THE BLOODS AND CRIPS GANG TRUCE, a #archive from #profane existence


Profane Existence é um colectivo Anarco-Punk sediado em Minneapolis. A sua magazine, distribuída internacionalmente, explorava conteúdos musicais e de colectivos e organizações autónomas, subversivas e de contra-poder.
O número 31 de 1997 dá especial atenção às tréguas entre os gangs de LA, divulgando um comunicado de esclarecimento à comunidade da história dos gangs, Black Panther Party e da acção de contra-inteligência COINTELPRO  do FBI.

O artigo:


Communities in Support of the gang Truce
We actively support the Gang Truce initiated by the Crips and the Bloods of Watts, California. We understand that the truce is not just a cessation of gang warfare, but a dynamic, militant movement for social justice. We are very proud of the young women and men who have risked so much to restore peace and unity to the streets. The colors that they have tied together in a flag of liberation will never again be separated. In endorsing the Truce, we also pledge ourselves to support the following urgent work:
- The establishment of a grass roots rumor control network to counteraact misinformation;
- A speaker´s bureau made of active supporters of the Truce, who have been taking the real story of the L.A. Rebellion across the country and around the world;
- A campaign to redirect federally-seized drug forfeiture monies from repressive law enforcement programs into youth employment programs by further expanding the definition of crime prevention;
- Urban Life Management Project;
- A project to hire jobless youth to recycle waste plastic into study dome-homes for the homeless;
- Neighborhood “cooperative zones” as an alternative to the cruel hoax of so-called “enterprise zones”;
- The campaign for a full refunding of cutbacks in local school, welfare and recreation budgets;
- Resistance against the mass crimininalization of youth of color, especially the use of non-convivtion arrest records to deny jobs to youths and young adults;
- Freedom for all political prisioners, including DeWayne Holmes, Geronimo Pratt and Leonard Peltier;
- A united front against all efforts to divide African-American from Latino and Asian youth, or to deny the human rights of immigrants.

We recognize that since the beginning of our existence in this country, many African-American and Latino people have suffered from dehumanizing conditions of racism, estrangement from society, massive unemployment, and a lack of real educational opportunities.
Our communities, as well as other segments of society, are faced with the real possibility of living a subhuman existence, or even collective extinction, unless we begin to link our understanding to concrete action-NOW!!! ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE.



A HISTORY OF THE GANG TRUCE

The key that opens the door to any meaningful change in society must be rooted in a social movement. And that movement, in order to grow and florish, must keep faith with the hopes and aspirations and policies. A shinig example of this truism is to be found in the events of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960´s, wich gave us the Voting Rights Act, integrated school, a damper on race discrimination in public places and burgeoning of the Women´s Right movement.
Important lesson can be learned if we zero on specific aspects of the Sixties and compare them to today. Such a comparison can be made, for example, between the Black Panther Party, wich arose directly out of the earlier period, and the gang phenomenon that exists today. The Black Panther as a symbol first surfaced during the early sixties in Lowndes County, Alabama, when black college students went there to urge black residents to register and vote. The symbol of the Democrats was a crowing white rooster, so the students paraded a black panther.
It was October 1966 that Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, outraged by police assaults on Civil Rights protesters, formed the Black Panther Party for Self-Defence in Oakland, California. The program, in brief, called for jobs, housing, an end to police brutality and for black residents to determine the destiny of their own community. They first attracted nationwide attention when they marched into a session of the California State Legislature in Sacramengto with rifles and in uniform dress. Their early politics included free breakfast for school children, health clinics and clothing for all poor youngsters. They rapidly grew into 45 chapters across the country with almost total support from black communities everywhere in the country. Their swift growth as a national force, with a weekly newspaper that as it peak sold more than 200,000 papers, prompted J. Edgar Hoover to brand them as "the number one threat to the internal security of the United States." Actually, instead of a being a threat, the Black Panther Party enriched and strengthened the Civil and Human Rights movement and, in doing so, added to the internal security of the nation.
The Crips gang was formed in 1969 by Raymond Washington, and the Bloods soon followed. In a general way, both got their inspiration from the Black Panthers. The Crips name stood for Community Resources for Independent People. Initially it grew out of the mass arrests, jailings and killings of black youth by police who were seeking to destroy the Black Panther movement. Daryl Gates, former L.A. Police Chief, is quoted as saying, "I think that people believe that the only strategy we have is to harass people and make arrests for inconsequential types of things. Well, that's part of our strategy, no doubt about it."
The police instituted a CRASH program, wich stood for Community resources Against Street Hoodlums. It was directed primarily against black males between yhe ages 18-25 years and resulted in one of four either jailed, on parole or on probation. From these endless violent confrontations with the police, gangs began to crop up, such as the Bloods and Latino and Asian gangs. By 1971, it was reported that 2 milion blacks were being arrested each yera, wich gave rise to J. Edgar Hoover´s COINTELPRO counterintelligence program. The culture of violence tended to distance the black communities from the gangs whose members turned inward for respect, kinship and a sense of self-identity. The bond between members grew so strong that they were willing to kill or die for each other. Unable to get jobs because police records, many turned to pushing drugs or other crimes in order to survive. Their initial goal for community involvement was diverted and they became gang-bangers with serious clashes among and between themselves. In December 1991, following the police killing of Henry “Tiny” Peco at the Imperial Courts Housing Projects in Watts, serious efforts amongst the gangs were made to device a truce between the different gangs over territories they had arbitrarily drawn, and on March 26, 1992, a truce was achieved and signed by gang leaders. Their alm was to help create jobs and end the brutality in a return to the original plan that had brought gangs into existence. They called for setting up a rumor control center to counteract misinformation and an end to the masses criminalization of black youth. Added thereto, they wanted a united front to bring in Latino and Asian gang members and a halt to denials against immigrants. The Gang Truce has since expanded to every major city in the country.
Consequently, gang leades have gained support from the organize mothers and sons who were caught up in mass arrests and other civil rights abuses. They are deserving of widespread support, to help reclaim many of these youngsters who are fed up with the violence and disorder that claimed the lives of so many of their friends.

All Power to the People!
Support Our Youth!
Support the Gang Truce!