Monday, March 24, 2008

Black Power And Mongrel Mob Gangbangers Terrorize Gisborne, New Zealand


A terrified family hid in their home after a pitched battle between Black Power and Mongrel Mob gang members (prototypical gang members pictured at left) erupted in their Gisborne street on March 23rd, 2008. Full story published by Stuff.co.nz.

Tensions between the two gangs erupted early on March 23rd, with a brawl involving 50 people on the corner of Ida and Huxley roads in Gisborne, which is located on the east coast of North Island about halfway between Wellington and Auckland. Gisborne police were stretched thin by three other incidents and sent one officer to deal with the brawl.

Sergeant Lincoln Sycamore said he arrived to find people throwing bottles and debris at each other and chanting gang slogans, and could only stand and watch. But when he saw a man knocked unconscious on the ground being smashed in the face with a piece of timber, he intervened. The man suffered a possible eye socket fracture, but was discharged from hospital. Two people were arrested for public disorder.

A resident said she and her terrified family hid as the shouting and swearing filled the air, followed by the sound of smashing glass as the two rival groups hurled bottles at each other. "It's been going on for ages, we can't even let the children play outside," she said. She saw one man being chased by 10 others.

The trouble began two months ago, when a group of young gang associates moved into a nearby house, the woman said. There were frequent fights, but yesterday's scrap was the worst yet. "They start drinking during the day, and they can't handle it."

Gisborne was the scene of a series of gang violence incidents in the late 1990s. Tongan man Haloti Tupou was beaten to death in a hotel car park in March 1999, leading to jail terms for two Mongrel Mob members.

The Mongrel Mob and Black Power gangs are nationwide groups similar in concept to outlaw motorcycle gangs in the United States. They even give "patches" to probates upon qualifying for full membership. Both gangs consist almost exclusively of Pacific Islanders, mostly the Maoris indigenous to New Zealand, but also Tongans and other Islanders.

According to Wikipedia, the Mongrel Mob was originally formed in Hastings, but has spread nationwide and now has an estimated 30 chapters. The gang’s colours are predominantly red and black. The patches usually feature a Bulldog wearing a German Stahlhelm which supposedly is an image intended to offend. The patch is worn on the back of "patched members" – those considered loyal and trustworthy within the gang. Older members are supposedly disgusted at the nihilistic behavior of younger members, and their penchant for drug dealing. For some reason, they were strong supporters of former New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon, and paid their respects to him during his official state funeral in 1992.

According to Wikipedia, the Black Power gang was formed in Whakalane in 1960 as a rival to the Mongrel Mob. They wear their Patch with blue and black scarfs. A patch is standard uniform for a “Half Jacket” or “Cut-off” (leather or denim vest) with colours/patch (gang emblem) on the back, usually covering the back. “Rockers” have the names and place of the gang. The name usually goes on the top rocking downwards and the place on the bottom rocking upwards. There are some exceptions, like on older patches or with some of the Black Power branches who wear their faction name at the bottom like ‘Forever’ or ‘United’. The Black Power salute is the fist facing forward.

The general public has sort of a mixed reaction to these gangs. Some people observe that if you stay out of their way they won't bother you. However, the Law And Order Referendum website paints a completely different - and very unflattering - portrait of them. Apparently some of these gangbangers pride themselves on rape, and show respect to those who rape the most. A Time magazine article dated July 2007 gives a profile on both gangs.

Statistics from 2004 show that New Zealand is 68.1% White, 27.0% Maori, 2.9% Pacific Islander, and 0.6% Asian. In 2006, New Zealand created a new demographic category, New Zealander, and many Maoris began to identify themselves thereafter as New Zealander rather than Maori.

I'm sure the people who live on that particular street in Gisborne tend towards the more pessimistic view of Black Power and Mongrel Mobs by now. And that's not much different than the conditions experienced by those who live in American cities infested by non-white gangbangers. Diversity has its consequences.

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