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Riders vow to keep fighting anti-gang laws

November 29, 2009

Riders vow to keep fighting anti-gang laws

Motorcycle clubs have resorted to raffles and sausage sizzles in their bid to challenge the South Australian Government’s anti-association laws. 

The groups have joined forces over the weekend to protest against legislation that allows gangs to be outlawed.

Tom Mackie, of the United Motorcycle Council, says the gathering got back to basics.

“You know with T-shirt sales and poker runs and raffling off some motorcycles to contribute to our [fighting] fund,” he said.

The groups want to raise $100,000 to mount a High Court challenge to the SA legislation.

The protest riders headed into the Adelaide hills through pouring rain but received a dry reception at Macclesfield.

Police had organised a shutdown the town’s two hotels 20 minutes before the riders arrived because of concern about possible infringements of licence conditions.

Michael McMahon of the Macclesfield Hotel was unimpressed.

“It’s a bit sad isn’t it, look at the money I could be making here at the moment,” he said.

“These guys just want to come in and have a drink in my pub.”

Police say the closures could have been avoided if the protesters had co-operated sooner.

“It’s a little bit sort of childish really isn’t it, you know, if you don’t ring us we won’t let you drink,” Mr Mackie said.

“We’ve been engaged with them for the last couple of weeks.”

The group of riders moved on to McLaren Vale and the chance to have a beer.

Rivals unite

It was the third time this year the once-rival groups joined for a protest ride.

They say Premier Mike Rann is the target of their anger.

But the Premier makes no apologies for the Government’s tough stand.

“Within a week last year they were killing each other again so no-one should believe them,” he said.

Mick Macpherson, of the Finks motorcycle club, says the fight against the laws will continue.

“They’re using their powers that be, but as you can see by today’s turn-out and the next turn-outs we’ll continue to fight this no matter what,” he said.

Police made one arrest during the protest ride.

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