By David Amoruso
It’s been another busy week in the world of outlaw bikers. Especially for the European chapters. Things popped off a week ago, when a leading member of the Norwegian Hells Angels was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison. 51-year-old Leif Ivar Kristiansen was jailed for drugs offences, aggravated robbery, as well as threatening behavior towards competitors in the tattoo/piercing industry, according to news site The Foreigner. “I will be appealing against everything possible,” said the alleged biker leader following the verdict.
Later that Saturday, as night fell, members and supporters of the Hells Angels and Mongols biker clubs clashed in a violent brawl in the German city of Bremen. "Members of the two clubs began provoking each other and it eventually led to injuries," police said in a statement. A total of 52 people were taken into custody, while one officer and two civilians were injured, according to Expatica.com.
In Amsterdam, The Netherlands, the local Hells Angels chapter experienced several setbacks. First, police found a weed plantation on a location next door that was occupied by their youth club The Hangout. Though the Angels were quick to point out the weed plants were not situated on their ground and the two terrains were separated by a fence, the media had already labeled the incident as another sign of the criminal nature of the motorcycle club.
During the past decade, Dutch prosecutors have tried to outlaw the motorcycle club by having it officially branded as a criminal organization, but they did not succeed. Trials against all Dutch chapters were lost. The Hells Angels changed their public relations after that, opening up their clubhouse to the public and media. Despite this approach, the club is still seen as a shady group by most of the Dutch population.
The second setback came on Wednesday when the municipal government of Amsterdam refused to offer the Hells Angels a new clubhouse when they leave their current residence in the near future. The Amsterdam chapter claim they were promised a new location by former councilman Duco Stadig.
Their current clubhouse (photo above, right) is situated on an industrial terrain near the Bijlmer prison and has grown considerably since the bikers first settled there in the 1970s. The terrain is now estimated to be 5000 square meters and contains several buildings. The city wants to remove the motorcycle club from the terrain and turn it into a residential area. Local television station AT5 interviewed a Hells Angel who told them that if the city doesn’t give the bikers a new location, they will camp out in the middle of Leidseplein (a popular section of Amsterdam where a lot of popular clubs and pubs are located). With the biker brawl in Bremen only days ago, we can be sure Amsterdam politicians would not like to take it that far.
We will keep you posted!
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By David Amoruso