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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

US Defenders National Office

Sharing an update from the US Defenders National Office. Bear in mind that ALL clubs, MRO's, independent groups and states are represented at NCOM and the following represents the biggest issues that can potentially effect all clubs across the country. I can tell you first hand that there are no issues between clubs at these conventions as everyone is working towards the same legislative and judicial goals.

***2015 NCOM Update***
With another successful NCOM behind US, I wanted to provide a brief recap of the highlights from the weekend for those that were unable to attend. As always, Texas was well represented but we can do better. I encourage each of you to make it an annual goal to have someone from your region in attendance for NCOM. It is an invaluable opportunity to gain and share information with other Freedom Fighters around the country that are facing the very same issues we are confronting here in Texas. With that being said, start making plans now for the 2016 NCOM in Atlantic City!
The overwhelming topic for this past weekend was “Save the Patch” and the status of the cases against the Mongols MC and Devil's Diciples MC. Both cases have potential trademark implications but vary slightly in the government’s approach.
The Mongols MC case, which goes to court in June, names the entity as the defendant making it the first such case against a club in history. The government is seeking to seize the club’s trademark and name.
The Devil's Diciples case involves indictments against individuals in leadership roles under RICO in District Court and is based on an historic pattern of evidence spanning a period of 21 years. This case has already been lost in court with sentencing scheduled for June where the government is requesting control of the Devil’s Diciples name and trademark. Both cases attempt to prevent any members from displaying or benefiting from a collective mark and represent a “top down” strategy.
We are actively working to appeal the court's decision and will need the collective commitment and effort of every Confederation of Clubs, US Defenders, C.O.I.R., ABATE, MRO and MRF organization across the country to defend each one. The Texas US Defenders will lead the way as we've always done! Each region within Texas is encouraged to organize a "Save the Patch" fundraiser in support of the effort. As you plan your events, please pass this information along so we can promote the event using all our resources statewide.
All funds raised within your region should be sent to the address listed below. If the funds are in support of a specific court case, please be sure to indicate this at the time the funds are submitted. Otherwise, all donations will be equally allocated between both cases.
Trademark Defense Fund
7334 Topanga Canyon Boulevard, Suite 200
Canoga Park, Los Angeles, California 91303
Another hot topic of discussion during this year’s conference was the progress of the motorcycle profiling project. Five states have profiling bills sponsored this year (CA, MN, NY, MD & MO) and Oklahoma and North Carolina have drafts in place. During the coming year, seventeen states will be pursuing motorcycle profiling legislation with a strategy for a federal profiling in progress. This is the single most important legislative issue to date.
The other resounding message from leaders across the country was the importance of engaging the local independent community. This is vital! Please continue to work closely and support the C.O.I.R. in your respective regions. Plan to hold awareness events and fundraisers at independent friendly establishments where the message is not distorted by the overwhelming presence of patch holders and an intimidation factor. Emphasize that these issues are not patch holder issues but motorcyclist issues that affect anyone riding a bike. As a community, we cannot afford to be divided in our efforts.
Continue to work with the local officials and legislators in your respective areas to foster relationships. Let them know the issues we are supporting and how they can help us. Often, expressing your support for another bill or initiative they are attempting to get done will prove productive. That’s how it works....know it and use it to your advantage
Please let me know if I or any of the State Lt. Commanders can be of assistance.
True Few MC
US Defenders - State Commander, Texas