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Bars, bikers fuel controversey in Hudson
Can a city ban a biker group from a bar? It's a debate that is heating up in Hudson, Wisconsin.
The story begins on April 14.
The Hudson Police Chief says, "The outlaw motorcycle gang showed up at Dibbo's wearing their colors."
The chief alleges the club took over the bar, kicking patrons out and refusing to let the police in. This incident is the central theme in the city's new liquor license agreement with Dibbo's.
The bar now has to post a "no gang colors" sign and refuse to allow private motorcycle parties. If Dibbo's doesn't comply, the city will pull its liquor license.
"It's just not right what they're doing," Dwight Smith, President of the St. Croix Valley Riders, said.
The "Riders" are a motorcycle enthusiast group with 1,100 members known for their chili cook-off and motorcycle safety programs. They're not directly affiliated with the Outlaws, but the developments have affected them. St. Croix Valley will have to find a new place to meet now that Dibbo's is off limits.
"Don't blackmail the bar owner with a liquor license because they had one issue with one group. If it was a car club that was in there, they could still have a meeting," Smith said.
The mayor and police chief couldn't comment on the agreement because of potential litigation issues. The license agreement does clearly state the Outlaws are "a criminal enterprise" that "constitutes a threat to the Hudson Downtown Area and to public safety in the city of Hudson."
A member of the Outlaws known as "Jimmy" addressed the mayor and the rest of the city council last week. He called the ban unconstitutional.
"As far as forcing the tavern owners to put up a 'no colors' sign, all you've done is set up a lawsuit. We will go there, and we will get arrested and our attorneys will fight it," Jimmy warned.
As far as the St. Croix Valley Riders are concerned, they haven't decided what they'll do, push the envelop or simply find a new place to meet.
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