Saratoga Springs is a little college town in upstate New York where we know some kids from the lecture series we put on for the Kids Issue. Figuring their sleepy little hamlet must be rife with street violence, we went back and asked them to tell us about the local gang scene.
Chatu Rocki, 14
The projects of Saratoga is called the Terrace. That's where we're from. Represent! Hahaha—no. There's all these people trying to act like they're all that and smoke and stuff. There's a gang that does graffiti. There's Deep Walk Terrace, there's Terrace Squad. The Spring Street Delhi Gang—that's mostly the rich kids. But it's all like people who are trying to be something they're not, mostly. Except like, two years ago there was a fight with those rich guys and Josh, and Josh got pistol-whipped.
Rob Nichols, 13
That kid was from the city though, that came up and got him. Over here, it's all like rich kids that can't fight. They're a bunch of pussies. It's like one black kid in the whole thing. It's like, you live in a half a million dollar home but you're ghetto? They haven't committed a crime or anything. The most fights they've got in is like one—they get their butts kicked. Do they have weapons? Maybe a rock or something.
Mike Adler, 15
There's also mobs and stuff. Like the Lynch Mobs—104s or something. There's the 518 Crew. Some of them have weapons. Like, what's-his-face had a gun with him that one day. Remember? And he was walking around and saying he was gonna shoot somebody? But really, they don't do much. They spray paint buildings and shit with the number 518 and this snake thing. They think they're all bad.
Isabelle Rothi, 15
There's nothing for kids to do around here. That's why they come to the Terrace and threaten kids. Basically, if you live in Saratoga, most of the people are rich. We have more rich people than middle-class, and there's nothing to do here but go down Broadway or go to the mall. And if you want to eat at a restaurant, a piece of bread is like $5, and a Coke is a dollar.
The gangs are mostly just bored kids. We're so bored. If I could say one thing to the people who run this city, I wish they would make more stuff for the youth. Like roller rinks or something. I mean, no offense to old people, but there's like a whole bunch of old people here. If they want us to stay out of trouble, they have to give us something else to do.
INTERVIEWS BY VICE STAFF
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The Gangs Issue