Free speech for gangs?

Recently, the moniker “6NO south side” turned up on the tarp covering the free speech wall at the east end of the Downtown Mall. So is this the name of a Charlottesville gang? According to Charlottesville police detective, Brian O’Donnell, it is.

O’Donnell says it’s the name for the gang located in the 6th Street South East, Friendship Court area. Just last night, Charlottesville hosted a Gang Identification and Prevention Forum, where experts told the 100-plus audience to stop denying that gangs exist and that gang activity was increasing in Virginia. In fact, O’Donnell says the local 6NO south side moniker recently started turning up in Harrisonburg. According to one forum expert, graffiti is a way to stake out territory or send messages to other gangs. Other Charlottesville gangs include the PJC (project crud) in the 10th and Page Street area, and PSpect from the Prospect area.


This is America, man. Gangs deserve free speech as much as anyone. Don't forget that if it weren't for "Our Gang," we wouldn't have Darla, Buckwheat, Spanky, and Alfalfa.

Time for a reality check. Who didn't think this would happen once you put up a giant chalkboard accessable to *anyone* in the public!? Idealism is nice. But you've gotta be prepared to take the good with the bad. And you've gotta figure taggers are going to be some of the people exercising their right to free speech.