But I have to admit, the new laws that they've put in place here in Queensland about bikie gangs have me feeling very uncomfortable.
For those of you who aren't familiar with what I'm talking about, some pretty harsh laws have been put into place in Queensland that are extremely biased against anyone who is suspected of being part of a motorcycle gang [Link]. From what I understand, bikies can be punished much more harshly for crimes, and now it's even illegal for three or more members of a motorcycle gang to be together in public even if they're not doing anything wrong.
As you can imagine, that makes it a little difficult for bikers to protest given that any gathering will be seen as illegal and they could all be arrested.
I haven't really paid as much attention to it as I probably should have, I'm not a bikie and I don't know any, but I read an article today about how they've arrested the first woman on bikie related charges, a librarian [Link]. Well I may not be a bikie, but being a library employee that was bound to get my attention.
If someone breaks the law, I totally agree that they should be held accountable for it. But to say that certain people are going to be treated differently to everybody else ... I don't know what to do with that. I get that some bikie gangs have been connected to criminal activity, but can you use that to justify turning them into second class citizens who don't have the same rights as everybody else?
I suppose when you get down to it it's not about the ridiculously disproportionate laws, it's about the message behind the restrictions. The message that says some people don't deserve the same rights as everybody else. If this was done to a particular race or culture all hell would break loose. What makes these people any less deserving of protection of their rights just because we're talking about a club rather than a culture?
There has been quite a lot of discussion about it around here, and no matter what they might think of organised crime or bikie gangs in general, most people seem to agree that taking away their equality is a pretty dangerous road for us to be heading down. They're bound to fight back, and I can't say that I blame them.
Honestly, I can understand why the bikies are still wearing their colours, despite the risks.