R.I.P. Motorcycle Gangs (a poem of protest)

Still shot from Queensland Government anti-bike advertisment
Still shot from Queensland Government anti-bike advertisment | Source
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman | Source

Senior Barrister Speaks Out

A senior barrister, Stephen Keim, says Queensland's anti-bikie laws make the state look ridiculous.

The barrister said the government's Vicious Lawless Disestablishment Act (VLAD), which makes a gathering of three or more bikies or their associates unlawful, was aptly named.

"It may well impale the hopes and dreams of generally law-abiding families on a stake of injustice," Mr Keim told the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) Queensland conference, referencing Vlad the Impaler.

He argued the laws, which impose mandatory minimum sentencing of 15 to 25 years, breach article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil Rights and other human rights principles.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/queenslands-antibikie-laws-make-the-state-look-ridiculous-20140214-32qn4.html#ixzz2tYzkFUVf

Please watch this hilarious video.

New Anti-Biker Legislation in Queensland, Australia.

The Queensland State Government under the control of the Premier Campbell Newman has recently exercised its power to introduce new laws to crack down on Motor Cycle Gangs in an attempt to stop gang related violence and illegal drug trafficking and money laundering through biker owned tattoo parlours.

While most Queenslanders welcome a reduction in those types of crimes, the new laws seem to be a discriminatory violation of rights and a return to the dark ages. Queensland is on the brink of becoming a police state. Even most magistrates refused to enact the new laws which they felt were unethical. The Government has therefore appointed a handful of magistrates willing to preside over these cases.

One of the laws states that no group of three or more people with known links to motorcycle clubs are allowed to meet in public. Another is that members of motorcycle clubs are no longer allowed to own or run tattoo parlours. A number of innocent people (including girl friends) have already been incarcerated as a result of the new laws.

To make matters worse, pink prison uniforms have been introduced to be only worn by convicted bikers to humiliate them and make them stand out from other prisoners. As well as this, the Government is considering banning cigarettes in prison.

Most clubs have been travelling over the New South Wales border to hold their meetings, but there have already been a number of protests, one involving over 2000 bikers in Brisbane.. It was only by meeting in a number that big that they could avoid being arrested. The police couldn't arrest them all.

Source
Queensland police raid recreational Vietnam and Veterans Motorcycle Club under anti-bikie laws
Queensland police raid recreational Vietnam and Veterans Motorcycle Club under anti-bikie laws | Source
Bikers forced to hand in colors.
Bikers forced to hand in colors. | Source

R.I.P. Mr Biker

by John Hansen © 2014


No more congregating

In groups three or more.

Don't you know Mr Biker,

It's against the new law?


If you are a biker

And belong to a club,

You must now burn your colors

You dishonest grub.


You can't meet in public

For even a beer.

Your type isn't welcome

In Queensland you hear?


You now have to register

Every tattoo,

Each inked inch of skin

Belonging to you.


Then if you're arrested

And thrown in the clink,

The thing that awaits you

Is an outfit of pink.


And if you're a smoker

I'm afraid you will suffer,

'Cause prisons in Queensland

Are free of the 'puffer'.

Source

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Comments 52 comments

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

Just seems that lawmakers are taking away the right to just hang out i don't know the laws in your area.. but up here... we live in the tax the sh** out of you state.. also enjoyed the poem


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes Frank. that's exactly where things are heading here. Thanks for your comment, glad you enjoyed the poem.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

R.I.P. Motorcycle Gangs is a huge problem great writing from you in expressing such an issue.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Jodah, at first I thought, yeah..wind-up, however; if this is really the case, it is extraordinary indeed. Why would Queensland State Government take such extreme measures against the bikers? It sounds like they've declared war. I remember in the late sixties or early seventies, the UK and US had a lot of violence with the Hell's Angels, maybe Queensland is having the same problem.

I loved the poem and the cartoon. Nicely done.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes Jo, it is true! There has been a lot of biker gang related violence on the Gold Coast in Queensland where many bikers own and run tattoo parlours, and control organised crime. The police moved in in large numbers and raided the tattoo shops and arrested a number of gang members. After that they introduced these new laws throughout the state. I could understand the Government taking action, but I think they have gone too far. Thanks for your great comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you DDE, yes it is quite a complex problem.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Good hub, Jodah. There should be laws to control the violence and gang related problems, but, yes, you are right -- the law has gone a bit over the edge on this, I mean no smokes? Pink suits? That is too much.

I understand the need for control. One night here in our town, bikers from two rival gangs met in a bar and all seem fine, till the guns came out and a leader of one gang was killed -- targeted hit. It is still a bit tense when bikers show up around here.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes Phyllis, gang violence has to be controlled I agree. We are fortunate that we have such strict gun laws they don't generally have gun fights, though there are still killings occasionally. Thanks for your comments.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is outrageous! Slowly we are losing our civil liberties. The problem, we lump all people together who look alike or have the same skin color. When are we going to stop judgemental actions against people who are different or think differently? I love your ability to rhyme. ( Puffer ) Ha..


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks always exploring, I am not supporting crime, but this is a violation of civil liberties. We keep pushing equality and anti-discrimination, and these laws undermine that. A poet's prerogative to add words like "puffer"...lol.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Pink prison uniforms just for bikers? Weird. To reduce crime, it would seem smarter to go after the behaviors causing concern -- laundering money, selling illegal drugs, etc. I've read that some places paint jail cells pink and make all prisoners (not just a select few) wear pink uniforms.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Jodah, I have to share my sympathy with the lawmakers who I believe are trying hard to improve life for everyone, and with the bikers whose rights seem limited. Life is so difficult!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Flourish. That is why they are closing down tattoo parlours and making it illegal for bikers to run them, to control the money laundering and drug trade through those establishments. Thanks for your comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

I agree MsDora, they are trying to do what's right for the community by controlling crime. But the pink prison uniforms is going too far. They have also arrested female partners of bikers who have been in company of more than three, and pulled over law abiding Vietnam Vets Biker Club members.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

This is a very complex issue(s) Our problems with gangs here has almost nothing to do with motorcycles. Our enforcement must still be on a case by case basis. The tool that our officials use the most is an injunction against certain folks from causing a nuisance.

Great job and fun poem.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Eric, it is a complex problem and I guess the authorities should look at what works and what doesn't in other countries. Our Premier has actually received death threats because of these laws.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

What a bizarre law! If we have anything like that in the States I've never heard of it. Where oh where have our liberties gone? Well done, John...yep, that is a bizarre law alright.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

We have tons of gangs, most non-motorcycles gangs though. I understand about trying get the violence under control, but to discriminate against those who are simply hanging out and not causing trouble, I don't get that for sure. I do not understand the pink part either? I think the government needs to concentrate on from where the drugs and such are coming.

Love your poem.

Have a great week,

Faith Reaper


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for your comment Faith. I agree with all you say, and glad you liked the poem.


saltymick profile image

saltymick 2 years ago

What's going on down under Jodah? Seems like the place is turning fascist faster than you can say Mussolini, or Hitler, or Stalin or... Newman. But I suppose we've always been a country of two halves - the Convicts and the Gaolers, the Blacks and the Whites, the Greens and the Developers, and so on. I'm not a biker but I empathise with their ethos of freedom. It'll be surfies next.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Well this totally peed me off! what is wrong with the government? yes I have watched the Aussie programs about the bike gangs, it was on our Brit tv's a while ago, and yes they do cause trouble, but like all groups there are good and bad in each. As for tattoos, well that goes up and beyond as far as I am concerned! better not come over there with my bike and tattoo I would be chucked straight in jail! why oh why do they have to go so overboard? stupid, plain and simple, and i love your poem too! lol!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

It totally blew me away Bill. The Government is playing it tough, but it sure blew me away when they actually brought the laws in. Hopefully it doesn't get too out of control.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes Mick, if you've been away from here for awhile you won't recognise it, especially Queensland. Newman is being compared to those fascist dictators believe it or not. Some of those being arrested are ex-bikers too, but if they have ever been a group member the law also applies to them. One problem is that some former bikers have ratted on current ones in regard to crimes etc and are thrown in prison with those they grassed on. There's no segregation in prison, all bikers being grouped together. It could very well be surfies next, maybe the government will say their hair is too long and will pas a law against it. Thanks for your comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

That's the whole point Nell, they've gone overboard. I have a tattoo as well, but no bike fortunately. The law is wider reaching it includes anyone who wears a uniform and congregates in groups of three or more in public, but up to police discretion. Crazy stuff.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 2 years ago from Los Angeles

Hi Jodah,

This approach to gang crime is so totally wrong and ineffective! A better tactic would be undercover insiders to follow the money, but the government will get nowhere if they can't offer some protection to informants. Radical right's infringement on biker club members will only accelerate violence both inside prison and on the streets.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

You are spot on Cat, it is a completely wrong approach and it is putting informants in dangerous situations. I agree the should have gone undercover to follow the money rather than shut down the tattoo parlours. They will find some other businesses to move into or another way of laundering the money.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Wow. There is such a thing as “crossing the line,” and it sounds as though The Queensland State Government has pole-vaulted over it. I empathize with the fact that this serious crime had to be dealt with, and I don’t live there, but it just seems that these new laws are a bit extreme. Hope I’m not crossing the line, Jodah, with my opinions. :-) Loved the poem…very clever and apropos. Voted up and shared.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Genna, no you aren't crossing the line. That is exactly how most Queenslanders feel and we live here. We did support the government's first move, when after a couple of violent incidents on the Gold Coast they had the police raid some tattoo parlours and arrest gang members. But after that they crossed the line with introducing these new laws. Glad you loved the poem, thanks for the vote up and share.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

What a very strange and puzzling situation. I understand the need to control criminal activities, but it really sounds as though the government has gone too far. The video was interesting. I enjoyed the poem, too!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Alicia, glad you enjoyed the poem. Yes it seems to be the popular opinion that the government has gone too far.


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

There must be better ways to deal with the crimes than ripping individual civil liberties away.

Interesting Jodah and a well balanced view, you fuse humour and real issues very well to highlight serious points.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Anna for your kind comment. I usually find that the addition of humour helps to get a serious point across without making it sound like a lecture and boring. I'm sure there are better ways of fighting this crime.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Our gov't would never do this; criminals have more rights and they could soon become one of them (well, caught, anyway) and I think it is OK, pink suit and no cigs, sounds good to me. Prison is getting to be like a resort and who know how many might like the pink uniforms? lol


jhamann profile image

jhamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

My father is a biker and this hub would probably make him pretty angry. I didn't really care for his life and didn't want to be a part of it. But I was able to see some pretty interesting things growing up. Jamie


Suzanne Day profile image

Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

That's pretty juvenile of the government...though it's normal to expect stupid things from them. Wearing of pink uniforms? Bloody stupid. I think their law should be that any gatherings caught with drugs etc should then be incarcerated rather than vilifying weekend bikies. Voted interesting.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Haha Jackie, maybe you are right, some people do like pink, and from what I hear prisons offer better treatment than some aged care homes. Some governments do turn a blind eye too. Thanks for reading.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Jamie, I am sure these laws wouldn't impress your dad. Wow I'm sure you did have quite an education growing up. Thanks for your comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Suzanne, I agree with your suggestion of what the government should do. Queensland though seem to be intent on doing everything to extremes, it's silly. Thanks for the vote.


Jane Arden 2 years ago

I love the way you put current political events into poetry. Sad about the bikes though, I have to say.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Jane for supporting my poetry and your concern for the bikies too. :)


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

Impressive and powerful poem! Hopefully the bikers will get a chance to read it too, doubtful they'll enjoy it as much as your readers do :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey thanks for reading and your kind comment Sunshine. Not sure about the bikers reading this, but the one's based in Queensland already know this is happening, believe me.


Christine Marie 2 years ago

Jodah,

Your subject matter is noteworthy... and needs attention, thank-you!

So this is Queensland- the video: A song is a marvelous way to be political, if one needs to be...interesting; thank-you...out of my normal, but I like it for that reason...

About cycles:

"...I can't do any peddlin for this campaign, but I do have fuel in my motor to herald two-wheel cyclists..." My first ride was at age 3, my Daddy's good friend, my second on a rainy day in college when I was late for church.

Someday I want to take a cycle to Maine in Autumn season- don't even own one...a dream!

I live in Northern MI and for the first seven years here, every Summer a group of them would travel our road which led to the Interlochen Center for the Arts; I've moved, and there is a scenic highway that runs along my property and they come here every year too- for me: it's grand! The noise is as the musical notation of an accidental...and fits right in with the natural compositiions of sound for one day.

I hope others will turn to poetry, song, story-telling to campaign what is in their hearts in the conglomerations of interests that span our globe!

Memorize your poem, and find a poetry slam and do it! Don't worry about your score, try it! It's a good one for those kind of events; you got something like 3 minutes to recite it.. and the audience response would be interesting- very relevant poem to your hub subject!

Christine

(formerly pochinuk on hubpages)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for stopping by to read and your wonderful insightful comments and suggestions Christine. A poetry slam certainly would be a good sounding board.


Eric Flynn profile image

Eric Flynn 2 years ago from Providence, Rhode Island

No bigger gang than the Government, ridiculous. Police states here we come.

EWF


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Quite right Eric, that's what it's becoming.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

It's a shame these bikers have resorted to such nonsense. I think wearing pink is a pretty good shame for them in prison. However, here in the states, most of the bikers I know are decent folk. They ride for charity and help out people in need. Your poem is very creative and tells it well for the RIP gangs.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi teaches, most of the bikers here do those good things as well, it's just the few bad apples among them that has them all being persecuted. Thanks for the read and your comment.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

A very interesting read indeed. here in the UK many blinkered and ignorant people brand biker as trouble makers(Myself and Dai often ride out on our Honda Blackbird)however again over here they are from all walks of life and many raise so much for charities. A great read Jodah and I vote up.

Eddy.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes Eddy, it is a tricky situation. We have clubs here like the Ulysses Club which is made up of law abiding Vietnam vets who raise money for charity, but the new law doesn't exclude them and they have been stopped by police as can any other group of three or more. A few bad fish tarnish the whole lot. Thanks for the vote up.


kidscrafts profile image

kidscrafts 2 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

Interesting hub, John!

Pink prison uniforms? Really? They have to spend time to discuss the colour of the uniform as a solution to get rid of the motorcycle gangs? I think the money and time can be put at better use to find solutions. I know that the problem of motorcycle gangs is not easy with the criminality attach t0 it.

There are people who love to ride a bike with friends and who are not criminals as well. There are groups like that in Ontario and they meet sometimes to raise money for worthy cause like cancer; that would be to bad to lose those great initiatives with restrictive laws.

Great poem! Great illustration!

Enjoy your Sunday :-)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading and your wonderful comment Jo. I agree something had to be done to crack down on the criminal aspect of biker gangs in Australia. Victorian police just conducted a raid on (I think it was Commancheros) club houses because their information was there was going to be a biker war waged against the Hell's Angels. They arrested a number of people, seized a hoard of guns and other weapons and $150,000 in cash. So that was well done. The problem is the new anti-association laws in Queensland and how it effects innocent people as well. Humiliating them in prison doesn't help either. Thanks again, glad you enjoyed the poem and pics.

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