Finally, some interesting local news to comment on. Yesterday, bikie organisations banded together to protest the introduction of Mike Rann’s anti-bikie legislation in a ride through the Barossa Valley.
More than 700 members of gangs – mainly Hell’s Angels, Gypsy Jokers, Rebels, Finks and Descendants – took part in the Freedom Run ride through the Barossa Valley, monitored by a large contingent of police.
Saying he would not be intimidated by their actions, Premier Mike Rann described the protest as nothing more than a publicity stunt.
Gypsy Jokers club president Scott “Diesel” Thomas said the co-operation among the gangs was only in its early stages but warned it was the “start of things to come”.
“They are telling us who we can talk to and who we can’t, but these laws don’t just affect us, they affect everybody,” he said.
Police – including the STAR Group – breath-tested riders, checked motorcycles for defects and had pictures taken of their faces and number plates. The bikies have mobilised to fight the Serious and Organised Crime Control Act introduced by the Government to fight the gangs Mr Rann has accused of murder, rape and other criminal activities.
I have talked about the bikie legislation before and elsewhere. In a nut-shell, the anti-bikie legislation passed by the Rann government finds itself linked inextricably to the anti-terror legislation passed by John Howard after September 11. The anti-bikie legislation allows almost arbitrary uses of power against groups identified as ‘criminal organisations’ (a classification based on whether there are individuals with criminal convictions in the group and one which cannot be challenged) which then allows the police unprecedented powers to ‘deal’ with the group. Oh so many people have bought the government’s line in that it allows the bikie gangs to be taken a part, but they miss the key concept; it’s only a matter of time before the same powers are used for different purposes. The ‘anti-bikie’ legislation, as it has been nicknamed, will merely be re-branded to ‘combat’ some other dangerous group that threatens the very fabric of our society for ever and ever, amen. Cue the jackboots and the knock at the door in the dead of night.
To add insult to injury, the supreme, all-knowing, wise Mr Rann even wants to export his dictatorial legislation to other states and will be pressuring other premiers at one of their c(ircle jerks)onferences.
But wait, there’s more.
It seems Rann’s pulled out every possible line to the media as of late in order to sell the legislation to the public which is intended to make them safe, albeit at the potential expense of their own freedoms. So let’s look at some of the comments that appeared in the article mentioned above.
“For them, freedom means freedom to manufacture and sell drugs to our kids, freedom to be involved in violence, freedom to use illegal firearms and freedom to extort.”
What, may I ask, is the problem with selling drugs? Although I would hardly ever expect a senior politician to give an honest answer, or one that respects the freedom of their subjects for that matter. And I’m quite sure it isn’t just ‘our kids’ that are buying them — I don’t have kids and if Rann’s kids are snorting cocaine then they’re probably clean. So maybe it’s the parents that are buying these drugs?
“There are elements among these bikies who are dangerous and serious criminals, and we will treat them as seriously as they deserve.”
This is the comment that gets me. While I’m not defender of the bikie gangs and I recognise elements of them are involved in all sorts of violence, what about the elements that aren’t? It makes little sense to throw them all in prison and let God sort them out. Let’s face it, like any group, society or country, there is always going to be a small percentage that are malcontents. These people in government are going to be spending thousands of dollars to prosecute, them all and for what? So that most will acquitted of charges and yet still have their (and inevitably, our) freedoms rigidly controlled by the boys in blue?
“They don’t just want to run our streets and intimidate our people, they want to run the government as well,” he said.
Sorry Mr Rann, they already do. Government is an institution that gives power to criminals and robber barons, it doesn’t matter whether they’re riding a Harley or wearing a suit and tie.
“I don’t believe there is any sensible citizen who would be dumb enough to vote for a thug party.”
Aside from being an example of a nice little piece of political manipulation in the media, I shall take it upon myself to point out that most sensible citizens were dumb enough to vote for a thug party; that belonging to Mr Rann.
So much for the state that was built with the intention of preserving civil liberties and freedom of religion. I’ll leave you with this thought by one of the bikies,
“And that’s why we have the need to highlight it to all the public because if they can get away with doing to us then they can get away to doing it to anybody else.”