A CONTROVERSIAL show of force by the NSW Police gangs squad at an Albion Park bike show has prompted the region’s social motorcycle riders to band together in protest.
More than 30 officers raided the Fourth Reich Motorcycle Club’s annual Custom Bike and Tattoo Show, Saturday, arresting three members of outlaw motorcycle gags.
Scores of non-members have since claimed they were subjected to harassment by Strike Force Raptor police who searched and photographed their cars and bikes, and issued fines for “minor” infringements.
Oak Flats rider Greg Jenkins, a member of the Albion Park-based social motorcycle club The Sons South Coast motorcycle club, said he attended the show to “look at bikes and support charity”, as the day is a fundraiser for the region’s aerial patrol.
Mr Jenkins said he was made to feel like a criminal after an officer stopped him at the entryway and photographed his bike and jacket.
“We’re not criminals, we’re just people who enjoy the freedom of a ride,” he told the Mercury.
“I used to sell motorbikes; I’ve sold them to doctors, lawyers, police, everyone.
“As a bike [rider] we probably do more for charity than the average person – if it’s a good cause I’ll put everything aside and go.
“We have little charity patches on our jackets. I’ve got another one that says, ‘Dads Against Daughters Dating: kill the worst, the rest will follow’.”
Mr Jenkins said police repeatedly asked him where his clubhouse was and called him a liar when he told them, “McDonald’s”.
He has created a new online community, Riders Against Discrimination.
The group’s petition (details below) gathered almost 250 signatures by late Wednesday morning, as Lake Illawarra Police Commander Superintendent Wayne Starling met an Albion Park woman caught up in Saturday’s fracas.
Ree Sutton was a passenger in a car that was stopped, searched and issued a defect notice for an oil leak as her partner Paul Mines drove into the show.
In a lengthy exchange with Mr Mines, a Strike Force Raptor officer told him: “Do you know why we’re targeting this club? … No. There you go. OK so stop giving this officer such a hard time. They’re [guilty of] sexual assault. Assaults. And standing over people ... you're supporting them. Get it through your thick head. That's why you're here with your bonnet up against the road, stupid.”
PETITION: “This petition has been started due to the heavy handed behaviour by the police towards members of the motorcycling community across Australia. Regardless of whether riders belong to an outlaw motorcycle club, social group or ride alone and regardless of whether they ride a Harley or a Sports Bike, cruiser or dirt bike they are being treated in the same way and in a discriminatory manner and it needs to stop NOW. In QLD the media has played a big part in the villification of riders to the extent that members of the public have been brainwashed and now believe all of the media spin about big bad bikies and treat all riders in the same way as they cant differentiate between an OMC and a Veteran or other social rider and this villification of all riders will continue across all States if we don't take a stand. Many charities and businesses are now suffering as fewer riders are willing to ride and risk the discrimination being shown towards them by the police, members of the public, pubs and clubs and other businesses and members of clubs and associates are now losing their livelihoods starting with tattoo parlours and also extending into many other trades. Please sign and share this petition far and wide and bring together all brothers and sisters from OMC's, SMS's and GOO's, we need to unite and stand shoulder to shoulder as biker community and can only have people power to stop the discrimination by uniting at rallies and events and all supporting each other until these sad laws are abolished! Like our Riders Against Discrimination - RAD page on Facebook for updates.”