Davey D and /or Miguel Molina and Dennis Bernstein harshly criticises that action. Hopefully this won't occur but Democrats , no matter how ''progressive '', have a, shall we say , tendency to betray the hopes of their supporters )
But Dan Siegel blasted his critics at KPFA and Pacifica (the Pacifica National Board voted 10-7 for Siegel's removal ) and called them the '' Crazy Left ''.
As one audience member pointed out ALL of those who feel he should step off the Board also oppose the '' Anti-Gang injunction '' and support Siegel and Yee defending those swept up by the OPD in the aftermath of Oscar Grant's murderer getting a slap on the wrist . So Siegel's bombast was a demogogic smear unrelated to reality .
Michael Siegel isn't responsable for his Dad(and Boss ) 's rhetoric . But i'm sure he understand the need for rallies on the streets as well as action in the Courtroom if this measure is to be overturned . Dan Siegel's comments doesn't help that unity . Especially since there are far more ''Crazy leftists '' defending the youth of Oakland than Comfortable ,often affulent Progressive Democrats .
by me
Monday Feb 14th, 2011 5:52 PM
Brendan thinks gangsters are "radical youth". please......
by me
Tuesday Feb 15th, 2011 3:33 AM
I live in one of these gang injunction zones. I'd estimate that majority of residents, in the 80%-90% range, support cracking down on these criminals be it with an injunction or not. I looked at the paperwork on the people named in one of the injunctions, they all have a long history of violence, gunplay, drugs. At least 2 have been arrested for multiple murders and another 2 have been murdered themselves.

Perhaps these leftists would get more traction in the flatland communities if they put in some time trying to prevent violence instead of defending the criminal losers who are terrorizing Oakland.

I have a problem with people who hide behind the wall of anonymity to throw rocks at the rest of us. Max is clueless on both the gang injunction and Michael's competence. Brendan blasts me as a "progressive Democrat." Where did he come up with that?

On the merits of what is occurring at Pacifica, I suggest Brendan and his presumed allies study Lenin's "Left Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder." Folks who are strong on rhetoric (and name-calling) but short on practice find it easy to blast others as sellouts, Democrats, what have you. The fight within Pacifica is about whether it can actually produce the kind of programming that will have a positive impact on the world or just be a microphone for whomever thinks she has something to say. I support the model that has produced "Democracy Now!", the pre-coup "Morning Show," "Letters and Politics," "Uprising," "Hard Knock Radio," "Flashpoints," "Against the Grain," "The Evening News," and Aimee Allison, Aileen Alfandary, Brian Edwards Tiekert, Larry Benske, etc., etc. The opposition is united solely by their hatred.
by ????
Tuesday Feb 15th, 2011 8:41 PM
Dan Siegel supports Hard Knock Radio and Flashpoints ?? Really ? Then how come your allies smear Davey D. as a ''scab '' and hate Dennis Bernstein with a deep passion ?
First, the troll who calls himself 'me' accuses 'Brendan' of implying that 'gangsters are "radical youth"', when he was rather saying that the police could later use the precedent of 'gang' injunctions to go after radical youth by labeling them as 'gang members'..

Then the (presumably) same anonymous troll wants us to take his word for it regarding how many residents of the affected areas support the 'gang' injunctions, what is the history of the people targeted, etc.. Ironically, he seems to imply that the alleged fact that two of those targeted have themselves been murdered justifies those two having been named in injunctions! Isn't that called 'blaming the victim'?
Dan Siegel seems to be offended by Brendan's labeling him a 'progressive Democrat', presumably taking offense to the 'Democrat' part, rather than the 'progressive' part, of the characterization.

SInce Dan has, since the 1980's, been closely allied with Democratic Party government officials and activists, including working in Democratic administrations of San Francisco, the Oakland School Board, and now the City of Oakland, the burden of refuting that characterization is on him. I suppose, though, that he could, as a refutation, point to his active support of lawsuits by his allies inside KPFA and the Pacifica network where the lawyers for their side have been Harmeet Dhillon, the head of the San Francisco Republican Party, and her associates. But I'd like to see any evidence that he has, since the dissolution of the Communist Workers Party over 25 years ago, attacked the imperialist Democratic Party from the left.

by Dan Siegel
Wednesday Feb 16th, 2011 10:37 PM
Thank you for posting this article about this gang injunction. For a while we were only hearing Russo's side on this matter. There are clearly two sides to every story and it would be nice if people read both before making a decision I am against this gang injunction and thank Mr. Siegel and the rest of the attorney's for representing the defendants. We cearly could not do this without you. These people are trying to do better in life they have paid for their previous mistakes and are trying to get a second chance. No one out there is perfect why are we allowed to make mistakes and move on but these people are not?