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Gangs in Venice

August 07, 1994

In recent months, 17 people were killed and 55 wounded in the dirty race war conducted by gangs in the Venice-Oakwood area. Citizens must be encouraged to speak up against violence--assert their civil rights and not be intimidated by gangs.

A Times' article (July 22) stated that I was "sternly criticized for calling Venice gang members 'termites.' " Those who would coddle and defend the gangs in face of their atrocities confuse other youngsters not yet affiliated with gang-like activity.

A 30-year-old cook was fatally shot in front of his two children in Venice-Oakwood by a cowardly gang member. He had no gang affiliations.

More than stern criticism should be directed toward vicious gangs. We must stand up for our rights to walk, talk and move freely anywhere in our great city without fear of gang violence. Turn the termites in to proper authorities!

ALEX COTA

Los Angeles

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