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The Truce is on.     End the violence

Brian Keith Vaughn
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drawing of hands in a circle clasp
Right: Brian Keith Vaughn, Original Gangster, AKA Chicken Swoop with his Road Dog

I is part of a signyouyou

girl holding a light at a festival

james box jr Gang summit to the leftNajma Nazgat at Gang Summit Kansas City
   Left: James Box Jr. at Kansas City Gang Summit. Najma Nazgat Sisters of the Summit. Kansas City

woman at gang summittwo gang members at peace summit
              Minneapolis gang summit                         Left: Dawn Oliver. Rising Daughters 1993 Gang Summit

four women marching against violenceGus Frias and Bobby Lavender
March through the hood. Minneapolis July 1993, National Urban Peace and Justice Summit.
Right photo, on right, founder of Barrios Unidos, Gus Frias and far right: founder of the Bishop Nine Deuce, Bloods Bobby Lavender.


Tank Vice Lord Kansas City The Truce is Onbig al and elementary
Tank, Vice Lord    
                                  Big Al and Elementary                                                                                                         

Mujahid Abdul Karim against Farakhanlouis Farrakhan
Left: Mujahid Abdul Karim accusing Louis Farrakhan of killing Malcolm X.
Right: Louis Farrakhan

Erika De Santos all around good womansaint and marcela
Erika De Santos: sweetness.                   Maricela & Saint, never forget, never forgive.
                                                              Karma will get your enemies.

dia de los muertos poster

drawing hand in gang peace sign, two fingers together can pull a trigger

youth laughing at gang summit

youth dancing at Gang Summit

Bastards at the Party.

Please buy Cle “Bone” Sloan an x-Blood’s documentary on Black Gangs, in Los Angeles from the 1940’s onward. LA Historian, Mike Davis, influenced Sloan’s political development. Bastards at the Party is from Davis book, City of Quartz. “The Crips and the Bloods are the bastard offspring of the political parties of the ‘60’s. Most of the gangs were born out of the demise of those parties. Out of the ashes of the Black Panther Party came the Bloods and the Crips and the other Gangs.” Documents the LAPD and FBI involvement with the evolution of the Gang Culture.

Brian Keith Vaughn AKA Original Gangster Chicken Swoop.

I was born and raised in East Long Beach, California to a single parent family. I never knew my father. I have five brothers and one sister. As a child I did poorly in school; teachers and school officials had no idea why I wasn't learning; they thought I was dumb, slow or I had some type of serious mental problem and as a result of these negative assumptions I ended up spending a lot of time in special schools and numerous guidance classes, where I was supposed to be getting some type of help for my so called “mental problem.” At any rate I ended up learning absolutely nothing in these special classes. Nor was my learning disorder diagnosed. As time progressed school became more and more unimportant to me and toward the end of the fifth grade I started to ditch school and hung out on the streets with my friends. When I was eleven years old I joined a neighborhood street gang. I also started getting high and drinking. Being in a gang exposed me to the serious criminal element in my environment, my peers and older Gangsters taught me how to steal, fight and survive in the ghetto. By the time I was 13 years old I was a car thief, burglar, and strong arm robber and the leader of my gang. In 1978 when I was 14, I went to juvenile camp for stealing a car. At camp I continued to gangbang, I made friends with other gangsters who taught me how to enhance my gangster style; I represented my neighborhood whole-heartedly and was well respected in the juvenile system amongst my peers. My love and dedication for gang banging grew over the months. Back than I thought being a gangster was the best thing in the world. In 1979, I escaped from camp, but only stayed out a few days; my mother talked me into going back, so I turned myself in. I was sent to a lock up camp until February 1980. Then I went back to my neighborhood and resumed my position in the gang. A lot had changed while I was away; my gang had gotten bigger and more violent. We no longer had fist fights with rival gangs, now everybody had guns and had no problem using them. I was informed by friends that a rival gang on the West Side of Long Beach had a hit on me. They thought I had shot a member of their gang and shortly after that I found myself ducking and dodging bullets. I really couldn't believe people were actually trying to kill me. Although I was scared, I tried very hard to block out the fact that my life was in danger. I continued to maintain my normal routine. My home boys tried to protect me, but I thought their security made me look like a coward, I knew I had to deal with it myself, after all it was me they were trying to kill.

On July 24 1980 while hanging out in a park with my younger cousin, several members of the West Side gang approached us and began shooting. We both got away without getting shot. Although this was just another dangerous situation that occurred in the life of a gangster, I knew the next time I got caught slippen; I might not be so lucky. My involvement in this war that had developed between myself and the West Side gang had put my family's lives in danger as well.

That night I decided to deal with it before myself or someone in my family got killed. I felt pressured to retaliate quickly, since they had also tried to kill my cousin. The next day a few of my home boys and I smoked PCP and went looking for the guys who shot at us. We went to the West Side and spotted two of them. We chased them, one got away and the other jumped on a bus. We got in the car and drove past the bus; I got out of the car at the bus stop, I got on the bus and rode for a few blocks. The guy I was after was not paying attention. I can't honestly say I didn't know what I was doing, but had I not been so enraged and under the influence of drugs I don't think I would have done what I did. I rang the buzzer, went to the back door and fired two shots at him. I got off and rejoined my friends in the car; we then went to the East Side. That day my friends and I were arrested and sent to juvenile hall. I got a visit from my lawyer. When I went to juvenile court, I was told I would be tried as an adult. The next time I went to court I was being arraigned in Long Beach Municipal Court. I pleaded not guilty, but my lawyer told me if I took a deal he would get me five years in California Youth Authority. (CYA) I never wanted to take a deal but my lawyer convinced my mother and uncle that if I pleased guilty he could get me a five year deal.  He persuaded my uncle to give him money by promising him I would do no more then five years. My lawyer was court appointed. He broke the law by taking money. I pleaded guilty based on what my lawyer had told my family and me. The District Attorney had agreed to send me to CYA for five years. However once I had pleaded guilty, the Judge and District Attorney decided to send me for a 90 day observation at Norwalk (CYA) and made an arrangement with my lawyer that if I didn't get accepted the court would have a free hand to do with me as it pleased. Meaning I could be sent to prison or be given a straight commitment to CYA. I went on the 90 days observation and didn't get accepted. I was sent back to court and the Judge told me that CYA had not accepted me but based on the plea bargain I had made, I was to go to CYA. He sentenced me and sent me back to CYA to do a straight commitment. About 45 days later two CYA counselors came and got me from the yard and locked me in the hole. I was told someone from Sacramento ordered them to lock me up. A few weeks later I was back in court being sentenced to 25 years to life. What my lawyer and the court did to me was against the law. I was sentenced two times and that is double jeopardy, which is illegal. My lawyer promised he would appeal my case, however he never did. Thus at the age of 16 I was sent to California State Prison.

Once in prison I quickly realized prison was even more dangerous then the streets, I was very nervous about being in the joint. However I promised myself no matter how scared I got, I would never allow anyone to see my fear. The first day I was there, I was really scared. All the other convicts were out in the yard. As soon as I heard them coming in, I ran to my bed and threw my feet up and prepared myself to act like I was not afraid. I was being cool, like I didn't have a care in the world. It was clear one had to be strong to survive the ruthless prison system. As a result of my promise, I concluded I had to build up my reputation, thus I became extremely violent, and quick to hurt anyone I felt was being disrespectful of me. Soon I became feared and respected, my reputation as a tough guy began to grow. The first time in the hole I caught the eye of one of the leaders of a revolutionary prison gang, who told me I had great potential of becoming a strong revolutionary soldier. Later I realized the only potential he saw in me was the potential to be used. Once I was recruited I followed orders without question. During my involvement I was ordered to do things; assaults on inmates, staff members, make and hold weapons, extortion and recruitment. I also taught. The man who recruited me was my first teacher, he taught me basically everything I needed to know to survive in prison and in the organization. He began educating me with books. I did book reports on what I read, I passed my reports in a hole in the wall by my toilet. Most books I read dealt with black history, the black struggle or one of our Black Leaders; I read the Destruction of Black Civilization, the Autobiography of Malcolm X, Angela Davis, George Jackson; Blood in My Eye, Prison Letters, Soledad Brother, Guerilla Warfare books, Burning Spear, Revolutionary Worker Newspapers. I read everything in accordance with blackness. Of course I had to read the organizations constitution once a day, every day. The constitution outlines the history of the organization, the rules of conduct, points of attention, ideology and goals of the group, its a must for all members to embrace the constitution; no one can survive in the organization without doing so. I was taught self-defense, prison warfare tactics; how to make and use prison weapons, how to manipulate people and situations to my advantage. Soon I was teaching all that I learned from my teacher, but above all I taught new members how to love self and how to hate the enemy- whites, over the years the hate grew in me and I extended that hate to those who were under my command, the same way it was handed down to me.

      In 1982 I was transferred from Tracy prison to San Quentin prison where I was taken off the bus and placed in the hole, I was being locked up for past disciplinary history. I was given a six month term in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) program. However due to my involvement in the organization, it ended up turning a six month (SHU) term into 12 and a half years in the hole. After I got situated at San Quentin, I resumed my commander position and continued to teach weapon classes. A few months later I was put in charge of security, I organized all the security for the organization in my sector, made sure weapons were available and I enforced all organizational policies; I made sure disciplinary actions were carried out against members that were in violation. Being in a leadership position was very difficult at times. I made decisions that got people hurt and worse. Over the years I realized the situation I was in was hurting more of our people then it was helping. The higher I went in the ranks the more I was exposed to the truth. I learned the true mission was to obtain money and control over drugs and smaller organizations or gangs. I became very disappointed. I was taught blackness and to love all black people. In our constitution it is written that if anyone in the organization were caught selling or using drugs, they would be put to death. Drugs were an enemy to our people. But we were using people who were not in our organization to sell drugs for us. I questioned these things. I was told, “ get real man, money is power in America.” My whole outlook on the organization changed. Being an x-gang member and thinking the organization was better, I felt there was no hope for the future. I had been lied to, manipulated and played; I knew it. Furthermore if they had lied about the drugs and goals of the organization what else had they lied to me about? I began to question my whole out look on life, maybe I hated whites, because they taught me to hate, I knew all white people were not racist as I was taught. I know for a fact that some of the things I did were not right. But I over looked those things because of my loyalty. I was exposed to too much to continue to deny the facts. I wanted out, but didn't know how to break free, no one walks away from the organization, I was told by a comrade who had just stabbed an x-comrade for trying to get out. Fear and loyalty kept me in long after I knew I needed to get out.  In 1985 I was implicated in the murder of an employee at San Quentin. I and another comrade of mine were ordered by high ranking members of the organization to confess to the murder because the authorities were putting pressure on the organization. We both were lifers, so we were supposed to not care about getting another life sentence. I refused to confess to anything, I was accused of refusing a direct order, thus my involvement with the organization came to an end. I still had the support of many of my comrades, but I was basically on my own. Being in that position made it possible for my enemies and staff members to retaliate against me; I suffered beatings from authorities, attacks from other inmates I was set up two times by staff members and given (SHU) program for nothing. Many staff members at Corcoran Prison, who know me think I got away with being involved in the murder at San Quentin. Some have gone out of their way to retaliate against me. On October 19 1993, I was released from the SHU and placed on the main line, 4B yard at Corcoran State Prison. I was approached two times in seven months by an officer from San Quentin, asking about the murder at San Quentin. When I refused to talk about the issue he became upset. (Then he faced three strikes for having drugs in his cell; received his 2nd felony. Now I'm going to Pelican Bay, I have enemies there. In spite of everything, I feel good about being out of the organization, no matter what happens I can't go back to that way of thinking because its wrong. I know in my heart that for us to grow as a people we're going to have to work together. No one group or race can change this system alone. For a long as the underclass have been struggling they should know that by now.  I was hoping to be a force in helping gang members understand the futility of wrong choices; I would like to be a counselor. I do fear being in a leadership position in my neighborhood, even if it is on a positive tip; I want to help my home boys, but I don't want to lead them, I can offer advise, speak on my experiences. I've been a leader and had the responsibility of making decisions that affected other peoples lives. I don't ever want to have that type of power again, that type of power is negative. There is evil in the hearts of power hungry people. No one needs to make decisions for those who have the ability to think. The system needs to be changed and I would like to be part of that change. I would like to help. There is much work to be done with youth. I've experienced a lot, I have been used and abused, I used and abused, I took a life and for that reason I'm willing to pay. I will be part of the solution, not the problem. Can't stop, Wont stop, Our struggle continues, Forward ever, Backward never.        
OG Chicken Swoop.

Brian Keith went to other prisons, after Pelican Bay. In Susanville he became ill with Multiple Sclerosis, progressing alarmingly. He's in Vacaville prison's hospice unit. I don't visit, due to illness, but the last time to saw him, I was a pool of tears; I realized I was probably one of the only ones, who ever loved him, as I massaged his feet, a new experience for him, he was all smiles, it broke my heart. Tried to find his father in Waco, TX, John Childress, brother, Howard Childress; it would be nice even now to get a hold of his offspring.

Brian is a product of the capitalist system, an abandoned neighborhood, a missing father, useless school system, family involved in the life. In 1976 I corresponded with Clifford in Tracy prison then I began writing to convicts in 1980 through the “Over the Wall Program” from Edgar Cayce’s, Association Research and Enlightenment, (ARE). Edgar Cayce was a psychic who visited prison to help convicts make change in their lives, he believed no convict should do time alone. There are many con artists, but also folks waiting for some light to help them see a new way. Wrote to 30 convicts; some for 15 years, a commitment, with a letter a month then lagging to every few months, but always keeping in touch, and a letter, not just a note, something of value. Maintain the discipline especially with a lifer. Brian captured my heart. I knew his brother Fanya Baruti from the Gang Summits and when he asked me to write to Brian; I was reluctant since I was phasing out prison work. I decided to do his time with him. The first time I drove to Corcoran State Prison off Interstate 5; where Brian was warehoused, guards did a game on me, I waited for the bus to go into the innards of the prison where I get to the processing cage, but I didn't have the right cloths, I had to wait for the bus to go back to a support group on the grounds of the prison, where they lent me cloths. I waited for the bus. Then when I got to the processing cage again, oh you have 2 keys, back you go. I waited for the bus again and went back again. I had to wait for the bus to get back to the guards who were having fun, sending me on this circle of wasted time, finally I had a 20 minute visit, after driving 9 hours. Drove back with the haunting image of Brian behind thick glass, his hand up against the glass, where I placed my tiny hand to comfort him. If I were in his situation in a city of no hope, of no angels; with police brutality, seemingly no one to turn to, his upbringing, would I have made a better choice at 16? Do we care that in Los Angeles in mid 1990’s there were about 800 shooting from kids driving by and shooting out car windows in one year? He's a product of a degrading society that eats its own. It was thoroughly heart wrenching to be educated about prisons and hear the horror going on at Corcoran Prison. The gladiator fights, where guards and visitors took bets, had popcorn and made it an event to pit two rival gangs together, all kinds of treachery, that came to an end when a guard came forward blowing the whistle endangering his life and job. To any gangbanger who comes upon this, this is my opinion, just asking questions, no need to come kill me, I know from years of writing to convicts about strict deadly codes against snitching. I hope the hottest place in hell is reserved for the snitches that permeate the left-wing movements and crawl in bed with you, making you think you are loved, smoke one with you, do anything to get trust only to crush you and destroy political movements. Those are the worst snitches so I'm not in love with snitches. I'm glad someone knew it was immoral to set up fights. Brother had balls, some consider him a snitch. I heard a rapper say he wouldn't even turn in a serial killer. He later had to detract real fast. I'm familiar with the police state and anything in uniform, alas in my younger days I tried to prosecute corrupt cops in Santa Cruz with a group called CLEAN. I lead Community Against Legalized Militarism, CALM in an attempt to set up a Community Police Review Board to investigate cops who are out of control. Historically the cops protect the interests of the rich. They blindly obey and enforce unjust laws; I once read when Hitler was destroying life-if you wanted to go up against him, the first line of his defense was his soldiers, thugs and they who side with the corporations and ruling class. When we do crime, we go away, when the rich do crime they get a free pass. And while we are at it, the military killing machine that does its big dick diplomacy/imperialism; who fights those wars? The poor, the fools, the machos, the mercenary thugs, but not the senator's children, nor the rich. We genocide for them. There is no one to turn to in the community, who will deal with a rapist, or someone who is terrorizing. If we know of a psycho, we are to do nothing or it means we are snitching? Or if raped or brutalized we are not to turn to cops, whom do we go to? What do you suggest as an alternative, because we cannot let psychopathic maniacs roam streets without doing something. If cops are useless and the enemy, then who takes care of the men brutalizing women and children in all the communities, because it is us, who are getting killed and terrorized. What is a snitch, what is not a snitch? If you know a child whose being sexually abused and you don't call protective services, and don't do anything personally and seriously to harm the fool, and you do nothing, your just plain simply a coward. The scandal (11/2007) that Oprah’s school in South Africa caused, with sexual abuse of many of the girls there; Oprah dealt with it immediately with a press conference and said when a child comes forward we have the duty, obligation to deal with it immediately and that the perpetrators deserve prison. Is she a snitch? She protected the girls. Hero or snitch? Lots of reasons not to turn to the enemy- cops, fbi, ilk- political groups for obvious reasons, cointerpro, fbi meddling, its chaos. Meanwhile who takes care of business, who's hunting the rapist, the child molesters and the predators that swim profusely amongst us? Cops, no cops, snitch, not to snitch, all I want is for the weak, the small, the defenseless to be protected. I want it done with elders guiding. We don't have a counter culture set up to deal with criminality. Prison for rehabilitation with genuinely good programs to help become whole, to unravel the damage; job training, therapy, mediation, Martial Arts, EMDR, body therapies, spiritual pursuits, True psychics, astrology, art, writing, theater; whatever can reach into peoples souls to bring them to recovery. Penitentiary, a Quaker concept, where those who sinned went to repent. Edgar Cayce said sin was to miss the mark, to go astray. No sin is beyond forgiveness if it is followed by TRUE penitence and a resolve to change. “For those who have self reproach and with conscience, the sorrowful, remorseful, regretful, repentance of sins that cannot be remedied can still be treated like humans. I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” LK 5:32 (AV) But prisons today, are a place to get worse, learn bad habits, become more bitter and hateful and come out more of a threat.  The USA has the largest documented prison population, roughly 2.03 million. China has 1.51 million, Russia 865,000. Violent individuals beyond redemption should be segregated from society with no freedom to roam; I'm not interested in living next to Manson, or Bundy. Criminals come from all classes but its prison for the poor; the rich are free. Eradicate the breeding grounds that create wounded humans who care for nobody because nobody cared for them. The patriarchy contaminated all of us with its virus of violence and domination. How did Cuba wipe out hard crime? An outstanding education system for all, free medical for all, and no homeless. Why can't we take care of our own, focus on families and raising children in a humane manner? Why can't we have safe communities? Jobs? Medical services? Good education? Why? Cause we are living under the tonnage of the Patriarchy's daring, the capitalist system, with millionaire and billionaires counting their piles of money. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” Matthew 19:24. Our money goes into the war machine; kill and kill some more; the Christian patriarchal way. But not the True Jesus’ way. Christ didn't kill, he even allowed the most despised to eat at the table; the tax collector; who collected the taxes from the Jews for the Romans, and judged as traitors. Like my bumper sticker say, “Who would Jesus bomb?”
We are our sisters and brothers keepers.