Members of L.A. Bloods and Crips gangs met in peace under one roof at the Nation of Islam’s meeting on July 17 and forged the “Bloods & Crips 2016 Peace Treaty, July 17th Cease Fire Agreement.”
They came after multi-platinums rapper The Game and Snoop Dogg, Problem, a rapper and Game’s best friend, and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan called on them to open dialogue on how to unite, stop the violence, and make their neighborhood a safe, decent place to live.
The Game said he loves his city as a whole, and is not scared to fight for it or humanity. He made the call for peace and unity through H.U.N.T. (Hunt Us Not Today) his initiative, which formed in response to the most recent violence.
That includes the police killings of Black men Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and five officers shot and killed in Dallas, Tx. during a protest of the Sterling and Castile shootings.
The incidents also helped to drive attendance at the unity meeting. The Game thanked those who made it their mission to attend the gathering for peace so as a collective unit they may save L.A.
Everyone wants to kill, The Game said, “But ask the same n——r with the gun if he ready to die, and they’re going to say no.”
“… let’s be men. When it’s a gun pointed at you, and it’s cocked back, and you know the only thing standing between you and the gun is God, why you wait until then to start praying, wishing, hoping. It only takes a second to lose your life,” The Game stated.
He said if gangs broker peace here, it will spread, because L.A. writes the passage for everything positive or negative that happens
The artist spread the word on his far-reaching social media accounts. Popular radio host Big Boy of 92.3 FM/REAL promoted the peace summit on his show. Various organizations and activists shared flyers with their network.
Gang members, gang interventionists, and families of loved ones victimized by gang violence, filled the Church of Scientology’s three-story Vermont Community Center to hear a host of speakers and weigh-in on next steps. A strategy session is scheduled for July 21.
There were four over flow areas, including in front of the center, on the street, with a jumbo screen.
Rev. Benny “Taco” Owens, founder of Detours, a gang intervention organization, and member of the Southern California Cease Fire Committee, said the gathering was beautiful.
“I’ve never seen a crowd like this unless I was in prison or a chow hall. I see a lot of faces that I’ve never seen come together like this before,” Owens said. “I believe that you’re here because you want a change … This is a very, very critical moment in our city and our lives,” he stated.
“We’ve had 330 people killed so far in this county…We’ve had 2 killed in Gardena within a week,” Owens stated. He continued, L.A. has come a long way in curbing violence, but has a long way to go.
Alex Sanchez, founder of the gang intervention organization Homies Unidos, attended the peace summit because he believes people can be unified.
“I believe that if we don’t start doing something about reaching to these brothers in our communities the Latino families that are afraid of us, or Black families that are afraid of us, when people come together, or the media takes on this message of racial tension, we do not fall into that language, we do not fall to the work of the enemy that just tries to divide us” Sanchez said.
Danny Bakewell, Sr., executive publisher of the L.A. Sentinel, was among dignitaries present to urge a cease fire. “We have to first stop the killing of each other in our own community of each other,” he told reporters.
“I think it was like the cracking of an atom. It sparked something in everybody. It sparked the spirit of hope that once again we’re at a pivotal point in our history and we can make a difference in our own community,” said Nation of Islam Minister Tony Muhammad, Minister Farrakhan’s Western Region representative.