LOS ANGELES -- As the city burned last week, as people lay dead in the violent streets, there was one unexpected silence:
Where were the gangs?
"They've pretty much stayed out of this," said Steven Valdivia, head of the anti-gang Community Youth Gang Services Agency.
But as the city struggles to rebuild after the uprising and looting, the writing on the wall -- the graffiti -- spells out ominous messages that leave the gangs anything but forgotten. "Crips and Bloods and Mexicans against LAPD" is sprayed on many walls.
The voices behind the messages are sending two signals they demand be heard: that some of the long-feuding gangs are trying to forge an alliance, and that they must be part of any rebuilding effort of the city.