We had the COC&I meeting for September at Hanovers inPflugerville, and it was paired up with a benefit to support the US Defenders and Save the Patch. Pairing up events is always a good idea, especially in our event heavy area, but this was particularly good because it brought together lots of clubs and independents from the large central Texas area for the COC&I meeting. We managed to keep the meeting relatively short, down to about an hour, but in that time we managed to get updates from all the usual speakers. In particular we heard that the Mongols won their case, when the Judge threw out all 27 inditements because you cannot bring a case against an entity, you have to bring a case against people. Anyway, hopefully this particular case will be behind us forever. In addition to the meeting, we had some good grub provided by the Hanovers kitchen, and of course the Arm Wrestling competition has now become an annual event. I got a lot of pictures, which you can see below, and I have added some video of the Arm Wrestling that I upload to Facebook. It is public so you don’t need a Facebook account to watch it.
Do you wear a vest with a back patch that signifies you are a member of a group or club? This type of vest is sometimes called “Colors”, or “Cut”, but whatever you call it, it is used to show that you are a member in good standing of that group. Lots of organizations, besides motorcycle clubs, also wear unique identifying logos, either on their back or sleeve. Some examples are; U.S. Military, American Legion Riders, Police Officers, Paramedics, Boy Scouts, Harley Owners Group, Veterans Groups and I’m sure many more.
So, what would you think if the government told you that you couldn’t wear your patch any more because they had legally taken away your copyright to your unique patch design because of the actions of one or two of your groups members. This is exactly what is being argued in court right now over the back patch design of the Mongols Motorcycle Club. Now, you might be tempted to respond that some of the Mongols MC are bad guys. Well, whether that is true or not, the actions of one or a few members should not mean that the whole group is destroyed by taking away their unique back patch design.
I know that you might not fully agree with me, but you need to understand that this isn’t just about back patches. Consider a hypothetical case where a member of any prominent church denomination robs a bank. Does that mean that the whole denomination should be destroyed by taking away their logo? After all, if one is guilty, then all must be guilty right? I hope you are beginning to see that making a group responsible for an individual’s actions is a bad thing. It is a very bad thing. We are a country that once believed in individual responsibility. I hope that you can see that this case is not just important to all motorcycle club members, but also, to all people that are part of a group of almost any kind. If a member of a group can cause the whole group to he held responsible for his or her actions, we are well down the slippery slope of eliminating freedom and individual responsibility from our once great nation.Here are a couple of quotes, and information about how you can help;
“They are trying to destroy the right of men to associate and indicate their association” said Joe Yanny, an attorney representing the Mongols. In addition to being a violation of club members’ freedom of speech rights, Yanny said, “more importantly, it’s a due process issue.”
Educate yourself on this case by going to: http://usdefender.net/cta-tdf.html and go “LIKE” the National US Defenders Facebook page for future updates. You can also contact the lawyers at; http://www.onabike.com
Please consider supporting the SAVE THE PATCH campaign by making a donation in any amount to the “Tracemark Defense Fund” (“100% of every donation goes directly to the Trademark Defense Fund”)
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