Queensland's 'war' on bikie gangs goes too far - By Greg Barns
The Newman Government's proposed bikie laws "shred the rule of law."
It's dangerous stuff but the question that must concern us all is, why stop at bikie gangs? - writes Greg Barns.
**"[It's] scaremongering - scaremongering by the media, scaremongering by the politicians." - Quote:- Professor Cowdery, QC.**
Here is a well written post I've borrowed from a bloke:
I have been a lurker here for quite some time, but really feel the need to put this out there so please bear with me it'll get a little long.
This week after years of riding I joined the MRAQ and the UMCQ, I am no longer content to just lurk. Last week I was pulled over 4 times, and I am as far removed from the imagine of a bikie as you can get. I am a 35 yo geek, I work as an IT Manager and I haven't seen the inside of a gym for a good 10 years. So yeah the police aren't just targeting perceived OMC member's but anyone riding a motorcycle.
I am not a proponent of illegal activities but I have to stand up for the civil liberties that are being eroded in Queensland.
All this talk about the need for new laws to control "bikie gangs" because of their alleged criminal activities is nonsense. We have laws that allow the police to arrest criminals; these laws apply to all residents of Australia, not just one group.
Apparently, under these new powers “gang members can be dragged before secret hearings and jailed if they refuse to answer questions. Under new unexplained wealth laws, the bikies stand to lose their bikes, their homes, businesses and cash if they can't convince the crime commission that they have come by them all by legal means” (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/australian-crime-commissi...).
Furthermore, the “Newman Government plans to introduce laws to prevent members from gathering in groups, from wearing club colours in bars and restaurants and from owning or working in tattoo parlours” (http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2013/s3859470.htm).
All that sounds a lot like discrimination to me.
Under the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (QLD) grounds for unlawful discrimination includes “political belief or activity”, and the areas covered by the Act include:
• work and work related;
• club membership;
• administration of state laws and programs;
• local government.
Unfortunately, the Act fails to define “political belief”, but the Macquarie dictionary includes the following in its definition of “political”:
• of or relating to the governing of a nation, state, municipality, etc
• engaged in or connected with civil administration
• having a definite policy or system of government
• of or relating to citizens;
and defines “belief” as “that which is believed; an accepted opinion”.
So, we can define someone’s “political beliefs” as their accepted opinion on how their group of citizens should be administered.
Therefore, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 must apply. Which, in turn, makes what the Queensland Government is proposing in direct contravention of its own legislation. Since the penalty is three months in prison, is Mr Newman planning to incarcerate himself?
The Act also states that a “person must not victimise another person”. Surely, locking people up without redress to the laws that apply to all citizens of this nation must be seen as victimisation.
Now, I concur the many members of bikie clubs look scary, but that is not a reason to treat them differently from other members of the community. Because if we allow this erosion of civil rights where does it stop?
The bikie gangs have been accused of criminal activities, yet very few criminal charges have been laid. The rhetoric that attributes the actions of a few to the many smacks of the tactics used by Hitler to initiate anti-Semitic behaviour. Hitler wrote about the involvement of Jews in “the social phenomenon of prostitution, and more especially in the white slave traffic” (Mein Kampf) and used that as a jumping off point that ultimately led to the Holocaust.
Campbell Newman has said, “we are going to act like no state has acted before. We will try every possible approach to shut them down” (30/09/13). “Every gang member will be assumed to be a criminal and treated as such until this is over” (Campbell Newman 29/09/13).
Did I miss something? Has Australia withdrawn from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guarantees the right to presumption of innocence? It also guarantees the right to a fair trial and fair hearing, and minimum guarantees in criminal proceedings, such as the right to counsel and not to be compelled to self-incriminate.
“The UN Human Rights Committee has stated that the presumption of innocence imposes on the prosecution the burden of proving the charge and guarantees that no guilt can be presumed until the charge has been proved beyond reasonable doubt” (http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtections/HumanRights/PublicSectorG...).
Perhaps Mr Newman and the rest of his fascist regime need to read the Covenant and the other six human rights treaties to which Australia is a signatory.
I can find no correlation between preventing three or more people riding motorcycles together and the eradication of organised crime. Nor can what people choose to wear have a significant impact on organised crime. The recent events at the Gold Coast have resulted in a number of people being arrested for rioting and affray. Further investigations have managed to turn up a number of minor drug charges. None of it worthy of the propaganda campaign that is currently being waged in the media.
Given the number of people in Australia who are members of a motorcycle club the percentage who have been convicted of a major crime is relatively small. In fact the number of police found guilty of major crimes is comparable, as is the number of Catholic priests found guilty of sexual abuse. Yet no-one appears to be suggesting that priests should not be allowed to work in churches or with children, or that police officers should not be put in a position where they can abuse their powers.
Yes, there are members of motorcycle clubs who break the law. Catch them and convict them. Yes, there are members of motorcycle clubs who become involved in brawls. Again, catch them and convict them. But also catch and convict all the footballers, night club drunks, and others who exhibit similar antisocial behaviour.
Can we please forgo the draconian measures being proposed and allow common sense and fairness to prevail? I certainly hope so.
It upsets me greatly that the Queensland Constitution clearly sets out that all legislation at all times & in all things does equal justice to all persons and yet we have a State Government that holds our constitution in contempt, & are are quite happy to forgo the basic tenants of our justice system.
Sorry for the length, like I said just wanted to get it off my chest.
AND ALSO THERE IS THIS .... FROM THE Qld AG PRIOR BOSS....
Bleijie’s old boss links new anti-bikie laws to Nazi era !
THE man who moved Jarrod Bleijie's admission as a solicitor has likened new anti-bikie laws to the Nazi era and says the Attorney-General has forgotten the basics of the law. Kyle Kimball, a senior director of Sajen Legal where Mr Bleijie worked from 2006 until his election to Parliament in 2009, said new laws eroded civil liberties. The State Government's new Vicious Lawless Associations Disestablishment Bill and the Criminal Gang Destruction Bill have been criticised by civil libertarians and legal experts who say they give the government the power to declare groups and people to be criminals without a trial. The Attorney-General will also have the power to keep people in jail indefinitely under other legislative changes. Mr Kimball took to Facebook to challenge Mr Bleijie's sweeping new laws. "Nothing like removing judicial discretion eh JB? And your very own star chamber to boot?" he wrote. "Are the constabulary so woefully inefficient that they are unable to prove a case and secure a conviction without a coerced confession by some throwback process from the middle ages? "What's on the agenda after bikies? Who else will be for the truth serum?" Mr Kimball told the Daily that the new laws showed disregard for laws developed over hundreds of years to protect people from persecution. He pointed out fascist governments had been empowered by similar laws. "The Nazis came to power with pieces of law like this," he said. "It may seem melodramatic but it's not." Mr Kimball said the legislative changes also disregarded principles of sentencing which required consideration of the circumstances of the case and consistency of sentencing. "I thought my partners and I had taught him better, but what we taught him seems to have vanished," he said. Mr Kimball said the Attorney-General had not responded to any of his Facebook posts. He said Mr Bleijie would not be surprised that he had challenged him as the Sajen legal office had always been a scene of debate. "I'd just like to get Jarrod to think about it from a different perspective."
WE ALL NEED FOR A FEW MINUTES, JUST FORGET ABOUT THE REASONS AND CONCENTRATE ON THE BIGGER FACTOR HERE....
The erosion of a man's basic rights to live without persecution of his beliefs !! If society allows erosions to liberties born out of media fear, we all need to look past the horizon and think about what we are allowing the gov't (our servants) to throw at us next !!
THERE IS ONLY ONE "GANG" THIS COUNTRY SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT...
YOUR "BLUE-GANG" !!
Example of new Qld laws & filthy scumbag dog coppers at work ....
"He said the men were arrested shortly after Johnson visited Cairns Police Station to ask whether it was against the law for him to be living on the same property as the clubhouse."