When it comes to notorious outlaw motorcycle gangs, you may know the Hells Angels, maybe the Bandidos, the Coffin Cheaters, the Gypsy Jokers or the Comancheros. But have you heard of Satudarah?
The Satudarah are known as the Netherlands' most feared biker gang. They frequently make headlines across Europe due to alleged involvement in drug trafficking, extortion and murder. Busts on their homes and clubhouses happen regularly, and their highest-ranking members are constantly in and out of prison.
And now, a fabulous Dutch documentary on SBS On Demand, Satudarah: One Blood provides a unique, if terrifying, insight into the bonds that tie this secretive biker underworld. Like Hunter S Thompson with the Hells Angels in the ’60s, filmmakers Joost van der Valk and Mags Gavan were given exclusive fly-on-the-wheel insider access to the Satudarah.
Here's what you need to know...
It all goes back to the 90s
Yes, the Satudarah is a relatively recent phenomenon in the history of outlaw biker gangs. The club was founded in 1990 in Moordrecht in Holland’s south, starting with just seven members, mostly ex-soldiers.
These days, there’s more than 40 chapters across the Netherlands and the ‘Black and Yellow Nation’ have gone international with a presence everywhere from Norway to Spain, Indonesia, Thailand, Belgium, France and Australia – although the Sydney chapter made headlines earlier this year when it was raided and shut down.
What does Satudarah actually mean?
Satu is one. Darah is blood. Satudarah. One blood.
It’s a multi-racial club
Initially, the Satudarah were ethnic Moluccans from the Maluku Islands in the Indonesian archipelago. The story goes that following WWII, the Moluccans helped the Dutch re-establish the Dutch East Indies as a colony.
The Moluccans were seen by other Indonesians as traitors and were later forced to migrate to Holland. So, whereas other biker gangs only allow "white males" to join, Satudarah permits members from any ethnic or religious background.
Satudarah vs the Hells Angels
The doco shows the Satudarah expansion into Germany and the turf war it provokes with other organisations, such as the Angels and the Bandidos.
"In Germany, the Angels think they decide everything,” explains the club Kapikane [Captain] Olla. “That's what they think, and all of Germany knows that ... but now we're here.”
Membership to Saturdarah is for life. Members think nothing of pledging to die for the brotherhood.
“Of course I'd die for the club, 1000 per cent,” explains Mikey, a young member of the Satudarah. To reinforce this loyalty all recruits must chant, after their initiation, “Forever Satudarah, Satudarah forever!”
Being part of the brotherhood can be brutal:
Watch Satudarah: One Blood right here: