• Sweden edition
 
'Ban Swedish biker gang vests': Social Democrats

'Ban Swedish biker gang vests': Social Democrats

Published: 17 Oct 2011 08:36 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Oct 2011 08:36 GMT+02:00

“The vests are what these characters use to strike fear in those around them,” Social Democrat justice policy spokesperson Morgan Johansson told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

“They signal 'I am a member of Hells Angels or Bandidos or whatever and I'm dangerous. If you don't obey me, I've got a bunch of guys behind me that will come and deal with you.'”

According to Johansson, who is also chair of the Riksdag's justice committee, by taking away motorcycle gang members' symbols, one also revokes “a large part of their violent capital”.

He has proposed giving officials in Sweden's 290 municipalities the authority to ban vests with controversial biker gang symbols from being worn in local pubs and nightclubs.

Up until now, the vests have received constitutional protections under Sweden's freedom of speech laws, thus scuppering local authorities' previous attempts to implement bans.

In June 2009, for example. Eskilstuna in central Sweden banned biker gang vests at area night spots by including a clause in alcohol regulations stating that guests would “not be allowed to bear clothing which shows membership to a gang or group which could be considered criminal”.

But a court nullified the ban, arguing it violated Sweden's speech freedom laws.

Nevertheless, Johansson believes that banning the vests could be a useful tool in the fight against organised crime.

“In weighing between, on the one hand, freedom of speech, and, on the other hand, the importance of combating organised crime, one must be ready to review legislation to make it possible for municipalities to have rules like these in the future,” Johansson told SvD, adding that society can't be “naïve” in the fight against organised crime.

Johansson's suggested biker gang vest ban was rejected by both the Left Party and the Liberals (Folkpartiet).

“I don't believe in the idea at all. We have a constitution that we need to uphold,” Liberal Party justice policy spokesperson Johan Pehrson told SvD.

The far-right Sweden Democrats, however, expressed support for the idea, while the Christian Democrats also left the door open for a vest ban.

“Symbols are important means of expression for many criminal gangs and it's possible that it's time for a change,” said Christian Democrat justice policey spokesperson Caroline Szyber.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

08:59 October 17, 2011 by Keith #5083
Symbols are also an important means of recognition for non-criminal citizen who maybe like to have some advanced warning of the potentiality for anti-social behaviour from those approaching.

Note to pols: we stopped branding people on their foreheads a long time ago - but if people wish to wear a label that acts as a warning to others, then that is their choice.
09:02 October 17, 2011 by rybo1
Well, the idea is simply stupid.
09:29 October 17, 2011 by jvtx3232
This idea seems like anathema to the fundamental principles of freedom of speech & freedom of expression that we all hold so dear.
09:31 October 17, 2011 by robban70226
Hold your horses!! Just be careful in what you wish, It is the same law that protects everybody in the same principle, What about if somebody else wants to ban expressions regarding religion? Or ban anything regarding animal rights? Children crusades or tree huggers? What applies to all.
09:38 October 17, 2011 by J Jack
I like the patches, they are loud, badly designed and informative ... hey, there goes a smelly half sober criminal!
09:48 October 17, 2011 by HYBRED
I thought the Social Democrats were part of organized crime.

The mob's that run some of the nightclubs don't wear colors/symbols and do crimes just fine.

But besides all that, I am weary of anyone that wants to infringe upon rights.

I cannot help but think that the Social Democrats are not satisfied with the political contributions that the Hells Angels and Bandidos make to they're party.
10:08 October 17, 2011 by Addendum
Most criminals wear pants - No more pants! No more pants!
10:42 October 17, 2011 by joeyt
Somebody's been watching too many episodes of "Sons of Anarchy". I'd blame Holywood for making local politicians believe that movies are real.
11:44 October 17, 2011 by Grokh
it cant be that hard to throw those guys in jail when they are walking with gang uniforms.... -_-x
12:34 October 17, 2011 by brucifier
This is poppycock!

Hardly seen any patches in Sweden, and they are often old swedes trying to live out a dream, get real, they are no threat and the picture is from Australia!
13:05 October 17, 2011 by zooeden
Bring your patches out people, whoever you are, hells angels to punk, from nerd to heavy metals, from vegan to in favor of eutanasia, from I support Armstrong Foundation to I wear only Nikes... Take your patches out and stand for some of it...
14:21 October 17, 2011 by Opinionfool
"They [these jackets] signal 'I am a member of Hells Angels or Bandidos or whatever and I'm dangerous. If you don't obey me, I've got a bunch of guys behind me that will come and deal with you.'"

What about other uniforms that connote membership, danger and appeal to a larger group. Police apparel? MIlitary uniforms? Cleric garb? Bankers' pin-stripe suits? Or Motny Python's Hells Grannies! Ah now I'm frightened.
15:34 October 17, 2011 by Svensksmith
Most of the bikers wear beards. Ban beards,
17:18 October 17, 2011 by philster61
funny how I don't see anybody calling for the banning of the bhurka which it could be considered equally offensive......

Morgan Johansson's assumption of Bikers wearing vests is as ridiculous as Tomas Bodstrom's assumption that all men are rapists just because they are.....men.....
18:24 October 17, 2011 by Beavis
Ban the hit (jeans with suit jacket) and the suit. People who wear these in in gangs called "banks" who lie cheat an steal from hardworking citizens..far more than any biker gang ever will.
18:38 October 17, 2011 by Douglas Garner
I guess we will have to stop supporting our sporting clubs as well!

Many gangs (not necesarily cycle gangs) just use color as their symbol... red scarf, green shirt... etc. With this thought process, we will all be required to dress identically before long!
20:22 October 17, 2011 by Uncle
I say - ban all mustache that does not come beyond the mouth side borders! Bad association. Shall apply for both men and women.

Hopefully then social democrats would not be able finding a leader and disintegrate by themselves.
21:52 October 17, 2011 by Ivan Juric
Ha! Ha! have the Aussie bikies ridden all the way to Sverige?
22:17 October 17, 2011 by brucifier
Ban the aussies!
01:08 October 18, 2011 by Tony L
Not sure if this will help. HA and others are the so called 1% and needs to prosecuted if necessary. There was an article that a large portion of the bikers received benefits, what happened to the follow up, find names compare with database and if they have committed crime, witholding their pay. Easy done
02:20 October 18, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Just horse-whip the sissies.
05:51 October 18, 2011 by johnoleson
Horse-whip the sissies but what about the rough ones?
09:27 October 18, 2011 by rise
Ban clothes! In that way criminals will freeze to death (and everybody else with them). Problem solved.
14:48 October 18, 2011 by cogito
Ban politicians.
22:39 October 18, 2011 by Sayitt
they should seriously ban all bikes
06:10 October 19, 2011 by xexon
Look at it this way,

You know who they are if they're wearing their vests. If you're concerned about their possible criminal activity, having their vests removed will make them harder to watch. Yes?

Better the devil you know.

x
19:43 October 19, 2011 by Ben Mowbray
Geez... that's like the third time this year I've noticed that same stock footage of three AUSTRALIAN bikers... But I agree... better the devil you know.
23:17 October 19, 2011 by hughknows
Haha, 'Municipalities in Sweden ought to have the right to ban red ties and badges bearing symbols associated with socialdemokraterna in order to fight criminal fraud, an amused foreign poster on 'The Local' has suggested.'

n.b. - Criminal fraud: Deliberate hiding, non-disclosure, or suppression of a material fact or circumstance (which one is legally or morally bound to reveal) with intent to deceive or defraud in a contractual arrangement.

Socialists in massive big cracked glass houses shouldn't throw stones... especially at Australian bikers!
04:03 October 21, 2011 by Lucky Dog
"A picture says a 1000 words" (This one says 2000)

1000 about MC Clubs standing Together and 1000 about repeaters and cop roaches worldwide.

The picture is from Australia where they tried to ban Clubs, and the story is about Sweden wanting to ban Club Colors.

The repeater just used the picture they found I'm sure, but that speaks volumes.

FTW, FTG & FTP.

Enough said!
05:02 October 22, 2011 by msaliassweden
@Lucky Dog, couldn't have said it better myself. :)
07:24 October 22, 2011 by Lucky Dog
The proposal comes from somebody belonging to an outfit calling themselves the

"Social Democrats" which by any reasoning would stand for social democracy. I

fail to see the democracy in the proposal to ban anything that does not suit the

taste of the day, it is by it's very nature UNDEMOCRATIC!! On the other hand

does this mean that the cops will not be allowed to gather together and wear

their uniform because again by their own reasoning they will beat you if you do

not obey and use their badges to intimidate the citizens into doing their

bidding, they are also far more criminal than any of the clubs. Yet another

politician looking to grab some publicity before the next election so they can

shout out to the sheep that they are looking after their safety. Hypocritical

political bullshit yet again!
Today's headlines
Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

The Local List
Eight things to love about renting in Sweden
Apartments in Sweden are compact. Photo: Shutterstock

Eight things to love about renting in Sweden

A housing crisis means that short-term sublets are the norm in major cities and rent regulation rules are frequently flouted. But this week, The Local's decided to look on the bright side of renting an apartment in Sweden. READ  

Business & Money
Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain
Nordea's Chief Executive Christian Clausen. Photo: TT

Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain

Swedish bank Nordea announced on Wednesday a sharp rise in third quarter profits despite the economic slowdown and major outlays for an IT overhaul. READ  

National
Knutby priest faces early release from prison
Knutby in eastern Sweden, the scene of the murder. Photo: TT

Knutby priest faces early release from prison

A former priest in eastern Sweden who was sentenced to life in prison for organizing the murder of his wife has had his sentence reduced. READ  

Opinion
'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

The Local speaks to one of Europe's leading security experts about why social media meant the Swedish military couldn't keep their 'submarine' search a secret and how she believes the country will ramp up its security against Russia. READ  

Interview
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
Comedian Al Pitcher has launched his new tour. Photo: www.alpitcher.com

'Swedes are funnier than they think'

New Zealand-born Al Pitcher launched his new comedy show in Stockholm this week. There wasn't a dull moment as The Local phoned up the man who has become one of Sweden's hottest comedians, while he took an eventful stroll in the capital. READ  

National
Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes
The suicide bombing took place in 2010. Photo: TT

Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes

Sweden's Security Service (Säpo) has announced that it will stop its core investigation into a suicide bombing in Stockholm four years ago. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search
The search for the missing 'submarine' is now in its sixth day. Photo: TT

Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search

A press conference on the search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters revealed that the Armed Forces would be heading into a "new phase" on Wednesday, although it remained unclear what that might involve. READ  

Lifestyle
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
The bronze replica cannon. Photo: Beth Dacey.

Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden

A replica of one of the cannons present on Stockholm's iconic Vasa warship when it sank in 1628 is being tested for the first time in central Sweden. READ  

Health
Swedish farmers contracted swine flu
Swine flu can spread between pigs and humans. Photo: TT

Swedish farmers contracted swine flu

A human strain of the swine flu virus normally only found in pigs was discovered in Sweden earlier this year, the country's Public Health Agency has revealed. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

1,007
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN