This past March marked the 10 Anniversary of the California Campaign against Proposition 21 the "Gang Violence Prevention Juvenile Justice Initiative"
Prop 21 was poorly written as initiative...considering that it had the word "prevention" in its title. This Initiative called for harsher punishments for youth offenders, making it so that youth 14 and up could be tried as an adult, and although youth at 14 are cognizant of right and wrong decisions based on their foundation, emotionally they are still very young and under developed and don't have the same ability as a healthy adult to defuse those heavy emotions that make one act out in negative ways, so it was unfair to impose the same punishment they would an adult.
On top of harsher punishments (which I still don't understand how this is prevention?) this initiative also birthed the Gang Injunction, which did not address the root causes or understand what would cause a community to create a gang.
It targeted disenfranchised and historically oppressed communities of people and was a joke as a preventative measure. And at the end of 1999 the Bay and many African American, Latino, Filipino, Chinese, Vietnamese, Pacific Islander and Hip Hop communities united to bring awareness of how backwards this initiative was.
I was a part of Third Eye Movement, and joined on board when I saw some friends I knew from elementary school participating in the logistics for the action at Oakland City Hall, where the Coup and Dead Prez gave a free performance. That day I experienced the power of the youth voice and well as the Love that could be created by a community of active citizen that cared how our state was run.
We called for more attention to a failing education system, that was in 38th then and has dropped 10 ranks in 10 years… we called for more investment in community based programs that were doing real prevention work on the ground level, like case management, family resources, organizations that educated youth on systemic oppression and how we have internalized, things like racism, sexism, adultism, classism, and all other fear based tools of control that prevented collective understanding of a human experience.
I and a few other participants in the movement will be presenting photos and speaking about the experience with the campaign and how it affected my life and my approach to community on April 22nd in Oakland and would love if you all could attend.
Date: Thursday, April 22, 2010 Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm Location: 1658 12th St Oakland CA
Respect Always, L
Additional info on the event by I believe...
if u were an activist or an organizing in the year 2000 chances are you were working around prop 21 and know how unified we all were in the Bay Area. we felt the power that we all possessed and it was an amazing feeling. in the 10yrs since we miss that kind of spirit but we know that all those amazing people are still around.many of those who were on the front lines at the time or who had begun their activism will be telling their stories in combination with digital images. everybody who was really doing and putting in good work will be there.
this was an exciting time to be a activist or community organizer because there was a movement building. the term hip hop activism was a reflection of that time because of how we rolled.come out and enjoy an evening of sharing. there will be laughter but also a time to reflect and analyze what happen to our movement? is it still possible?
DONT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY to reunite or to meet tight organizers. the BAY gets ACTIVE!also, earlier during the same day alot of us will be at the court house for the hearing around current gang injunctions 1pm 1221 oak st. PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT. it does not make anyone safer it only locks up youth and promotes politicians.