This is what John Smith is fighting against – Qld injustice

You may not like them – they may frighten you, you may even be disgusted with their lifestyle choices – but if they are  not breaking the law (and most bikies are not!) what right does any government have to tell them they can’t earn a living? Why is it illegal in Qld for a bikie to own or work in a tattoo parlour?  If you take away their ability to earn a living legally it makes sense that they then turn to illegal methods, doesn’t it?

Toowoomba bikies prepare to hand in their patches

TOOWOOMBA members of Life and Death Motorcycle Club have been told to either hand in their club patches or go to jail.

Chapter president Tony “Bones” Lowe expected to renounce his membership to the club today in a bid to avoid imprisonment.

He sold his business Gatton Tattoos to his son last week as new bikie laws made it illegal for any member of 26 outlaw clubs to work at a tattoo parlour.

The shop has been under continuous police surveillance since Thursday.

His house has also been under watch with officers “taking details of any cars coming and going”.

“Bones” and his partner spent the weekend in Brisbane, but received regular reports from customers and friends about the strong police presence.

Police keep surveillance over Gatton Tattoos, owned by Life and Death Motorcycle Club chapter president Tony "Bones" Lowe until he sold it to his son last week. Police across the state have been told to keep a visible presence outside gang-affiliated tattoo parlours which have been made off-limits to members.
Police keep surveillance over Gatton Tattoos, owned by Life and Death Motorcycle Club chapter president Tony “Bones” Lowe until he sold it to his son last week. Police across the state have been told to keep a visible presence outside gang-affiliated tattoo parlours which have been made off-limits to members. Contributed

A barrister has told members to publicly quit the club, though further advice is expected today.

“My blokes don’t deserve to get 25 or 15 years’ for nothing… they’ve got families,” Bones said.

“I wouldn’t really tell any of them they can’t leave, because I don’t want to see them locked up.”

“To actually fight it would cost us $70,000.

Rebel bikie answers your questions

“They’re saying we’ve got all this illegal money.

“If we were a criminal organisation, we could afford the lawyers to do it.

“I’ve got no rights now.

“It’s amazing for Australia in 2013… you think that if you don’t break the law, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

“Well I don’t, and I’ve got plenty to worry about.”

Life and Death's logo patch features a heart punctured by a sword, with a snake around it and the words "Live to Ride".
Life and Death’s logo patch features a heart punctured by a sword, with a snake around it and the words “Live to Ride”.

Darling Downs district crime group officer Detective Acting Inspector Paul McCusker said stake-outs at known bikie stamping grounds would continue.

The State Government’s new Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment laws make it illegal for motorcycle gang associates to enter clubhouses or meet in groups of three or more.

Three members have left their motorcycles at Life and Death’s James St clubhouse, but will face mandatory six-month jail terms if they set foot on the premises to retrieve them.

Government rejects ‘bikie spin’

“We are now duty-bound and we will be enforcing the powers and the legal requirements of the acts,” Det. Act. Insp. McCusker said.

Life and Death’s logo patch features a heart punctured by a sword, with a snake around it and the words “Live to Ride”.

6 thoughts on “This is what John Smith is fighting against – Qld injustice

  1. Campbell Newman’s Qld.

    Who’s next?

    Biker soldier strip-searched outside home by police

    A YOUNG soldier has told of being strip-searched by police in front of his home as the Queensland Government’s tough anti-bikie laws continue to take a toll on recreational riders.

    1RAR soldier Private Noah Schefe, 22, who is a member of the Townsville chapter of the Patriots Motorcycle Club, was searched by police outside his home about three weeks ago, late at night, after he returned from the chapter’s clubhouse.

    He was not charged with any offences.

    Patriots Australia is a military club for serving, former regular and reserve members of the Australian, Commonwealth and Allied Defence Forces.

    It regularly participates in fundraising for charities, recently raising $4500 for Legacy Townsville.

    The club publicly condemns all criminal activity, and is not included in the government’s list of bikie gangs declared as criminal organisations.

    Pte Schefe said the police officer who searched him was not aware of the club, nor had any interest when told about it, despite Pte Schefe showing the officer his Defence ID card.
    “He got me up over to the cop car and put me up against the car and started pulling everything out of my pockets and taking my boots out,” he said.

    “The other cop had my bag on the bonnet and pulled everything out of my bag, searching the whole lot.

    “They had me there for probably a good half an hour, at 1.30am, with all the lights on and everything.

    “All my neighbours – I’d just moved into this house about two weeks beforehand – they’re sitting there thinking they’ve got a criminal bikie who’s moved into the neighbourhood.”

    There is about 20 members of the Patriot’s Townsville chapter, who based their constitution on the Defence Law Manual, following the rule of civilian law.

    “We’re only doing good things for the community,” Pte Schefe said.

    “To be treated like a criminal, for the same reason someone’s shot somebody on the Gold coast, it’s absolutely ridiculous.”

    Local Government Minister and Mundingburra MP David Crisafulli told motorcyclists gathered at a public rally at Anderson Park yesterday the new laws should not be making innocent people feel like they were being treated as criminals.

    At least 100 motorcyclists attended the protest, alongside riders from across the state as a show of solidarity against the laws, aimed at criminal bikie gangs, that have resulted in the harassment of law-abiding people.

    Mr Crisafulli told the crowd gathered at the rally the Government’s laws were in place to target the one per cent of bikies carrying out criminal activities.

    “The rules are there to protect the community and I don’t think we should move away from that,” he said.

    “By the same token, the rules should not be there to make innocent people feel like criminals.

    “Because you ride motorbikes, and have tattoos, it doesn’t make you a bad person.”

    He said he was willing to speak to motorcycle riders about “getting the balance right” on the legislation.

    Motorcycle Riders’ Association Townsville spokeswoman Karina Ewer said the “one-per centers” were not the only ones being targeted by police.

    “We’ve had a woman pulled over nine times because she rides a Harley,” she said

    “There are people here from all walks of life, and we have all been affected in some way, and we won’t accept being classed as collateral damage.”

    She said the bikie laws were having a devastating effect upon clubs who conducted charity fundraisers.

    “The MRA raises about $10,000 for Christmas every year through its toy run, every year,” she said.

    “We literally had people walking to the other side of the street to stay away from us, for the first time ever.”

    Last month the Australian Motorcycle Council (AMC) launched a fighting fund to raise money for any High Court challenge against the laws.

  2. Human rights chief Tim Wilson slams anti-bikie laws

    The incoming human rights commissioner, Tim Wilson, has called for Queensland’s anti-bikie legislation to be repealed, arguing “Bikies have just as much right to freely associate as other Australians”.

    The statements, posted on his blog before he takes up his controversial appointment, puts him at odds with the Queensland Liberal government and, by association, the federal Liberal government which appointed him.

    Mr Wilson says the Queensland anti-bike laws are “inconsistent with an individual’s right to freely associate and should be repealed” in a blog post on Wednesday.

    “These laws are a demonstration of the worse consequences of what happens when people are treated as groups under the law, and not as individuals”.

    The laws adopted by the Queensland Liberal government under Premier Campbell Newman in October, formally the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act 2013, name 26 bikie gangs as criminal associations and impose mandatory six-month prison sentences for participants found to be knowingly associating together in a public place.

    “The imprisonment of people for free association that are not otherwise engaged in criminal activity is deeply, deeply disturbing. The fact that other states have and continue to look at replicating these laws is equally disturbing”, Mr Wilson writes.

    The comments extend a campaign dating from Mr Wilson’s days as a director of the Institute of Public Affairs, a post he resigned after being appointed to the Human Rights Commission by federal Attorney-General George Brandis in December. Mr Wilson also resigned from the Liberal Party after his appointment.

    Speaking on ABC-TV’s The Drum in October, he said the Queensland laws were “overturning a whole principle of liberal democracy” and he was “extremely disappointed the Newman government has gone down this path. “I don’t think it will deliver anything for Queensland and I think it will have very serious repercussions”.

    Mr Wilson reiterated that concern in a blog post the day after his appointment was announced. “If bikies commit crimes the police should investigate and prosecute criminals. But from a human rights perspective it is entirely unjust that freedom of association should be squashed to make the job of the police easier to investigate.
    “Rather than empowering police to prevent an already comprehensive list of crimes, these laws have created a host of new crimes that could easily be used to punish law-abiding citizens in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he wrote.

    Mr Wilson’s appointment as a human rights commissioner was controversial because the Institute of Public Affairs had previously called for the abolition of the commission. Mr Brandis said Mr Wilson would “help restore balance to the Australian Human Rights Commission” which under Labor had become “increasingly narrow and selective in its view of human rights”.…108-30h1g.html

  3. I have to admit it seems a pretty dismal law if what you say is correct. Going after bikie crims is one thing, but getting stuck into anyone with a big bike, tats and leathers is way over the top extreme.

    I still think it’s a mistake for the good bikers to team up with known hells angels to lobby Government, though. It’s counterproductive and sells out to the problem bikies.

    I wonder what Bones is going to say if Brian and a few mates take a spin up the coast into QLD on their Harleys and are picked up by the cops.

  4. Where’s Dad? Family face of bikie laws

    JOSHUA Carew is in solitary confinement in a Brisbane jail after allegedly delivering a pizza to his boss and his brother-in-law at a country pub.

    Unable to explain the intricacies of Queensland’s new anti-bikie laws to their two young children, his wife Tracy Carew told them their father missed Christmas because he “was solving a mystery with Scooby Doo”.

    Mr Carew, 30, is one of the so-called Yandina Five, arrested in December by Queensland Police after allegedly being seen together at the Yandina Hotel in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

    Police allege the five are members or associates of the Rebels Motorcycle Club. They are charged under a new section of the Queensland Criminal Code, which makes it illegal for three or more members or participants of criminal organisations to be “knowingly” present in public together.

    Mr Carew says he’s never been a Rebel. He acknowledges he has a criminal history, is facing drug charges, and that several of his relatives, some of whom were at the pub that day, are patched Rebels. He acknowledges that the man with whom he owns a pizza shop is a Rebel.

    But he, his family and their supporters do not know why he has been remanded in solitary confinement awaiting a March hearing.

    And Mrs Carew – whose father and brother resigned from the Rebels at the weekend – told The Australian she was worried about being seen in public with her relatives for fear she, too, would be arrested as an associate.

    “I have no criminal history, I am a JP (Justice of the Peace), I am the mother of two kids … how far does associate go down?” she said. “Am I an associate? Do our kids automatically become associates when they’re old enough?”

    Solicitor Robert Butler will again apply for bail for Mr Carew in the Queensland Supreme Court in Brisbane tomorrow.

  5. I wonder what Bones is going to say if Brian and a few mates take a spin up the coast into QLD on their Harleys and are picked up by the cops.

    I’m sure we could scrape enough together to get him out on bail.

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