Riders protest new anti-association laws

Freedom Ride bikers 01

Biker dismay: Motorcycle riders from around the state including Frankston and the peninsula joined a rally against “anti-association” laws outside Parliament in Melbourne. Picture supplied

MOTORCYCLISTS from Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula joined about 300 riders outside Parliament House on Saturday last week to protest anti-association laws being introduced by state governments in Tasmania and South Australia.

They follow the so-called Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment (VLAD) laws introduced in Queensland by the Newman government in 2013.

Riders also protested in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra where they rode around Parliament House.

Co-organiser Dale Maggs of the Freedom Riders Association, who is known to many people in the region through his former role organising Christmas toy runs, said riders would stand together to prevent any tougher legislation that targets them.

“Police already have the laws they need to control criminals. Motorcyclists are being treated as the ‘new terrorists’ by politicians and law enforcement agencies,” he said.

“The current laws are tough enough and already risk capturing people who are not gang members and who were not intended by the government to be captured by the laws.”

Mr Maggs said due to the extreme lack of understanding at all levels of what constitutes a “bikie” and a “biker”, all riders were thrown into the one pot. “Ten per cent of the voting population in Victoria holds motorcycle licences.

“Unfortunately the fear mongering perpetrated by politicians and law enforcement agencies have the community as a whole wary or scared of anyone who chooses to wear leather and uses a motorcycle as their means of transport.”

Mr Maggs said police were taking anti-bikie actions to extremes. “They’ve been harassing riders who belong to social biker clubs. Even if you’re riding on your own, police pull you over.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 14 July 2015


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