About 500 Hells Angels motorcycle gang members are expected in Calgary this weekend, but they’re not answering any questions about what they’ll be doing in the city.
A group of about 30 Hells Angels spent much of the morning at the Harley-Davidson store near the Calgary International Airport. Wearing patches identifying them as belonging to chapters from Ontario and Quebec, the gang members spoke with Harley-Davidson employees and wandered around perusing the merchandise.
A group of about a half-dozen stood outside the front entrance, keeping an eye on who was coming and going. Leather-jacket clad members showing up on motorcycles were met with shouted greetings and bear hugs. The occasional non-member walked by them into the store darting nervous glances from side to side, but the Hells Angels were all smiles.
Postmedia spoke with seven members in the store. One Quebec member originally said he didn’t want to speak with the media when asked in English. When asked in French he said, “I’m just here getting my bike fixed.”
At a press conference Thursday, Calgary police said they expect members from every province across Canada for a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Calgary Hells Angels. This weekend also marks 20 years since the patch over ceremony when the Hells Angels took over the province from the Alberta Grim Reapers.
Police expect most of the celebrations to happen at the Calgary Hells Angels clubhouse on 84th Street S.E., where a large tent was erected Thursday. However, they warned some festivities may spill out into other parts of the city. Hells Angels members have been observed at hotels throughout the city, including at the Marriott across the street from the Harley-Davidson store.
Several Hells Angels members inside the store and in the surrounding area declined to answer questions about their plans for the weekend. One Ontario member finally said: “I told you to get out of here. Have a walk. We aren’t going to answer your questions.”
The police arrived in a cube van thirty minutes after Postmedia, parking out front in clear view of the Hells Angels. One officer took photographs of the assembled members while two others spoke into their radios. Down the street a second police van packed with additional officers waited.
The Hells Angels have hosted celebrations in Calgary before without causing many problem. In 2014, they held a party with 300 members, and in 2007 they hosted a patch over 10th anniversary celebration, both of which took place without incident. However, their events are not always peaceful. Five men are facing assault charges following a fight at an annual Hells Angels event in Kenosee Lake, Sask., over the May long weekend.