America’s biker gangs have a long history of turf wars

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America’s outlaw motorcycle gangs again thrust themselves into the national spotlight with the deadly Sunday gunfight at a central Texas restaurant involving at least two rival gangs and law enforcement. To make sense of the violence, it helps to understand its context.

The Bandidos Motorcycle Club appeared in Texas in 1966. A few years later a rival group calling themselves the Cossacks set up shop. The Bandidos are the dominant gang in Texas and consider the state their territory, demanding cash tributes from subordinate gangs including the Cossacks and the Scimitars, with whom the Cossacks are friendly, according to the New York Times.

A feud developed as the increasingly assertive Cossacks began to refuse to pay their dues, complaining their fees were higher than other subordinate groups, NBC reported.

The Bandidos also object to their upstart rivals affixing a Texas patch to their jackets.

The Department of Justice says these and other gangs derive much of their income from illegal activities including the distribution of MDMA, heroin and cocaine and money laundering, among other crimes.

The FBI believes there are around 300 such organisations of various sizes operating across the country today.

This particularly American phenomenon, which appeared in the wake of World War II, has taken root in countries as far away as Australia, Germany and Norway.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. On an abstract map of Texas, a motorcycle gang member plants a flag in the ground
2. Smaller bikers from rival gangs handing cash to a larger biker
3. Abstract map of the USA with a representation of a truck driving into a market tent
4. Two bikers fighting
5. Dozens of buildings popping up across a map of the United States

VOICEOVER (in English):

“The Bandidos Motorcycle Club appeared in Texas in 1966. A few years later a rival group calling themselves the Cossacks set up shop.”

“The Bandidos are the dominant gang in Texas and consider the state their territory, demanding cash tributes from subordinate gangs including the Cossacks and the Scimitars, with whom the Cossacks are friendly.”

“A feud developed as the increasingly assertive Cossacks began to refuse to pay their dues, complaining their fees were higher than other subordinate groups.”

“The Bandidos also object to their upstart rivals affixing a Texas patch to their jackets.”

“The Department of Justice says these and other gangs derive their income from illegal activities including the distribution of MDMA, heroin and cocaine and money laundering, among other crimes. Founded in the midwest, the Outlaws Motorcycle gang has a long-running and fierce rivalry with the Hells Angels, the largest such gang in the country.”

“The FBI believes there are around 300 such organisations of various sizes operating across the country today.”

SOURCES:
NBC, Federal Bureau of Investigation, The Atlantic
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/turf-drugs-violence-behind-waco-biker-gang-brawl-n360861
http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/national-gang-report-2013
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/18/us/dangerous-biker-gangs/index.html
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/05/the-texas-biker-gang-massacre/393500/