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Old 03-26-2013, 05:29 PM   #1
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Vancouver gangs of yesteryear

Before the Bacon Brothers, before the UN, before Big Circle Boys, before daylight shootings and international headlines such as "Trouble in Canada's Paradise", youth gangs terrorized the city of Vancouver, from the Clark Park Gang to the Alma Dukes at Broadway and Alma (which happen to be my old stomping grounds). This is an old article from the Vancouver Courier that I dug up.

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The sun sets in Clark Park and the last of the day's dog walkers, frolicking children and families of the surrounding East Side community are winding up their Saturday afternoon visit.

Tracy Carroll walks briskly past the entrance. "To this day I don't like going near the park," says Carroll. Now in her 40s, she attended school in the area as a child. But her fear isn't from the visitors today--she can't forget those who occupied it years ago and are forever associated with the park in her mind. The second oldest park in the city--located at East 14th Avenue and Commercial Drive--is still remembered by many as a hangout for one of the most notorious periods in the history of Vancouver gangs.

The only visual nod to the area's past stands nearby at Clark Drive and East 6th.

The iconic "Van-East" cross that was popular graffiti of Vancouver's East Side years ago--to some simply an emblem of community pride and to others often recognized with area gangs--now stands nearby as an installation by artist Ken Lum. And where a thug in a mack jacket swinging a chain might have greeted those who weren't from the neighbourhood, now the white LED-lit 20-metre sign innocuously welcomes Vancouverites entering the East Side.

But the presence of gangs in the city goes back over 100 years with the first newspaper mention of a gang appearing in the Nov. 23, 1909 edition of the Province. The story details that police had identified and apprehended a "gang" following a series of house burglaries in Mount Pleasant, reporting a "Mrs. Keddy" at 699 Cambie St. was "robbed of furs, silverware and $20 in cash" from her home.

In the 1920s and '30s Vancouver's first gangs were largely orphaned street kids and dropouts who travelled in packs. With names like the Cordova and Homer Street gangs, they hung out on street corners, harassing passersby and engaging in store robberies, automobile theft, arson and vandalism.

The gangs of the 1940s were notoriously territorial and violent, such as the extravagantly dressed zoot suit gangs who in addition to robberies regularly sparked confrontations that broke into street riots at downtown dance halls with merchant marines and soldiers on leave.

In the 1950s, gangs such as the Alma Dukes based at Broadway and Alma marked the switchblade and greaser era. Automobiles gave the gangs wider access to the city and inter-gang rumbles and street racing were termed "Friday Night Madness" by the public and viewed with the same trepidation and rise in police calls that "Welfare Wednesday" does today.

A pattern began as daunted citizens blamed each generation of gangs of being more dangerous than the last. The gangs tended to be more violent delinquents than organized criminals, and may seem quaint or anachronistic compared to the gangs police deal with today. It all changed with the notorious era of the Park Gangs in the 1960s. Made up from as many as a dozen gangs identified by the city parks that served as their turf, they would be the city's first modern gangs that evolved into a severe criminal threat, some helping characterize the city's East Side as a legendary tough neighbourhood for the next 30 years.
http://web.archive.org/web/201103091...593/story.html
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:03 PM   #2
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Good read. Those searching for association and with nothing to lose will out weigh those in it for the money. Kids in packs are fcukin' ruthless nowadays.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:37 PM   #3
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The old man always talks about how fights were different back in the 50-60s. More fists, less weapons.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:55 PM   #4
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What I'm always surprised about are the gangs or gangsters that exist seemingly under the radar of the media; gangs which are apparently more violent/feared by the media-favourites but are largely quiet/low-key
When following court trials and speaking with police you get a very different picture than what's portrayed in the media and you would think "renowned" journalists would at least report about this but they stick to only what sells and they claim the only reason they don't report on the above mentioned is because they're scared of lawsuits due to libel. While Libel is obviously always a concern and does come into play the evidence seems to suggest their reasons lay elsewhere
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:01 PM   #5
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:10 PM   #6
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:43 PM   #7
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I always thought that people got into gangs because they had no other options, like in LA or the Bronx. When the shootings began in 2009 I learned that many of the gangsters lived in 2 parent families, stable households...some were even of privileged backgrounds, but they were attracted to the fast money and flashy lifestyle of organized crime. Then boom, they become headlines, dead before 30.

Personally I think it's an underlying side effect of the real estate boom and marijuana prohibition-cost of living has skyrocketed in the last decade, wages aren't keeping up, BC bud is plentiful and in high demand, easy fast cash ensues-but that's for another thread. I don't even know if the gangs make most of their money through pot. And apparently it's only the higher ups or kingpins that get this lifestyle, not the grunts at the bottom pushing the drugs.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:31 PM   #8
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^ Some people just think it makes them cool. Guys fear them, girls want them and the clubs don't make them wait in a line up outside. Well off kids will always join until society stops glamourizing it. Like in the 90s before the real estate boom all the Chinese kids were watching "The Young and the Dangerous" while the Punjabi kids, as far as I could tell, had Bindy Johal and all claimed they went to Moberly.

In the 80s we still heard about the Clark Park Gang and avoided Clark park. But I guess the gang memebers were probably well into their 40s to bother a bunch of 6 year olds in a playground
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:11 PM   #9
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South Asians get into gangs because they don't want to work as hard as there parents do and there education will not get them a job any better than there parents have.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:12 AM   #10
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South Asians get into gangs because they don't want to work as hard as there parents do and there education will not get them a job any better than there parents have.
That's a pretty huge generalization there, don't you think......?
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:37 AM   #11
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K that is just plain racist to generalize all south asians in that category..people can join gangs for many reasons, such as sense of belonging, desperate need of quick cash, "social status", the "thrill" and etc
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:53 AM   #12
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That's a pretty huge generalization there, don't you think......?
Being South Asian that's what I have seen. They live in 2 parent households but both there parents work a lot and every weekend there is some type of function with an open bar so they don't spent that much time with them. They see there parents working all those hours at a menial job and think they are to good for it. They want the fast cash and the high end lifestyle with out working for it.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:15 AM   #13
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There's no formula of how one turns out, whether they end up being homeless, in gangs, prostitution, etc.
There's just too many reasons to just say he/her turned out to become "X" because of "Y".

Everyone has the capability to think for themselves, regardless of the environment and the peer pressure.
And everyone's tolerance is different when influenced negatively.
Some can eventually pull out and some just never do.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:16 AM   #14
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anyone have a link to the full segment/documentary?
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:54 AM   #15
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South Asians get into gangs because they don't want to work as hard as their parents do and their education will not get them a job any better than their parents have.
sorry I just had to aside from the other issues which I could dismiss those were just too glaring
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:40 AM   #16
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Hard and addictive drugs are a plague to the human species. Who other then Hollywood and the media/system to promote kids to smoke and drink alcohol to get the ball rolling.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:35 AM   #17
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There's a book out on the Bacons. Pretty interesting read. http://www.amazon.ca/The-Notorious-Bacon-Brothers-Vancouver/dp/1118388674
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:04 AM   #18
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I think peer pressure has a lot to do with it too. Good kids get caught up in the wrong crowd and before you know it they're involved in stuff they're too intimidated to say no to.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:56 PM   #19
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the author is a joke and gets highly ridiculed for "embellishing" (being polite here) all his books

so i really wouldn't even consider reading it unless you wanted some fiction to peruse
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:03 PM   #20
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I majored in criminology and there's tons of theories out there that have the framework to explain criminality and these drug gangs in a more focused way.

For example, Cohen's middle class measuring rod theory focuses on lower-class boys and delinquency. There's also the very well-known Sutherland's differential learning theory (and similarly Aker's Social Learning theory that built on this and other ideas in operant conditioning) that explains how people learn either conformist or anti-conformist behaviors usually by learning from those closest to them. Merton's theory of deviance which classifies people according to 5 types: conformists, innovators (people who accept cultural goals but reject the means), ritualists, retreatist, and rebellionists. And Gottfredon and Hirschi's general theory of crime that focuses specifically on low self-control and how that one trait can supposedly explain all criminality. Of course, there's criticisms of every theory (they are tested for empirical validity commonly using meta-analysis aka statistical analyses or narrative review aka review of existing literature) but they give you a more insightful idea. Feel free to look them up
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I majored in criminology and there's tons of theories out there that have the framework to explain criminality and these drug gangs in a more focused way.

For example, Cohen's middle class measuring rod theory focuses on lower-class boys and delinquency. There's also the very well-known Sutherland's differential learning theory (and similarly Aker's Social Learning theory) that explains how people learn either conformist or anti-conformist behaviors usually by learning from those closest to them. There's Merton's theory of deviance which classifies people according to 5 types (conformists, innovators, ritualists, retreatist, and rebellionists), and Gottfredon and Hirschi's general theory of crime that focuses specifically on the trait low self-control (this one was released in 1990 and these authors are considered to be one of the most cited)
Wow, that's really neat man!
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:07 PM   #22
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back in my day it was Red Eagles, Big Circle Boys, and everyone's whipping dog Los Diablos.
there was a large Vietnamese gang as well, but i forgot the name, "Viet Ching" IIRC?
No south Asian (brown) gangs I can remember.

lotsa machette fights and beatings in high schools, but almost no killings. A couple of former classmates were gunned down, but only recently.

I always thought H.A. was a US gang only and never really heard much. I think the above 3 gangs are now defunct. could be wrong tho.

things have gotten much worse now days. was a year of almost nonstop shootings. (see the "Shootings" thread)
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:12 PM   #23
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I grew up as a teen in the 90's so my memories were Big Circles, China Town Boys, Lotus, Bindy Johal's Gang but don't recall what they were named, there was some Flip gang, and many others. Fighting was much more common during that time and it was usually fist fights or pipes and machetes.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:22 PM   #24
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Bindy Johal's Gang but don't recall what they were named
Indo-Canadian Mafia
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:52 PM   #25
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the author is a joke and gets highly ridiculed for "embellishing" (being polite here) all his books

so i really wouldn't even consider reading it unless you wanted some fiction to peruse
I noticed that a lot of what he wrote about was reported in the news as well.

So if he did anything, it was recycling already embellished stories from the media.
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