imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Michael Zinzun Interviewed on Gang Truce (1995)

by Paul Burton Saturday, Jul. 15, 2006 at 4:40 PM

In 1995, I interviewed Michael Zinzun when he was in Springfield, Mass., for a Regional Criminal Justice Summit that brought together prisoners' rights advocates and folks working to overturn mandatory minimum sentencing laws. We talked about his work on the gang truce after the 1992 L.A. Riots / Uprising.

[ In 1995, I interviewed Michael Zinzun when he was in Springfield, Mass., for a Regional Criminal Justice Summit that brought together prisoners' rights advocates and folks working to overturn mandatory minimum sentencing laws. We talked about his work on the gang truce after the 1992 L.A. Riots / Uprising. The article was published in the Alternative Newsweekly, The Valley Advocate.

Michael was a friend I had known in L.A. when I was active with the Peace and Freedom Party in Long Beach in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was an inspiration and a great leader.

While this interview is from 1995, I think it is still relevant and honors Michael's legacy as an activist for justice and peace.

"Forwards Ever, Backwards Never. All Power to the People!" ]


Black Panthers Push Gang Truce

by Paul Burton

April 22, 1995

Valley Advocate

Black Panther member Michael Zinzun and Juan Longino of the Los Angeles Crips street gang were presenters at the Regional Criminal Justice Summit in Springfield, “Too Many Americans in Prison." Zinzun is a founder of the Coalition Against Police Abuse in Los Angeles, and was himself beaten by Pasadena, California, police officers in 1986 when he intervened to stop a police beating. He has been a leader in campaigns for a Civilian Police Review Board in Los Angeles and currently works with Community in Support of the Gang Truce with Longino, who currently works at Gowanda Correctional in New York teaching life management skills to prisoners. They spoke with the Advocate about their work promoting the numerous gang truces begun in several cities since the Los Angeles Riots in1992, and about linking issues of police abuse with the gang truce.

Advocate: It’s been said by some activists that one reason that there’s so many gangs now compared with the 60’s and 70’s when the Black Panthers were active is that there was a greater political awareness among the youth then. How are you working to rebuild that political awareness?

Michael Zinzun: What we are doing now is linking the truce with the new movie about the Black Panthers as a way of building awareness, like [the film] Malcolm X did. We tell the young people that we were a gang, too, but we went in a different direction. Our thing is, don’t abandon your colors, abandon your negative activity.

Juan Longino: In terms of the political awareness, the gang truce is very involved in making the community politically aware. You know of course we opposed Proposition184, which was the three strikes law, and also that unjust and racist 187 law against immigration, that attack on the Latin community.

Advocate: Did that bring the black and Latino communities together, during that campaign?

Zinzun: Only when we demanded that they be linked together. Our thing was you can’t talk about 187 without talking about 184. And so that brought a lot of people to talking about the two, which was a natural marriage which I thought was important. We definitely push that on all our literature.

Advocate: At a rally in Los Angeles during the campaign for a civilian police review board there were young people from the projects speaking out who were very clear about the issues and their condition. It just blows the stereotype wide open. Is that why the media doesn’t give it any coverage, they don’t want people to know that a lot of the youth are thinking, intelligent people?

Longino: Of course they want to sensationalize our negativity and turn us into these animals that basically are just like predators who have no concerns and no cares. When actually what we are we’re sons, we’re daughters, we’re mothers and fathers. The stereotypes are very unjust but it’s the media that has blown all these things out of proportion. The media is a major propaganda tool and it’s used very fluently by not putting any emphasis on positive activities that go on in the community, but definitely runnin’ there as soon as something negative goes down.

Zinzun: I think it’s all part of the whole attack on Black youth, Latino youth — justification for the rousting, the harassment, moving in military weapons and so on. You see, if you look at the L.A. Uprising you can see the kind of fear they had. They have this fear of these young people...

Advocate: The police have that fear...

Zinzun: Yeah, well actually the establishment, too. You can’t keep kicking somebody in the ass and not wondering if one day they’re gonna rise up. And once they start organizing, you start saying, ‘Oh man I’ve done them so wrong, I know they’re comin’ after me.’ This is the legacy of white supremacy in this country.

I think that they’re afraid of the gang truce. They’re always hollerin’ about “We need to stop all this violence,” and then all these young people start joinin’ the gang truce and the first thing the police do is attack. The establishment attacks the truce, which is in fact what they said they would like to see.

In Chicago they had all these young El Rukins and Vice Lords and all the gangs registering people to vote and it scared the hell out of the whole country. They had 10,000 people registering people. These big, buff gang members talkin’ ‘bout, “Are you registered to vote?”

That scared the hell out of the establishment because they know that the unity that we are attempting to bring about can only be part of their downfall. And the gang truce is reflective of that — initiated in Watts out of the baddest housing projects on the west coast. And here they are now leading the charge and it’s impacting all the rest of the country. Can’t beat it.

Advocate: And is the truce spreading to other cities?

Longino: Undoubtedly. Right now in my efforts up at Gowanda Correctional I’m making contact with Latin Kings, Five Percenters and other organizations that the establishment would consider gangs and definitely making inroads, encouraging unity between their gangs. We’re setting up a rumor control network so that they can keep some of the violence and some of the conflict from going on in their community and actually, hopefully to avoid being victimized by this incarceration system and coming out and working together to improve and to uplift the community by going into realistic and meaningful entrepreneurial type ventures.

Advocate: Talk about that a little more. What’s going on with some of the efforts to set up businesses and programs for economic development?

Zinzun: We have got an economic development plan that doesn’t pit one person against another. We’re not promoting black capitalism, we’re promoting survival programs. All the T-shirts you see here — the young people are makin’ those. So all the money that’s made off this goes back to the young people.

We have the homeless domes in L.A. [temporary shelters in the form of geodesic domes in a small pilot community near L.A.’s skid row dubbed Justiceville]. We are proposing, we’re laying the groundwork for a plan to make those out of recycled plastic. This is part of the gang truce. So we have the silk screening, the speakers’ bureau — in which young people get paid to go speak and so on. And then we have our video classes. We’ve already put together several major international videos. We’re working on one now linking the local, national and international gang truce. All this comes out of the young people and it’s part of the economic plan.

In other words we don’t need Ueberroth [venture capitalist and former Olympic Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, appointed to head the corporate controlled Rebuild L.A. after the 1992 L.A. riots] to tell us what our needs are. We don’t want free enterprise zones. We’re calling for collective zones, cooperative zones where we can put things forward collectively so we can control that. That’s the empowerment of the community.

Longino: The whole idea of rebuild L.A. was to encourage big business to come in and continue to go on this frenzy of exploiting the people in the community and not using the people in the community or including them in these businesses. So they say there’s more employment and that’s supposed to benefit the community, but what are we doin’? The tax base is going right back into the police department, causing more police out there to beat us in the head. So what does it really amount to?

If we left it up to the establishment media, as far as they’re concerned, we’re better off killin’ each other. And they don’t give us any credit to the effect that after the truce was initiated in 1992, violent crime in the L.A. area came down 75 percent, immediately. So all the law enforcement in the world cannot do anything when we decide to take our own destiny into our own hands. And everybody benefits — but we still don’t get any support from the federal government, because we don’t want them trying to control us.

Zinzun: We’re staying away from any federal money that would tie our hands. We link this directly with police abuse. In fact, a lot of the folks get into the gang truce through police abuse because they’re all gettin’ jacked up by the police. So that’s one way that we are able to usher it in. They feel very confident with us comin’ in to their communities regardless of what colors they wear. They see we’re talkin’ about police abuse and they say, “C’mon.” That’s been our thing for years. So it’s been successful, we’ve just gotta keep goin’. Everybody needs to support the truce.


Author's note: This article may be freely distributed for anti-profit.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Long Live MZ! Pachuco Sunday, Jul. 16, 2006 at 9:36 AM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy