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The Siege of Woodenbong : Queensland and NSW Police Target Social Motorcycle Clubs

By March 4, 2018Articles

Siege of Woodenbong (Video of Seinor Constable Murphy assaulting a member of the Veterans MC Australia)

 

The Queensland and New South Wales police targeted the Gold As Good Charity Motorcycle Ride on Saturday the 3rd of March at Woodenbong, NSW. Residents of Woodenbong were awoken to nearly 50 police officers and vehicles arriving around 7 am to set-up their Vehicle Check Point (VCP) and aggressive interrogations of potential motorcycle riders who had stopped there to have breakfast.

The Good As Gold run has been run for 26 years and this year’s even was to raise money for the Smith Family Charity. The ride departed from the God’s Squad clubhouse (a large Christian motorcycle club) at about 9 am but not before police had cordoned off the access roads leading to the venue stopping all bikes coming in and doing vehicle inspections and drug and alcohol tests. The NSW Raptor team of about 5 officers approach the run before it departed and threatened that “any riders on this run would be pulled over in NSW and put through a VCP if any 1%ers were on the run”. They were told that there would be. He said that the higher authorities, being the NSW Commissioner of Police, said that they will not tolerate any rides held by 1%ers in NSW.  They then said, well then, “if any one riders with a 1%er they will be treated like a 1%er.” The ride departed and was then intercepted by two QPS motorcycle police shortly after Rathdowney, who then rode in front of the pack side-by-side doing 30 km/h and refused any attempts to overtake them all the way to Woodenbong. On several occasions these officers rode their bikes at the riders trying to pass and was clearly antagonistic and disruptive. There were about 97 riders who rode into Woodenbong, all social club riders of mixed male and female, and were pulled up at the waiting VCP.

Riders were detained at around 10 am in high temperatures for over four hours and refused any water by the police despite discussions with the Inspector in-charge, Inspector Connor, to do so. The VCP was finally dismantled around 3 pm with some riders standing in the heat for all that time. All the police had bottles of water readily available. To detain people in excessive heat without shade and not provide any water is in contravention of all the Health and Safety Standards and is unlawful. As such, any tickets issued by the police for vehicle defects should also be reviewed and expunged. How can you up hold the law in one hand when you are violating the law and come decency with the other.

Every bike on the run was subjected to extensive searches. They were initially subjected to extensive body searches with their hands and legs splayed, and then motorcycle inspections with Raptor handing out red sticker defect notices for the most minor defects which meant the motorcycles could not be riden away. According to the police they were acting under orders from the NSW Commissioner of Police that “no motorcycle rides organized by any 1% club would be tolerated”. The Social Club riders were told that “if you ride with a 1%er you will be treated like a 1%er “. One member was aggressively shoved against a police vehicle and threatened with arrest because he needed to go to the toilet. He had repeated asked to go to the toilet and explained that he was a diabetic and needed to go to the toilet but the police officer said, “I don’t care, stay beside your bike”. Even when he said you can come with me if you are concerned. It was only when he then tried to go to the toilet did they intervene.

Patrons of the Woodenbong Hotel sat and watch in dumbfounded shock as another situation unfolded right in front of them. A rider who had completed the process and was walking towards the hotel and was asked to move his bike. The rider returned walking towards the bike and attempted to ask the officer “where they wanted him to move the bike to? At that point, Senior Constable Murphy aka” Raptor 13”, a member of RAPTOR, walked over and injected himself into the discussion yelling at the rider. When the rider stopped and objected to the officers’ manner by saying to him, “I’m not going to be disrespected by you”. Senior Constable Murphy then shovel the rider, aka Magic, with both hands sending him backwards several paces. Constable Murphy can be seen continuing to approach Magic. He was now surrounded by police with officers hands on their weapons ready to draw. All the time Magic was asking “well, where do you want me to move the bike”. Magic is a veteran of Iraq having served there with the Australian Army as an Intelligence Operative and was subsequently medically evacuated just several weeks short of the completion of duty and later discharged due to his injuries sustained. He is currently a TPI Gold Card recipient and member of the Veterans Motorcycle Club, Brisbane.

A formal complaint of assault was lodged with Inspector Connor, of the NSW Police Force, at the scene against Senior Constable Murphy by Magic. Other occasions of excessive force did occur. The incident with Magic was captured by on-lookers using their mobiles and later posted by them on Facebook.

All the bikes were inspected and about 20 odd were given red stickers and forced off the road with some being given yellow stickers. One riders was charged with offensive language when it said that “this is bullshit”. One of the bikes red stickered was a brand new 2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob, lent that day to the President of the Brisbane Hells Angels, that clearly needed to be off the road during day-light hours because it didn’t have a rear reflector. Many of these had to do with handle-bar height and I’m sure that when the bikes are inspected by a Main Road official they will be cleared. The aim of the exercise was to disrupt the ride, regardless of respect for the laws of Australia.

The message is clear if you are a 1%er you have no rights. When another rider was being assaulted inside the Woodenbong Hotel and other riders objected vocally at the treatment as excessive the retreating officer jeered at the onlookers, “Well, what are you going to do about it. Come on, what are you going to do.” If the police force is a law unto it’s self then you must ask whose rights are protected. These were a group of social motorcycle riders who were deliberately target by both the NSW and QLD police as an attempt to intimidate the riding public not to associate with any 1%ers. Who gave the police the right to threaten, intimidate and assault citizens not for anything they have done but for who they are? If I was a muslim and this occurred there would be a public outcry, but no, I’m just a returned serviceman who paid heavily for my service and am now on disability for the rest of my life because I believed in fighting against tyranny and for the human rights of the oppressed. But because I object to baselessness of VLAD and it’s assault on our own countries human rights, and I refuse to be told who I can and cannot associate with, for this, I am made the target for assualt by the NSW police.

If a 1%er breaks the law there are already all the laws available for the police to prosecute. These new laws, including the QLD Labour Government’s new anti-association laws which basically aim to ostracize members of any 1% club not because they have a criminal record but because of who they are, a member of a motorcycle club, are an affront to human rights and common decency.

The fact that our politicians are too afraid to repeal these laws reflects their lack of a true moral compass. And now the gloves are off, they’ve moved to target other social motorcycle clubs. Where will this end. Australian stand up, use your voice, discuss the issues, be motivated at the polls. Something has to change for the sake of our children or this great country is going to slip into helpless hole of excesses by the controlling few without recourse by the everyday Australian.

 

A formal complaint was lodged with the NSW Police Force regarding the assault by Senior Constable Murphy by Magic. A Detective Sergeant Chalkias responded that “I have viewed related footage and note the SO responded with a single approved check drill in accordance with his training, after you had positioned yourself in such a manner that an officer could reasonably believe posed a threat to his safety”. If that were true then why didn’t be assault Magic when he turned to face him or when he leaned forward to address him and not after he had said in response to the threatening attitudes and demeaner, “Excuse me, you will not disrespect me”. Referring to the fact, that was clearly evident by the defence force ribbon bar on his vest as a member of the Veterans Motorcycle Club patch-member. No, he assaulted him in response to him stating that his behavior was unacceptable. His response was not defensive, but offensive in a manner saying I’ll do what ever I like and what are you going to do about it. He then moved forward after shoving him again in a threatening and aggressive manner. You can see from the video that Magic’s.

The NSW Police Force released a formal media release in which they stated:

Operation Chappell comprised the NSW Police Force, Queensland Police Service and Australian Federal Police. It enforced consorting legislation, firearms prohibition orders (FPO) and traffic laws during a cross border run of up to 150 OMCG members and associates from Queensland into New South Wales, commencing Saturday 3 March 2018.

Police conducted a mass vehicle stop at the intersection of Unumgar Street and Richmond Road, Woodenbong, and conducted 70 random breath tests, 30 drug tests and 69 bike and person searches.

As a result of the operation, a prohibited weapon was seized and, 21 defects and 50 traffic infringement notices were issued.

A 40-year-old man was issued a Future Court Attendance Notice for offensive language.

Detective Chief Inspector Brendon Cullen, Crime Manager for Tweed/Byron Local Area Command, said the joint operation was aimed to disrupt any potential criminal activity on the cross-border run.

Deputy Chief Inspector Cullen was interviewed by Magic highlighting that this media release was clearly false and an attempt to mislead the general public, being a News Media Release. He acknowledged that he didn’t know the truth as this was the information he was given, but refused to say who provided the information. As this is Media Release was blatant lie aimed at justifying the excessive and questionable legal actions of the NSW police force and mislead the general public this officer is guilty of “perverting the course of justice” and should be forced by a court order to provide the names of the individual officers responsible.

The truth of the matter is:

97 social motorcycle club riders and other motorcycle riders registered for and attended the ride. There was one member of the Hells Angels who lead the ride which was the 26th Annual Good As Gold Charity Ride. Not 150 OCMG members as claimed.

Many of the infringement or defect notices were for handle bars which in many cases were not illegal, or number plates not having a finger width from a surrounding plate and the numbers. As the police officers said on many occasions to voiced complaints, “I don’t care”. Clearly the aim was to get bikes off the road and disrupt the ride and inconvenience riders who now have to go through the process of appealing the bogus infringements through the legal system. This is nothing short of “State Sanctioned Thuggery”.

The offensive language charge was for saying “This is bull shit”. A statement of fact, and not offensive language.

Who has the authority to say who can and can’t ride on the road. Under what authority do they have the right to deliberately target any individual without sufficient justifiable cause. The Police Commissioner has exceeded his authority. He must be held accountable for his actions. If he thinks that threats and intimidation are acceptable police procedures and that police officers can freely provoke and intimidate citizens by shoving them around and then claim “oh, I felt threatened”, then we are living in a police state and everyone is at risk of being threatened and intimidated by any police officer if they so desire.

The police force are expending a lot of resources in targeting the 1% community all under the guise that they are a “criminal organization”. In response to VLAD the legal fraternity voiced strong opposition to this legislation when it was introduced and have given scathing reviews since. For more on this go to the Rule Of Law Institute of Australia. This is an excellent dissertation on the injustice of the current VLAD legislation presented in April 2016.

The back-patch clubs in Australia are a mix of military clubs like the Veterans or Diggers, non-1% clubs like the Sons Of The Southern Cross, Christian motorcycle clubs like the God Squad, the Saints, and more, and also the 1% clubs, the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMCGs). The view that all 1% clubs are criminal organisations is a distortion of the truth. While it may be accepted that some members of these clubs are known to break the law for most it is a life-style choice centred around riding bikes and having fun, like any other club. They have their code of conduct and are quite disciplined in their protocols. You are safer having a drink at a 1% club than having a drink at a nightclub or pub where drunken brawls start all the time. At the 1% clubs no-one will touch you unless you make a prick of yourself. In which case, you’ll be shown the door promptly.

Deputy Chief Inspector Cullen said in the interview said that they are criminals because they wear the 1% diamond. Both this term 1%ers and the designation of being a “criminal organization” are terms that have been given to them because they choice to live outside the main-stream of society. A professor of Criminology recently commented on TV that more than 80% of the members of the so called OCMG clubs have NO criminal record. The fact is, if you are a member of a 1% club and you commit an offense then all the members must be guilty. By this logic then all police are bent taking kick-back, bribes and even being engaged in the production and distribution of “ice”. These are facts. There have been nearly as many arrests or charges against the police for illegal activities as the so called OCMGs. So if the bad guys aren’t really the bad guy’s what is this really all about?

This is a good question and should be examined. The introduction of the VLAD by Campbell Neuman caused a huge outcry from the judiciary as well as the civil libertarians. VLAD and all it’s associated amendments don’t actually state OCMG or bikie clubs. Why would the government throw so much money to tackle the 1% community when clearly they represent less that half of one percent of all crimes. They needed a justifiable reason that they could use to con the general public. This statement might sound a little extreme but look at the facts. The facts do not marry up with what the police and politicans are saying. It simply a scare tactic to put in place and exercise legislation where by they can target any organization by simply saying, “Oh, they are a criminal organization”. I’m sure they’d love to try this one on with the trade unions. Why should they be stripped of their basic rights to employment, freedom from oppression, and freedom from harassment?

In a High Court case against several members of 1% clubs the High Court Judges told the police to present the evidence to support their claims that the 1% clubs were “criminal organisations”. The response from the police was that the information was privileged and confidential and couldn’t be shown to even the High Court Judges. The case was summarily overturned and dismissed. These are the facts.

The only media outlets that are reporting the truth are Ben Hunter from Hunter Motorcycles (see the article titled “The Ben Hunter Interviews” and Mark from Motorbikewriter.com  Click here for his article.

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