I read with interest your story on the
police “raid” on the Gladiators Motorcycle Club in
Gunnedah and your following editorial.
I am a bike
rider, I belong to a motorcycle club and I know and have
befriended a number of members of the Gladiators.
I have been a
guest at their clubhouse, therefore I believe I am able
to give a fairly honest view of their activities as I
know them, unlike your organisation.
Let us begin
with the term “outlaw motorcycle gang”(OMG), “1 per-centers
The first OMGs
were formed in the USA after World War II. They were
formed by ex-members of the USAF, who, after the
adrenalin filled years of war, still felt the need for
army surplus bikes, got rid of all the extraneous gear
and proceeded to act in a manner that shocked polite
themselves the title “outlaw”, not because they were set
up as a criminal fraternity, but because they refused to
conform to the norms of society at that time.
The term of “1
per cent” also showed they considered themselves to be
that percentage of non-conformists in society.
forefathers of modern-era bikers at no time set
themselves up as a criminal organisation.
It was only
natural that this idea caught on in Australia and thus
was born the Australian OMGs.
To name these
clubs as “criminal organisations” is slanderous in the
The majority of
members of these OMGs are in fact honest, hardworking,
law-abiding, taxpaying individuals whose only crime is
to belong to a club that rides motorcycles.
If I were to
use the same parameters used by our politicians, police
and yourself, then I would have to say the NSW and
federal parliaments are “criminal organisations” (as
supported by the evidence of ICAC), the police forces of
all states, particularly in NSW, as supported by the PIC
newspaper editors are guilty of resorting to “yellow
journalism” to sell papers and to
sledge others without once obtaining facts?
Let us look at
the two organisations involved in this story: Task Force
Raptor – set up by the state government to combat
organised crime within the “bikie” world.
This force is
staffed by hardworking, decent people, but like all governmental
knee-jerks, they are being used in the wrong manner.
They are being
used as a public relations tool by the government and
senior management, hence the
media contingent that accompanies these raids.
With regard to
the raid carried out on Friday – what intelligence
drugs and criminal equipment was located and how many
arrests were made and how safer are our streets now?
When the police
are made to return the property of the club are you
going to give it the same coverage as the raid?
have been in Australia for 50 years and the local
chapter has been in Gunnedah for a number of years.
I know members
of the “Glads” and am proud to have ridden with them.
The “Glads” may
not know my name but I am called “Bones”.
The laws that
have been passed and the powers that have been given are
draconian at best and we need to ask ourselves “On whom
will they be turned next”?