Combining my passion of writing and motorcycle riding, along with my chosen profession, brings to mind the old adage- “fact is stranger than fiction.”
Take for example the ongoing losing saga on behalf of the federal government in trying to strip away the patch from the Mongols M.C., trying to label them as a criminal organization under federal RICO statutes.
Then there is the tragedy of the massacre at the Twin Peaks restaurant involving the Bandidos in Waco, Texas.
And for decades, the federal government has had it shares of wars publicly with the Hells Angels.
The good news is that 99% of the time, the court’s gets it right, but once you leave the protected borders of the United States, it’s a whole other world when it comes to motorcycle clubs and the law.
“The Bandidos characterise themselves as lawless and use slogans that contain violent messages.”
Those words are based on the ruling of a Dutch judge in the city of Utrecht, known as the religious center of the Netherlands. “The club has a culture in which carrying out serious violence is encouraged,” stated the judge, focusing on how the Bandidos hand out patches declaring “Expect No Mercy” after their members are involved in fights.
The Dutch ban which is effective immediately, bans all chapters of the Bandidos in the Netherlands as they pose a “public threat.” As a consequence, their clubhouses will be closed and members of the motorcycle club cannot wear their patches either as that would be considered gang insignia. Sounds familiar?
“The presence of the Bandidos in the Netherlands, in whatever form, is immediately prohibited.”
The Bandidos opened their first chapter in the Netherlands only recently, but since then, additional chapters were opened in Alkmaar which is just north of Amsterdam and approximately fifty miles (75 kilometers) from Utrecht and Nijmegen which is just south at about forty miles or seventy kilometers.
Marnix van der Werf, the attorney representing the Bandidos, argued unsuccessfully that criminal acts ranging from drug and firearm trafficking to prostitution, were the acts of a few, not of the club as a whole. The “guilt by association” argument has usually been successful with motorcycle clubs in the United States, however, the Dutch Prosecutor’s Office made the same stale argument that motorcycle clubs exist for the purpose of facilitating crime, hence the RICO violations that mc’s always face in the United States.
As a result of the court’s ruling, it has been made clear that the Prosecutor’s office will proceed to shut down other clubs with chapters in the Netherlands such as “No Surrender” and “Saturdarah.”