The Hells Angels rolled out of the nation’s capital without incident.
This sort of summarizes headlines this week relating to a Hells Angels gathering in Ottawa over the weekend.
The gist of the stories – there was big Hells Angels gathering, members were seen doing touristy things like posing around the Parliament buildings, and surprised local businesses with their polite behaviour. Then they left.
Bam. That’s it. Breaking news. Not really.
To be fair, the organization didn’t receive a free ride from all media. At least one source cautioned readers on the risk of romanticizing the Hells Angels, providing a snapshot of some of the violent criminal activity they’ve been tied to that resulted in numerous deaths.
Locally, the Hells Angels made recent headlines in relation to the death of one of its members while on a houseboating excursion in the Shuswap. The death is still being investigated. The victim is described as “very kind, loving and generous,” and having no criminal record. The bulk of the story, however, focused the Hells Angels still having a presence in B.C.
Those who attended the recent Summer Stomp event in Sicamous may have seen some Hells Angels patches amongst the visiting crowd.
They also might have noticed the large police presence, which is historically common for this annual motorcycle event.
While there have been some noise complaints, no serious incidents have been reported from this year’s Stomp – perhaps a result of the police presence. Perhaps not.
There’s a stigma involving bikers, derived from those motorcycle clubs with historical and ongoing links to criminal activity. Not all clubs, however, are among the so-called one per cent outlaw gangs. There are veterans’ motorcycle clubs, women’s clubs, Christian clubs – there are even clubs consisting of active and former law enforcement members. And of course, there are those who ride for the love of riding – no affiliation necessary.
Regardless, it appears everyone who attended the Stomp was there to party and enjoy good company. Sicamous survived and some businesses even made some money.
No real breaking news here, and maybe that’s a good thing.