The horrors of the Norwegian slaughter have pushed that country’s one percenter clubs to come together - for the time being – to honour the dead. Even police bikers wanted to join the ride.
We can’t blame the Hells Angels or any of the usual suspects for prisoners walking free from Newmarket court. This bust-out was strictly an inside job.
In horror movies, the bad guy constantly seems to have been buried/blown up/shot to death, only to rise again and restart things.
In real life, we have the Rock Machine, who have resurfaced in Winnipeg and Montreal. The new incarnation has different colours than the old gang and new members, with Oakland Raiders’ black and titanium rather than red and gold. It was originally restarted in Ontario as a party club, but has morphed into something much more menacing.
The Hells Angels have been weakened by police in Winnipeg and Montreal, so the Rock Machine is back to move onto their drug deal. In the movies, vampires can be killed with wooden stakes or you can just walk out of the show. If only real life were so manageable.
An astute reader just told me that we should look to the West Coast for answers to the current Winnipeg biker war. Not everything comes from Quebec, and Winnipeg is mid-way between B.C. and Quebec.
In particular, the reader advised me to look at the history of the Game Tight Soldiers. They have no public presence in Ontario, but apparently are in tight with the new Rock Machine in Winnipeg, making the war personal. Their founder is Steven King, a Barrie, Ontario resident who moved west. Here’s film of him being kicked out of B.C. for Barrie by the Mounties in 2008.
The smart reader advises me that the Game Tight Soldiers were initially rivals of the HA in B.C., but in 2010 they were patched over to the Renegades, a Hells Angels’ support club there. Those who didn’t patch over, went to Winnipeg. It’s only common sense that they couldn’t take on the Hells Angels in B.C., but Winnipeg is up for grabs since the top Hells Angels there are behind bars. Once in Winnipeg, they joined/took over the new Rock Machine.
All this means that the tensions in Winnipeg at the moment are both business and personal, so don’t expect a quick resolution.
On a more trivial note, I there are plenty of nasty nicknames for the club that would put them in a fighting mood, I’m sure. Apparently their name comes from gangster-talk, meaning they are soldiers and their game is tight.
It’s an interesting time for Hells Angels’ watchers.
There wasn’t much dramatic for police surveillance squads in Windsor, Ont. or Kelowna, B.C., but Winnipeg remains volatile. The street war between the HA and new Rock Machine have police scrambling and the public looking to politicians for longer term answers.
It feels a little odd to have so many Hells Angels stories on the go, and none of them from Quebec.
Hard to believe it has been a decade since the Hells Angels officially arrived in Ontario.
The real troubles at the moment – and in the forseeable future – are across the border in Winnipeg. It’s likely Canada’s second most dangerous city for biker violence, behind Montreal. In that city, the Hells Angels are reduced to their bench strength in their continued skirmishes with the new Rock Machine.
It’s important to remember that this group calls itself the Rock Machine, but they’re not really the same folks who were involved in the bloody wars in Quebec with the Hells Angels. The old Rock Machine is dead. They were kicked out of Quebec by the Hells Angels and the new Rock Machine doesn’t wear their red and gold colours. This is a tribute club, or if you wish, an imitation.
That’s not to say they’re not dangerous. Fire-bombings are almost expected now. Houses with children inside are being sprayed with bullets. Things are getting stupider and stupider, nastier and nastier.
On the other side, most of the old guard of the Hells Angels in Winnipeg have been taken off the streets by the police. The same with their support club, the Zig Zag club. (Tell me it isn’t so, that some of that group waxes their eyebrows).
Meanwhile, Aboriginal gangs are the third force to be considered here. While the bikers may control much of the streets, they control most of the prisons and jails.
It’ll be interesting if Quebec HA members get involved, to tilt the power struggle in favour of their red and white brand.
Winnipeg is definitely the biker hotspot in Canada right now. Already a bystander has been injured with a stray bullet. You didn’t hear about old-school bikers doing drive-bys. They had the nerve to settle scores face-to-face. Now, a lot of people wearing patches aren’t bikers at all, just drug dealers with leather vests.
I was interviewed today by CBC-TV in Winnipeg about tensions between the new Rock Machine and the Hells Angels. I wish I had something optimistic to say, but I can only see things getting worse for the next while. As long as people are willing to buy illegal drugs, there will be someone to sell them. And someone else willing to use violence to take over the role as seller. Police were able to severely curb the local Hells Angels, but that only opened the door for others eager to take their drug routes.
A 14-year-old boy was injured last week when his home was sprayed with gunfire in a suspected biker turf dispute in Winnipeg. It sounds trite, but as long as people are willing to pay good money for illegal drugs, someone will be there to sell them. Drug dealing in Montreal didn’t end with Mom Boucher and Vito Rizzuto taken off the streets. Now that the Hells Angels have been weakened in Winnipeg, the new Rock Machine is moving to fill some of the void in supplying the market. Paying informants makes short-term sense, but in the long run, all it does is shuffle the deck. No one paying for drugs can pretend they’re not involved in the violence.
It’s in the mopping up stages of Project Develop, the massive operation against the Downtown Toronto chapter of the Hells Angels. While court ruled the chapter wasn’t a criminal organization, the project is providing some insights into how the organization functions. Among other things, the club forbids rape and ripping off anyone in drug deals.