End gang life

A new awareness and education program aims to dispel the appeal of being in a gang.

Almost 30 years ago Canadian author Brian Fawcett wrote a book called Cambodia: A Book for People Who Find Television Too Slow.

It had an intriguing format. Each page of the book told two stories. Thirteen short stories and social commentary essays take up the top two-thirds of each page. Running the full length of the book – on the bottom one-third of each page was a single essay on Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge.

One of his 13 essays in the book was a piece entitled The Huxley Satellite Dish. Huxley is a fictional village up the coast from Vancouver that, until a satellite dish is introduced to the community, enjoyed little or no contact with the outside world.

But the satellite dish exposes the community to television straight from Detroit.

This changes the community. For instance, traditional local outdoor activities such as hunting and kayaking are shunned in favour of watching the NBA.

The youth of Huxley are also changed too. They begin wearing gang colours from Detroit. They take on the “cool” hand signs and language of the inner city.

The kids of this community were attracted to the gang lifestyle – largely based on the limited information that they received from the dish.

That this story took place before the Internet had come on the scene is significant—wbecause these days it is even easier for the young and innocent to be lured into the real gang lifestyle.

That’s why the work done by the anti-gang focus of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and their End Gang Life awareness campaign is important.

See the story on page 3 of this edition of the Times.

More importantly still, see the complete End Gang Life message at www.cfseu.bc.ca/en/end-gang-life