34th ANNUAL NCOM CONVENTION
The 2019 National Coalition of Motorcyclists’, was held at the Doubletree Universal Orlando Florida.
This convention is a way for motorcycle individual, groups and clubs to take a united stand to protect our rights and lifestyles.
Every NCOM convention has the ‘standard’ break out sessions.
This one was no different. There was the AIM attorney conference, opening ceremonies, NCOM Legislative Task Force meeting, Special meetings such as Women in motorcycling, Clean and sober round table, Veterans Affairs, and the Christian unity conference plus more.
AIM Attorney Conference:
We were given an update on WACO (5/17/15). The unfairness of the entire operation and the total carnage on so many lives, are still hard for most of us to comprehend.
None of the 177 people arrested will be held accountable for the shootout between the Bandidos and the Cossacks.
After 4 years of trying, they have not made a single conviction. What they did accomplish, however, is to cause a majority of those arrested, to lose their jobs, homes, bikes, and in some cases custody battles.
It is believed that DA Abel Reyna arrested, charged and indicted most of these people for purely political reasons and that he never had any intent to take them to trial. It seems only fair that Reyna lost his bid for re-election.
His replacement, Johnson, stated that Reyna had failed to focus on those most responsible and bring them to trial using charges that would fit the individual accountability. He went on to say he should have concentrated on those charges that had solid evidence that would support a verdict.
Others knew that charging individuals would not be easy, as so much was happening at one time. To positively say exactly who fired the shots that killed anyone, and to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, would be a difficult task.
More than 100 bikers had their civil rights violated, by being arrested without probable cause. A judge ruled late last year, that the more than 100 biker lawsuits that were filed in federal district court, against McLennan County, the City of Waco, Reyna, and others, could proceed.
Mongols Patch Case:
Bowtie (AIM Attorney) stated it was clear that the Mongols were not the only ones on trial, but that motorcycle culture itself was being attacked. It was also clear that the prosecutors didn’t understand or twisted it. They said anything they could, to offend members of the jury.
There were clear violations of their 1st and 8th amendments. There may be no more trial to actually take the Mongols patch, however, they are trying to take away the right to “enforce” it, so they Mongols no longer have control. This is a brand new way to “Seize the right to symbolism/speech.”
Some lawyers said that the forfeitures would not hold up based on constitutional grounds. One of the U.S. District Judges felt that the verdicts would face constitutional challenges as well.
Seeing as how the forfeiture provision is without limitation, it may exceed constitutional bounds in a specific case. Experts in intellectual property law have stated that although they can make an effort to gain control of the trademark rights to the logo, it would not be enough to claim ownership of them.
The government tried to show how the club symbol was used to instill ‘fear’ in others. Federal District Judge Carter said whether that’s true or not, the Government cannot justify the restriction of this speech given it symbolizes an associative purpose.
The Government was asking for $250,000 for each of 2 counts but is now asking $500,000 instead. I believe this will be under appeal.
In the end, Judge Carter nullified the federal juries decision that the Mongols must forfeit the rights to its trademarked emblem. He said it would violate the clubs First Amendment right to free speech and the excessive fines clause of the Eighth Amendment. Carter ruled that their attempt to confiscate the patches amounted to a poorly devised, illegal case of government overreach.
Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations (RICO):
In reality, RICO acts as an arbitrary penalty enhancer and prosecutorial bargaining tool! It subverts liberty and the true purpose of the law. Without any conviction or proof of a case, they can take/freeze your assets.
It requires no criminal intent or even knowledge of what happened. In order to protect your clubs, you need to know your rights and assert them in a proper manner. Your COC’s need to have honest discussions, on a regular basis, on your civil rights.
Representatives from various clubs across the country sit up front and discuss what is going on in their states. They inform us of what is happening in their COC’s and in many cases, what legislation they are working on with the MRO’s. This meeting helps those that may be having difficulty moving a bill, to hear what someone else has done to get around that.
The last speaker this year was Tombstone, a leader of the Vago’s California and starter of the very first Confederation of Clubs. He reminded us that freedom is not free and how we have to fight every day to counteract those that are out to prove that motorcycle clubs are criminal organizations.
He stated that the Mongols constitutional rights belong to all Americans. We can never give up. These colors don’t run. When we ride we are not just proud, we are exercising our freedoms and we’re fighting a war. He described the Mongols as a battle in that war. He always finishes with 3 words:
RESPECT – COMMUNICATIONS – PARTICIPATION
Double D – Unity:
Double D gave a superb speech on UNITY! He said everything he has done is based on unity. When he first joined the Outsiders he didn’t really care if something happened to someone they didn’t like. But after his brother Pig Pen went to jail on false charges, he changed his mind.
You can find common goals if you’ll just take the time to look. In most cases, we have more commonality than we have differences. This is especially true when it comes to Profiling and Discrimination.
Many of the independents abandoned the MRO’s after the helmet laws were defeated in their states. In 2005-2010, their COC unified with ABATE of Washington and passed the profiling bill. Maryland was next. ABATE’s realized many years ago that they have to respect the rights we have. Clubs want it as well.
He had a meeting with Soldiers For Jesus in Vegas, regarding passing the profiling resolution at the federal level. It’s going to be all about all of us.
At first, independents didn’t believe it affected them and their 1st Amendment rights. They see that now. Club patches are a form of identity. If the Mongols lose we all lose.
The forming of the National Coalition of Clubs has been a good thing. Boar shows us how it works. We need to be smart enough to sit at the same table. We need to support all organizations, not just ourselves.
SILENCE IS CONSENT – EVERY TIME WE ARGUE AND FOCUS ON OURSELVES, WE GIVE THEM AN OPENING.
Restoring Your Rights:
There was a seminar on Restoring Your Rights. Various AIM attorneys put this on. They handed out a ‘Restoration of Rights – A 50 State Guide.’ It was truly surprising to see how it varied so much from state to state. It included a Loss of Rights Section along with Restoring Your Vote, Restore Gun Rights, Who does Pardons, and info on Expunge.
For Arizona it stated – All rights lost with felonies – You can restore your voting rights the 1st time after a sentence is complete, then only after a pardon or court order. Restoring your guns rights is a variable of 0-10 years after sentence complete, pardons are done by the Governor plus Board and expunging is limited and set aside by a sentencing court.
Traffic Stops – When stopped by law enforcement, you need to assert/express your desire to leave. You can do this by stating, “Am I being arrested or am I free to go?” You may have to repeat this numerous times. It was stressed over and over that there is such a thing as a reasonable amount of time for a traffic stop. You can ask the question above, but if you start a conversation or make a joke or engage the officer in another manner, you are consenting to have it extend.
MMA Designated Lobbyist