Sunday, March 08, 2009

Downtown Silver Spring Sinks to New Low

So they have a anti-youth violence concert in DTSS last night and a brawl breaks out:

Several people were injured, but none seriously. Police made several arrests and blocked the streets while officers responded from across the county to help disperse the crowds. Police have not said how many arrests were made... [A witness] said several gang members had been in the area of the performance and clashed with other youths during the go-go group's performance. The go-go group was the concert's last performance of the evening.
And some wonder why people wouldn't want a go-go concert in their backyard.

Instead of commenting further, I will just proceed to giving the slow clap.


I'm not sure where he/she gets his information, but a new "Maryland Gangs" blog popped up this weekend and it seems to have additional information on the "melee" that took place Saturday night. I can't verify any of this, of course, but it's certainly more descriptive than the vague stories in the local media.
Fights erupted all around the area, and a young man was visciously [sic] beaten by 5-6 attackers beside New York & Company. One fight after another, after another, broke out, with one man having his head kicked into the ground repeatedly...DTSS is considered Bloods territory. At least by the Bloods. Apparently some members of the Black Guerilla Family don't agree... DTSS seems to have become permanent host to a large contingent of Bloods as well as smaller groups of several other gangs. It seems that only MS-13 has the sense to stay out of the area, other than for brief visits.

It saddens me that in less than 20 years (OMG I'M OLD), the message of the West Coast Rap All-Stars has been lost...

Eazy, you are indeed missed.


Predictably, this made Drudge. The shame...


Anonymous said...

I was coming home around 11:00 last night and was wondering what was happening. I could see downtown was basically shut down.

But, then there were a lot of police cars going down Thayer Avenue away from Georgia Avenue. I counted about 20 police cars going full speed with their sirens on. Anyone have any idea what that was all about?

Anonymous said...

anti-youth violence sounds awesome.

Anonymous said...

Such a shame

Anonymous said...

Supporter of youth, fan of and grew up with go-go, and attended and enjoyed this event earlier in the evening WITH my family.

Unfortunate that the behavior of the crowd at the event deteriorated. I still applaud the efforts of the youth group and with any gathering you cannot control anyone. Honestly, it is a societal issue not just youth or go-go, etc, etc.

Springvale Roader said...

Entirely predictable. Have any of these "Stop the violence" concerts or gatherings ever produced any meaningful change? Doubtful.

The only way to stop the rampant youth violence plaguing our area is for parents to start responsibly raising their kids. That means that kids stop becoming parents, and that parent(s) who have no money stop having kids they cannot afford to raise well. No amount of concerts, prayer groups, or arrests will end the culture of crime and violence until unfit parents either stop having kids, or learn to raise them properly.

As a side note: to help keep this blog always focused in some way on eating out, last night the missus and I dined at Ruan Thai, and I have to say it was some of the best and most inexpensive Thai food I've had in a long time (we first tried Nava Thai, but there was an hour wait!).

Thomas Hardman said...

So, it finally comes out: Silver Spring Singular is not about zombies. It is about restaurants. Well, what's Downtown Silver Spring but one big restaurant for zombies? ;)

Seriously, though. Springvale Roader is 100-percent correct to suggest that "these programs accomplish exactly nothing" or "those things don't do any good".

They don't. I've been watching the "National Night Out Against Crime" ("NNO") events in Aspen Hill's deeply trouble North Gate Park for about 5 years now, and it hasn't done anything at all, not all by itself. However, it has served as a capstone event which requires preparations. Some of those preparations -- like the annual "clean and trim" events which have to take place before the park is usable for a NNO event -- do a lot more, and more-lasting, good than the NNO event itself. .

The thing that gets me about a lot of these programs is that they're thought up by a lot of single-moms -- who are tired of the kids they couldn't raise right going out and causing trouble (fights) or getting in trouble (pregnant) -- and they somehow carry the assumption that if you give kids a party to go to a few times a year, they'll do their homework and stay in school and wind up being doctors or lawyers or at least live past highschool graduation.

But the simple facts of sociology are these: aside from the average income level of any given child's raising, there's no better indicator of a bad outcome and a life of being on the wrong side of the law than being raised only by a woman.

When society goes back to the standard that children are raised by couples, and men take special pains to make sure that boys grow up to their special role as men, we're going to see the same thing endlessly: young men who have entirely the wrong ideas about what is Manly, who see manhood as trying to be the biggest meanest monkey when what makes a Man a Man are the things that monkeys can never learn.

Anonymous said...

I think that the youth group that held the concert should be commended for all of their hard work. They put a lot into it and they tried to start with one step toward non-violence. If Martin Luther King stopped after one step, what would be said for our country today? We need to focus on the positive instead of immediately going toward what is easy. What's easy? Pointing out what's wrong is always the easy way. However, we can pretend that we are intelligent beings and think about what dialogue can happen because of what happened last night. We can think about where does this lead us. Instead of focusing on questionable sociological "fact," let's look at what is "human." Let's look at how to make peace and how to make non-violence a real part of the lives of our young people in Silver Spring.

Anonymous said...

Well, apparently NOT having a concert might help.

Tina & Drew said...

Irony, I has it:

Anonymous said...

I was in DTSS tonight to go to the movies and after leaving Chick-fil-A I found myself in the middle of a war zone. The teenagers and young adults were in multiple groups fighting each other and causing havoc from north of of downtown to the subway stop for over a hour. The policy makers of Silver Spring need to address this problem.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing. Edmond Burke

Anonymous said...

The only thing required for the triumph of evil is for people to post stupid quotes that also don't get anything this one and the one before

Anonymous said...

Looks like the warm weather has brought out the delinquent youth from outside Silver Spring. I live a 5-minute walk from DTSS (heard all the sirens last night), and would love to patronize the businesses there, but I find that the experience is just not pleasant enough to make it worth it. And the occasions I do go are not weekends, and I don't stay long.

The businesses in the area will not survive if this behavior is allowed to continue, because I know I'm not the only person who lives near DTSS yet avoids it.

Anonymous said...

I was there with my kids. It was frakking unbelieveable and completely ridiculous. Lucky for me, though, NO ONE was bother me and my kids because my Rottweiler looks absolutely terrifying and the crowd parted like the red seas for us.

Not going to comment further on the fracas because I have pissed off enough people on my neighborhood listserv by doing so, but I did have one comment that I thought you'd get a kick out of.

So I was at the barrier where the cops hang out on Friday and Saturday nights (at Ellsworth/Fenton in front of Majestic) with my back to the stage area talking to a few cop friends. The first hint we had of any trouble was the sudden sounds of thousands of rapidly running feet and a few screams. I turned around to see a massive wave of humanity running REALLY fast in my direction.

No lie, my first thought, I kid you not, was "Oh shit. The zombies are here - I've got to get to Cold Stone." (My kids were there, LOL)

Anonymous said...

Sure, it's nice that people put on a concert against violence, but really how is this supposed to prevent the next illegal immigrant from committing a random gang murder like the one of Tai Lam? We can applaud their intent, but seriously, the idea that this can have any real effect is dubious at best. As long as there are deadbeat parents who don't give a damn, nothing is going to change. And these kids are the next generation of parents...

I'm waiting for all the apologists for the criminal element to come out of the woodwork for this one.

A question: where did the dozens of delinquents who were arrested live?

Anonymous said...

I hope the police keep an increased presence throughout the warm weather, and quickly slap handcuffs on all of the deadbeat youth that think that DTSS is the place to demonstrate their social ills, and keep them locked up for as long as is allowed. Maybe they'll get the message and find a new place to hangout that is closer to their homes.

Anonymous said...

I was there around 8pm and you could tell something bad was going to happen. This one youth was standing in a parking space at the Panera parking lot yelling at an older gentleman who was trying to park and refusing to move.

When I walked to the concert area on my way to have dinner you could tell there were some shady characters there. I thought DTSS was supposed to be a family friendly place? I know it definitely didnt feel like it when I got there and it certainly didnt feel like an hour later when I saw hundreds of terrified kids running away from the violence. Concerts like these are a BAD IDEA.

Anonymous said...

I was outside the movie theatre, when the stampede started last night. I backed against the wall and watched. There was room enough in streets to accommodate the runners, so I did not feel threatened.

I was trying to detect whether the runners were running TO or FROM something. Their expressions looked neither excited nor scared, but more like kids in gym class (back in 1970s) told to run "as fast as you can" to the end of the football field and back, and if you were too slow you knew you'd have to do extra work.

The little zombies all ran left, then sorta stopped a few blocks up. I thought maybe there were some free tickets or something being given out "to the first 30 to show up" but when I noticed the cops looking sorta surprised, I thought it a good time to vamoose.

Anonymous said...

I commend all of those who acknowledge the efforts of young people working for peace in the world. Non-violence is "awesome" and it was an empowering experience for myself and all of the participants, up until the last 20 minutes.

The concert is part of a youth led movement organized by youth themselves. It was obvious that many of them poured their heart and soul into this event and it is disturbing that instead of providing positive reinforcement and support for their efforts that some people choose to diminish and disempower them with their doubts and hateful commentary (references to monkey's and brining up "single mothers.

This concert may not not cure violence in the community but it is something rather than nothing. The entire message was positive and it was the last 20 minutes of the event where acts of violence arose. In times of crisis we must all come together.

Instead of negatively criticizing the concert, acknowledge their efforts and the youth who did in fact appreciate and internalize the message.

Be a part of the solution by getting envolved with their youth movement (Mixed Unity) and provide your constructive critism that comes from a place of love for our community.

Anonymous said...

It was a great concert but yes there were people who started problems.

But hey, there were thousands of young people really enjoying the concert. Whoever organized it, put in a lot of work.

Did you see the young lady who was the M.C, she must have been less than 14 years old. That was really cool!


Anonymous said...

We are all responsible for violence. Instead of complaining, talk to the youth organizers and work together.


Anonymous said...

Downtown Silver Spring is no place for violence or references to people as "monkey's".

Black people= problems. Whoever wrote this needs to be banned from society or they need to be locked up.

These hateful comments are ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

GoGo music has a kick'n beat, but I don't think any reasonable person would deny it attracts a violent crowd. A lot of these hoodlum kids have no fathers to keep their natural aggression in check, and until some others with-in the communities with out male role models step in, we are going to have these problems. Keep the violence out of DTSS>

Anonymous said...

Okay, Mixed Unity and youth workers: go ahead with your peace concerts and good luck to you. Just don't have them in DTSS. Keep them in D.C. and P.G. where the problems originate.

Anonymous said...

Those who make comments of exclusion are very much a PART OF THE PROBLEM. It is because of simple-minded people like you that racism and discrimination exist.

FYI, if you're so bent on EXCLUSION, let's go back to the Prohibition. Many of the people who started the fights were under the influence and we all know that alcohol and violence do not discriminate.

marylandgangs said...

Silver Spring needs to get serious about the facts that criminal street gangs have taken up residency in DTSS. Several gangs. They can often be seen openly flagging their colors on any given Friday or (especially) Saturday evening.

marylandgangs said...

One more thing. Of course the kids did a great job in producing this concert. The disaster that followed the concert is not their fault.

But let's not pretend that adults weren't involved here too, and it's adults who had and have final responsibility over this thing.

The adults involved might have made a better decision than allowing a go-go performance to take place late at night, in an area that's known to be frequented by not just one, but several criminal street gangs.

Sligo said...

Hey, marylandgangs, can you shoot me an email?

Anonymous said...


Parenting has little influence on kids these days. In response to Hardman, it is the environment that affects human behavior...not vice versa. If you live in a neighborhood mired in poverty with other kids getting involved in gangs...there's a good chance that you will become a thug as well no matter how much your parent(s) teach you right from wrong.

If you see other kids in the neighborhood cutting school, you might do the same no matter how many times Mom tells you to stay in school and get that H.S. diploma.

If you took these kids and their parents and relocated them to the upper class neighborhoods of Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville or Northwest DC...I guarantee these kids will turn around for the better because they will be in safer neighborhoods, better schools, and they will have more positive role models.

And by the way, I was raised in a single-parent household and I didn't become a thug who wanted put a cap in someone's ass. I grew up in a middle-class town where crime was low and the public schools were decent.

Remember: environment influences human behavior and parents don't stand a chance against this situation.


Anonymous said...

To say parents have little influence on how kids grow up is akin to having the word "hate" in your name, in other words, dumb. Parents are the most immediate environment of a child's upbringing.

Anonymous said...

I personally admire the youth group for their courage to try and bring the community together and promote a positive message, I attended the second half of the event with some friends. It's too easy to focus on the negative actions of a few instead of applauding the fact that a group of youth from our community were able to mobilize thousands of people for the cause of peace.

Springvale Roader said...

IHY, if you've ever worked with abused and neglect kids, you'd know that in this area, many of them have parents -- or usually, just a mother or even just a grandmother -- who have parenting skills that range from none to destructive. You cannot disregard that element when discussing why some kids turn into thugs.

Anonymous said...


Springvale Reader,

So why do kids in Bethesda do better in school and stay out of trouble? Is it because the parents in Bethesda have better parenting skills or higher morals than the parents who live in Trinidad neighborhood in DC? So all poor people make shitty parents? White parents are the model of successful family management as opposed to blacks or Latinos? Really?


Thomas Hardman said...

In my work in the Aspen Hill/Layhill ("Kennedy Cluster" of MCPS schools) we had a "Creating Opportunities for Youth" set of meetings. The way it worked out, we in the steering committees tried to interest the students in summer school, arts programs, how-to-cook-cheap-and-healthy course with free food supplies. The self-appointed student leadership was having none of it.

What they wanted was to have the County foot the bill so they could have a public "dance show". Pressed to explain, we were told "it's where one group shows up and does their rap and their dance, and then another shows up and does their rap and their dance". When we started refining it to being someplace indoors with security safeguards in place, they completely dropped the idea. Thus we came to understand, some of us, that all they wanted was a place very visible to the public to "rep for their crew", which in our area is a mixed bag of unaffiliated Crips and Bloods wannabees, some Vatos Locos and pretenders to SUR-X3 affiliation, and a lot of very real MS-13.

Fortunately for us, at least out here and at least this one time, this didn't happen.

Unfortuntely for you, at least in DTSS at least this one time, it DID HAPPEN.

It's going to happen again any time you start to think that clear and obvious gang festivals aren't going to incite violence. Anyone going into this with honest good intentions and expectations of something peaceful and unifying is like someone who throws a barrel of fishheads into the ocean and thinks they're in for a peaceful swim.

You gotta know that when you do that, the main thing you've done is attract a lot of sharks.

And as to the bonehead who suggests that the neighborhood is going to have more influence than the parents, well, that can possibly be true only if the parents are absent or slacking so badly they might as well be absent. Where do you think gangs originate? Kids band together to provide for each other the protection that absent parents cannot, and the culture mutates to provide the acculturation that should be provided by parents and "guiding figures". Unfortunately for most of civilization, the acculturation is to violence and crime rather than anything that will ever be useful to anyone.

And if anyone wants to try to suggest "oh, bona-fide gangstas are all just good kids gone wrong and if only we give them milk and cookies they'll behave and study hard and graduate with all 'A's", I'm going to recommend that you see a psychiatrist to deal with your pollyanna delusions.

Down in the District and in most "real cities", they know that there's one thing to do once you have an establishment that attracts gangstas. You pull the license, shut it down, and when they try to hang out at the place you shut down, you break some heads and make some arrests and you prosecute aggressively.

The last thing you ever want to do is to create an environment that attracts gangstas.

Springvale Roader said...

IHY, grow up already.

Anonymous said...

You think Bethesda kids are all 100% great and lower income neighborhood kids are all messed up? Realy? Just because you don't see gang fighting in Bethesda, don't kid your self that everything is hunky dory, there's a lot of self destructive behavior going on there and a lot of positive behavior in lower income neighborhoods. And leave your race baiting out of this.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the positive which is DTSS provides a place for all sorts of people to get together. Some of us like the diversity which Bethesda sorely lacks, even if there's the occasional flare-up.

wombat said...

Can some explain what that Maryland Gangs blog said about people paying 5 dollars to see fights at Galaxy Billiards? WTF?

marylandgangs said...

Anonymous 11:33, please don't suggest that what happened in Silver Spring Saturday night was some kind of "flare-up". It was brutal and violent, and plenty of kids including mine, had to witness people being brutally attacked by numerous gang members.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Springvale Reader, what a thoughtful response.

You have bad parenting in households regardless of income status, race, ethnicity or religion.

You put poor, minority kids in safe neighborhoods with good schools and positive peer groups...that kid will not become a gangsta. That kid will turn into a success story.

Hey Hardman, you can label me a "bonehead" but I think your insular view is bull shit. Seriously. So white kids living in upper-class neighborhoods of Montgomery County don't gang bang. Fine. Instead, they commit vandalism; loitering in public spaces; get into fights; having sex as early 12 years of age; and smoke pot and get drunk. Lots of suburban white kids do this stupid crap. But their environment is SAFE; they have no reason to join gangs. They have no reason to pack heat when walking down the street or going to school. I bet many kids residing in poor communities live in fear everyday. The parents live in fear as well. There is a shared social trauma between parent and child that cannot be easily remedied when white suburban ass holes tell the parents in blighted areas to be better parents.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:31 a.m.

You totally misunderstood my post. This is what people like Springvale Reader and Hardman are implying.

Bad parenting is EVERYWHERE! Bad neighborhoods inflict mostly minorities. White kids with bad parents still get farther ahead in life than poor minority kids from bad neighborhoods.



Springvale Roader said...


You do need to grow up and get over your self-righteousness.

You completely misrepresented what I wrote. Here was my post:

"IHY, if you've ever worked with abused and neglect kids, you'd know that in this area, many of them have parents -- or usually, just a mother or even just a grandmother -- who have parenting skills that range from none to destructive. You cannot disregard that element when discussing why some kids turn into thugs."

Note how I referred to "abused and neglected kids" and "many." I never said that all kids who grow up poor have bad parents. That didn't stop you from responding:

"So all poor people make shitty parents? White parents are the model of successful family management as opposed to blacks or Latinos? Really?"

Of course I said no such thing, but like most angry teenagers, or adults stuck in angry teenager mode, you see things through your own distorted lens. Get over it, bub.

maura lynch said...

Good afternoon, My name is Maura Lynch, I am the community prosecutor assigned to the Silver Spring/Wheaton area. I could not make the concert, I wish I could have. I had the pleasure of attending a Mixed Unity meeting, and talking to the group, hearing their plans for the concert. I say honor, because these kids were smart, concerned, involved, organized and...incredibly diverse. I am sad for them that the evening was marred by the violence, exactly what they are desperate to stop.
I invite all on this blog to help Mixed Unity, Ghandi Brigade, the County, the Rec Department, the SAO, Big Brothers/Sisters, MCPS etc. Only if you do, can things change. My only comment to some on here is that some of the 'worst' juveniles I have prosecuted have been from schools in the high income districts.
The answer lies with all of us. Help figure it out.
Even better, post your name so we can contact you.

Mortis Olaf said...

I know for a fact kids from Bethesda can be just as "rambunctious," but they do it behind closed doors. They're not afraid to tell you their stories.

namewithheldoutoffear said...

I'm sure none of this actually happened. I've been assured by community leaders for months that this is all just overblown, anti-youth propaganda. It's all just flawed "perceptions." And if you don't agree with that position, then you're a racist Republican dog.

Anonymous said...

I'm not racist (or white), a Rebugnican OR a dog, AND I was THERE. It did happen. It was not pretty, it did spill over into the residential parts of our neighborhood, and likely there will be some retaliatory gestures (stabbings, shootings) from the asshats involved in the multiple incidents.

I DO applaud the groups who got together in an attempt to DO SOMETHING rather than post on blogs whining about "the situation".

But I also do live in the neighborhood and have been dismayed by the degeration of things.

Quality of parenting (whether black/white, poor, wealthy, etc.) is the issue. Not all poor people are bad parents and not all rich people are good ones.

Most do the best they can and try to do better than their parents...I know I do.

Yes, that event should have had more security. That many kids in that small a space was just too much, and as bad as it was, it could have been much, much worse.

Gangs don't belong anywhere, much less DTSS.

Anonymous said...

Marylandgangs -- What are the gang colors, tattoos, and uniforms that we should watch for (you mention these things in your recent post)? I live near DTSS, and I just want to ensure my safety.

marylandgangs said...

Anonymous 3:27 said:

Marylandgangs -- What are the gang colors, tattoos, and uniforms that we should watch for (you mention these things in your recent post)? I live near DTSS, and I just want to ensure my safety.

I'm planning to write some of that up in a blog post, and I'll do that as soon as possible. I'm glad you asked, and I'm happy to share on that.

Tina & Drew said...

It's a catch 22 I'd say keep on investing in DTSS, bring in good anchor stores that will trigger an influx of folks and money - making it the personal interest of property owners to keep the environment hospitable to growth and keep this kind of bullshit in check.

In the meantime make the environment uncomfortable for folks who want to be idiots in public, based on their behavior it's gametime. Increase the police presence, institute a curfew. After curfew I'd go as far as to check the movie theaters before the showing. If you're underage without a guardian - see ya, too bad you paid - you're out!

My personal favorite would be installing a water cannon in DTSS for shenanigans. Holler at me and chase me down the strip - and bam you get hosed. I mean who behaves like this? That's one of many reasons why I prefer Bethesda.

Love the weather but apprehensive of the douchebaggery that nice weather seems to trigger in DTSS...

Thomas Hardman said...

Okay, my last shot at this, at least for an hour or two:

1) The group organizers are to be commended, with a proviso. It's fantastic that they had the idea, it's great that they worked so hard to bring this to DTSS, it's great. But like a lot of these project, there's only one excuse for casting your pearls before swine... the off chance that somewhere in the crowd will be someone who does get reached. Of course, if they get their head bashed in righbt as you reach them, that's not helping things.

2) IHY or whoever is trying to distract the argument from what happened. Gangstas dumping a riot into DTSS is a separable issue from whatever goes on out in Brookeville or Potomac where the kids are filthy rich and the only gunfire they'll ever hear is out at the Hunt Club right after they yell "pull" for someone to release the skeet. We're not talking about upcounty. We're talking about DTSS. Though to tell you the truth, I would not be surprise to eventually hear that some perps get caught and it turns out they rode the bus in from Aspen Hill, or for that matter from Langley Park, or Takoma Park.

3) This is something that everyone has known since about the time people started writing: there's a reason they call a bastard a bastard. Look all through the annals of sociology and for case after case, especially crimes of violence and lives spent as opportunistic predators, "product of a broken home, absent/dead/incarcerated father, no successful male role model". Repeat ad-nauseum, ad-infinitum. People around here don't want to admit it, because there are definitely exceptions to the rule, but that is almost always because both the single-mom was exceptional and had an exceptional child and both went out of their ways to escape the cycle and the shadow they knew loomed over them.

4) The programs that have showed the most success in ending cycles of gang violence and especially in preventing gang formation or recruitment, all have to do with responsible Men stepping up. Big Brother works somewhat. There are a variety of programs that especially promote Black family men of successful record and good standing to try to spread around the lessons that made them a success. Go ask any of these men why they turned out okay, go ask Bill Cosby and countless others. They will tell you that they themselves draw inspiration and remember the lessons they got from strong responsible men who taught them valuable lessons about all sorts of things, almost all of which had nothing to do with acting the fool, fighting in pointless public scraps, or thinking that you can make a reputation when a reputation is a gift from society rather than something you can just take.

So, have another such show. Be able to control access. The people you want to reach will almost certainly come on inside, and the people who are trying to cause trouble almost certainly won't come on inside.

Anonymous said...

To Maura Lynch:

You wrote:

"I invite all on this blog to help Mixed Unity, Ghandi Brigade, the County, the Rec Department, the SAO, Big Brothers/Sisters, MCPS etc."

Sounds nice, but like other working people with families, I don't have a lot of free time, and I give what I can of that time, as well as money, to the charitable interests I care about. I am not interested in spending the free time I do have left sitting down with a bunch of street criminals who in all likelihood will only have contempt for anything that I, a middle-aged white professional who didn't grow up on the streets, have to say to them. No thanks.

You wrote, "My only comment to some on here is that some of the 'worst' juveniles I have prosecuted have been from schools in the high income districts."

I'm sure that's true, but let's get real here. Most street criminals and gang members are the products of broken homes situated in poor neighborhoods. That's true in this country and the world over, always has been, always will be.

You wrote, "The answer lies with all of us. Help figure it out."

Here's my answer, and it's entirely feasible: have the police deter crime as best they can, and arrest criminals. Have prosecutors like yourself prosecute those criminals to the full extent of the law. Have the people in charge of Silver Spring public events prohibit any future Go-Go concerts and similar events that draw in gang members. This is our neighborhood and we want to keep it as safe as possible.

In the long run we need to eliminate the poverty and ignorance that breed so much violent crime. Anyone care to guess when that will happen?

Thomas Hardman said...

> Anonymous March 09@6:16:00 PM wrote, in-part:
> [ ... ]
> In the long run we need to eliminate the poverty
> and ignorance that breed so much violent crime.
> Anyone care to guess when that will happen?

I'm tempted to say that it's high time for the public schools to have mandatory Family Planning courses in every year from 6th grade on, and nobody could pass up a grade without passing the course.

But I can just see the conversations that would result:

Q: So why did you drop out?

A: After three years stuck in 7th grade I figured I was wasting my time.

Q: Why did you get held back, honey?

A: I failed sex education three years in a row. Hey, wanna come over to my place and get drunk and watch videos?

Q: Why, yes! I, too, failed sex education! And so did my first and second baby-daddies!

The Reagan/Bush/Bush-II years are over. It's time to stop talking about the causes of crime and poverty and DO something about it.

BTW Hi Maura. I still think it takes more than a party in the park once a year, and a few after-school ball games, to reverse a multigenerational slide into counterproductive socialiation. I guess all we can do it try to see if we can get people to involve themselves in public service, and most importantly, not stab them in the back repeatedly when they step up to try to do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

I agree with many of the above commenters. The only short-term solution is aggressive policing, lots of arrests, and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. Frankly, I don't really care too much about how these individuals developed their antisocial and criminal tendencies; and touchy-feely meetings, mentoring, and brainstorming are not going to get rid of the gangs anytime soon. Regardless of their upbringing, these kids know that what they're doing is wrong, so arrest them and get them off the streets for as long as the law allows.

Thomas Hardman said...

Is it too much to hope for that someday soon the morning roll-call at every last MoCo station house will go something like this?

"Short and sweet ladies and gentlemen.

"Today and for the forseeable future you are looking for gangstas.

"Pretend that you're in Iraq and seasoned and that you know what an insurgency looks like and that you have the following orders:

"Crush, kill, destroy. That is all.

"Be careful out there... and...

"Good Hunting."

Hmmm, some patrol car just went past my quiet suburban home running about 90 on streets built for 25. Hopefully s/he just got such orders... and a legitimate opportunity.

Judging from what the outraged citizens are posting here, maybe the powers that be decided it's time for some problem-solving, not for public-relations.

Anonymous said...

As Im sure we all know the broken window theory is pretty accurate. For the past year both the DTSS security and the police have looked the other way or been way to lenient with the thug life that has taken to hanging out in DTSS on Friday and Saturday nights. As a result the area has become known as a cool place to hang for local bangers and wanna-bes. So of course once you dump an event that encourages violence (tell me with a straight face that go-go is uplifting and I'll buy the bridge too) you can't expect different results.

Very simply we, as the taxpayers of Montgomery County dumped millions of dollars into DTSS to de-blight it and make it a vibrant hub for downcounty. For the public servants of the county to not respond to this problem by strict enforcement of the law and rigorous prosecution of the offenders is allowing DTSS to slip back into the pit it was 10 years ago. (Yes Maura this means you!)

Please protect my investment and the investments of all the other gainfully employed productive taxpayers in the county. Give us our town back, do your job.....

and hey, lets be careful out there!

Springvale Roader said...

Anonymous 10:13, you're absolutely correct about the "broken windows" theory. Our police have ample opportunity to apprehend small infractions of the law. My pet peeve is the rampant jaywalking where idiots stroll right through rush hour traffic, forcing cars to either slow down or stop while the miscreants smirk at them. Until the law changes allowing drivers to run over these fools, the cops should grab them and throw them in jail. Given that this happens every single day at major intersections like Colesville & Georgia, there is no excuse for the police to claim ignorance of the problem.

Littering is also an offense that our local cretins engage in frequently. Just keep one cop stationed outside Chik-Fil-A, and you could fill Sh*tty Place Mall with all the people they catch.

Hey Sligo, that's it! Let's turn Sh*tty Place Mall into a penitentiary. It's local, it's convenient, it would generate jobs. Two problems solved at once.

Note to Thomas Hardman: I share your outrage, but I don't like police thugs any better than I do the other kind. I do want the police to crack down, but I don't want them to crack heads. You're a computer dude -- go ahead and invent us a RoboCop. He always go the job done with a justifiable amount of force and strict adherence to the law (okay, he beat the sh*t out of Clarence, but that was personal).

Sligo said...

Or an ED-209.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Lynch, the "answer does not lie with all of us." It lies with you. I have worked to raise two responsible teenagers who do not go hang around DTSS and start fights. It wasn't always easy, but I did my part. Now the county officials we elect and pay need to do theirs. I am afraid to venture again into DTSS because the police and prosecutors in our community apparently are reluctant to prosecute people who, unfortunately, can only be described as thugs. Gangs think they own DTSS? WHAT are you people doing? This violent melee at a concert to promote non-violence has received INTERNATIONAL publicity. It is an intense embarrassment for Silver Spring, and it is time for you and our other elected officials to stand up and take some responsibility for protecting those of us who go to work every day, pay the very high taxes here in Montgomery County, and expect you to do your job. I don't particularly care that kids in high-income areas also go wrong. I care about Silver Spring being a safe and welcoming place for families. It does not appear that way following last weekend's debacle.

Anonymous said...


I love the reaction in this forum. Some person running the "MarylandGangs" blog posts a message about gangs taking over turf in DTSS (this statement has not been verified by secondary sources btw) and the whole community here goes bat shit. Nothing scares suburban white, middle-class people more than gangstas on the prowl. White, latte & merlot sipping Liberals living in Silver Spring become Dirty Harry characters on steroids if they see kids wearing the gang colors. Eeeeeek!

Hardman wants the MontCo police to give Rodney King-like beatdowns of those unscrupulous gangstas. Others in this forum are advocating no more DTSS concerts for the troubled youth residing in DC, Wheaton or PG County. Keep "those people" out of our community, right?

There you have it, folks. Either we beat down the gangstas like they are animals or we sweep away problems that affect urban minority kids today. Wow, an excellent way to deal with the problem. I though Montgomery County residents were educated, progressive-minded, and solution-oriented people. Man, was I wrong.


Thomas Hardman said...

Springvale Roader:

Hey, I was just channelling Admiral Adama. And as for RoboCop, Clarence deserved everything he got, especially the line "I'm not arresting you anymore". Also for what it's worth, in a certain crew downtown, when they saw an officer entering the park to circulate, someone would yell, loudly "Murphy". Most people never make the connection.

But more seriously: the whole thing about street gangs is that they have a primary motivation to claim and "defend" territory, or "turf". In the same way that people discovered (back before leash laws) that if you let a male dog piss on your shrubs, he might get aggressive with you on your own lawn because the place was clearly marked as his, you have to discover that if the little street gangsta bastards have a single place that they can pause and gather without immediate unpleasant consequences, they consider it theirs and consider everything on that spot to be theirs in full entitlement, specifically people with money are their sheep to fleece, etc. Sorry to wax all allegorical on you but that's the mindset.

That being said, most street gangstas thing -- if they can be said to think at all -- of the police force as simply another gang, albeit a particularly dangerous one once you get them riled up. I share your dismay at the thought of thug cops, but there are times when you want sharing caring officers that have detailed grasp of the finer points of sociology, and sometimes you want ramped-up steroid abusers who long to face-mask anyone foolish enough to be on a playing field in the opposing team's uniforms after the referee fires the starting gun.

What has worked in other cities is variations on "don't let us catch you in the uniform of the opposing team". Sure, it infringes on the right to freedom of expression, but if that expression only ever amounts to "STFU or I'll kick yer ass", then you might think it's about reasonable for the expression returned for that first expression to be "but I have more friends and a bigger stick", delivered in a non-verbal mode.

Then again, the reason that you've got gangstas causing problems in DTSS is because in my humble experience, it's official policy to get rid of Goths/Emos by letting the gangstas harass/beat them. Then once the gangstas have done that, various factions in government can say "oh look, now we need more money for stay-in-school programs". Those programs never work but they seem as if they should, so the money keeps flowing. And the Goths/Emos get even more alienated and need to visit their shrinks even more often and take more medications, so that works out for the pharmaceutical industry. The gangstas like it because they get to roust specific target groups and leave mom-and-pop-and-kids alone. But you have to beware: every now and then they forget their limits and that will kill a shopping district faster than anything.

Last Saturday night I had to run up to the CVS in the Plaza del Mercado shopping Center, more or less in Aspen Hill/Layhill, to get some smokes and a Sunday early edition of the Post. The place was a ghost town, outside of the CVS and a certain campaign office. McDonalds had one car in the parking lot and two people in line inside, and this was about 8:00PM. It should have been packed. Starbucks was closed. Everything was closed, except for the CVS, pretty much, and a year ago the whole large parking lot would have been full with people shopping, eating out, or schmoozing over coffee and/or Big Macs.

But no, it's deader'n heck and standing in line, and in come about ten black gals, all of 'em wearing the thug face, all of them looking to be about 15-17 years or so, all dressed pretty much alike, herding some 25-ish blonde dressed for jogging. And they're poking her as they herd her into the store, and they're all chanting "white. White. White. White."

I'm guessing that white gal in the jogging shorts shops somewhere else from now on, and I bet she tells everyone -- like I'm telling you -- that Plaza del Mercado is a closed up wasteland on Saturday nights, so abandoned that it's got teenage girl gangs harassing away people that have money to buy.

Plaza del Mercado has been the subject of really intense "special programs" for almost a decade. And how very well it works. NOT.

marylandgangs said...

IHATEYUPPIES said "I though Montgomery County residents were educated, progressive-minded, and solution-oriented people. Man, was I wrong."

Uh, I don't know what community you've been living in, or what led you to believe those things.

Maybe you were not at the meetings that preceded the redevelopment of downtown Silver Spring in which good people, ostensibly progressive people, spoke out in meetings about not wanting to have recreation in the downtown area, as that would attract the "poor black kids from D.C." Did you miss those comments?

Or did you miss the racism that emerged over redrawing the school boundaries for the middle school on Wayne Avenue? The racism that allowed, again, good progressive people with good jobs, to speak out against having too many "FARMS" kids in their neighborhood schools. People threatened to move if that happened, and we all know that "FARMS" kids means minority children.

And for you to try to blame me for all of the nasty comments you're seeing, is absurd.

You want to know what's going on in your community? Who have you talked to about these issues, because I've talked to everyone I could possibly think of to talk to, the police, gang investigators, Maura Lynch, and more community leaders than I can count. I've done my research. Have you?

If you doubt anything I said try something called the Google. It's a pretty cool thing. YouTube is great also. Then go to hang out in DTSS on a Saturday night and come back here and tell me I'm making anything up.

Anonymous said...


So what if gangstas are hanging out on Ellsworth?

Are they threatening the retailers on Ellsworth to pay "protection money"?

Are they waiving guns at pedestrians and demanding money?

Are they dealing heroin and marijuana on the corner of Ellsworth and Fenton?

Are they accosting every pedestrian that walks by?

Are they handing out dime-size crack cocaine packages to every little kid walking through DTSS?

Are they looking to start fights with non-gang affiliated citizens in DTSS?

I highly doubt the rough kids engage in these activities in front thousands of people and police presence in a crowded section of Silver Spring. In fact, this is laughable.

Do the kids cuss in public? You bet. Lots of "F" words, "bitch", "ho", and other colorful language.

Do the kids catcall girls as they walk by? Sure, I have seen this many times. The girls are strong enough to give them the finger and the gangsta boys give up.

Are there fights between the kids in DTSS? Absolutely. But you cannot assume that every altercation is gang-related.

If you see kids wearing colors or showing gang tats and they are minding their own business...what's the problem, here?

Your fear-mongering just adds fuel to the paranoia of the Silver Spring community.

Anonymous said...

The 10:20 anon message was from IHATEYUPPIES, btw.

marylandgangs said...

IHATEYUPPIES/Anonymous 10:29, so the kid who got jumped by the movie theater the week before last, he has nothing to worry about with gang members around, right?

It's obvious that you don't know a thing about gangs, or your community, or what's happening in it.

Springvale Roader said...

There's a lot of nonsense today about how bigoted Montgomery County residents are, and the usual strawmen caricatures have resurfaced. The fact is that MoCo does have a large share of truly progressive residents, but those residents, just like anyone else, rich or poor, of any color, want a safe neighborhood for themselves and their families. For anyone here to use that as an excuse to label people racist is misguided, at best.

Anonymous said...


So what. A kid got jumped. What is your conclusion? Did the kid know the other kid who attacked him? Did the kid get attacked b/c he provoked the other guy who threw the first punch? Was there a "beef" between these two guys? Did you interview the participants in this fight?

What can you draw from this?

I have lived in SS since 2001. Not as long as you. I moved here after Silver Spring endured its dark ages. I have always felt safe in downtown Silver Spring. I walk around late at night and I shop at various stores in the re-developed section of downtown.
If Silver Spring were REALLY infested with gangs, why do you see people shopping and dining in DTSS? You still see lots of yuppies moving into nearby condos. You still see diverse groups of families enjoying weekends in Silver Spring. Do you really think a street gang can thrive in such an environment? C'mon.

Silver Spring is not Langley Park. Silver Spring is not Anacostia or Trinidad. Silver Spring is not Temple Hills or District Heights in PG County.

Gangs don't behave like gangs out in the open, especially in such public spaces like Ellsworth. They prefer to terrorize residents and commercial establishments in their own neighborhoods of DC and PG County.


Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, IHY, you're absolutely right. Let's welcome the gangs to DTSS with open arms. Because all these innocent gangs want to do is have innocent fun that doesn't harm anyone.

And maybe next time, when their actions result in someone's death, we can have a "solutions-oriented" meeting with the gang members, listen to their sad stories about their upbringings, and brainstorm about ways that we might be able to help them.

Seriously -- what world do you live in? You're right that us educated MoCo residents are solutions-oriented. But evidently you don't like our solution -- aggressive policing and lots of arrests. It has nothing to do with minorities (no one afraid of minorities would choose to live in SS) -- it has everything to do with individuals who have no respect for human life.

Thomas Hardman said...

IHY is busy apologizing for the gangstas as if they had some sort of legitimacy. they don't; their subculture is a pernicious pox on everything everywhere. There's no excuse for it.

Maybe people like IHY would be willing to see places like Plaza del Mercado just handed over to the gangstas and their sick ghetto culture of child abandonment and woman-abusing; that's just fine, that place isn't "all that" and it's not hard for most of us to simply avoid it, not spend a dime there, and watch it go swirling down the tubes to the point where the realty company can't keep a tenant in there and goes swirling down the tubes of bankruptcy. Let the gangstas win so that the rest of MoCo can see what happens when you let the gangstas win: you get nothing but ghetto that nobody with sense will go near. That's a valuable lesson that MoCo needs to learn. When you kill the cash-cow by letting it get infested with diseased ticks, you can't pay off the Union people with permanent jobs because there's nothing left to pay them with.

But let's just keep it confined to places like Plaza del Mercado. They're out of the way and if you let them go all to hell, the vast majority of people can just avoid it, and the amount of time and money invested in it wasn't comparably all that high.

But you let 'em take over a major crossroads where the investors have spent a gajillion dollars to create a safe and friendly disneyland that's got walkable centers around a transit hub and mixed-use business and residential, you've just taught investors that you can't trust MoCo: you spend billions and all you get is gangstas fighting on the street on your best business night of the week.

So go for it, IHY. I guess you really do HATE Yuppies. You're arguing for their best possible punishment, that they lose their money on the investment side, and that they'll never again invest in MoCo once their figure out what lesson they learned. That ought to bring 'em down a notch for the yuppies in the MoCo government, too, right? That is what you are arguing for, right?

Just trying to get your position clear and understood, okay?

I'm guessing that if you weren't posting as Anonymous someone would track you down and discover that you ain't nothin' but a little Bloods wannabee with your hat on backwards and wearing pants that would be baggy on King Kong, stackin' out signs at your mirror that you don't know translate to "I is one sorry *ss fool who don't know squat and be damn proud of it".

You probably live next door to Plaza del Mercado. ;)

Springvale Roader said...

For those who doubt we have real, live gangs in DTSS:

From a 2006 Examiner article:

"The biggest threat is now the Bloods," said Detective Patrick Word, president of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang Investigators Network. "We have gotten a handle on MS-13."

Word, who spoke Thursday at the first Maryland Gang Summit in Columbia, said 10,000 gang members are living in Maryland.

The Bloods’ prominence in Maryland has risen because of former inmates in the state’s prisons, Word said.

Inmates may not be associated with a gang before being convicted, but after serving time, they often emerge as a members of a gang, especially the Bloods, he said.

The second-largest gang on the minds of law enforcement is the Black Guerrilla Family, which Word called “an extremist group.” It also emerged out of the state’s prisons."

I walk to and from the Metro every day, and I see gang tags all over the place.

Anonymous said...


Silver Spring Concert Ends with Arrests

Police from the 3rd District responded to a concert in Silver Spring Saturday night after fighting broke out among some in the crowd. Police from allied agencies and other Montgomery County districts responded as well. No serious injuries were reported.

On Saturday, March 7, a free youth concert was hosted and sponsored by community organizations on Ellsworth Street in Silver Spring. The concert’s stated purposes were to remember Tai Lam, a 14-year-old county resident killed in November of 2008 and to generally promote non-violence. The concert was well attended with most of those in attendance acting peacefully.

The concert was scheduled from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Near the end of the event, fighting among a small number of the concert goers occurred near the stage. Police officers assigned to the area during the concert responded to stop the disturbance. When one officer attempted to make an arrest, at least one of the offenders resisted arrest. The officer then called for more assistance.

Due to the large number of concert attendees at this outdoor venue, additional law enforcement personnel were requested. On-duty officers from the other Montgomery County police districts responded as well as officers from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Metro Transit Police Department, and the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division.

After the arrival of the supplemental units, order was restored and the officers from other police districts and agencies returned to their primary duties. A total of 16 adults and juveniles were arrested for offenses such as assault and disorderly conduct.

The Montgomery County Police Department would like to thank the other law enforcement agencies, and the officers who responded, for their assistance at this event. Additionally, the department thanks the majority of residents present who cooperated with police.


# # #

Anonymous said...

Come on folks, listen to IHY. Leave these innocent gang members alone. . . .


Strong-Arm Robbery Arrest in Silver Spring

Members of the Montgomery County Police 3rd District, Special Assignment Team (SAT) have arrested one adult male, and four teenage boys, for the strong-arm robbery of a Silver Spring man that occurred on Monday, July 21. SAT members were in the downtown area of Silver Spring, due to a recent increase in street robberies, and the potential of “Bloods” gang criminal activity. Third District Gang officers had advised SAT of an increase in red “Bloods” gang paraphernalia being displayed by teens in that area.
On July 21 at approximately 10:50 p.m., 3rd District SAT officers observed a group of young men wearing red, walking in the area of Second Avenue and Cameron Street. SAT officers observed the men as they approached an adult male walking on Second Avenue at Leighton Wood Drive. One of the group ran ahead of the man and the rest of the group lagged behind. The man became alarmed and ran.
The group was then observed walking to the Silver Spring Post Office located at 8616 Second Avenue, and hiding in the bushes. As two adult males approached the post office, they observed the individuals hiding in the bushes. The men rushed to their car which was parked near the bushes and drove away.
The group of young men then walked off towards the Silver Spring Metro, where they found an abandoned backpack in the bus kiosk. SAT officers observed the men as they rifled through the backpack, and took what appeared to be a can of spray paint from the backpack. One teen then sprayed something on the wall of the kiosk. The group walked off and a SAT officer went to the kiosk and saw the word “BLOODZ” painted on the wall.
The group came across an adult male who was walking alone, and one suspect approached the man and engaged him in conversation. SAT officers observed the man hand the suspect what appeared to be his cell phone. The suspect ran off and the victim chased him. SAT officers quickly came to the victim’s assistance, and were able to safely arrest all five of the young men without any further incident. It was learned that the victim, age 22, of Silver Spring, was asked by a suspect to use his cell phone to call his family.
A 15, 16, and two 17-year-old males were arrested. They were charged as juveniles with robbery, theft over $500, assault in the second degree, and other related robbery charges. Johnte Cash Long, age 22, of the 4200 block of Gorman Street S.E. Washington, D.C., was charged with robbery, theft over $500, conspiracy to commit robbery, and conspiracy to commit theft over $500. Long is currently being held at the Montgomery County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.

# # #

Thomas Hardman said...

Ah yes. We have our own set of tags and taggers here in Aspen Hill.

I kept reporting these tags to the PD and they kept patronizing me and telling me that it didn't exist, that perhaps I should seek professional help to get over my paranoid delusions. I stopped talking to them and just started taking photos and putting them on the InterNet; I suggest everyone else should do the same. When they tell you that you're a demented liar and should maybe take a nice vacation, just point them to the photos and mention that since they're least likely to believe you, they're the last people you pointed to it. Then expect to hear something like "now all you're doing is giving them free publicity for all time on the internet". Why, yes. Yes I am. And I'm logging every last hit on the site.

And yes, there is such a thing as the Black Guerilla Family, associated believe it or not with such groups as the Symbionese Liberation Army of Patty Hearst fame. Then there's some rather minimal evidence of the presence and activity of Nuestra Familia.

Locally there's also the "Vatos Locos" ("VL") which is a sort of Chicago-DC axis, mostly American Chicanos but they're supposedly getting very multi-ethnic if not so much multinational like the infamous Mara Salvatruchas. There seems to be a lot of crossover between the MS-13, Sur-X3 and VL with posse/clique names like "Sur Locos" or "Maras Locos" (not real examples), but these seem to be pretty localized, especially in places like Flower Avenue/Piney Branch.

Plus there's various white Skins but I somehow don't think you see them too much in DTSS.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that the fight was between the Purple Line supporters and the Save The Trail group.
Please note that there will be a charity concert this weekend in DTSS to support the victims of last weekend's charity concert.

Anonymous said...

Hello my name is Huwey Kelly I feel like these young adults have alot of rage an anger in them,an they just don't know how to control their tempers. It was a positive day for everyone and it became mayhem for no reason at all,it was a smart and brilliant idea for the young adults but Go-Go music is known to get the young massives out of control since the late 80's. I grew up listening to Go-Go music and never got into a fight with anyone but I can actually feel how this music made me rowdy at times. Today's Go-Go music is hard core with more string's more bass to get the massive rowdy. Silver Spring is a very beauitful place an we have to protect are city Miss.Spring came a long way the reason why I know is because I am a native I've been here all my life,it's a very beautiful place. Crime will be on a rise here because it is beautiful an people from all different areas will come to see Miss.Spring we have to protect our house. I was on the front page of the Gazette Jan.22,2008 for a Hip Hop Summit it was overwhelming we have to stop violence in our city it doesn't have to happen here we have to team up to "MAKE IT HAPPEN". Someone please reach out to me I have the keys and techniques to make this possible.

"Reach Out" Huwey "Black Goo" Kelly
I was once a teen with a temper!

Springvale Roader said...

Am I the only one who thought his head would explode we he saw this headline in today's Gazette: "Violence won't stop future youth concerts"?

Argh! Can our local leaders not take a second to *pause* and consider whether or not, or to what extent, "future youth concerts" will happen?

As with most things in this world, people do not act until there is a real crisis (see Wall Street, Collapse of). Sad to say, but it will probably take a fatal stabbing or shooting, possibly of an innocent bystander, for our local leaders to realize that some things, no matter how noble in intent, are not practical in downtown Silver Spring.

After someone's child is killed by a stray bullet during one of these concerts, expect to hear all sorts of recriminations among the powers that be as to how they warned something like this would happen, blah blah blah. I hope this tragedy never happens, but tragedies do happen, unfortunately. The crime is not doing all we can to prevent them in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Springvale... What folks need to do is contact our local elected officials and tell them how pissed off we all are. THAT is what they will listen to. They like to get reelected, and if they sense voter (read over 18)opinion is against them, they sometimes have been known to change course. So instead of writing volumes here, write to where it matters. (sorry Sligo)

Thomas Hardman said...

Springvale Roader:

You have to admit that for a crowd of 7000 (estimated), having less than a few dozen people get out of hand is actually pretty good statistics.

That being said, let me point out that in the Roman Republic, amphitheaters were built in the first place so that the Greek traditions of Drama would have a place. This was a positive force imported by the new society from the old one. Through both Tragedy and Comedy, political opinion was expressed, and more importantly, the audience might experience Catharsis, or a release of the pent-up energy internalized in the individuals comprising the audience.

Yet as time went on, somehow the Drama of playwrights -- which originally attracted only a fairly limited and generally intellectual and cultured crowd -- morphed into the infamous bloodsports of the Circus. Yet whether or not the show was to be one of culture, or of blood and guts, the already ancient credo was heard: the Show Must Go On.

So, one might ask, for whom will future events be intended?

After all, the show didn't just provide entertainment or a distraction to those who attended; even we out here in blogspace, and days later, are being diverted from our usual ways by mere discussion of the spectacle.

In some ways, a precedent has been set: massive public use of "celebratory public space". Though this first event was marred by some violence, no doubt there have been lessons learned. On the more positive side, nobody can tell organizers of other productions that "we don't allow that kind of public event".

Why should Takoma Park, as an example, be the only place that sets events designed to attract thousands of old hippies? Why shouldn't Downtown Silver Spring become a gathering spot for hundreds of aging Bikers? Shouldn't the streets occasionally be flocked by Country Western fans doing the two-step or a line dance to artists like Vince Gill? No, we really do need more concerts in DTSS:

As long as they aren't Hip Hop.

Tina & Drew said...

Anyone up for starting a Facebook group with petitions? Easy way to do this, can also include letter to these folks on the wall...

Puts the public opinion out there and we can send links to elected officials with "here's how many people are super pissed off."

BTW reading another commmenter, I JUST figured out what Miss. Spring meant... WOW

Springvale Roader said...

Anon and Thomas:

Anon: I have already written my letters to my reps. You're advice is sound.

Thomas: Point well taken on the relatively low number of injuries, but (to sound a bit cliched), if my neighbor's young daughter who was there that night had been killed in the melee by, for example, being knocked down and hitting her head on the street, that one death -- or any death like it -- would have far outweighed anything positive from the event. On a personal note, the only reason my wife and I weren't in the vicinity at the time is because our plans to see the 9:45 showing of "Cool Hand Luke" at the AFI were thwarted by the fact that we couldn't get our lazy asses out of house on time for dinner and the movie, so we opted just for dinner (in Wheaton). But if we had been there, and my wife had been seriously injured or worse, I cannot describe how fierce my reaction would be.

I am all for more concerts in DTSS, even country (only if it's old-timey, please). But any kind of music that attracts or inspires violence, like gangsta rap or death metal or go-go, should not be allowed outdoors -- at least not in downtown.

Incidentally, I did get the BSG ref in your earlier comment. We could use Admiral Adama down here, as there is absolutely no other character on television who can glower so menacingly.

Anonymous said...


"Dirty Harry" Hardman made some good points in his last post until he writes this:

"As long as they[concerts] aren't Hip Hop."

In other words, middle-aged, white guys like Hardman don't want a certain racial demographic in DTSS for concerts.

I hope the Fillmore hosts a concert of radical punk and heavy metal bands. A concert that brings lots of anarchists wearing black and covered in tattoos to DTSS. This will scare the living shit out of old farts like "Dirty Harry" Hardman and the other "pro-family", prudish clique of Montgomery County residents. After all, the typical concert goer wants to overthrow the US government and smash capitalism to pieces--two things I support completely.

A group of white anarchists is a FAR greater danger to this society than a bunch of gangsta wannabees from the Hood.

Remember that.

Anonymous said...

Springvale Roader said: Am I the only one who thought his head would explode we he saw this headline in today's Gazette: "Violence won't stop future youth concerts"?

Um. No. No you are not the only one.

Your Pershing Road Neighbor who cannot register on this site for some reason.

Anonymous said...

The weak ones are the artists crowing about keeping it real when they glorify all this violence just to make a buck. It's no joke when it's you or your loved one.
Gangsta please, you work for UPS!

Thomas Hardman said...

Springvale Roader: Yes, Adama can glower with the best of 'em. Did you catch the performance of Olmos back in the venerable classic "Blade Runner"? Bad skin. Superior performance. 'Latinos in Space' to quote the man himself.

And your clarification is on target. We can't confuse individuals with statistics. It's one thing to say "my own ox was not gored" (to use a biblical referent) and it's another thing to say "few oxen were gored". It's another thing to say "A good time was had by all except me, 25 kids kicked my head all over the pavement and I'll be attending five funerals tomorrow, one of them my own". A relatively low number of victims is still victims. We don't need victims. But all I can say is that this is one of the biggest shows we've seen here in the County for a long long time, and with it all being done, more or less, what are the lessons learned? Number One, we need more and better bouncers and we need them mixed in with the crowd, not standing around guarding the door when the problem is already inside the hall. Sorry to bring in the metaphor from the bar scene, but I think it's closely apropos to the situation. BTW glad it was not you or your wife or any of us getting whipped-on by fools, and my apologies and condolences to any who did get on the bottom of those idiots' stomping feet.

A brief digression about our local police: a lot of people like to float them a raft of crap over this-or-that, but they are actually awfully good at tracking down suspects. I don't expect those same fools will be pulling the same stunts next time there's a show in DTSS.

And now then to Anonymous of March 11, 2009 10:11:00 AM who says:

I hope the Fillmore hosts a concert of radical punk and heavy metal bands. A concert that brings lots of anarchists wearing black and covered in tattoos to DTSS. This will scare the living shit out of old farts like "Dirty Harry" Hardman and the other "pro-family", prudish clique of Montgomery County residents. After all, the typical concert goer wants to overthrow the US government and smash capitalism to pieces--two things I support completely.

This is the classic case of some bonehead dipspit who hasn't got the slightest idea of to whom the frak they think to address.

Let's just say that 20 years ago I wore so much black that to this very day, special operations swat teams dressed as bushes in my back yard and practicing mad ninja skills on the oxycontin dealer they're surveilling the next block over have the audacity to declare that I think I'm dracula because I've been more goth as fsck on my own dime for 20 years than they get paid to be in the present day.

You want anarchy? Fine with me, bud. That means that there's no government to defend you when I sniper your ass because you are a clear and present danger because you're just a stupid little squab declaring fight the power when you don't realize that the power you're fighting is the only thing keeping seriously scary sociopaths from stocking their freezer with you in the starring role as their favorite road kill.

Lessen up, CHILD, I know about the scary white folks. You maybe think I want to have 10,000 brain-damaged skins moshing to RAHOWA or something? Get over yourself. Bad is bad, whether it's White Power Racialists or Anti-Racist Commie Upstarts From Twelve Thousand Countries In Solidarity For Whatever On Internet Because Blogging Is, Like, Um Cool, Ya Know.

What we're looking to do is to have places where all kinds of people can get together and have their say and listen to their music and if other people want to come on down and learn something, meet some people, that's all good.

Welcome to America, welcome to Freedom, welcome to the place where we let even nazis and KKK talk their rude scat because the test of freedom is what people are allowed to think and to say.

But as to what people are allowed to do?

Well alrighty then. Let's have some Hip Hop, yo. Let's have some folks up there glorifying abandonment of children, egregious misuse of recreational chemicals, murder of police officers, and subjugation of women.

Like I said, we let even nazis and KKK have freedom of expression.

Why not you, too?


Or we'll stop it for you.

Springvale Roader said...


"Did you catch the performance of Olmos back in the venerable classic "Blade Runner"? Bad skin. Superior performance. 'Latinos in Space' to quote the man himself."

But of course. In fact, a couple of years ago (or was it last year?) the missus and I went to see the new HD director's cut of "Blade Runner" at AFI. Being more of a movie trivia buff than she, when Olmos' character showed up, I whispered to her, "Recognize him?" My wife said no. I whispered, "Check out the pock marks," and she said, "Adama!"

Let me tell you: E.J. Olmos' face in high def on AFI's big screen is a geography of wonder.

P.S. For reasons I cannot fathom, the theater was not even half full, thus, our whispering didn't disturb anyone. (It was "Bladerunner"!) As anyone who knows me can attest, I take quiet movie-viewing very seriously. Thus, my aversion to the Majestic.

Thomas Hardman said...

Springvale Roader wrote:

Let me tell you: E.J. Olmos' face in high def on AFI's big screen is a geography of wonder.

And in the modern day, given the context of his current series and the popular phrase:

His face is a map of the worlds. All twelve of them! Or is that 13? How many worlds is that, again?

Incredibly strong actor and definitely has the whole thing of 'gravitas' and 'dignitas' down to a science.

Personally, I have yet to make it down to the AFI, I have been to the Majestic but didn't have to deal with noisy kids because I caught a matinee on a weekday.

There is, at present, a total dearth of movie theaters out here in Council District 4. Thus, I watch a lot of cable.

BTW -- in a related development, Dan Reed over at Just Up the Pike quotes one of the organizers of this event:

"We're going to let the community know that the youth have the power," 19-year-old Herson Bautista, a Wheaton resident and member of Mixed Unity, said at the concert . . .

Meanwhile back in Aspen Hill, this is what we get instead of non-violent concerts.

Anonymous said...

This is diversity and multiculturalism in action. Of course, the liberals pushing the sort of policies that encourage this behavior never seem to have to deal with the consequences of the policies themselves.

Anonymous said...

These teenagers and pathetically enough adults joining gangs from 3,000 miles away or gangs period is sad, and pathetic this liberal approach is not working these animals laugh at this approach they should be delt with accordingly mcpd could take a cue from the pg police of 15 years ago cowards run in packs

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