• Germany edition
 
Hells Angels wrap themselves in the law to fight against ban
Hells Angels - usually defendents in court. Photo: DPA

Hells Angels wrap themselves in the law to fight against ban

Published: 30 Jan 2011 13:42 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Jan 2011 13:42 GMT+01:00

There is no legal basis for such a ban, Frank Hanebuth, president of the Hells Angels in Hannover, told Focus magazine.

“We will defend ourselves with all legal tools and if necessary take it to the European Court of Justice,” he said.

Hanebuth, who masterminded the peace pact with the rival Bandido gang last May, said the criminalisation of the Hells Angels was unfair and that comparisons with the Mafia were completely excessive. “Do we shoot state prosecutors, judges or politicians?” he said.

“Do we blow up buildings? Do we deal weapons or tons of cocaine? No! We would never do that.”

But interior ministers have long been looking to ban the clubs which are repeatedly involved in serious crimes. A report on biker-rocker crime written in 2009 by the Federal Criminal Police (BKA) described clubs like the Hells Angels as organisations whose members live by their own, strict rules and show only low readiness to cooperate with the police.

The groups often use violence in the conduct of their business, the report said, while the main aim was to increase territorial and financial power.

A new biker club has arrived on the Berlin scene, it was reported late last week, with the appearance of the Mongols, which allegedly attracts violent immigrants as members.

A Berlin criminal police report Der Spiegel predicts violent clashes with the capital’s Hells Angels. Last Monday a member of the Mongols was stabbed by two unidentified men in the Tegel district of the city.

DAPD/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:48 January 30, 2011 by wood artist
¦quot;Do we shoot state prosecutors, judges or politicians?¦quot; he said.

¦quot;Do we blow up buildings? Do we deal weapons or tons of cocaine? No! We would never do that.¦quot;

I find the statements made interesting, but largely because of what they don't say. He never declares they wouldn't injure, maim, or kill rival gang members, or extort protection money, or generally raise hell. Those would be much tougher statements to make believable, given their history.

Although I don't know too much about their record in Germany or Europe as a whole, their track record in the US is...hmmm...bad. They have no one but themselves to blame for the bad PR they've received, and if a new gang has arrived in town, I have no doubts that trouble will follow.

I'm not too sure about banning them, but...in the words of the Bard..."methinks they doth complain too much."

wa
21:40 January 30, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Funny, how these Govt.s think banning a patch or some colors, is going to solve anything. Isn't that the general problem these days? A constant and never ending Banning of things, Yet somehow never quite resolving anything? When in fact, the opposite is true, that More problems have been created? When will the last thing be banned, Deuschland? When will we all be safe and happy in our little nappies?

Well, you take the good with the bad. As long as drugs and prostitution are illegal, gangs will have their place in society. Hells Angels are not your local church choir, no. But, I can almost guarantee that you prefer your Local 81 to the alternatives; Middle Eastern, Aftrican and Russian Gangs.
21:41 January 30, 2011 by texray
Wood Artist, I thought he was referring to the US govt and the ATF, right at first.

Have you ever told a magazine all the crimes you would NOT commit?
03:56 January 31, 2011 by Maddog007
Well I agree that the police and governing bodies should spend more time monitoring the threats from radical religeous groups moreso than trying to ban a set of colours, these clubs have been around for half a century and in that time have they done anywhere near a smidgen of the damage and crimes that the other groups have accomplished. The authorities should get their priorities straight and deal with the Muslim threats.
05:00 January 31, 2011 by Spitfeuer
These biker gangs are comprised mostly of Rugged Individualists cum Rebels cum Criminals.

At least while they wear their 'colours', you can identify them. If they are banned, then they fade into the background.

Helping evolve your or any society, they aren't.

But the various Gangs serve as a method of keeping them away from the rest of us.

A plague upon all their clubhouses.
08:14 January 31, 2011 by LiberalGuy
I agree that we shouldn't ban these clubs, but they are criminals none the less. IIf you believe they are harmless, ask the many local businesses in Brandenburg and Saxony that are terrorized by these thugs. These is no honor in these organizations, they are just criminals plain and simple. Comparing them with terriosts is not fair, however there was a case in Australia where memebers of the Rebels Gang were charged with trying to supply stolen rocket launchers to some questionable characters of middle eastern origin. They are not terriosts, but it doesn't mean they won't try and profit from it.
09:20 January 31, 2011 by catjones
How does one ban a gang?
12:25 January 31, 2011 by michael4096
@maddog - what on earth are you talking about?

What problems have muslim religious groups caused in Germany?

Governments should deal with threats proportional to the level of threat - and gangs are here and now and real

@catjones - I think you have identified the problem

The uk is getting itself in an awful mess trying to force people to be sociable. First they tried banning orders for anti-social behaviour (ASBOs) which just made it cool to be anti-social: I have a certificate proving I'm an idiot! Beat that!

Now they're trying to ban outward signs of gang membership - anyone betting on the price of a used biker jacket next year? But, forget the football scarf.
17:09 January 31, 2011 by derExDeutsche
They aren't banning any gangs. They are banning colors, or patches. To remove the 'Motorcycle Club' designation, because some of the Hells Angels Membership ran afoul of the law. When the 'Club' in fact does not have anything to do with criminal activity, certain of its members do. There are law abiding and some 1% criminal members to these Clubs. Many Clubs and Organizations that have had members break the law, they however escape banning(for now).

Its just a way to keep People from outwardly expressing affiliation (dress code) with a group. The question is, who is next to fill the Hells Angels shoes?

1. The Russian Mob doesn't wear 'Colors'. No, a Jump Suit and Gold Chain is not a 'Color'. Or, maybe it is. FAIL

2. Middle Eastern Gangs ' Unless Germany is going to ban a Headscarf... Nope. FAIL

3. African Gangs. Lol Afican Gangs don't give a Poo p. FAIL
22:57 January 31, 2011 by Glide_Rider_114
For starters, Yes I am a Biker, No I am Not one of The Angels, But foremost I am a Supporter of 81, aka the Big Red Machine, and I believe also in Freedom of Speech, and the American 1st Amendment Rights, The Hells Angels is first and foremost a Motorcycle Club, Founded by a Former USAF WW2 Bomber Pilot and His Crew, and No matter what anyone says, being a Patched Member is about Pride, and Loyality to the Club, as it was in the beginning. Personally I believe you need to worry about Muslim Terrorists before you start in on a MC, and if it comes down to a Terrorist attack by a Terrorist Force, WHO Better to have to Stand Against something like that, then The Hells Angels? Like those before them... The Angels of today, are a Brotherhood that I am Proud to Support... and Yes, I know a Few...as My Brother, who has passed away was a Proud Patched Member of the Hells Angels MC.
13:55 February 2, 2011 by McTom
Guess no one was at the Rolling Stones concert in California and witnessed how well-behaved the Angels were for crowd control... not all bikers are bad... but the Angels do attract a rough crowd...
Today's headlines
German hospitals ready for Ebola patients
Hamburg's UKE isolation ward is ready to take patients. Photo: DPA

German hospitals ready for Ebola patients

Germany's high-tech isolation wards remained on alert on Friday, ready to receive Ebola patients should they be required to. German airports seemed less prepared for the potential dangers of the viral epidemic, however. READ  

Two die in Bremen plane crash
The fire caused by the crash. Photo: DPA

Two die in Bremen plane crash

UPDATE: Two men died on Friday afternoon when a plane crashed in Bremen, causing a fire and a series of explosions in a warehouse near the city's airport. READ  

Merkel's party mutinies over tax cuts
Merkel in Münster last year at a meeting of her party's workers' wing. Photo: DPA

Merkel's party mutinies over tax cuts

Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a rebellion from within her own party on Friday after an unlikely coalition formed in favour of tax cuts for workers on lower incomes. READ  

Expat Dispatches
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Kleingärten in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

'Look at those German shanty towns!'

Visitors to Germany can sometimes be confused by the country's love of allotments in cities, known as a Kleingarten. Teacher and blogger Kathleen Ralf tells us what it's all about. READ  

Lightning rods further delay Berlin Airport
Closed until further notice: Berlin's troubled new airport. Photo: DPA

Lightning rods further delay Berlin Airport

Too few lightning rods and an undersized emergency generator have prevented part of Berlin's new airport from opening. Safety inspectors refused to sign off on the airport's north pier, thwarting progress on the massively delayed construction project. READ  

Two thirds of Berlin's tourist flats now illegal
Photo: DPA

Two thirds of Berlin's tourist flats now illegal

Two thirds of Berlin's 12,000 tourist apartments advertised on sites such as Airbnb were being run illegally from Friday following a law change, leaving hosts open to potential punishment. READ  

Lost goat halts Munich Airport trains
Fritzi underneath the train. Photo: Freiwillige Feuerwehr Unterschließheim/DPA

Lost goat halts Munich Airport trains

A lost pet goat called Fritzi halted trains to Munich Airport and had to be rescued from the tracks after suffering a concussion. READ  

Germany crowned U19 European Champions
Photo: EPA/Tibor Illyes HUNGARY OUT

Germany crowned U19 European Champions

Germany’s U19 football team added to a glorious summer of sport for the country by winning the European Championships in Budapest on Thursday night. READ  

World War I anniversary
100 years ago, Germans celebrated war's outbreak
August 1914. German soldiers march off to war in France. Photo: DPA

100 years ago, Germans celebrated war's outbreak

A hundred years ago on Friday Germany declared war on Russia and was preparing for an attack on France in the hope that Britain would stay neutral. Four years on, famine was ravaging the country and two million soldiers had been killed on the battlefield. READ  

Environment Agency urges fast fracking ban
Photo: DPA

Environment Agency urges fast fracking ban

Germany's Federal Environment Agency (UBA) is encouraging lawmakers to hurry up and ban fracking in all but name, saying the process is too dangerous to even consider allowing. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Society
Meet the man allowed to grow his own cannabis
Photo: DPA
Society
Your lottery numbers are 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13...
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Five reasons to visit Oktoberfest (and five not to)
Photo: DPA
Society
Huge Bavarian crop circle puzzles crowds
Photo: DPA
Analysis & Opinion
Have Your Say: Should Germany legalize cannabis?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Hamburg harbour lit up in blue
Business & Money
JobTalk: 'Application process is failing'
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,290
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd