Revanchist Injunctions: How Anti-Gang Policing Advances Displacement by Gentrification.

Authors: Stefano Bloch*, University of Arizona, School of Geography & Development, Dugan Meyer, University of Arizona, School of Geography
Topics: Urban Geography, Cultural Geography, Legal Geography
Keywords: Gentrification, displacement, policing, gangs
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Washington 3, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In my discussion of “revanchist injunctions,” I show how existing residents’ actions and identities are reclassified as criminal in the context of and in the interest of forwarding displacement by gentrification. I argue that such legal and ontological reclassifications are instigated by liberal demands for security even in the absence of violent criminality.
I focus on the legal implementation of gang injunctions and nuisance ordinances as tools used to accomplish this process of reclassification, which thereby ensure the banishment of existing residents. While my case study of how injunctions and displacement by gentrification play out in a district in Los Angeles, as the literature in geography shows, civil gang injunctions and nuisance ordinances, like broken windows policing, are increasingly relied upon globally to facilitate processes of displacement through identity-based criminalization.
The fact that those categorized as “gang members” or determined to be “nuisances,” are disproportionality and overwhelmingly economically disadvantaged men and boys of color, reveals how this population is particularly vulnerable to the effects of gentrification and related forms of urban restructuring. Likewise, it is the criminalized class who suffer the brunt of violent policing in the form of legal displacement.
Finally, I ground this talk by discussing my own experiences as a once-marked “gang member” living in a neighborhood undergoing redevelopment and for whom gentrification has been an objectively physical and psychic form of dislocation through violent and revanchist policing.

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