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Oakland News Coalition Against the Gang Injunctions video interview

The interview with Maisha Quint of the East Side Arts Alliance and Michael Siegel of the Law Firm of Siegel and Yee (Where his father, Dan Siegel and Oakland Council President Jane Brunner are partners), was not conducted by this blogger, but by someone named Kali Akuno who has a series of videos he calls "The Black Agenda Morning Shot."

The videos, totaling about 19 minutes of run-time, were not brought to my attention by anyone; I found them on YouTube. I've never met Maisha, and Michael I met for the first time and just after interviewing now-Mayor-Elect Jean Quan at Siegel and Lee during The Oakland Mayor's Race.

While I'm personally opposed to the idea of a "black agenda" - because I think a separatist view doesn't help the cause for diversity, and because more often than not, it's not my agenda, and I just don't like being dictated to by the masses, regardless of color - their point of view on how the Oakland Gang Injunction contributes to the overall climate of law enforcement racial profiling is worth viewing.

In the video, Michael explains that if you have a certain color of shirt and happen to be next to someone profiled as a gang member, you could be placed into a database of gang members even though you've got nothing to do with the people you happened to be standing next to. Say, at a bus stop.

Siegel and Quint also charge that the Gang Injunction Program is a way for Oakland to get Federal dollars in a poor economy.  For every person identified in the program, the City of Oakland is compensated.  Quint charges that the program is a way for Oakland City Attorney John Russo and for Jerry Brown to advance their political careers.   (That's something I'll have to ask John about, as I don't think with him that's the case at all and for a list of complex reasons. )

But that aside, the video does raise a lot of questions about the Gang Injunction Program. My question is do we really need this sort of program, as opposed to neighborhood improvement programs the Obama Administration is touting. (More on that later.)

The video is in two video parts, below:

Part II:

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