May 11, 2004
A HISTORY OF THE BARRIO WHITE FENCE
In the 20s, Boyle Heights was populated by Anglos, Armenians, Jews, Italians and Japanese. Many “new” Mexican immigrants to California and some of them found their way into communities like Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles. The Mexican section of the Boyle Heights, which was very small, was bounded by 4th Street to the north, Whittier Blvd to the south, Euclid Ave to the west and Lorena St to the east. It was a very close knit community. Everybody knew each other from the neighborhood and almost every Mexican family attended the local Catholic Church which was called La Purissima. La Purissima Church was the heart and focus point of the community. It not only served as a spiritual center but as a social center as well. The leaders of the Church sponsored an athletic club to foster brotherhood and friendship among the Mexican/Chicano minority members within the community.
During the 1920s and 30s there was a lot of racism and violence towards Chicanos and Mexican immigrants in the Boyle Heights area. School aged children were regularly harassed and bullied by members of the larger ethnic groups. Working men did not have the ability to defend their children while away from the home and most Police at the time did not care what happened to "lil Mexican kids". The younger boys in the community decided to form a self protection group which would serve as escorts to and from school for their younger brothers and sisters. This group became known as LiL Fence or The Fence . The name had a dual meaning. Many of the houses in the "Mexican" section of Boyle Heights had White picket Fences along the front portions of homes and walkways plus the City of Los Angles erected a long row of White Fences along Whittier Blvd. Also a Fence is both symbolic and practical as a means of self protection.
The Fence began to become a presence on the street corners of Boyle Heights. There were many clashes and bloodshed through out the streets of Boyle Heights during these times. The original group or "OGs" were very successful in assuring that no children would become victims of random acts of violence at the hands of other ethnic groups. As time passed they began to rival with other chicano groups that sprouted up in various parts of Los Angeles. Some of the other "clubs" had names like Alpine St, East Side Clover, Primer Flats, Clantone 14, Diamond St, and EL Hoyo Maravilla.
During the next couple of years White Fence slowly moved from self protection group, to aggressive barrio gang. By 1939 The Los Angeles Times was writing articles about the "White Fence Gang" which murdered 2 males and left their bodies along Whittier Blvd. White Fence was one of the barrios in Los Angeles to actively participate in the Zoot Suit Riots and target marines and sailors that invaded the barrios to victimize "Mexicans " in "Zoot Suits" who were deemed foreigners and unpatriotic. This was from 1942-43. White Fence is still a very active barrio and is well respected in the streets and prison system. Many things have changed in the neighborhood since the early days in the 1920s till now. The neighborhood, WF, has been featured in many movies, books, documentaries, videos etc. Much of the modern "gangster style" (Dress, Graffiti, Slang, Low riders) originated in the White Fence barrio. White Fence has other clicks in Hollywood, Bell Gardens, Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, Las Vegas, El Paso and Florida. I was a very active member of White Fence The Hole Locos during the late 80s and early 90s. I believe the initial intentions were a very positive and necessary move, although I can no longer consider myself an active member due to the continuous senseless violence that plagues the barrio and other barrios and ghettos in this world. I am not attempting to glamorize the hood or gangbanging but present an accurate picture of real and true barrio history.
Eastern Border: Indiana St
Southern Border Between Euclid and Indiana: Atlantic St
Southern Border Between Euclid and Soto: 7th ST
Western Border: SOTO ST
Northern Border Between Euclid and Soto: 6th St
Northern Border Between Euclid and Indiana: 4th/3rd St
La Purissima Crowd 1920s
The Fence or LiL Fence 1930s
White Fence 1930s
White Fence Monsters 1940s
White Fence Cherries 1940s-50s
White Fence Midgets 1950s
White Fence Termites 1960s
White Fence Pewees 1960s
White Fence Spiders 1960s-Present
White Fence Monstro Locos 1960s
White Fence Tiny Monsters 1970s
White Fence The Hole 1970s-Present
White Fence The Hole Locos 1980s-Present
White Fence Tiny Locos 1980s-Present
White Fence Lil Spiders 1980s (turned Spiders)
White Fence Malos 1990s-Present
White Fence Alley Locos 1990s-Present
East Side Hoods:
VNE Varrio Nuevo Estrada
LVR LiL Valley
PF Primera Flats
CF Cuatro Flats
ELA13 East L A 13
TMC The Mob Crew
3ST Third STreet
VST VickyS Town
HMV El Hoyo MaraVilla
MMV Marianna MaraVilla
MCF Michigan Chicano Force
KAM13 Krazy Ass Mexicans
OSL Opal Street Locos
West Side Hoods:
XV3ST Eighteen Street
RSL Rockwood Street Locos
TST Temple Street
TMC The Magicians Club
AP Armenian Power
LML La Mirada Locos
MS Mara Salvatrucha
C14 Clanton 14 STreet
~WEST SIDE WHITE FENCE~
I don’t know all the details on how West Side White Fence started. From what I do know, it was started by the TINIES clika who moved from the Eastside to the Westside’s Echo Park area and, started the wsWF between the years ‘74 and ‘76.
The West Side TINIES hung around in Tiny Alley near Echo Park, and also on a tall hill in an industrial area which they re-named it as “Blueberry Hill,” because it reminded them of their former one in the Eastside's also known as "Blueberry Hill."
The wsWF was originally located around the area where the West Side Mayberry Crazys Hood is up nowadays -off Alvarado. The WF LOCOS from here then spread to the Hollywood area. I’m not sure when they moved to East Hollywood but it was by the year ‘80 for sure.