Like big city cops all the way from Manhattan to Tokyo, police in once placid Amsterdam were being run ragged by teen-age punks. Dressed in juvenile delinquency's international uniform—leather jacket and blue jeans—Amsterdam's longhaired nozem* liked to roar around the city's central Dam Square on souped-up motorcycles, scaring tourists, chasing pretty girls and disrupting traffic. Time and again police squads charged gangs of nozem with batons and sabers swinging; the nozem continued to flourish, and nozempie kijken—watching the nozem—became a popular evening pastime in Amsterdam.

Delighted with their growing audiences, the nozem recently began to extend their activities into one of...

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