Originally published 1.26.10
By Charlene Muhammad -Final Call Western Reg. Correspondent
LOS ANGELES (FinalCall.com) – Former gang-members have teamed up with a non-profit outreach organization to offer a look at the inner city by conducting gang tours in South Central Los Angeles.
L.A. Gang Tours are designed to raise awareness about the lifestyle of inner city gangs and address the urgent public safety issue presented by gang violence, according to creator Alfred Lomas. The tour costs $65 (down from $100) per adult to get on the bus. Creators of the tours say they want to use the money to create jobs and investment opportunities for micro-lending in some neighborhoods.
The tour has already created 10 jobs and organizers say their immediate strategy is to hire youth from four gangs participating in a cease fire that allows the tours. The groups agreed to no shootings or retaliation shootings between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. when the busses pass through, said tour organizers.
â€œPublic safety is paramount because without freedom from violence, no other freedoms can exist. … We’ve taken rival kids that would never have an opportunity to see each other outside of probably jail or a gang shooting and this is balanced out with two Hispanics, two Blacks and so on, and so forth,â€ project coordinator Lomas told The Final Call.
Tour guides Lomas and Fred â€œScorpioâ€ Smith gave a brief history of the origination of some of L.A.’s gangs, including the Crips, Bloods and Florencia 13, during a recent tour for reporters. They also highlighted their personal experiences with gangs, and how they entered into intervention and prevention.
Read the full article here: Mixed review for L.A. gang tours