Orange Residents Gathering to Protest Gang Injunctions

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A demonstration will be held in Orange Saturday to warn residents they could become victims of racial profiling by the city police department and gang injunctions by the county district attorney.

Gang injunctions are similar to restraining orders courts issue to protect potential victims from someone who has indicated he or she will do them harm. Injunctions prohibit those identified as gang members in court documents from hanging out together, wearing gang clothing, throwing gang signs and other behaviors. Violators are subject to jail or probation.

The Weekly's Daffodil J. Altan wrote in January about the Varrio Viejo gang injuction imposed in San Juan Capistrano, while Nick Schou reported in 2006 on the county's first injunction targeting Santa Ana's Santa Nita gang.

Chicano Unidos and other Orange community members says the Orange Police Department has employed the same tactic in the "OCCC" territory and is now moving to the "OVC" territory. "How does this effect you? If your name is not on the injunction but if you are talking to someone that is, YOU can be put on the list as a gang member and be listed on the injunction," states an announcement from demonstration organizers.

They claim that being outdoors after 10 p.m., in markets or restaurants that serve alcohol or within pre-designated "safety zones" during non-work or non-school hours can be considered violations of the injunction. So can being caught in tan, blue, black or orange clothing. Previous injunctions have targeted children as young as 8, adults as old as 50 and even Orange High School honor students, organizers say.

"Please join us on Saturday to fight this racial profiling!" states the announcement. It all begins at 2 p.m. Saturday behind the Friendly Center at Killefer Park on West Rose Avenue in Orange. Dress appropriately lest you-know-who comes calling.

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