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PODER Gang Injunction Rally
updated: Jan 07, 2014, 4:30 PM

By the Dedicated Staff of edhat.com

On Tuesday afternoon, PODER (People Organizing for the Defense and Equal Rights of Santa Barbara Youth) and community members met at the Santa Barbara Courthouse for a rally against the gang injunction.

Starting at the courthouse, the group marched to the Santa Barbara Police Department where they held a moment of silence before continuing on towards the City Hall.

"Today we stand in solidarity with those opposed to the gang injunction and with the Tacadena family. We come together with a strong voice, we want to work together, and we are against the gang injunction. We are not anti-police, we are pro- accountability," said local community organizer and activist Martin Leyva.

The afternoon wasn't without conflict however. One citizen screamed profanities toward Brandon Morse, president of Cop Watch who has been involved in the Tacadena rallies, calling him a "f---ing punk." The peaceful protesters encouraged the man to leave, which he did. Shortly after, County Supervisor Salud Carbajal walked by the group when a protestor yelled, "you should be standing with the people Salud Carbajal." Salud gave a quick wave and continued on.

(Brandon Morse president of Cop Watch, an organization to hold officers accountable for their actions)

(Local community organizer and activist Martin Leyva speaking to the crowd)

PODER sent out a press release earlier on Tuesday describing their opposition to the gang injunction.

"Whereas, the proposed Gang Injunction has garnered strong public opposition and criticism in the last year; and whereas, the City & District Attorney have filed for a Preliminary Injunction in a fearful effort to ensure its passing, residents of Santa Barbara will gather to remind our newly elected and currently serving officials that the proposed order is the WRONG solution for our city.

"Our community opposes a measure that affects nearly 2/3 of our city property and community (including: businesses, home owners, residents, families, and youth), yet refuses to bring these stakeholders to the table. We strongly oppose a duplication of services that wastes taxpayer money that could otherwise be used towards positive solutions that revitalize our community. Already, the City of SB has spent nearly $500,000 from June 2009-2012 in filing fees and evidence alone.

"Since the inception of the injunction, the Council has refused to place the item on the agenda as an actionable item. The last time the subject was open for public comment 46 individuals spoke in unanimous opposition to the injunction and in November, the Council held yet another closed session on the matter. The Santa Barbara community says: enough excessive spending and enough exclusion of the public voice!"

A press conference will also be held at City Hall on Tuesday, January 7th at 5:00 pm


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