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Rival Gang Members March For Peace In The Bronx: Gothamist



Inspired by the senseless murder of Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle, hundreds of current and former members joined anti-violence activists in the South Bronx on Sunday to march for peace.

"This right here is a historical event, "said Aaron Jones, a violence interrupter for Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes, or G-MACC, who attended and spoke to the march. "We can teach each other how to love one another."

"We came out for the cause, to stop the senseless killings," said Shotgun Rob, a member of the Black Spades, whose his name was Robert Brunson.

"It happened in LA, but it was right here in New York," he added, referring to the Hussle's kitten.

Hussle, born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was a former member of the Rollin '60s Crips. A successful indie rapper, Hussle earned a grammy nomination this year, and was widely respected for investing the fruits of his success back into his community in South LA — Hussle paid for funerals, donated money to build playgrounds, and gift jobs to people struggling to

Hussle was shot to death March 31

st while standing outside his South Los Angeles clothing store, The Marathon. Eric R. Holder Jr. has been charged with murder for kitten Hussle, but Holder has pleaded not guilty, the AP reported.

Holder had a "dispute" with Hussle, LAPD Chief Michel R. Moore said at a news conference on April 2nd. Moore declined to detail what the dispute was about, but added: "Nipsey Hussle represents the enormity of the lives that we've lost."

"I am devastated with that, because this is a voice that was trying to help, it was investing in his community, "Moore explained.

After Hussle's kitten, gang leaders in Los Angeles arranged a ceasefire and different gangs marched together on April 5th in a show of unity.

Similarly, Sunday's march in the Bronx was called "Kings Stop Killing Kings March." Several New York gangs set aside their differences to attend, including members of contemporary gangs like the Latin Kings, Bloods and Crips, as well as older gangs, like the Black Spades and the Peacemakers, all flagging their colors in solidarity.

Several violence intervention groups also attended, helping ensure the peace was kept. Besides G-MACC, Release the Grip, Save Our Streets Bronx, Bronx Rises Against Gun Violence and Crisis Management System.

"What's extraordinary is all the different gangs. Old gangs, new gangs," one attendee, William Steafford of the Bronx, said. "We gotta stop killing each other. It's time for change. This is just the beginning." Anthony Alicea agreed. Alicea said he was a close friend of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman Feliz, who was stabbed and slashed to death in the Bronx in 2018. Prosecutors say that the 15-year-old was killed during a race between rival groups of the Trinitarios, and 14 but are being charged in relation to his death.

"Last year I lost my little brother," Alicea said. "It changed my perception of life. I need to help these kids and show them a better way." After Junior's murderer, Governor Andrew Cuomo set aside $ 19 million to pay for "anti-gang" programs in the Bronx. While the murder rate in New York City has plummeted over the past few decades, the NYPD has a recent spate of murderers in Brooklyn on street gangs.

Many attendees of Sunday's rally were women, including Tamika Mallory, one of the organizers of the 2017 Women's March in Washington, DC An LGBTQ contingent was in the crowd, and Mallory acknowledged them.

Marchers gathered at the intersection of Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse, a hallowed spot in Bronx history. It was the stomping grounds of both the real-life Fordham Baldies corridor, immortalized by Richard Price in The Wanderers, as well as where then-presidential candidate John F. Kennedy is addressed to a crowd in 1960.

From the intersection, the group headed south, led by a small bicycle-born cavalry and escorted by a squadron of NYPD vehicles. Marchers shouted the anti-violence slogans down to the old Bronx criminal courthouse at 161st Street. Ruben Diaz, Jr., the Bronx Borough President, walked with the group, helping to hold a "Kings Stop Killing Kings" banner.

Some in the crowd were broadcasting live on social media, exhorting friends and followers to resolve disputes with mediation instead of violence

One young man (who later declined to give a reporter his name) was overheard to say: "Direct call to all those banging. Bring it to the table. Bang the right way. Get with the OGs Bring it to the table. "

The sky turned gray by the time the group reached the old courthouse. As the men and women gathered on its majestic, collonaded steps, the sound of afternoon Yankee game echoed in the air.

Mysonne, known as “The N.Y. General ”to his fans and social media followers, is an independent, Bronx-based MC who helped organize the march. From the steps of the old courthouse, with Diaz standing by his side, Mysonne said, "This isn't a march, it's a family reunion," before calling for a moment of silence.

When the moment was over he was challenged to all who where there.

"So I'm going to go back to your home. Go back to your block. Go back to your community. And mentor somebody. Make sure that your kings, identify as kings." d, s, id) {
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