You Can't Build Peace with a Piece: April Action & More

April 2, 2013

In communities across the country, young people have organized around a call for what they say are sensible responses to gun violence, rather than responses that make schools feel more like prisons—like putting armed guards or police in schools, allowing schools to call in the National Guard, and making even relatively minor offenses like chewing gum punishable by suspension. 

These young people have been working locally and across the country over the past few months to support each other in the work their doing, and they've let SparkAction sit in on some of the planning calls.

The fantastic Advancement Project and Dignity in Schools are among the national groups lending communications and organizing support to local youth-led groups and coalitions.

Their April Fool's Week of Action to call attention to foolish policies, and push states and Congress to consider the consequences of the policies they pass. Read more about this week of action in a special feature by SparkAction's Caitlin Johnson here.

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Youth Justice Coalition

April Fools' Week of Action


1. March 24th - March 30th - Hit the Streets

Street and court outreach throughout L.A. starting on Sunday with County Jail and juvenile hall visiting; Monday street outreach and presentations at Mar Vista and Ramona Gardens public housing developments; Tuesday and Wednesday - outreach to youth hang-out spots and juvenile and criminal courts; Thursday - outreach to county welfare offices, Friday - hit the beaches, and Saturday - a. outreach all along Pacific Avenue in Huntington Park; b. memorial wall restoration for all the people killed in Nickerson Gardens public housing development in Watts; c. outreach to Imperial Courts and Jordan Downs public housing in Watts; d. Undocubus leaves at 2pm from Chuco's Justice Center for L.A. tour - calling on all undocumented people to "come out of the shadows" - outreach for No Peace with a Piece will happen all along the route; and outreach at e. the launch of the Long Beach Every Student Matters (The California Endowment's Long Beach Healthy Cities Initiative) to challenge the school-to-jail track in the Long Beach Unified School District.     


2. Saturday, March 30th - 2-7pm - Redefine Public Safety

Members of the Youth Justice Coalition, Critical Resistance and Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) invite all L.A. out for a workshop with Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility to call for NO MORE JAILS in L.A. County.  The designers will be working with community members to re-envision what we could build instead of new County Jails.  We will be working with the actual blueprints for Men's Central Jail and the proposed site for an additional women's jail in Castaic.  L.A. County already has the largest jail system in the world - 180,000 people a year cycle through jail cells in our county! Location: Chuco's Justice Center - 1137 East Redondo Blvd., one light west of Florence and Crenshaw on the border between South Central L.A. and Inglewood.


3. Monday, April 1 - 2-6pm - No Police in Schools!
L.A. for Youth Rally and Concert on April 1st - April Fools!!! - Enough with the foolish policies, foolish politicians and foolish National Rifle Association (NRA)!
  We demand real solutions to school safety - NO MORE POLICE, METAL DETECTORS AND SECURITY GATES SURROUNDING OUR SCHOOLS.  Just 1% of the budgets for L.A. County Probation, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), L.A. County Sheriffs' Department, L.A. City Attorney's Office and L.A. County District Attorney's Office = $100 Million a Year that would fund 50 youth centers, open 3pm - 10pm, year-around - each center would have a $500,000 budget, and many of the centers could be located in schools to transform our campuses from prisons to community resources; + 500 full-time peacebuilders/intervention workers to provide safe passage to and from schools, resolve conflicts in schools and on the streets, stop rumors and retaliation, build truces between neighborhoods and crews, respond to the scene of violence to calm people and act as a first responder to get medical attention to people a.s.a.p., and coordinate transformative justice projects in schools and communities; + 25,000 youth jobs, prioritizing jobs for youth coming home from lock-ups and youth on Probation.  Featured artists include 5150s, Endangered Species, Cenote, the Real Rick Ross, B-Boys v. Krumpers battle, Hub City Trash, Krucial, Syndrom, Omekone, Shareice Haulcy, Bigg Dave, Iron Blade, Two Tone Boners, La Infinita and Money Moore.  We are sending a message that this is what public safety looks like - positive activities for youth to do and places to express ourselves through art, music and flows.  Our goal is to take over City Hall and demand a future for youth in L.A. beyond death in the streets or life behind bars.  Location: L.A. City Hall, 200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012.


4. Tuesday/Wednesday, April 2nd and 3rd - 9-1pm - This is What the School to Jail Track Looks Like!
Youth will spend the day walking the halls at L.A. City Hall, L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the state Capitol, handing out tickets, suspensions and expulsions for the behaviors of elected officials, their staffers and lobbyists that would get them punished, kicked out of school, criminalized and even arrested if they were a student. Locations: Tuesday - L.A. City Hall, 200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Wednesday - L.A. County Board of Supervisors, Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 West Temple, Los Angeles, CA 90012, and Wednesday - California State Capitol, 1315 10th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.


5. Thursday, April 4th - 10am - Presentation to the L.A. County Education Coordinating Council - Transportation is an Educational Right! Stop the school-to-jail track on buses and Metro trains.  Youth Justice Coalition youth and allies - (Children's Defense Fund, Labor Community Strategy Center, Los Angeles Unified School District, L.A. County Office of Education, and L.A. County Department of Public Health) will present their report calling for a free Metro pass for all students in the county, K through college.  If the ECC passes a resolution in support, the campaign will move next to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. A copy of the report is available on the Youth Justice Coalition's website - Meeting of the Education Coordinating Council, Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 West Temple, Los Angeles, CA 90012.          

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