Two members of Portland area motorcycle clubs were refused entry to the 2013 Clackamas County Fair and Rodeo, SOLELY because their clothes displayed their club affiliations. After traveling miles to the fair, they were turned away at the gate.
In response, Bruce Ankarberg, Chairman of the Oregon Confederation of Clubs (The COC) and member of The Flying 15 Motorcycle Club attended meetings of the County Fair Board, along with legal research analyst Kevin Phillips. Ankarberg told the board these motorcyclists were singled out and refused admission based ONLY on the writing on their attire, indicating their club affiliations.
Jeff Williams of Brother Speed MC, and another biker from a local club worked with Portland civil rights attorney Kyle S. Clark, and in June, 2015, through the efforts of the COC and their attorneys, each motorcyclist was paid $10,000 for the violation of their civil rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Ankarberg said he was impressed and pleased by how quickly the Clackamas County Fair Board understood they had erred and corrected their policy. As a gesture of their goodwill, the fair gave the COC free passes for the 2014 fair and demolition derby.
The Oregon COC wants the public to know that Oregon motorcyclists are their friends and neighbors, and that they have a constitutional right to belong to any club, and to associate with whomever they choose, free from government interference or discrimination.
The two motorcyclists each donated part of their settlement to legal funds set up to assist other motorcyclists who are victims of discrimination, including the recent Waco tragedy, through NCOM, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists.