The founders and employees of Long Ride Shields have always believed and will always believe in what we consider God-given rights as an American. Owning a bike and riding the great highways and byways of America is simply one of those rights, providing you follow the basic rules and laws of the specific state we are in at the time. But lately, we have noticed an increase in sales to our friends Down Under, so we decided to look into this recent surge and we were quite surprised at what we found. It seems bikers in Australia, specifically Queenlands have come under attack recently by their Parliament regarding their right to basic assembly. The ultra-conservative government has proposed a series of laws that would treat ALL biker clubs as criminal organizations and in doing so will place serious restrictions on members’ right to assemble, their right to tour together as a group, display club logos and colors, etc. This is simply unthinkable! Read on and find out what is really going on in the Land Down Under...
The Queensland Parliament has proposed laws that includes destroying bikes of convicted gang members and preventing them from owning tattoo parlors along with other certain types of businesses. Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has become a very disliked man. He designed the laws to destroy biker gangs also known as ‘Bikies’. His goal was to have the toughest anti-biker laws in the world.
With these new laws, not only are they forbidden to own tattoo parlors, but it’s illegal to display/wear their club colors or patches, have public gatherings, and if arrested, almost impossible for them to receive bail. The government is also establishing a ‘bikie-only’ prison to house these offenders of the new laws.
"The punishment is deliberately and unapologetically severe because we want to break the bikies - break their enterprise, break their spirit, and break up their groups," states Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie . In recent months the police have launched numerous crackdown raids, including the Mongols’ clubhouse where they seized weapons and drugs. Members are banned from casinos and racetracks as well; claiming they are extorting and manipulating the books.
Australian Council for Civil Liberties President Terry O'Gorman described the legislation as "shock and awe" tactics and said that lawmakers had "refused to consult with anyone except the police".
Debbie Kilroy, representing prisoner support group ‘Sisters Inside’, told Australian media that a bikie-only prison would risk "pushing young men further to the margins by keeping them in solitary confinement".
Australia has become a Mecca for Outlaw Biker gangs including the Hells Angels, The Mongols ( 90 % of the Fink’s Patched over ), The Bandidos, The Rebels, The Coffin Cheaters, The Comanchero’s , and more. The Australian Crime Commission ( ACC) estimates there are over 6000 “patched” members who make up the 1% bikies, with the largest being the rebels at about 2500 members. The ACC says it is a war over the drug trade and over security, tattoo, brothel, and car wash businesses.
But Bikies are fighting back against the laws and legislature. The bikies are claiming that over 60% of patched members have no criminal record at all. That its about brotherhood; about having a place to get together and to work on your bike, having a good time and better the quality your life. 40% are ex military, and 70% have professional and legitimate jobs elsewhere. They just have a love for motorcycles and share the love with their “Brothers”.
They truly believe Bikie clubs outlaw or not help provide structure and organization within men. Bikies claim that the justice system and the Government fail to recognize the good that is done. BIkies organize events and raise money all year for the less fortunate and especially love to help the children in need.
Bike clubs in Australia say they are being unfairly targeted. They are being called a criminal menace to society. The new laws in Queensland does not allow more than two members at a time to ride together. So the Bikies are fighting back taking their case to the High Court to challenge the legislature's new laws..
It is a back and forth battle that no one seems to be winning except the legislature in that the new laws are making it all but impossible for bikies to be out in public and ride together. Civil rights authorities and activist are fighting daily in stopping Parliament from passing such biased legislation.
Stay tuned for more updates on our brothers Down Under as they fight to maintain their right to assemble and express themselves using their camaraderie and more importantly, their right to enjoy the open road with their fellow members without fearing reprisal from a conservative government bent on destroying one of life’s more enjoyable experiences.1
We at Long Ride Shields really want to learn more about this and hear more facts about what is really happening in the Land Down Under. Feel free to comment this blog or share any stories with us. You can also email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to the feedback and replies.
1. Long Ride Shields does not condone nor support criminal activity in any way, shape, or form. As noted in the article above, the majority of these individuals are professional people simply exercising their right to assemble and enjoy the pleasures of motorcycle ownership. In that effort we applaud them.