Despite their vows of loyalty and a long, often tragic record of conflict, rival gang members of the Crips and the Bloods have joined forces to support Occupy Atlanta.
The unexpected détente was first noted in an article by Tim Franzen, a participant in the protests calling for economic fairness and justice, posted on the website of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization.
Sherrod Britton, 29, a member of the Bloods, first met Shabaka Addae Guillory, 20, who wears Crip blue, during a freestyle rap session at Occupy Atlanta. And a light went on for Guillory.
"I saw him in the park, saw his colors," Guillory told Franzen. "There was no mean mug or rivalry because we realized that what's happening here is so much bigger than gang rivalry."
Britton initially attended the protests out of curiosity. His purpose has since clarified. “I feel strongly that we have the right to jobs, health care and affordable higher education, " he said.
As they spent time together and shared their thoughts, the pair realized they had more in common than not, and they have developed a bond of solidarity.
“Now we're the best of friends," Guillory said.