By David Amoruso
Things are heating up among biker groups across the globe. In Canada the Hells Angels are said to be involved in a new war with their infamous rivals the Rock Machine. While police in the Netherlands are worried the local Angels are on the verge of a war with another homegrown club.
Between 1994 and 2002, Montreal was the scene of a violent war. The city was ruled by the Hells Angels but their supreme power was challenged by the Rock Machine, a fairly new group which emerged in 1986, eager to prove their worth, its members refused to back down to the dominant Angels.
Led by the ruthless Maurice “Mom” Boucher, the Hells Angels went to war, hunting for members of the Rock Machine using any means necessary; guns, bombs, whatever got the job done. As the streets of Montreal transformed into hell on earth the public became outraged that police were unable to stop the bikers.
Over 150 people died in the violence, including the innocent 11-year-old Daniel Desrochers, who died when a car bomb exploded outside a biker hangout. Boucher’s blood thirst was also aimed at members of law enforcement as he ordered the successful killing of two prison guards. The murders led to tougher legislation to combat the gangs and by 2002 the war had come to an end. By then, the Rock Machine had been decimated, many of its members either dead or in jail, some even defecting to the Angels, who were the clear winners of the war.
But recent arrests and high profile cases have weakened the once mighty club. And recent incidents indicate that the once heavily weakened Rock Machine is making a comeback. On July 21, the Calgary Sun reported
, “Ten individuals allegedly flaunting Rock Machine colors were spotted in a downtown Montreal strip club. (…) Their presence in Montreal last week lends credence to the fears that the gang is back.” Back for another round of fighting?
That could very well be, authorities fear. The city of Winnipeg currently is the scene of violent clashes between the two biker clubs. “During the past several weeks, our city has been subject to numerous acts of violence as a result of conflict involving outlaw motorcycle gangs,” the Winnipeg Police Service stated in a news release.
They also released the following list of incidents linked to this conflict:
- Fire – June 14, 1800 block of Logan Avenue.
- Shots fire – June 26, 100 block of Mighton Avenue.
- Shots fired – June 27, 1500 block of Roy Avenue.
- Shots fired – June 28, 100 block of Canberra Road.
- Shots fired – June 29, 100 block of Stranmillis Avenue.
- Firearm located – June 29, 100 block of Kingston Row.
- Male shot – July 4, 100 block of Taft Crescent.
- Fire – July 6, 1800 block of Logan Avenue.
- Fire – July 10, 200 block St. Mary’s Road.
- Fire – July 10, 200 block of Royal Avenue.
- Fire – July 11, 1700 block of King Edward Street.
- Fire – July 12, 100 block of Mighton Avenue.
- Fire – July 13, 100 block of Osborne Street.
With the last biker war not even ten years ago, Canadian police are paying close attention to this conflict and will no doubt try to end it before it heats up and causes countless of new deaths.
Police in The Netherlands face a similar problem. Though the small European country has never seen the horrors of a biker war, it has taken notice of those in Canada and Scandinavia
, and will do anything to stop that from happening in their own backyard.
The Dutch biker scene is ruled by the Hells Angels. The Dutch chapter is also seen as the leading chapter for Western Europe. But other outlaw motorcycle gangs are trying to move in and police fear the Dutch Angels will flex their muscles to show they are still the king of the castle.
According to Dutch police chief of information Joost van Slobbe, they are already seeing signs of the MC trying to gain muscle by making new members. “They are very busy looking for fresh blood. They already patched over an entire motorcycle club, expanding their number of chapters from nine to seventeen. They also seem to have abandoned their strict membership requirements. The procedure to become a member seems to go a lot faster,” Van Slobbe told
newspaper het Algemeen Dagblad.
The reason the Angels are so desperately trying to increase their membership is because a rival Dutch club named Satudarah MC is rumored to have an interest in joining the Bandidos MC. The Bandidos are a fierce international rival of the Hells Angels and have no Dutch chapter yet. If they were to plant a flag in the Netherlands it could be interpreted as a major insult to the Hells Angels. It should be noted though that police have no information that backs up this rumor.
But the rumor that Satudarah MC has allegedly had enough of the arrogance of the Angels could well be enough for a conflict between the two clubs. Whether the conflict will erupt into a war has yet to be seen. The Dutch Hells Angels have had their fair share of legal troubles in the past decades. Having faced being officially labeled as a criminal organization by Dutch courts but successfully defending themselves in court against these charges, a biker war would give Justice all the ammo they need to take down the motorcycle club.
Daniël “Unu” Uneputty (right), president of the Dutch Hells Angels, claims the rumors are false and the police is just trying to cause panic among the public. Uneputty is of Moluccan descent, which is interesting since most members of Satudarah MC are also of Moluccan origin. The Moluccan community in The Netherlands is very tight knit, though, of course, the motorcycle club goes before anything else.
That something is indeed brewing beneath the surface, was clear this past Saturday night when Dutch police arrested
56 members of Satudarah MC for disturbing the peace in the south of Amsterdam. At first police only wanted each member to identify himself before they were escorted out of the city, but, according to police, bikers tried to break through police lines. A fight erupted with the Satudarah bikers throwing bottles, tables and chairs. After arrests were made, police found twelve knives and two fire arms. Two suspects were wearing bullet proof vests. Not your typical night out, even for Amsterdam standards.
It looks to be a long hot summer.
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