In 1970, the Hells Angels Zurich were the first offshoot of an international motorcycle club (MC) in Switzerland. And to this day the only one.
If you want to set up your own local MC in Switzerland, you have to ask the Hells Angels and the other major patch motorcycle clubs for permission. One wants to “know in the scene who is who and whether they comply with the unwritten rules of mutual respect,” according to Hells Angels circles. There should also be no dispute over similar names, logos and colors.
This is how around three dozen local MCs have emerged in the last 50 years. They visit each other at parties. The big difference to the Hells: They are only nationally but hardly internationally networked. However, because it is attractive that an angel of hell has the door of his “brothers” open in every country, many bikers prefer to join the angels of hell.
Look at the Hells Angels: “You don’t have to be afraid of us”(02:32)
Hells Angels mark a new presence in Bern
So they are still growing in this country. A new branch was also founded in Bern a good year ago. Which is surprising, because up to now the canton of Bern has been firmly in the hands of the Broncos, the little brothers of the Hells.
But it shouldn’t be a coincidence that they settled in Bern anyway: because a few Broncos renegades are currently trying to found a Bandidos offshoot there without the permission of the Hells Angels. Unacceptable for the Hells Angels, because worldwide Bandidos and Hells Angels are mortal enemies! This is how it came to the shooting in Belp BE and a torched Bandidos club in Thun BE.
Black Jackets, United Tribuns and Outlaws were penalized
It is known beyond the country’s borders that the Hells do not tolerate any other international MCs pushing into Switzerland. Still, some tried. The German street gang Black Jackets was formed in 2010. This led to a fight with Hells Angels members at a gas station in Oftringen AG in 2013. The Black Jackets later officially disbanded.
The German Secondo gang United Tribuns also tried their luck in Basel. A biker was beaten up there in 2020 – his United Tribuns jacket later reappeared during a police raid on the Basel Hells Angels clubhouse. According to the Hells Angels, the tribunes are said to have disbanded again.
The international MC of the Outlaws wanted to gain a foothold in Baden AG in 2010. At the founding ceremony, there was a fight with the Hells Angels and a punitive action in a pub. Allegedly, the outlaws only drive around in Valais without a patch.
“Suddenly they are being watched by the police”
Another group that caused a stir with a performance in Langstrasse 2015 was the Kurdengang Sondame. It doesn’t seem to be active anymore. Satudarah from Holland founded a chapter in Basel in 2013. From Hells Angels circles it is said that this no longer exists.
“As soon as they realize that founding a club is a significant effort and you’re suddenly being watched by the police, these clubs disappear by themselves,” says a hell angel to Blick.
Then there are the women and cop bikers
A special feature are the Law Enforcement Motorcycle Clubs (LEMCs), consisting of police officers and security forces. They form their own scene. Classic rockers would never visit the police biker festivals. The first Swiss LEMC, the Blue Knights, received the Hells’ okay 20 years ago. Since then, new LEMCs have been added without an agreement, which are a thorn in the side of the Hells Angels.
Another special feature are the women MCs. They are not represented at the recognized clubs but are respected when they show up at festivals. The fact that women are ever accepted into classic biker clubs is not in the spirit of the angels of hell. At the LEMCs, on the other hand, they are welcome.