Members of the Asian Pacific Islanders Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership protest at...

OAKLAND -- Several hundred East Bay high school students organized and led a winding march through Oakland's Fruitvale district on Friday afternoon before holding a peaceful two-hour rally at City Hall to protest a proposed gang injunction.

"We feel the injunction is a way to push us out of our communities," said Stephanie Olage, 17, a San Leandro High School student who came to Oakland to support the protest. "This is affecting our whole community, not just the gang members."

Oakland City Attorney John Russo has pushed hard to get the injunction, and next Wednesday a judge will decide whether to impose a preliminary version which would pave the way for a more robust order later on. If it passes, some 40 alleged NorteƱo members will have restrictions placed on their movements within the 400 square blocks of the Fruitvale district.

Carrying signs, shouting slogans and songs, the students joined a large group of adults on the steps of City Hall at 4 p.m. A succession of speakers then took the stage, saying the injunction unfairly targeted Latino youth, cast a criminal pall over the neighborhood and was a waste of tax dollars.

"Instead of an injunction, we want better after-school programs, better education facilities, things that will make a positive difference in the community," said Aurora Castellanos, 20, a junior at UC Berkeley who grew up in the Fruitvale neighborhood and believes the injunction could unfairly target her family, who migrated here from Mexico.

Michael Siegel, an attorney representing a coalition of interests that is opposing the injunction in court, also attended the rally as a "legal observer."

"Police just dismiss these guys as irretrievable, but to me, it's a policy choice," Siegel said. "Are you going to devote resources to incarceration or prevention?"

Siegel said the injunction is overbroad and vague, and could lead to abuse down the road.

"It could result in a lot of people being surveilled," he said. "My concern is that the police will err on the side of over-inclusion."

Protesters howled their support of the succession of speakers at the rally. Distrust of the police was a constant theme.

"Injunctions Against Police, Not People," read one sign. "Fight Like An Egyptian," read another.

"The police are shooting us in the back," shouted Ruben Leal, one of the 40 young men on the injunction list, to wild applause and shouts of support from the crowd. "You think they're gonna make an exception for me?"

Leal was referring to the exceptions made for curfew violations in special circumstances like commuting to work, or emergencies.

The possibility of the injunction taking effect loomed large, however.

"We'll just have to get more people out on the streets," said Olage.

"I think it's a good thing," said Sgt. Arturo Bautiste, an Oakland policeman who patrols East Oakland. "The violence is out of control in part of the community. I think the injunction has a lot of community support."