Payback Sveriges BikerDays 2019 innehöll för första gången ett bikerseminarium med tre talande aktörer. Outbreak MC, Devil Dolls MC samt Jörn “Jönke” Nielsen vars tal vi här nedan återger. Bilden publiceras efter tillstånd från Devil Dolls och visar “Jönke” flankerad av två medlemmar från Devil Dolls MC.
Initiativet med ett seminarium uppskattades stort av åhörarna som fann talen väldigt inspirerande varför vi återkommer med samma koncept 2020. Väl Mött och läs Jönkes väldigt viktiga tal nedan.
Lecture Payback Sweden Saturday May 11th. 2019.
First of all, I would like to thank Peter and Payback for inviting me; I am of course grateful that he and others think, that I am important because I was one of the first that spoke out against police and government infringements in the north. I would like to think that I speak and understand Swedish and Norwegian, but it is not always so, at least not until I get drunk, that is why I have chosen to do my lecture in English.
I have been a biker for 42 years and I am a founder member of the first HAMC charter in the high north of Europe, HAMC Copenhagen. I have been a member since 1980 and therefore it is obvious that I know the biker environment in Denmark and the neighboring countries. I have had my fair share of problems with the authorities, but no one knows everything. Other members from my club and other bikers might have different views and opinions to mine, however If you disagree, I will be open for questions after this presentation.
Throughout the world, bikers and their families have always and still do live with devious acts, attacks and violations committed by law enforcement agencies, governments and politicians. But the worse offender is the media who stigmatize bikers constantly. Bikers are still being treated badly when pulled over by the cops, attending parties, going about their daily lives and even when in jail. We are not always innocent, but when caught committing crimes we serve our time the hard way but they never let us forget and that brings me back to where we came from and where it all started.
At the beginning of 1977, I was on my way to join the Nomads MC which was part of the Danish “rocker scene”. In those days we only had a few real bikers and they were all independent. We were rockers who were inspired by the English, acting like rebels without a cause. We were stupid, narrow minded, but also somehow free to do whatever we wanted to do.
The rockers were dirty clubs, provocative in their approach towards other citizens and society in general. Although with families and jobs, after work, it was all about hanging out with the guys, drinking, fighting, fucking and riding motorcycles. Most of us rode English bikes; Norton, Triumph and BSA. At the time I started riding, I mounted a Triumph. I believe there was only about 100 Harleys in Denmark and I had never seen an Indian, which I ride today.
The birth of the Biker Culture in the North:
Back in the mid-seventies and close to the eighties, I believe the biker environment was already established in Sweden and Norway and probably under way in Finland, but it didn’t exist in Denmark, at least not in the same form. Many riders went to visit Sweden because they could experience a better biker lifestyle there. One of the reasons for that was, that the Danish bikers were never allowed to build legal badass bikes.
The birth of the biker culture in Sweden and Norway came from independent bikers and clubs founded in the late 60’s and the beginning of the 70’s, probably with some influence from the States through different movies etc., BUT in Denmark it came with us. Finland I am not so sure, they might have a bit of the same history as in Denmark. Nomads MC joined other dirty clubs and during the late 70’s we all asked to become part of Hells Angels MC World. Unfortunately, with the overseas inspiration and American bikes also came the influence of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. These agencies preyed on the biker culture, looking for additional funding, craving for tools to do their dirty deeds and hungering for draconian laws. All of this was wrapped up in “the fear of the bikers”.
We made our share of trouble; we participated in conflicts with other clubs and fought our way through bars. I don’t believe there was much difference between the countries; Norway had their fun-loving booze fighters (not to mention the club with the same name), Sweden their “raggars” and other rowdy crews. Finland – we all know that they were just as nutty as the Danes. Still, we were the worst in Denmark, but never a threat to society.
The arrival of the big international motorcycle clubs:
I was 20 years old when I became a member of Hells Angels MC World, the first worldwide motorcycle club to enter Europe. Throughout the next decades, HAMC grew bigger when old clubs joined. Yes, one can always argue if that created more problems, or was an improvement to the whole biker environment, it depends on who you ask and how they look at it.
Other big international clubs moved in and smaller conflicts grew bigger. If the bikers themselves didn’t stir up conflicts, there was a growing interest from the police authorities to create them. While we were struggling in Denmark, to get rid of the last dirty club Bullshit and the “temporary rocker life”, I knew that there were other struggles in Norway and Sweden between some of the old biker clubs. Who would join the angels, who would be the first? There were others who wished that we would all go to Hell.
I hate to think that we were just the frontrunners of the globalization, but maybe it is the truth. Today most of the big international clubs have settled in Europe and many smaller clubs have joined or want to be part of bigger clubs, some with greater success than others, for many different reasons.
With big international clubs came organized law enforcement strategies:
To make a long story short; it began in the United States in the mid-sixties where local law enforcement and the FBI for many years had been lobbying for more funds. Trying to secure their employees status and looking for tougher laws, they wanted to be in charge of their own future. Unfortunately, the FBI and later other repressive organizations saw the bikers as a good opportunity. In the beginning this started with the patch holders, but soon it was all of us. We became “the good enemy”. For the cops on the street, it developed into a game, but for us it became the life we lived and we could not leave “their game” after working hours. For the high-ranking cops we became part of their strategy.
Make no mistake, the goons you deal with when you show up at a party with your wife, or the ones that pull you over when riding, are just a front. They are the storm troopers of any oppressive government policy. It is the people behind them, the high-ranking officers and now politicians, who hide behind their computers, doing meetings and inventing strategies that are the real threat. They are no fools; they are intelligent, well-educated and good at what they are doing, but most importantly, they are unscrupulous and don’t care about our lives and families. They also don’t care about what group of people they use and crush, when there is no more “blood” to drain.
HAMC Copenhagen held their first big international gathering in 1983. The German Federal Police BKA approached Danish police and begged them to raid our venue. It didn’t happen because they couldn’t convince the Danish National Police about the need for raiding us. At the time, it was known that the FBI applied heavy pressure on the German justice department, which had already led to the first injunction case in Europe – the ban on HAMC Hamburg. Not for being organized crime, but for being a danger to German society.
It is part of the history that 1983 and 1984 brought more conflict to the Danish biker scene. There were incidents between the majority of clubs which were now becoming part of the new biker environment and the remains of the old rocker- scene. Several members of the “rocker club” Bullshit were killed, the conflict continued up to the late 80’s and most have made some impact on the policing, the media and the politicians.
In 1984 a Danish-German policeman came back from the USA and told the public that the bikers, especially the Hells Angels needed to be dealt with. He knew, because he had just participated in a course that lasted three months at the FBI academy in Virginia. His message was: that the bikers should be stressed; the media should be used against them in cooperation with law enforcement and their legal businesses should be shut down and their workplaces destroyed. He underscored, that the only time the American police had ever had any success with stopping the bikers was, when they were at war with each other. He strongly implied that conflict between different clubs was preferable and that the police needed more money and tools to fight this evil.
The above mentioned policeman became operative chief of the Danish PET, the Danish Security Intelligence Service. Later he moved on to Interpol and it is believed that he was the architect behind making the bikers of Europe an “enemy of the state” while developing the stress-strategy applied on the Danish Hells Angels from late 1984. He has influenced Europol since the organization was founded in 1998 and helped arrange their systems on fighting bikers throughout Europe.
The media and the good enemy:
In the early days the medias had no part of the “war against the bikers” and therefore it had little effect on the public, the politicians and the bikers themselves. It all changed in the beginning of the 90’s, when most Danish news medias agreed with Danish police on fighting the bikers in cooperation. Since then articles, campaign journalism, false reports and “blind quotations” like “The Rockers should be in the light” from the Danish Police Unions Magazine (1984) became a part of the Danish media picture and later all over the north. The police couldn’t do the job themselves, they needed the press to spread their stories and poison the public opinion against the bikers.
Danish police had an impact on other European police forces and later on the whole world on how to harass bikers. Their stress strategy; wrecking the bikers legal businesses, getting them fired from their jobs, the creation of conflicts, terrorizing members, their families and friends, became well known and generally accepted, even in public. It almost sounded like a new invention with a reasonable goal. The truth was, that the bikers were never a threat to society and the tactics and strategies had been used before. The bikers were the good enemy, a battering ram for law enforcement and other authorities to build up and gain more resources and powers.
The Good Enemy was defined by Norwegian criminologist Nils Christie og Ketil Bruhn in 1985. It is all about finding someone or something that can easily be portrayed as a danger to the public, without the risk of repercussions and political resistance. The bikers never thought about that. We were not involved in politics so why should we? We are still without any political ties or backup. The bikers simply didn’t care because at the end of the day their clubs were not criminal organizations and most of their members were party animals and free riders and If you add our looks and behavior, we were easy targets.
We never realized the greatest danger of all the cooperation of law enforcement and the public media. Okay, we had Joi Bay from the University of Copenhagen who studied the biker environment and wrote remarkably unbiased articles about it, and we had me and my books explaining about our environment. Later I became the editor of the Scanbike Magazine, which most of you know and whilst there I wrote my fair share of articles on how the law enforcement and the press worked hand in hand. I hope and think that it made a difference, but it was still nothing compared to the enormous machinery (paid for by the taxpayers) we were up against. I felt it when I started working as a spokesman for our club and experienced many encounters with journalists, senior police officers and politicians, until the minister of Justice and others made a ban on debating with me. They wanted the bikers to stay in the light, but only in their own light!
The strategy against the bikers wasn’t new, it had been used many times before and throughout world history. Most recently and remembered by all, against the Jews (the holocaust). How could the Nazis almost destroy a whole people in the center of the civilized world only 70 years ago? The Jews were in general well-educated individuals, many owned banks and traded in diamonds. They barely did anything against others, except maybe and not intentionally creating envy, because of their success. They stood by each other and held their faith when they were in trouble. Still, they couldn’t stop the Nazis on changing their image from citizens to evil creatures. Demonized to such a degree so that the public in many countries did not care what happened and they almost ceased to exist. I believe that the reason was, that they did not own or control enough media, or at the very least did not know how to speak up.
I am not trying to portray the bikers as Jews in any way; I am just drawing up some parallels and similarities in the strategies used by the Nazis and the modern day police forces. I could have used others, like the stigmatizing of the blacks in the inner cities of the USA in the 1990’s. First phase: Seek out a group you want to use. Define them as a menace to society. Phase two: Destroy their reputation, break down their private lives; families, businesses, work etc. Create internal discord so they become disillusioned. Phase three: Use the well-known public reputation (created by the very institutions that want to get rid of you and the passivity of the group itself) to ban it.
The only reason we´re still here is that they have been able to use us for a long period of time without any repercussions. If someone made a list of the money they have made, using us, the tools they earned to fight us (and anybody else) and all the new laws, they would probably be amazed and shocked. Amazed by the smoothness they have shown in their work and shocked to see how they prospered from it. They have built up a complete police and surveillance state.
It all began with the police unions. It moved on to the leading police agencies, then took over the media. Others, like the prison services, the tax services jumped onboard to make money for themselves. After the press campaigns, came the politicians and this transformed the bikers into a serious problem. We became scapegoats and political trophies. Where does that leave us today? We all know that the whole environment, not just the big international clubs, are under pressure and possibly facing extinction. Draconian laws are enforced, a crackdown on smaller clubs and bans on international clubs are being imposed or tried in the courts. We have yet to experience it in the North, but government controlled civil lawsuits are coming our way, which are almost impossible to defend against.
There are other threats to our way of living, electric bikes. Did anyone see that coming? The egoism and lack of unity amongst the younger members of society also shows it´s face in our ranks. Summer should be here, looks more like winter is coming. I have no doubt, if the biker environment is to survive it must face its opponents and work together over a broad front. The main tool we have is sharing information and more bikers need to speak up when experiencing abuses. We will never overcome the institutions of aggression, the law enforcement and the politicians trust, and why should we? They have shown us nothing but contempt and hatred! BUT we can use their most important tool, especially now when we ourselves have the capability to spread the word about who we really are through the new social media. If we want to continue being what we are and live the life we love, we must tell the truth.
Jørn Jønke Nielsen
Jönke hade även en lista över allvarliga exempel på olika former av särbehandlingar som bikers utsätts för:
LIST OF INFRINGEMENTS, TARGETED LAWS AND TOOLS
Stigmatizing by the medias all over– even before becoming members.
Campaign journalism with no real content or tainted.
Generalization on all subjects – aimed to exclude you from society.
Media campaigns designed to create envy in the public.
Media campaigns to ridicule you, your life and the club you are a member of.
Using negative targeted rhetoric like: Gangs, organized crime, rocker crime, gangs & bikers etc.
Being fired from jobs and thrown out of unions and associations.
Constant threat from being fired or excluded, forced to live in secrecy.
Prohibition to have many jobs and participate in events.
Bans on bike shows and other public venues where the public could meet the biker.
Traveling bans to many countries – growing fast.
Daily harassments towards riding or moving around in society.
Harassments against families; wife’s and children.
Harassments against friends, pressure to make them turn their backs on you.
Pressure against lawyers representing you.
Pressure against accountants representing you.
Pressure against banks representing you.
Public shaming of you, your club and anyone of the above mentioned.
Stress strategies – which we all know can make people sick or lead to death.
Special laws, like the Danish 81a – double up sentence if a member of a “gang”.
Ban on more than one ring at each hand.
Ban on doing guard services and other security related work.
Special units in jail – created after smear campaigns.
Using targeted isolation imprisonment.
Using false accusations for the purpose of sentencing.
Using lies to keep you in prison or to violate your rights.
Sending innocent people to psychiatric institutions.
Non-association until ban on all paroles.
Assaulting members and charging them for assaulting police officers.
Destroying and stealing club paraphernalia.