Our Enemy, The Aussie States

A vicious biker brawl at the Sydney Airport last month has sparked restrictive new legislation aimed at suppressing the "bikie" menace. The state of South Australia already outlaws bikie gangs while New South Wales, which passed its bikie legislation this month, is pushing for a nation-wide crackdown.

As I noted in a blog post last month, the NSW legislation allows the attorney general to declare gangs and other organizations illegal "without any challenge or appeal." Lawyers and civil rights groups say the sweeping powers are a violation of basic rights.

The new legislation, however, has quelled the gang warfare that frequently erupts. Strangely enough, it's worked because bikie gangs are now reaching out to their outlaw brethren and coming together to oppose the laws:

In an unprecedented move, the largest outlaw motorcycle club in Australia, the Rebels, opened the gates of its Leppington national clubhouse to the media yesterday to show a publicly united front to the organised crime bill recently enacted by the State Government.

Members of all the main clubs in NSW except the Nomads arrived at the Bringelly Road clubhouse to shake hands and - publicly at least - present a peaceful and united front....

"We're here to unite as one voice, to reassure the public that there's no ongoing disputes between the clubs," [Geoffrey Nicholson, QC, and a senior God Squad member who calls himself Fish] said. "The council will be meeting for consultation and discussions on a regular basis. The clubs are united."...  

[Fish] then addressed the media, attacking the Criminal Organisations Control Act passed this month.

"It's important to remember that all that activity has been carried out under existing laws, not under these new laws."

The new laws were directed not only at the outlaw clubs, but at "any organisations or club in the community" and would limit freedom of speech and the freedom to associate, he said.

"Today a bike group, tomorrow perhaps a trade union, a dissident group. There is no restriction in that legislation," he said.

Ahhh, it's nice to see that the state has really brought folks together, albeit against the state. The press conference included representatives from the Hell's Angels, Comancheros, Rebels, Bandidos, Black Uhlans, The Finks, and Lone Wolf. The camaraderie , however, doesn't seem to apply to journalists covering the developing story. The last line from the Sydney Morning Herald article reads, "[t]he media were then ushered out and the metal gates of the clubhouse pulled closed."

Another Australian ban here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • bubba||

    Sorry. I can't take outlaws seriously when they call themselves "bikies."

  • ||

    Toecutter wouldn't stand for this. Too bad he's dead.

  • Vm||

    the "rockers" in denmark (for whom the moniker, "bikie" would probably capture how macho they are) looked into joint legal action a few years ago, too. couldn't care enough to see what happened.
    *hangs antlers in shame*

    Makes you wonder how the Night Rider would react.

    or "WHERE DO WE FIND... THIS AGENT"

  • ||

    < aussie accent > "Motorcycle? That's a silly name! I'd-a called it a jibberywop." < / aussie accent >

  • dfg||

    your are a tard

  • ||

    The camaraderie, however, doesn't seem to apply to journalists covering the developing story.

    Why should it? The bikies are banding together against common enemies, after all. I think they know which side of that line the journalists are on.

    It is sad that the bikies show a better grasp of political realities than most libertarians, though.

  • ||

    "I am the Nightrider. I'm a fuel-injected suicide machine. I am the rocker, I am the roller, I am the out-of-controller!"

  • ||

    Bubba,

    Duh. It rhymes with "crikey." Don't you know anything about Australians? First off: it is entirely peopled with criminals.

  • Ward S. Denker||

    "The new legislation, however, has quelled the gang warfare that frequently erupts. Strangely enough, it's worked because bikie gangs are now reaching out to their outlaw brethren and coming together to oppose the laws."

    The enemy of my enemy is... our enemy!

  • ||

    "You couldn't get more Australian than me. My great-great-grandpa was a renowned rapist, and they shipped him out to Australia and that's where he met my great-great-grandma; she was a prostitute. You know, I said 'met', but he raped her."

  • catmozes||

    They call carburetors carbies.

  • ||

    The new laws were directed not only at the outlaw clubs, but at "any organisations or club in the community" and would limit freedom of speech and the freedom to associate, he said.



    Oh, come on. That would never happen. Next thing, you'll be telling me that the Patriot Act could be used against hookers, or that RICO could be used against ordinary businesses.

  • VM||

    :)

    Sugar pounds the ball over the goal line!

    *Australian Rules Footie gesture for score*

  • ||

  • ||

    What is it with footie right now? Seems like every dude I know in Seattle is playing it.

  • Dello||

    Ward,
    "The enemy of my enemy is... our enemy!"

    Thread winner in my book.

  • Dello||

    SugerFree,
    "Real sports don't have draws."

    Sure they do: Blood draws.

  • ||

    Dello, don't play your lexicographer's tricks on me. I am immune to your consultations, I'm quite aware of what I'm going through.

  • ||

    I thought a jibberywop was a drunk Eyetalian?

  • ||

    From last month:

    dbcooper | March 23, 2009, 5:26pm | #

    One of the most prominent features of Australasian slang is the addition of "y" sounds to the ends of words, often in combination with contraction. Hence bikie. c.f. Nicknames, e.g. Nathan Astle = Asty, Matthew Ridge = Ridgy, anyone called Smith = Smithy, Zinzan Brooke = Zinny, Sean Fitzpatrick = Fitzy. Interesting exceptions come with names already ending in y, e.g. Muzza or Muz for Murry, and Barry is always Bazza or Buzz.

    It is unknown whether anyone referred to as Buzz is required to be a bit "wild" and participate in activities such as extreme sports or psychedelic drug consumption.

    ps. Members of genuinely menacing motor cycle gang criminal organisations that murder witnesses, run vertically integrated crystal meth operations, conduct gang rapes etc really are referred to as bikies. (pronounced bike-ies)

  • ||

    I thought a jibberywop was a drunk Eyetalian?

    The word means both. It was quite common to ride drunken Italians in the days before mechanized transport. As the first "motorcycles" were quite wobbly and didn't work too well (or often) the name stuck.

  • VM||

    DBCooper: ahead of the curve! :)

  • ||

    I am immune to your consultations, I'm quite aware of what I'm going through.

    Sug: Grow up out of it.

  • ||

    "I distinctly heard a ruckus."

  • Rimfax||

    Why no Mad Max allusions?

  • Rimfax||

    Gah, sorry, I missed Epi's comment.

  • ||

    Can you describe the ruckus sir?

  • ||

    Why you got to hate, Rimfax? Damn, dude.

    SugarFree | April 29, 2009, 3:42pm | #
    "I am the Nightrider. I'm a fuel-injected suicide machine. I am the rocker, I am the roller, I am the out-of-controller!"

  • ||

    Once they outlaw outlaws, only outlaws will be outlaws.

  • VM||

    ahem

    Vm | April 29, 2009, 3:37pm | #
    the "rockers" in denmark (for whom the moniker, "bikie" would probably capture how macho they are) looked into joint legal action a few years ago, too. couldn't care enough to see what happened.
    *hangs antlers in shame*

    Makes you wonder how the Night Rider would react.

    or "WHERE DO WE FIND... THIS AGENT"



    bold for M Max references

  • Anonymous||

    Once they outlaw outlaws, only outlaws will be outlaws.

    And then we shall be free men, with respect for our brothers. Until then, we ride, me bikies[*].

    *: The part of the pink boustia has been played by "bold"

  • ||

    Ha, VM and NutraSweet: I win.

  • VM||

    d'oh! you're right. I even was inspired by your post ("where do we find this agent." and "his name is the Night Rider")

  • Donovan McNabb||

    "Real sports don't have draws."

    Now you tell me.

    Donovan McNabb

  • MJ||

    You'd think that there would be a better way of dealing with biker gang violence then outlawing the organizations.

    Still, why are these gangs fighting at airports of all places?

  • ||

    dbcooper

    It's almost as common to end abbreviations with -o as -ie.

    A comunist becomes a commo, workers compensation is the compo and a bunch more I can't remember. I used to speak the language with some fluency, having spent my second through fourteenth years living there.

    And, Nordic Ruminant, in order to score a goal (six points) in 'strylyun rules one is required to kick the ball between the center posts at the end of the field. If the ball strikes another player or one of the posts before going through, you only get a behind (yes, that's really what it's called) or one point. Carrying the ball anywhere will cause the other side to get a "free kick".

    And I notice that you are now allowed to make substitutions in footie. Holy crap, in my day, < cranky old man > a player had to be hurt so that he could no longer play before being replaced < /cranky old man >. And you only got to do that twice, after that, you played short handed.

    They've done something similar with Rugby Union. Struth, I mean ta bloody say, has everbody turned inta a bunch o' bloody sheilas.

  • VM||

    thanks, IB!

  • Anonymous||

    A comunist becomes a commo

    I always preferred the denegrating effect of the childish ending of "commie", as if it's a rat-infested teddy bear or something. Ah, the 20th Century.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement