> There was no question about the collusion between the Hell's Angels and the Oakland and San Francisco police departments. When a major anti-Vietnam war march arrived at the Berkeley-Oakland border, the Oakland police department allowed the Angels to come through their ranks and attack the marchers. They ended up breaking the leg of a Berkley policeman, and, I have to admit it, I enjoyed the spectacle of the Berkeley cops retaliating by clubbing the offending Angel right in front of me.
In San Francisco, I lived for a while next door to a Hells Angel house.
On a number of nights, or rather early in the mornings, the Angels would
ride their bikes up and down the street, revving their Harleys to the
max. No one wanted to call the police because it was known that the
brother of one of the more evil members of the SFPD Tac squad (who had
clubbed me in the kidneys in the group's debut as Alioto's enforcers)
was a member of the Angels, and that anyone calling the cops on the
bikers would be inviting retaliation.
One of the more bizarre phenomena of the 60s Rock circuit, was the
romanticizing of the Angels pushed by Janice Joplin and Big Brother, who
could frequently be seen hanging around the band, so it was not
surprising that they were brought in to do security at Altamont.
Cleaver did not flee the USA originally for Algeria but for Cuba. Barger
was a big talker, and made no secret about his Capone-like loyalty to
the government, to the point of going to schools to speak in behalf of
the Vietnam War.
> The second Big Mistake of Altamont was the hiring of Ralph "Sonny"
> Barger and a contingent of Hell's Angels to keep the peace.
> Barger, it has since been divulged, was an informant and hit man on the
> payroll of the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). When
> Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver fled the country for Algeria, the ATF
> negotiated with Barger to "bring Cleaver home in a box." He often made
> deals with law enforcement in exchange for dismissal of charges against
> fellow Angeles. Barger was even hired by federal agents to kill
> immigrant farm labor activist Cesar Chavez, and may well have if Barger
> hadn't first been arrested by police into the Bay area on a prior
> homicide charges. 7
> Who in 1969 suspected that the Hell's Angels was in reality a death
> squad leader in the pay of "conservative" political operatives? The
> swastika tattoos and gothic jewelry? Window dressing. The roughing up
> of peace demonstrators? The shootouts? The terrorizing of small
> towns? The rapings? The drugs? A refreshing break from the status
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