It happened in a way with the Mongols in California. The state tried to take away their power by taking away their colors. But, patent and copyright law finally put an end to that.
It happened to a woman in California who had bought up all the “Hells Angels” related terms in the dot com marketplace and then tried to auction the names off. Again, patent and copyright law prevails.
Now, the Hells Angels in Australia have just won a battle over their “death head” logo, which was used by a company named Mambo to adorn part of their clothing line. As well as a confidential settlement, Michael Gazal, managing director of Gazal Corp Ltd (Mambo’s owner), wrote an official letter of apology to the club. The apology reads like this: “”Gazal would like to publicly acknowledge the Hells Angels’ intellectual property rights in its trademarks and artistic works, and the considerable reputation it has in those trademarks and artistic works, a reputation which stems from a long history of use both in Australia and internationally.”
The offending garments were a child’s hooded sweatshirt and a sugar-pink mini-skirt.
Came across this article about the original Australian Bandido. A good read lets you know a little about the split between the Comancheros and Bandidos. Thought I would share and I welcome any response.
Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,
Many secrets … Colin “Caesar” Campbell
By Paul Kent
April 11, 2009 12:00am
IT begins with an open window. Everything today, the escalation in violence, the historical hate between the Bandidos and Comanchero, begins with that window.
As secrets go, Colin “Caesar” Campbell has been hanging on to the secret of that window for 26 years.
Like his brothers Bull (Phillip), Snake (Geoff), Wack (John), Chop (Mario) and Shadow (Gregory), Caesar was once a Comanchero.
They were the Wrecking Crew and together with the McElwaine brothers – Knuckles (Phil), Gloves (Mark) and Dukes (Greg) – the unofficial muscle of the gang.
“They could walk into a room of a hundred men and clear the room,” said Bear Campbell, an adopted brother. They broke away in 1983 because of the window.
Not even the Comanchero that remained, the ones that stayed loyal to then-president William “Jock” Ross when the gang split in 1983, knew about the window.
They still don’t.
Special section: Inside the bikie violence
“You’re just the ninth person to know this,” Bear said yesterday. “And four are dead.”
Bear is Caesar’s adopted brother, and we are talking about Caesar’s secret. Caesar is 62, the last surviving original Bandidos office-bearer, and despite a recent stay in hospital he can still clear a room if he must.
From retirement Caesar watches the latest escalation of bikie violence, filthy at the attacks on homes where children sleep, adamant this was never what it was about.
Gallery: Sydney’s bikie gang war
Those naive to their war might point to Milperra, but Caesar insists back then they had honour. Indeed, Milperra was all about honour.
Police still believe the war began over turf, or drugs, or a combination of both. They alleged it in court in 1984, some seven weeks after the violence in the carpark of Milperra’s Viking Tavern, when six bikies were shot dead, as well as 14-year-old Leanne Walters.
Now, for the first time, Caesar Campbell has let go of the secret that cost him two brothers – Shadow and Chop – at Milperra, and which would see Wack die three years later from illness caused by the massacre.
“One of the Campbell brothers and another member went to another member’s house and saw Jock Ross’ vehicle out the front,” he said.
“They went to the front door and looked through the window and saw Jock and the other member’s wife in a compromising position in the lounge room.
“They knocked on the door, they answered the door, and both members looked at Jock and turned around and came straight to me and told me about it.
“It was then that it was decided that Jock would be brought up on charges of committing one of the greatest offences that you can make in a motorcycle club – apart from selling heroin and making a police statement – by making love to a member’s wife.”
Ross had broken one of the 10 club rules he drew up himself, namely Club Rule 4: “Any member found guilty of screwing another member’s Ol’ Lady, or taking advantage of a rift between them for future conning up, will be thrown out.”
The Campbells and McElwaines, their bond born in battle, were filthy.
Caesar won’t reveal the member’s identity now out of respect to his children but as sergeant-at-arms he ordered Ross to the next club meeting to face charges.
He failed to show.
He failed to show at the next meeting, too, but walked into the third, announced he was splitting the Comanchero into two separate chapters, and walked out.
The Wrecking Crew went to the city, opening their clubhouse at 150 Louisa Rd, Birchgrove. Ross’s clubhouse remained at 65 Harris St, Harris Park, in western Sydney.
Relations remained strained but workable until the club’s annual run. It broke down amid fights and threats, and the city chapter returned and voted to break away.
Police believe the breakaway occurred shortly after Christmas 1983, when Anthony “Snotty” Spencer and Charlie Scibberas flew to America to seek permission to form an Australian Bandidos chapter.
What actually happened was “Snotty” and Charlie had gone to America two years earlier to buy Harley-Davidson parts, met Charles “Ha Ha Chuck” Gillies, president of the Bandidos’ Albuquerque chapter, and now Snotty and Shadow called Ha Ha Chuck. “Within a week it was granted,” Caesar said.
A set of colours were made and taken to Caesar for approval.
More colours were ordered, but for 10 days Caesar was the only man in colours. For 10 days he was president, vice-president, sergeant-at-arms, treasurer and secretary.
Bashing and clubhouse attacks took place until August 1984, when Snotty and Jock officially declared war in a phone call.
Caesar declared homes and places of work off limits. Everywhere else was fair game.
It was unlike today’s bikie war, where homes are now a target of choice, and small attacks continued until Father’s Day 1984.
Among the dead and bloodied at Milperra, Caesar was shot six times.
He was thrown into a car and dropped off at Bankstown Hospital. Some weeks later Caesar gripped the back of his chair while his Ol’ Lady Donna pulled four remaning shotgun pellets from his back with tweezers and a buck knife and no anaesthetic.
Much of what the gangs believed they stood for then is now lost.
Caesar does not see the honour he once stood for, and still stands for.
Some time before Milperra the American Bandidos visited Australia and noticed the Australian patch, the fat Mexican brandishing a pistol, was wrong. The American Bandido has a white beard. The Australian version was black. They ordered the patches back so they could be burned and replaced with the correct patch.
No, said Caesar.
On his jacket was the blood of his dead brothers. He wasn’t giving it up. The Americans insisted, saying the club stood above all else.
Caesar knew in that patch was the blood of everything he stood for, so he looked at the Americans and said, “If you want it, come and get it”.
Caesar, the original Bandido, is the only man in Australia to still have that patch.
In Sydney, police arrested a sergeant-at-arms of the Bandidos motorcycle club after a series of shootings in the city’s south-west as authorities launched a crackdown on biker groups in response to the deadly airport brawl that shocked the country and brought a simmering club war out into the open.
Officials are calling for a uniformed, hard-line set of laws across the country to police the outlaw motorcycle clubs including confiscating the proceeds of club-related crime, limiting the freedom of movement of former club members, including who they may contact and which premises they may visit, and banning former club members from employment in high-risk industries.
The South Australian Serious and Organized Crime Act of 2008, allows the government to declare biker clubs to be prohibited criminal groups, and police to arrest their members for criminal association. New South Wales is considering adopting the act, however motorcycle clubs have threatened a High Court challenge to the laws.NSW Premier Nathan Rees said, “I don’t want to introduce laws that are subsequently thrown out by the High Court,” Mr. Rees said he hoped to see a draft of the laws next week, and planned to introduce the legislation during this session of parliament.
Dr Andreas Schloenhardt, Associate Professor at The University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law, said that the call for the introduction of South Australia’s now infamous Serious and Organized Crime Act to other States is not the solution. He said a carefully developed and meaningful response to organized crime in Australia was needed instead.
“By adopting the South Australian Act, there is little that can stop the Attorney-General from banning a local bowling club or the opposition party if he feels they pose a public safety risk.The legislation has inadequate review mechanisms. A better response would be one that aims at the key directors and financiers of criminal organizations and targets the wealth accumulated from drug trafficking, migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons, loan sharking, and other types of organized crime. The Canadian Criminal Code provisions and the US RICO laws provide good examples.”
The current legislation allows the Attorney General to declare ‘a criminal biker club an outlaw organization’ on the basis of police intelligence and hold ‘club members who engage in acts of violence that threaten and intimidate the public’ liable for serious offences.
The fears of a biker invasion come as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd declared “zero tolerance” of biker crime.Proposals to introduce similar laws in Queensland in 2007 failed. Other States fear that the heavy-handed approach may lead some criminal organizations to go further underground and/or relocate across the border. Police fear Sydney’s bloody biker war will spread to the Gold Coast as club members flee the battle and a promised police crackdown.
Tensions are already high on the Gold Coast after a Fink was shot and taken to Gold Coast Hospital on Friday – but police have refused to reveal the circumstances surrounding the attack.
Another Fink was last week dragged screaming from Southport Magistrates Court after threatening a magistrate who sentenced him to jail.
With rumors the Hells Angels are planning to challenge for control of the city by opening a Gold Coast chapter, police fear the Sydney club war will spill across the border, the Gold Coast Bulletin reports.
If they come here, we are stuffed,” said one officer.“The bikers already control this town – the last thing we need is to become a haven for bikers fleeing the laws in South Australia and war in Sydney.If NSW does toughen up the laws, it will be bad for Queensland. Where else do you think they would go?”
The concern over the South Australian laws has led the federal government to conduct a parliamentary inquiry into anti-organized crime laws. Findings from this report are expected later this year.