Straight Edge as a Gang


Soon after Straight Edge was coined, many members of the movement began becoming intolerant of those who did not follow the same beliefs. On the same note, many people were becoming intolerant of Straight Edge people.


Once intolerance began filling the punk scene, many Straight Edge people became militant, standing up for their beliefs at all costs.  With the declaration of militancy towards others, many large scale fights began breaking out in the punk scene.

Straight Edge in the Media

Around the early '90s, the media began broadcasting stories on Straight Edge. However, almost all of the stories that the news stations and radio stations were broadcasting were extremely one-sided. In most cases, you never even heard the Straight Edge side. In a very heavily advertised story, a group of college athletes were brutally beaten by a group of Straight Edge people after leaving a frat party. In the interviews, the athletes stated they did not do anything to incite the violent acts, and this was never questioned by the police. Just think about that, a group of drunken college athletes walking down the street, silently? Nearly all the media coverage followed suit in the one-sided style stories.

The Murder of Bernardo Repreza

On the Halloween night of October 31st, 1998, a group of seven gang members left a party held in Salt Lake City and began making their way to Trolley Square. At the intersection of 100 South and State Street, Bernardo Repreza and six of his friends came upon a group of about 30 Straight Edge people. An exchange of several words took place, which was followed by one of Repreza's fellow gang members, by the name of Cooper, exiting the car. In the official story, Cooper called out some 30 people and was immediately swarmed. Bernardo Repreza, accompanied by several others, jumped out of the car to help their friend and fellow gang member. Both Cooper and Repreza were badly beaten, Cooper made it to the hospital and made a recovery, but Repreza died shortly after the brawl.

Gang Declaration

Shortly after Bernardo Repreza's death, the state of Utah officially added Straight Edge to the list of gangs located in the state.  Many other states  followed suit, adding Straight Edge to their gang books after large scale brawls had taken place.

Why Straight Edge is NOT a Gang

Many people, surprisingly mostly non-Straight Edge, believe that Straight Edge being classified as a gang is wrong. While a Straight Edge person did commit manslaughter, upon a true gang member nonetheless, this should not classify a lifestyle philosophy as a gang. Straight Edge is a set of beliefs, not an organized group. Throughout history, many people who are confirmed members of religion have committed murder, yet their religions are not classified as a gang. If Straight Edge is considered a gang, so is any type of lifestyle or belief, such as Christianity, Atheism, LDS, or Catholicism.

For More on Straight Edge

For more info on Straight Edge, please visit some of the following links:


Stefan M. 5 years ago

Bernardo and his friends were not gang members, they were normal kids out looking for action (parties) on Halloween when the straight edgers started taunting them. I think getting called a Nigger and being spit on is enough to fight back (Cooper).

Richie 4 years ago

Nope. Some of the friends he was with were gang members. If you would read the the original article and seen the media interview you would know. Also, why couldn't they just walk away? It is sad that it happened, but to believe it was one sided is ridiculous.

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