• 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Forecasters have predicted sunshine across Sweden this week, with a warm front moving in from Russia and temperatures of up to 25C. READ  

International police hunt
Swedish killer arrested after European hunt
Photo: Police

Swedish killer arrested after European hunt

UPDATED: Police arrested a man on Tuesday afternoon after he went missing from a psychiatric ward in western Sweden at the weekend. The man had been convicted of murdering a five-year-old schoolgirl in 2003. READ  

Music
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photot: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The summer may be (almost) over but the music will keep on playing here at The Local. Our resident music guru Paul Connolly will be selecting his top new Swedish tracks for us in a new monthly feature. READ  

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local. READ  

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden
The mushroom in this picture is not the same as the one from the story. Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden

A person selling freshly-picked mushrooms in Gothenburg has come under fire after it turned out the delicacies were not only poisonous but also hallucinogenic. READ  

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of "unreasonable" tactics. READ  

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

As H&M expands into Ethiopia, Sweden's state venture capital unit Swedfund has announced that it will back the clothing giant, in a move hoped to create more jobs for local women. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

UPDATED: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats has revealed its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm, with a key focus on education and welfare benefits. READ  

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

A teenage boy is in a critical condition after he was hit by a passing metro train in Stockholm. The accident ground rail traffic to a halt, and has police suspecting attempted murder. READ  

Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »

 

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
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

757
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