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Social media posts claim the Hells Angels and another motorcycle gang joined forces to remove anti-fascist movement Antifa from Seattle, where protesters established a police-free autonomous zone after protests prompted by the death of George Floyd. This is false; the Hells Angels’ most well-known member Sonny Barger denounced the claim as untrue, and the images used to back the claim on social media are old.

A photo of a biker gang featured in a June 12 tweet shared more than 10,000 times bears the caption: “Hells Angels and Mongols riding together on their way to Seattle to scrap with Antifa Terrorists.”

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A tweet shared on Facebook peddling a similar rumour highlighted the supposed historic character of this alliance, as the Mongols and the Hells Angels have a history of rivalry. A version of the meme was also posted on VKontakte (VK), a Russian social media platform.

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The two groups would work together to retaliate against a provocation from Antifa activists on social media, a Facebook post suggested.

However, the two motorcycle gangs did not unite against Antifa, a structureless grouping with a political ideology dedicated to fighting “fascism.”

Biker gangs are often thought to be intimidating, hairy, heavy-drinking, loud-engined, violent and mean

“We are not familiar with this,” officer Johnna Watson, a spokeswoman for the Oakland, California Police Department, where one of the oldest Hells Angels chapters was founded, told AFP by email when asked about the purported biker alliance.

Seattle’s police department did not address AFP questions about the alliance by the time of publication.

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