I was doing a search this morning and came across this site which feeds the police stereotype about motorcycle clubs as “gang members. For those of us who have been to hundreds of motorcycle clubs events and have never witnessed any gang activity other than clubs selling t-shirts to raise money for their expenses and some great food, I am not sure what constitutes gang activity.
As long as site like this and others promote this type of profiling against motorcycle clubs law enforcement will use this excuse to go after motorcycle clubs and their members. So, here is what this site has posted about motorcycle clubs, sounds like they have been talking to gang task force which I personally feel are a bunch of morons and have no clue what or they are after.
Most Notorious Biker Gangs in the World
There are a number of motorcycle clubs in the world, which are known for their enthusiasm for motorcycling. However, there is a miniscule number of clubs, which is known for something more than just motorcycling. These gangs have gained notoriety for their antics, making law enforcement agencies view them with scorn and suspicion. In this Buzzle article, we will take a look at some of these notorious biker gangs.
Rock ‘n’ Murder
In 1969, a free rock concert was held at Altamont Speedway, California. Hells Angels, one of the most notorious biker gangs in the world, was managing the security of the event, for which they were paid $500 worth of beer. As both the crowd and Hells Angels members were high on drugs and alcohol, altercations ensued, resulting in a Hells Angels member fatally stabbing a 18-year-old guy, who had reportedly drawn a gun.
Motorcyclists around the world are met with awe and skepticism. While some appreciate the freedom and the adrenaline rush that one experiences on a motorcycle ride, others are of the opinion that bikers engage in rabble-rousing, and promote an alternate lifestyle, devious to the norms of the society. Most of the motorcycle clubs are located, or have originated in the United States of America. Majority of these biker clubs are law-abiding and are registered with the biggest motorcycling organization — American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). It has a total membership of 300,000 and is actively involved in promoting motorcycling in the US.
There is a minuscule percentage of bikers, who don’t conform to the rules and regulations of AMA and have their own code of conduct. These bikers are affiliated to numerous clubs, and are collectively known as Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs (OMC). These clubs are in a state of constant war with each other, and many of their members have been arrested over serious crimes, such as drug trafficking, extortion, prostitution, and murder. These gangs have gained notoriety all around the world for their antics, but due to the constant media attention, they have also managed to achieve a cult status among some bike aficionados. Before we go ahead and introduce you to some of the most dreaded biker gangs around the world, we would like to revisit history to understand their origin.
Biker Clubs: The Origin
After the end of World War II, a lot of war veterans returned home and tried to settle into their new civilian lives. As they had been at war for such a long time, the chores of daily life seemed monotonous to them. They wanted to experience the thrill and excitement, which had become a part of their lives during the period of war. They were in search of the same level of camaraderie and togetherness, which war soldiers have for each other. The way they looked at it, civilian life was staid and unexciting. While looking for a substitute to fill their lives, motorcycling emerged as one of the brightest options, and soon, numerous war vets were on the streets with their cruiser bikes and choppers. This led to the creation of numerous biking clubs, with members donning similar outfits to show loyalty to their respective clubs. These clubs were known for their nomadic and rebellious lifestyle, but there was rarely any news of their engagement in any form of illegal activity. However, the benign nature of motorcycling took a beating in the Hollister riot of 1947.
Hollister, an agricultural town in California, hosted an annual bike rally, sanctioned by the AMA. The rally had become a spectacle and a source of revenue for many locals. Due to the increase in the number of motorcycle clubs after the World War II, Hollister witnessed the arrival of a large number of motorcyclists, which it could not accommodate. The sheer number of motorcyclists made it seem as if the whole town of Hollister was ‘overtaken’. After the bikers got high on alcohol, they stormed right into the city, doing wheelies, riding through restaurants, and littering the streets with broken beer bottles. The police arrested several of these drunk bikers for misdemeanor, but even the police noted that these men had done more harm to themselves than they did to the town. However, the story was blown out of proportion by the media, notably by Life magazine, which carried out a photograph of a wasted man sitting on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, while holding a beer in each hand. Below the motorcycle lay innumerable empty beer bottles. This photograph and the overall media reports created a perception among the people of America that motorcyclists were troublemakers and sociopaths. The Wild One (1953) starring Marlon Brando, which was based on the Hollister riot, further polarized the public opinion against the bikers. The negative publicity surrounding the motorcyclists and the misconception about them, appealed to criminal-minded individuals. They had been living their lives on the sidelines, but now they saw an opportunity of hogging the public limelight by becoming a biker.
The 1%er Tag
Heckled by the media over the issue of motorcyclists engaging in hooliganism and criminal activities, AMA allegedly said that 99% of the bikers were law-abiding citizens, and it was the remaining 1%, which was bringing a bad name to motorcycling. The outlaws accepted the “1%” tag, and used it proudly with their club patches to associate themselves with everything that the society considered devious. These 1%er clubs spread to numerous states in America and around the world. Today, law enforcement agencies in every country consider these outlaw gangs to be actively involved in numerous illegal activities.
The Most Infamous Motorcycle Clubs
Hells Angels Motorcycle Club
Chapters: Around 230 in 27 countries
Membership: 2000 – 3000
Motto: WHEN WE DO RIGHT NOBODY REMEMBERS, WHEN WE DO WRONG NOBODY FORGETS
The Hells Angels is arguably the most well-known motorcycle club in the world. According to the official website of Hells Angels, the club was formed on March 17, 1948 in Fontana/San Bernardino area of California, US. During its inception, it was made up of war veterans who were earlier associated with the club, Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington (one of the clubs present at the Hollister riot). Although a lot of people believe that Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels is the club’s mother chapter, the official website denies the claim and states that after forming the club in Fontana, a lot of club members moved to Oakland. According to estimates, currently, the club has more than 100 chapters worldwide, with an estimated 2000 to 3000 members. The club has been accused of numerous serious crimes, such as drug trafficking, extortion, and prostitution.
In 2006, a series of raids in Ontario, Canada led to the arrest of 15 Hells Angels members. During the raids, the police seized drugs valued at $3 million in the international market.
In 2007, a full-time member of Hells Angels MC shot three people, including his girlfriend, in Melbourne. One person died, and the other two were seriously injured in the incident. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The sergeant at arms of the San Diego chapter of Hells Angels was sentenced to serve 21 years and 10 months in prison for drug trafficking charges in 2012.
They go on to name other clubs in this write-up, the only thing they get right is there are some clubs, people, bikers riders or whatever you what to be considered that don’t care for joining some bullshit rider/biker association and “who don’t conform to the rules and regulations” of anyone but their club. Last time I check that is not against law. You can read the full story by clicking the link below.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/most-notorious-biker-gangs-in-the-world.html