Friday, July 29, 2011

Former skinhead: 'My hate had no basis'

At a conference, former members of violent hate groups often say they joined for a sense of belonging and identity.
Some former skinheads and gang members are changing their minds, and opting to be more accepting of others

"You want to belong to something so badly, you will go to any extreme to be part of it."

These are the words of Eric Gibson, a former South Central Los Angles gang member, and just one of many who attended the Summit Against Violent Extremism (SAVE) in Dublin on June 26-7.

Gibson's feelings are echoed by many "formers" - a term coined by those who were once leaders or members of radical organisations or gangs, but have now decided to leave that life behind.

The conference saw an eclectic group of people involved in a friendly exchange of ideas who would, a few years ago, have attacked each other with extreme prejudice.

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