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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

USA - Which Gang Do You Belong To?

A Feb. 4, 2017, story informed the public that anyone who has registered a motorcycle in the United States between 1994 and 2016 has been placed on a classified FBI gang list. The reasoning behind creating such a list is the fact that motorcycle owners are 67 percent more likely to be involved in criminal activity than those who do not own a motorcycle.

This is an astonishing revelation of facts, but fortunately the facts are false, as is the claim that such a list in the FBI exists. Or does it? We like to think that our government believes in transparency, but there are things that are absolutely hidden from public scrutiny.

The Washington Post article mentioned above caused quite a stir among the motorcycle community, mostly because we are so inclined to believe everything we read or see that discloses some government conspiracy or overreach. That article, a supposed interview with a person working in the national security branch of government, started out as a story in the National Report, a satirical website which publishes fake news for entertainment.

Even though many people are aware that the National Report is a fake, the story was also published on a site which was designed to look like the Washington Post, a well-known source for real news. It turns out that the Post article was just a copy of the satire, and the website had no affiliation with the real newspaper.

With all the increased surveillance techniques, intersection and light pole cameras, wireless black box capabilities, license plate readers, etc., it’s not that far-fetched to wonder what and who is collecting all that data; and what do they intend to use it for?

It may be a stretch of the imagination to think the FBI would collect motorcycle registrations and automatically enter every owner on some “suspected gang member” list. Yet, some lists already exist concerning motorcycle club members. Certain clubs, or gangs as the FBI likes to call them, have been added to a list of suspected homeland terrorists. Along with street gangs like the Bloods, Crypts, Mexican Mafia and a dozen others, certain motorcycle clubs have been added to a terrorist group list.

Even Italian and Russian Mafia figures are on this list. It doesn’t matter if an individual has a criminal record or not, membership in the club alone will disqualify him from leaving, or entering, the country. According to one source, 1.4 million Americans belong to one of the 33,000 gangs reported to operate across the country. Of course, one has to question the credibility of these numbers, given groups like the Juggalo, fans of the Insane Clown Posse musical group, are included on the FBI list of known gangs.

With all the unrest in cities across the country in recent months, there seems to be permissiveness among the masses to tolerate unconstitutional abuses of power in the name of safety or security. Most people probably don’t see a problem with creating lists of certain groups as a means of providing national security. Isn’t that what the Nazi’s did to protect the security, purity and living space for the German people?

We hear about police brutality and shootings almost every day. Although racial profiling is illegal, and many motorcycle rights organizations are pushing for anti-motorcyclist profiling bills, the public is being inundated with newscasts and TV programs that bolster the perception that certain groups are a criminal element. That heightened awareness among police officers causes them to treat those groups differently at a traffic stop or field investigation.

Conversely, members of these groups distrust police and are more agitated or defensive during interactions with police. This is a cocktail for disaster…

--By Tony Sanfelipo
Senior Investigator
Nationally Recognized Freedom Fighter