Thanks to JuliaM (she reads CiF so I don't have to), a link to an article in The Guardian by George Lavender, on why the new gang injunctions won't work.
He's saying that these things have been tried before in the US and didn't work, and that's a valid contribution to the argument: I don't know if he's right or wrong, but the point deserves consideration. However, some of his secondary arguments made me suck my thumb and start rocking in my chair. In fact, the piece is full of premium, Grade A 'ressi-zum' whinging and entitlement wheedling. Try this:
Gang injunctions have also been used to justify increased police surveillance and harassment of communities of colour. All those named on the injunctions in Oakland have been black or Latino, and has lead [sic] critics of gang injunctions to describe them as "legalised racial profiling".If members of a certain racial group commit crimes, it is not racist to say so. If 99% of terrorist incidents are committed by dark-skinned, bearded men between 18 and 30, then it isn't racist to ignore white female pensioners in your searches; in fact, it is common sense and mandatory for the effective use of limited resources. If all the Oakland injunctions name black or Latino people, perhaps that's a hint as to where the problem lies? (Clue: it's not with the people charged with clearing it up.)
Community organisations in California say that injunctions are an ineffective and inappropriate response to social problems, because they fail to address the fundamental causes of violence such as poverty and unemployment.Can't we lay this one to rest? Poverty and unemployment do NOT cause people to be violent. I have had no money at some points in my life, and I have been unemployed. At no time did I ever think of committing acts of violence because of it. That's because I am not a violent person, and the thought of hurting someone - or even their property - for whatever reason is, and always will be, abhorrent. Violent people are violent, whether rich or poor. To say that people become violent through poverty and enemployment is a massive insult to all those poor people who continue to live blameless and peaceful lives, despite all the acknowledged difficulties.
"Our communities will only become safer places when we have secure incomes, when our basic needs for housing, nutrition and health care are met, and when we believe our lives matter", says Manuel Fontaine of Plan for a Safer Oakland.Here we get to the crux of the issue. Pay us money, house, clothe and feed us, tell us we are important, and we might start to behave.
Please note: I am not saying that poverty and unemployment are not a blight on someone's life, and should not be alleviated if possible. In an ideal world, we would all have nice, secure jobs and a decent income. And some people would still behave like rats in a cage. The roots of anti-social behaviour are far deeper than mere cash, plasma tellies and 'nothing to do'. Targeting and removing the worst offenders might only be a sticking-plaster, but it's a start. Don't forget that the principal victims of gang violence are usually also poor and disadvantaged. Who is speaking up for them?