Oakland youth attend Silence the Violence night

August 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Thursday night was "Silence The Violence" night in Oakland. A teen summit was held in East Oakland with a convicted Oakland drug dealer as guest speaker live from prison.

"I take full responsibility for my actions," said former drug lord Darryl "Lil'D" Reed.

Lil'D spoke from Terminal Island federal prison on the phone. He's part of the national Silence The Violence Day being held in Oakland. About 100 teens and adults crowded a union hall on Hegenberger Road to hear Lil'D speak.

"He wants everybody to stop and think before you act," said writer Dennis Haywood.

Lil'D was sentenced to 32 years for possessing 60 pounds of crack cocaine. He's been in prison for the past 23 years. He told the group not to follow in his footsteps.

"It's like it's a struggle like somebody pulling you by the arm and you can't get out," said 13-year-old Allan Williams, Jr.

Williams says he has to fight doing drugs and joining a gang every day at school. Lil'D's message is clear to him.

"They want you to stay and maybe smoke or do drugs and I'm not really into it," said Williams.

This teen summit is being held as Oakland council members Ignacio De La Fuente and Larry Reed consider imposing a curfew for anyone under 18.

"All of us know that the majority of the people doing the shooting, the majority of the people in the streets causing problems are people under age, so we need the curfew, we need the gang injunction," said De La Fuente.

Mayor Jean Quan says the men who shot and killed 3-year-old Carlos Nava are in their 20's. She's not sure a curfew is the answer.

"No loitering in certain zones, that I'm willing to work on with the council on that, but I think quite frankly, it's only a small part of a much bigger problem," said Quan.

As far as these teens are concerned a curfew might be a good idea.

"I think that maybe the parents should pay a little more attention to what they're doing," said Williams.

"If you're not 18 or over, you should be getting ready to go to school the next day," said student Roderick Spikes.

De La Fuente says he'll introduce the curfew when the council reconvenes Sept. 20, 2011.


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