Sunday, October 23, 2016

Activists keep up the fight against Echo Park gang injunction

Gang injunction opponents held a press conference outside the Roybal Learning Center/Lucy Guanuna

Activists prepare to deliver a “community injunction” against City Attorney on Wednesday.

By Lucy Guanuna

A Superior Court judge approved an Echo Park area gang injunction last week. But opponents of the injunction have not given up. In fact, on Wednesday, attorneys filed a motion in court to block enforcement of the gang injunction while  community organizers served a symbolic “community injunction” against the City Attorney.

The motion filed with the court lists community members who feel they will be directly impacted by the gang injunction and a request to stop the court order, said Kim McGill, an organizer with the Youth Justice Coalition, the Inglewood-based group that has spearheaded opposition to gang injunctions.  A second motion, which will be filed in the next few weeks, is intended to halt the judgment that put the injunction in place.

“The lawyers have to work with the community groups to put enough pressure on the court system and their representatives to not allow this to happen,” said Art Goldberg, attorney with the Working People’s Law Center in Echo Park, who is working with injunction opponents.

It’s not clear what kind of impact the motions will have on the injunction, which prohibits persons named in the court order from associating with other gang members in public, intimidating or harassing members of the community, possessing firearms or narcotics or possessing alcohol in public. “Gang injunctions have long been held to be constitutional, and we are confident that this injunction will withstand any legal challenge,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement issued late this afternoon.

The court-approved injunction created a 3.8 square-mile Safety Zone, which includes Echo Park, Elysian Valley and a section of Silver Lake,  that imposes restrictions on members of the Big Top Locos, Crazys, Diamond Street Locos, Echo Park Locos, Frogtown and Head Hunters criminal street gangs.  The injunction will apply only to individuals who have been identified by LAPD as active gang members and have been been named and personally presented with the court order.

In addition to filing a legal challenge, community organizers on Wednesday marched on the City Attorney’s office in downtown Los Angeles to serve a symbolic “community injunction” in response to the gang injunction signed  last week by Superior Court Judge Abraham Khan. The document was delivered by members of S.T.A.Y., an Echo Park based group organizing against the injunction, and the Youth Justice Coalition.  The document claims that Feuer and others are  “failing to honor democracy by refusing to meet with youth, schools and the community before issuing a gang injunction” and “for promoting the goals, prioritizing the agendas and protecting the projects of developers, Business Improvement Districts and wealthy residents.”

Feuer wasn’t present to be served with the community injunction, so Rob Wilcox, director of community engagement and outreach, received it. “Today’s injunction focuses more around the theatre of politics,” said McGill of the Youth Justice Coalition. “It calls them out for the gangster tactics they’re engaging in to put communities on lock down.”

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell of the 13th district said in a statement that gang activity-  including tagging, vandalism, and use of firearms – traumatizes neighborhoods by threatening, harming, and killing people.  “This injunction will give our police department an additional tool to help make our neighborhoods safer,” O’Farrell said. “The injunction will motivate individuals involved in gangs –or those tempted to be involved in a gang, to choose otherwise.”

Statistics show that crime is at its lowest in more than 30 years, prompting many critics of the gang injunction to question whether the issue is really about crime. Many critics believe the injunction aims to further gentrify the area and criminalize young people and people of color in the area.

“I’m not a gang member but I have to look out for the cops, like if they’re enemies,” said Mario Rodriguez, a 22-year-old Echo Park resident. “Every time they pull me over they question me and ask me if I’m in a gang. [The injunction] gives the police an excuse to raid people’s homes and make their family and kids feel uncomfortable.”

LAPD Lt. John Cook, in charge of the gang impact team for the Northeast Division believes the gang injunction is a tool to help make the area feel safer.

“Gang crime may be down but the fear has not diminished,” Cook said. “When you see graffiti on the wall or gang members hanging out in front of a house or in the street corner or park, there may not be any crime that is being committed but there certainly is the fear of potential violence.”

Lucy Guanuna,  a journalism student at Cal State Northridge, has reported on a variety of issues, including business, education and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Daily Sundial, L.A. Activist, and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

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  1. one of the signs in the photo says: “less police, more community”

    Once the gangbangers go away, you’ll need fewer police. If the community comes together and COOPERATE with the police (ie give up that “no snitchin'” [email protected]), you can eradicate the gangs.

    My area does not have gangs. I never see the police. It’s safe and quiet, so we have less police. You can have that too. Get rid of the gangs. The injunction will help.

    • I would feel better about the injunction if the “gangbangers” have been convicted of a crime to make the list. This really doesn’t seem legal.

      • Beverly D'Angeleno

        This is not random enforcement. The people listed on the injunction got there by affiliating with known gang members. The injunction is a way for the community to say that affiliating with the enemy of the community, known gang members, is an offense to the community and a civic failure on the part of those participating in gang activity and/or affiliating with those participating in gang activity. If you are on the list, at some point you chose gang activity over your civic responsibility. We all make choices in life and we all must deal with the consequences of our decisions. In the grand scheme of things, being listed on an injunction actually seems like a relatively minor consequence given the level of betrayal to one’s community it represents.

      • So your saying that there are “Gangbangers” that have never commited a crime???

  2. I understand that some people are upset about the injunction because of civil liberty concerns. As a resident in the area of the injunction, I can tell you that there is still a significant gang presence. There is a significant amount of gang crime, and I don’t feel safe in some areas because of this. I support the gang injunction because I feel that I should not have to be afraid in my own neighborhood. I believe that the injunction will help so I support it. It won’t solve the gang problems, but I believe it will help.

  3. A “community injunction”? It is now clear that the anti-injunction/pro-gang lobby is against a safe community. We need to file a motion to break up dangerous organizations such as the Youth Justice Coalition who aims to keep our gangs on our streets. What kind of world are we living in where people are supporting gang members’ rights to harass members of the community? Get rid of all the gang members first, then we will get rid of the pro-gang lobby.

    • These laws are rediculous. If youngsters have fun driving ona road trip an start mooning traffic. They go to jail and are considered sex offenders. Laws are getting way out of hand. People cannot have any fun now a days without going to jail. This injunction is just a stupid way to have thisststate/ country lockdown. If you watch a movie about some regular kids growing up in the 60s 70s 80s 90s. Just being regular kids/people. Now days you go to jail for it. I want my kids to experience and have fun through there journey of life without having a criminal record on there jacket. For just being kids or men. Just because boring squares who grew up scared and straight edged consider it dangerous

  4. Enforce The Gang Injunction. Screw These Gang Members With There Bullying. Gang Injunction Is Needed Period I Will Vote For It Any Day.

  5. It’s tiring to hear the injunction being described a “tool” to fight gangs. Sure — and government spying on the phone records, conversations, and Internet traffic of Americans is a “tool” in fighting terrorism. And if somebody proposed that police be allowed to burst into the homes of Americans at any hour to administer random drug tests, you could probably describe that as a “tool” in the fight against drugs.

    But being described as a “tool” doesn’t mean it’s a good idea, or a useful one. Nor does it mean that it’s Constitutional and in conformance with our inalienable rights to free association and due process. As you can see in a comment above — where someone calls for the government to order the dissolution of the Youth Justice Coalition — some of the supporters of the injunction aren’t shy about exhibiting a mindset that aims to criminalize free speech. This is where the path of carelessly tossing out respect for our civil liberties, for a little “security,” leads.

    • Are you proposing anything, or are you a gang member? THIS IS NOT RANDOM. The gang members have been CONVICTED of being gang members.

      OK, so maybe I went a little far in demanding the extinction of Youth Justice Coalition. If violent hate groups advocating violence like the Klu Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi Party, and Al Qaeda are allowed to exist, I guess the Youth Justice Coalition can stay too.

    • these individuals are purportedly members of violent street gangs, which in and of itself is a crime. you go a little far in comparing this to government spying. government spying can take place on anyone at any time, without provocation. this is more like someone who is on house arrest or is out on parole. even though they are in the community, they are subject to more rigorous oversight than someone who has not been convicted or even suspected in committing a crime. let’s not forget that if you are suspected of committing a crime, you may be allowed out on bail, but you could be placed on house arrest. this does not mean you are guilty, but you are monitored. this injunction, in my mind, is more closely related to a scenario such as this.

      • I agree with you that individuals who are placed under the injunction are “purportedly” members of gangs. In other words, they need not have been convicted under due process for any crime to be put on the list.

        Some people here are saying that you need to be convicted of a crime to be named as a gang member. I’ve read the injunction, and that’s not true. Being arrested for a crime is just one of the factors that may be used to put you on the list. For instance, if someone simply accuses you of being a gang member to the police, and the police decide to call that person a “reliable informant,” they can put you on the list.

        Think of how much power that gives to the police over someone they may not like, but can’t find any crime to convict that person of. It’s an end run around the long-established principle in our democracy called “trial by jury.” Your example of house arrest actually presumes that a trial is expected. There is no trial under the injunction. You are simply at the mercy of what the police say.

        And you can see by some of the comments here — that play fast and loose in accusing people that oppose the injunction of being gang members — that it may not be so hard for police to find “reliable informants” to place innocent people on the list.

        I regret that I work so much that I don’t have time to be a part of the active opposition to the injunction being done by the likes of the Youth Justice Coalition and Art Goldberg. About a decade ago, I had the pleasure of meeting some YJC members from that time. They seemed to be very intelligent, deliberative, and dedicated young people — and certainly anything but violent gang members. I appreciate very much the work that they and others are doing against this assault against law and Constitutional rights.

  6. echo park youth empowerment

    Get the heck real. Its about gentrification not gangs. The monies want what we have enjoyed for year’s a community with a DOWNTOWN View.
    You money whores have come to distroy our homes our community. This gang injunction was thrown in our face so we dont see the real issue at hand. The killing of a community of color. All you claim your afraid you fear. WELL WE FEAR YOU WITH YOU RACEST ATTITUDES. We people of color refuse to shop your stores. If your so in fear get the truck on go west …oh yeah other pilgrims already priced you Out. Move the heck on. We are on to you. DONT SHOP GENTRIFIED ECHO PARK.WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

    • Yikes!
      You seem to be deluded on the eventual changes happening in Echo Park. So sad 🙁

      • He doesn’t seem deluded at all. I think he is spot on. I am new to the neighborhood. We are gentrifiers. On the other hand change is the norm. We need to find a way to get along. It seems clear to me that the injunction is a tool for the developers. If you look at the injunction map and the Glendale Blvd Improvement map you will see they are exactly the same! This is by design. The white developers want to move out the brown families that have been here for generations to maximize profit. Lets admit it.

        • @echo park youth empowerment

          There have been three injunctions in my neighborhood since 2007 and it’s still mostly brown.

        • Developers do not care about what color someone is. they DO CARE about people of any color who commit violent crimes and vandalism, sure. Many many residents care a lot about that too. The injunction is about targeting people who exhibit criminal behavior, not skin color or ethnic background. plain and simple.

        • @alomo : let’s be honest here. Let’s say you had a predominantly latino neighborhood, but then members of the skinhead aryan nation moved in and over the years wreaked havoc on the community. Would you have a problem with a gang injunction against the skinheads?

          Be honest, now…

        • Suggesting any location should be limited to one ethnic or cultural group is the definition of racism.

        • You’re so right. I was tagging on the local businesses and houses, but I am white, so the cops said it is OK.

          Yeah, I know how stupid that sounds.

      • Let’s call this what it is look it up please if these terms bother you. Context is paramount. Ethnic cleasing via socioeconomic gentrification fueled by an attempt to improve Echo Park. But by who, and why now? Income, education, occupation, all these areas of needed improvment in Echo Park all these years and now that a new demographic has succeeded in tranforming this ‘diverse’ neighborhood into a habitable environment (at least in their eyes) and their answer is INJUNCTION!!!!!! I am curious what will be next. I guess that is the sentiment they want conveyed to the long time residents, the city never cared enough about you guys to help out with programs for work, or suceeding in academics, or even crosswalk lights so now that we are here…..BYE! Thanks for the cheap rentals you will leave vacant and houses we can buy when your family gets broken up because of racist cops targeting the enemy, what an ingenious plan to kill two birds with one stone, then turn around and make a killing on new transplants with money to spare.

        I agree with the injuction, but why now! It’s just 15-20 years late.
        So thank you new demographic you have helped pull the covers off acts of plutocracy by…… well that is the real story isn’t it.
        I’ve posted here before and I always hate coming back to this site but I feel my voice needs to be heard and at the very least let you know WE are on to your game and please to the guy who says he’s a gentrifier, make shirts that says that and wear it proud then give them to your buddies and wear your ignorance in plain view because not everyone can read minds!

        • Beverly D'Angeleno


          “New demographic” by definition suggests additional diversity (look it up if you’re unsure). You’re clearly uncomfortable with true diversity.

    • So funny – the person whining the most about “color this, color that”, “equality”, bla bla bla says the most racist thing in the comment section – “We people of color refuse to shop your stores.” Go get some education so you can actually “empower” yourself.

    • Dude you are such a racist. This is America and last time I heard any and all peoples white, black, red, yellow, brown or polka dotted have the right to live anywhere they want. From one Latino to another, get off your nativism, VATO…

    • Echo Park Empowerment you are such a racist,too. Why. ( porque) are you paranoid about other races moving in. Seems to me that anyone can live where they want. This is the good ole USA. Sounds like you might be Taliban, …

    • Gang members can move out. People who want to stay can stay. It’s as simple as that. To begin with, what is the purpose of a gang? Can any of the anti-injunction tell me what positive contribution gangs bring to the community?

    • echo park youth empowerment, thank you for confirming that racists still live in our neighborhood.

    • Mr./Mrs. Echo Park Youth Empowerment,

      Did you graduate from High School? Middle School?

      Your not doing helping your side of the argument with this grammatical catastrophe.

  7. It’s so evident if you live in the community that most everyone supports the injunction. mostly only the gang members themselves and their friends/families have time to go out and protest, attracting disproportionate media attention.

    If the cops harass you unlawfully, you’re going to get paid out anyway, based on the inevitable discrimination/harrassment charges you’ll file against them with your community-destroying pro-bono plaintiff attorney.

    I don’t understand all of the racket here. I read the thing and it appears VERY limited in the persons it applies to. I can’t find anything that insinuates this injunction will limit the rights of the rest of us law abiding Hispanics.

  8. These people are from Inglewood, not Echo Park. Kim McGill and her group are more concerned with “the rights” of convicted gang members than the safety of Echo Park residents! She needs to go back to her “hood” and let us deal with our problems.

  9. wow, they had 10 whole people show up. HUGE support.

  10. None of the comments I’ve seen here have ever discussed, pro or con, the actual worry about the injunction. My guess about the worry is that even though the injunction only applies to 300 or so specific individuals, the police don’t recognize all of those people on sight, and may be tempted to use ethnic associations with various names to target people on the street for questioning and detention. Is that the worry? Or is there some other harm that I’m missing, that the injunction might cause?

    For defenders of the injunction, is there any reason to believe that this fear is overblown? Will the local police officers be provided with accurate and detailed images of the relevant individuals, so that they don’t stop unrelated groups of poor and minority youth? Or is the claim just that even though a little bit of racial profiling will go on, it will be a small enough amount that it will be worth it for the way that it can destroy the gangs?

    • Kenny, The principal legal issue with the injunction is that it curtails the right to freely assemble (and freely associate), guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, this city injunction makes it illegal for certain people to freely associate (i.e., hang around on porches with each other). Even though it is a city law, because of the legal principle of preemption, this city law can be invalidated if it contradicts federal law.

      So this is a serious issue. (Just because the 300 people are believed to be “bad guys”, does not mean that they have no constitutional protections.) It is so serious that the first such injunctions were struck down by the federal courts. Then the injunctions were narrowed, so that the people named in the injunction can associate, but just not within a given area. This is why all the injunctions in LA (there are dozens) are geographically constrained, generally just a few square miles.

      I’m not expressing an opinion one way or the other about this particular injunction. Just trying to answer your question.

      • @Michael Turmon You left out one very important word.

        Citizens have the right to PEACEABLY assemble.

        Because when gangs assemble, there’s usually violence goin’ down.

  11. Activists– please go back to Inglewood. People who have lived in EP a long time know that there are still plenty of gangsters hanging around just waiting to be shot at. Ask anybody who lives near Echo Park and Baxter. If your not in a gang, no need to worry.

    • Those peope Have been in ep for ever. There is no need to discriminate. They are friendly. They are my neighbors i live on ewing, And if you ever had an issue with anything they would be glad to give you a hand. You should just give it a shot and get to know them instead of hating them.. love thy neighbor

  12. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? To me, the gang injunction seems unconstitutional. It is punishment for possible future crimes. I hate the violence and the tagging too, but we need to find a different way of stopping it. I know the injunction hurts families and condemns futures. The injunction is illegal harassment. It must stop.

    • ” It is punishment for possible future crimes”…? The injunction is a tool to prevent crime. If you can prevent something bad happening, why not? Should America wait for another terrorist attack and lose many innocent lives before punishing the organizers? NO! is the answer.

    • olomo, Your so typical of the whining babies that live in this city. The gang injunction is a solution to the problem. It may not be the best solution or even a good solution, but it is a solution. You didn’t propose anything other than to pass the buck back to the regulators saying, “You are abusing the system and civil liberty so figure something out because I don’t have a clue myself so I am just going to complain.”

      You have an audience so propose a solution and supporting evidence to back it up, otherwise, shut up and let those who actually care to do something about it do what they have to do.

  13. Also the hundred specific people named are all John/Jane Does. They do not have specific names on the injunction. This is an overly broad and easily abused (by cops) “limit” on the number of people the cops can harass.

    • They have exact names for the people on the injunction. The reason they put John/Jane Doe is so they don’t publish to the world the names. The people must be personally served with court signed papers.. and they will know they are under injunction.

  14. also also…. Most of the people I know (not gang members, whities, in fact) are NOT in favor of the injunction. To say that most are in favor, is presumptuous and inaccurate.

  15. Talk about racial profiling & intimidation. These gang thugs implement very same those tactics on our brown skin youth who they deem might pose a threat to them. They’re paranoia leads them to think they may belong to rival gangs. They hit them up and ask “where you from”. Careful how you respond , because more than likely they’ll lay chase to beat or shoot you. They violate the neighborhoods right to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. They claim our streets as theirs. Defacing private and city property. Dealing in drug sales. Shooting up the neighborhood w/drive-bys. Killing and assaulting innocents. As you drive up the streets at night they stare you down with intimidating looks. One brandished a gun at me & my kid as I drove down the street . I came to a stop as a vehicle in front of me dropped off some CYS gang members. This happened between the 1300 & 1400 block of Mohawk street one Saturday night. I’ve seen these CYS GANG BANGERS all along Mohawk, , Scott, Reservoir, Allessandro, Montana, Mayberry. I’ve lived in the neighborhood for more than 15 yrs and I know who these gang bangers are..

    No tagging appeared for the past three weeks. As soon as the judge signed off on the injunction & word got around, these punks tagged the walls wit h CYS.

    I URGE YOU ALL TO VISIT THEIR WEBSITES: https://www Facebook.com/Jesus.pineda.79827803. Melvin Pineda Facebook: https//www.facebook.com/pee.luv.nec. Edwin Pineda Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bugsnastee
    These are some members who boasts about themselves and what they ‘re all about.

    And for Youth Justice Coalition, you knuckleheads are speaking out for the wrong people. You need to go back to inglewood and stay there. You do not live, speak or represent the true residents of Echo Park & Silverlake.

    • This is the best post in the whole thread. Thank you for posting. My Latino neighbors feel the exact same way as you do. They are tired of their grand kids being threatened, harassed, and recruited to join these terror organizations.

    • Great post! I’m a Hispanic male born and raised in Echo Park. I spent most of my youth trying to avoid the “where you from?” question. I’ve avoided it for so long that I thought it no longer occurred. I thought wrong. I recently had work done to my home and my contractors workers were constantly being profiled and harassed by our local gangs. Asking questions like “where you from” of telling them things like “Echo Park only” or “Echo Park Gang homie”
      People against the injunction (gang bangers, active and non-active) claim that the low income Hispanic/Latino youth of our community will be profiled and harassed by LAPD…. Why do gang bangers feel that they have the right to profile and harass our innocent youth?

    • @My neighborhood putting people on blast on there facebook tthat’s a no no serio….

  16. Lots of thoughtful comments on here — nice. I’ve lived just to the west of the injunction area for 25 years, and it seems like crime has never been lower. Not to deny the car thefts, tagging and the shooting at Bellevue Park (which I heard through my bedroom window). But as someone pointed out, gang members are also human beings — they are not a different species 100% of the time. And there are undoubtedly varying degrees of participation — doubt that every of the 300 people on the list is hard core. And the LAPD does make mistakes. The 10 pm curfew is troubling to me when I think of a young person subject to it — it would seem to stifle the opportunities of that person to grow up and experience the City. Not to deny that some people on “the list” should be in prison…but in the end it seems like too broad, severe and unnecessary a line has been drawn by this injunction around part of our community and its members.

  17. Niklas Buckingham

    Funny how they don’t protest any other injunction… Not in My Backyard. So retro! 🙂

  18. I am Hispanic, brown, and a resident of Echo Park and I have no problem with this injuction. and in no way do i feel that i will be harrased by the police, if anything i will feel better about the community. I think the protesters are mainly people that may be associated with gang members or are related to them and dont want to pressure of the police brought on to them. I highly doubt that the police will harras you if they see you walking down the street with your friends. Now if you look like a gangster and associate with gangsters, then youre prob bringing it upon yourself. Like they say “You are who you associate with”

  19. Those new graduates should stay away from those 1920’s prisoners

  20. Is this the same “echo park youth empowerment” who happens to sit as a representative of the Echo Park Neighborhood Council? I’m familiar with the excessive use of “caps” and entertaining misspellings.

  21. Gang injunctions have been successful in most Latino communities. When you look at the history of gangs in LA there are 35 gangs in Boyle Heights alone with 1,000’s of members. The gang injunctions in that area were effective at keeping the gangsters from terrorizing, threatening, assaulting hard working Latinos and youth in the area. It seems the only people who oppose gang injunctions are gangster family and friends and radical youth groups like Youth Justice Coalition who are aggressive and threatens those who don’t agree with them. Any public meeting they attend no one else can exercise their 1st amendment rights.

  22. As a genuine Mexican( Zacatecas born), I thoroughly detest and abhor gang members. Ask us and we will tell you as much. Whoever these protesters are, I suggest they find another another “cause du jour” or get a goddamned job and make themselves useful.

  23. I doubt most of the people commenting on this site are even associated with or friendly with any of the neighborhood gangs. Let alone even know about them. GET TO KNOW YOUR LOCAL VARRIO, HOLMES! IT’S A MUST IF YOU LIVE IN THE HOOD! !!! ATTENTION!!! GANGS IN LOS ANGELES LOOK AT AN INJUNCTION AS FAME AND STREET CRED! In that world it is a symbol that they are on the map and have achieved notoriety for “PUTTING IT DOWN FOR THE HOOD” It baffles me that the people arguing the gang injunction actually think they will be affected by the measures put in place. If you are not a gang member or associate then you have no need to even involve yourself. If it as human tights position you are taking, i understand, however it’s a bit ridiculous. The people who will actually experience the injunction are people who CRASH and Rampart division have encountered before for gang activity. And to those who say “it’s time for the gangs to go” or “move out” I say “how fuckin’ dare you” you astonish me with your stupidity and simple minded thinking. It’s not that simple, nor is it even realistic. These hoods have called this home forever, and will hopefully always will have a place here. For anyone who’s moved here, get to know these people and you will realize the benefits. Yes, some are bad people, maybe violent, and i don’t condone that. But to disrespect them through a website and not even face them is cowardly and just straight up ignorant. Your hate, blindness, and “kick out” attitude is what will fuel the homeboys to get violent with you, hate the newcomer in the neighborhood, and do everything they can to fight your trying to takeover and change EchoXPark. If you continue to do so, you will actually see them get mean with you, and so far, it hasn’t gotten very bad. You have another thing coming if you think they will just leave without giving one hell of a fight. As for ECHO PARK GANG, they are a pice of history in in this area. They are very old, and have earned they’re right to call this their home. They are not a bunch of little kids, they are a real Varrio, a family. Work with those named in the injunction or i assure you, things will only get worse, and those who act out through fear hateful ignorance will really see what these vatos will do to stand their ground. Anyone who grew up here, went to Marshall or Belmont High school knows all this, it’s only the people who moved here because it’s ‘Trendy and Edgy’ are the ones who are blind. If you don’t like it, you can leave, but don’t push out the one’s who have always been here. You’re entitlement sickens me. The fact is, you have nothing to fear if you became friendly with these gangsters, it’s only the one’s who hate and discriminate who would have to worry about violent consequences. A gang member can be your best friend in the City of Angels. He can also be your worst nightmare, and by choosing to misunderstand them and stereotype, you have chosen the second one by default. Have fun and good luck in your online war against gangsterism. i hope that works out for all of you

  24. * if it is a human rights position* sorry about that

  25. I’m not saying gang members are good people necessarily, but it’s a bit selfish to try and change the neighborhood to fit your idea of what it should be, especially in an area where gangs are traditionally part of the history. To Zaius, As for grammar or lack there of, it’s almost as if you have nothing better to say in disagreement besides pointing out flaws in someone’s English or writing structure. I know it’s not perfect, but Jesus Christ man, who gives a fuck?

    I know my previous post probably seems like i’m defending gang members, but really my intention is to point out how much i’m angered by people who have moved to Echo Park in the past few years or even less, and expect to start making changes to the neighborhood to fit their expectations. Yes, i understand it’s one of the “coolest” places to live along with Silver Lake. I’m just curious why you came here, to a traditionally latino neighborhood in LA (Which means gangs) and to expect anything other than that. Mind you now, I’m White. This has nothing to do with me hating white people or people with money. I’m just genuinely curious why people move here and can’t handle or don’t want to handle the realities of the neighborhood. I know it’s trendy, but it’s almost as if you want all the edge and grime of the older parts of Echo Park, yet at the same time make it new and hip. It’s like this is turning into a Disneyland attraction or something. It’s a genuine question and i have, and if anyone could enlighten me, i would actually really appreciate hearing what you have to say: What made you want to move to Echo Park? What do you like about it? and What would you change? if anyone would grace me with answers to those questions, perhaps it would help me understand what sort of people are moving here and what they expect.

    • @inthecuts
      When you say “I’m curios why you came here, to a traditionally latino neighborhood in LA (Which means gangs) and to expect anything other than that.” In your world gangs are as much part of latino culture as quinceaneras- like thats just a given. What? That’s like saying moving to Germany you can expect genocide. Do you realize that a vast majority of latinos abhor gang life? One of the only reasons gangs exist in these poorer neighborhoods is because they know they can exploit the people who may be here illegally and therefore don’t feel they can rely on the police for protection. Or they come from cultures where police are as corrupt as the criminals.
      The latinos in my neighborhood were grateful when we moved in because we didn’t tolerate the drug dealers, and prostitutes thats polluted our neighborhood. They are happy to see the neighborhood swinging up both in value and safety.

      Why did I move here? We bought where we could afford to live. It’s that simple. Back in the late 90’s this place was definitely more sketchy than now but we knew that we live in a country of laws and police to enforce those laws and even though sketchy we knew it would get better because we understood why it was sketchy and the law would be against the side of sketchy.

      People don’t have to accept a situation just because “that’s the way it always was” especially if the way it was is wrong and unlawful.

      • more circular reasoning:

        there have always been gangs and crime; you can’t fight crime because there has always been gangs and crime.

    • Inthecuts you are an utter embarrassment to the neighborhood. That may just be the most ignorant and naive post on this thread.

  26. The problem is gangs. In all of my experiences with gangs i have never understood them to be organizations that help the community in a positive way. The one thing a gang does is protect its community from other gangs which only creates violence. There is no need to protect a community from a rival gang if a gang does not exist.

    So, the gang injunction is happening because the gangs obviously do not create anything positive. Anyone that argues with that has dysfunctional social paradigm which is why many of the comments in this section are pointing their fingers at people who are gentrifying the neigborhood. Be in mind that gentrification is a thinly veiled term that conceals racism.

    Gentrification is inevitable in most cities that are overpopulated because the city is attracting more people and when it does that the people coming to the city have more resources and knowledge to use in their new city of choice. Echo Park is not owned by anyone. Same goes for anyother place. You can call it home, but if you dont care for that area and the people within it, it will decline which leaves that place open for gentrification. If the residents of Echo Park really loved their neigborhood they should have done something a long time ago to prevent the issues they are currently facing. It is their fault they are in the position that they find themselves.

    So it boils down to one thing, racism. Can you accept things the way they are and get along with your new neighbor despite their race, or not? By boycotting the businesses in your own city you are thereby forcing yourself out of the neighborhood you have known to love and the new residents will never notice that youre gone. Be proactive and preserve what is left of your neighborhood in a positive way, other wise you will never get the respect of the people who make the changes.

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