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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

the mindless violence of bike groups at Twin Peaks - Waco Texas

Twin Peaks' corporate office has revoked the franchise rights of the Waco restaurant writing that the outlet ignored "warnings and advice’.   The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission had already ordered the restaurant, which was scheduled to hold a bikini contest on Wednesday, shut down for seven days ~ it is tragic and chilling !!  Will people fight  against each other identifying themselves as groups – spill blood and kill too ? – might appear improbable and insensitive – sad, that is occurs !! – away,  the Bandidos motorcycle gang has a saying: “Cut one, we all bleed.” 

The other day in the calm early morning, a group of youngsters thundered on the beach road speeding on  modified bikes.  Some elders crossing the road were frightened – Chennai, is generally peaceful and calm city.  A couple of years back, there seemingly was a surge in gang wars, particularly in the north Madras, with gangs settling scores frequently spilling blood and couple of murders too.    Chennai Police created an  anti-gangster squad, an elite team, handpicked by the city’s Police Commissioner to curb the chaos. The intensified surveillance yielded results – though in the media and movies it would appear that there are ongoing gang-wars in places like  Vyasarpadi, MKB Nagar, Pulianthope, Washermenpet and Basin Bridge ..... 

Thousands of miles away, indigenous peoples occupied areas along the river for thousands of years. In historic times, the area of present-day Waco was occupied by the Wichita Native American group known as the "Waco".  The present day Waco is a city which is the county seat of McLennan County, Texas, United States.  It is situated along the Brazos River and I-35, halfway between Dallas and Austin. Waco is in news for wrong reasons.  In the denim-and-leather world of Texas motorcycle gangs, the Bandidos and the Cossacks are warring tribes in an unforgiving landscape. Both originated in Texas in the 1960s. But the Bandidos were first, in 1966, with the Cossacks forming in 1969. The Bandidos became the state’s biggest motorcycle group, but one that now tries to walk a fine line — declared by the government to be a criminal enterprise involved in the distribution of drugs, but also engaged in political advocacy on behalf of motorcyclists and activities like charity runs.

It is alright and quite common for humans to identify with groups based on so many aspects.  In every civil society, there are groups too.  There are some individuals who have a great passion  for automobiles, especially motorcycles. A motorcycle club is a group of such individuals whose primary interest and activities involve motorcycles.  Most clubs are either organized around a brand or make, or around a type of riding.  In the mid-1990s, a “Great Nordic Biker War” between two groups known as the Bandidos and the Hells Angels shook Scandinavia. At least 12 people died and nearly 100 were injured in the three-year skirmish, which featured unprecedented firepower for a gangland rivalry.  The usage of armaments were so high that the Angels could even launch a grenade at a jail holding an enemy leader.”

Now at Waco, Texas, it is  not clear who started the cutting, but there was plenty of bloodshed on Sunday when the Bandidos brutally clashed with members of several other bike gangs at a restaurant in Waco, Tex. A wild shootout in broad daylight left nine bikers dead, 18 wounded and at least 165 under arrest. The confrontation began about noon at a Twin Peaks restaurant in a shopping centre and quickly escalated from fisticuffs to all-out war, said Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton, a police spokesman. At one point, as many as 30 gang members were shooting at one another in the restaurant’s parking lot. Police found more than 100 weapons and scores of shell casings.

Washington Post filed report reads - nowadays, if Americans know anything about motorcycle gangs, it’s probably thanks to Hunter S. Thompson or the hit television show “Sons of Anarchy.” But long before Thompson’s 1966 book “Hell’s Angels,” bike gangs were on the rise in the United States. American bike gangs took root after World War II, when thousands of young, disaffected, often war-traumatized men returned to a country they didn’t recognize. Many rejected it. Many found the transition back to a peaceful civilian life a more monotonous chore than they could handle. Some combat vets were trained in riding motorcycles, specifically Harleys and Indians, while serving overseas.

 Twin Peaks' corporate office has revoked the franchise rights of the Waco restaurant where the shootout took place, writing that the outlet ignored "warnings and advice from both the police and our company" that its cultivation of gang-affiliated bikers as patrons was creating a security problem. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission had already ordered the restaurant, which was scheduled to hold a bikini contest on Wednesday, shut down for seven days.  Police estimated that they arrested a staggering 165 to 175 individuals in the wake of a shootout among motorcycle gangs that left nine dead and 18 injured at a Waco, Texas, shopping complex.  The violence began on 17th May 2015 about noon, and suspects were still being booked as of Monday morning. The incident began at and took place in and around an outlet of a breast-themed establishment called Twin Peaks, which is reportedly the fastest-growing restaurant chain in the United States.

The running feud between Bandidos and the Cossacks formed the backdrop of the shootout, when a gathering intended to discuss bikers’ rights and how to work on issues of mutual concern erupted into gunfire that left nine bikers dead and 18 others wounded. A number of motorcycle clubs were reportedly represented at the gathering that turned violent, but the individuals who died reportedly came from two groups, the Bandidos and the Cossacks. A Kansas City-area police officer named Steve Cook says that even members of law enforcement are known to let the romanticized image of outlaw bikers in popular culture undermine their understanding of the threat such gangs pose: “They watch their ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and their little television shows. These guys all seem likable enough: that they are misunderstood, outlaws from the old days, and they ride motorcycles instead of horses,” he said. “Even cops think, ‘Oh they are just tattooed long haired guys who like to ride motorcycles.’ And the reality of it is they are long-haired tattooed guys who ride motorcycles and sell a hell of a lot of methamphetamine and murder people and steal motorcycles and extort people and beat people up in bars for no reasons.”

Less seems to be known about the Cossacks than the Bandidos; a source in the Post’s piece suggests that the Waco violence may have been precipitated by a potentially threatening alliance between the Cossacks and the Hells Angels, a major Bandidos rival.  In a civil society, the crime, blood spill, hatred, the warlike scene are surreal incongruous.  Sad for the mindless killing ! of fellow humans.

After couple of days of shooting comes the news that Police in Texas have released mugshots of all 170 gang members charged in connection with the shootout among rival bikers that turned a Texas restaurant into a blood-spattered warzone. Bikers from five rival gangs attacked each other with guns, knives, brass knuckles, clubs and motorcycle chains at a Twin Peaks Sports Bar  and those taken into custody were charged with engaging in organised crime for capital murder and likely will face other charges related to the bloodshed after an investigation of the sprawling crime scene. Bail was set at $1 million, according to county officials. The arrested group was first taken to a convention centre and then moved to a county jail. Police took positions on overpasses and building tops to provide security. No bystanders or police were injured in the shooting, police said. !!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

19th May 2015.

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