Interview with Bernard Lafayette
QUESTION 12
JUDY RICHARDSON:

Talk now about the Gage Park march and if you can talk about how you--

BERNARD LAFAYETTE:

In Gage Park we had the experience of really realizing that we needed to be organized and prepared to deal with it. We had no idea that the level of violence was so prevalent in those communities. We actually used the gang members, because we had become familiar with them, working in the community and that kind of thing and of course they many times chalac-- challenged us on the whole issue of non-violence because they were not about to buy that. But one of the things we found out about the gangs is they were disciplined, and there was also obviously a kind of, you know, a character of courage on the part of them. And that's what we needed in terms of marshals, discipline and courage. And they had no problems following directions because they were organized in that way. So by working with the gangs, we had workshops and trained them as marshals. They worked out beautifully. There was a, just a fantastic experience to see them knock down broken bottles and bricks, you know, protecting the people in the marches. They got a sense of responsibility. And I think it shows a potential of what many of the gang members can really have.