LJ James - writer, radio talk show host and outlaw biker...
He wrote this article: Law Bans Biker Colors In Bars & Restaurants. Is This The Last Straw?

LJ has written a number of articles where in he begs the "mainstream" rider to join forces with the outlaw biker in fighting the establishment...this one is no different. The new law in Virgina is making him reach out yet again...

We as Motorcyclists and Bikers (It does not matter what you call yourself) have to realize fast that we are all connected. It doesn’t matter what you ride, what State you live in or who you Support, we’re all in this together. What effects Me effects you and it doesn’t matter what you happen to think of me.
When the local Bar you and your Brothers love hanging out at is told that you and all other members of Motorcycle Clubs can no longer go there or they will revoke the Bars liquor license, What then?

This is no Joke my Biker Brothers, every month there is another new law that is aimed not only Motorcycle Club Members, but all Americans. It seems that every time the Government wants to take away a freedom, they find a way to craft a new law for our “safety”. What kind of Country is this turning into when you can’t wear what you want and suddenly, your constitutional right to assemble is taken away from you?
Although there are many ignorant people out there that believe Motorcycle Clubs are Gangs, that’s simply not the case. Most Motorcycle Clubs are made up of hard working, honest, law abiding, patriotic, American Citizens who enjoy a common bond, Motorcycles. It’s what is in a persons heart that determines who they are, not the clothes they wear. LJ James

Now then folks... I myself have written similar articles because believe it or not the same shite happens here. I have asked similar questions...and have been targeted by all three groups of players in this "story". The Outlaws think I am against them, The "Good Guys" think I am against them and depending on the mainstream rider they think I am either pro Outlaw or Pro Good Guy when really all I am is PRO Charter of Freedoms and Rights.

I am no outlaw biker - and as my daughter isn't married yet in not on outlaw there either.

I am a bit of a rebel and I really resent it when we have politicians prompted, prodded and poked by law enforcement personnel, who cave in and enact laws or bylaws to deal with the "Criminal" element that are SOOO gray, so loosely worded that someone wearing a company jacket can either be arrested or fined. (Don't laugh and don't scoff here folks - I AM DEAD SERIOUS - educate yourself as to the laws in your region - read the laws, some of them, well they might surprise even you in the way they are worded especially the ones on this topic.)

Every side of the story has it's facts and it's suppositions... the Outlaw Biker - he wants you to believe he's a church going, law abiding citizen who would never consider doing anything "bad", it's just an image he portrays...

Then there's the law enforcement personnel..they would love to catch the "Outlaw Biker" doing something he shouldn't be, but they need help because there are not enough "Good Guys" to go around and the bad guys aren't being dealt with severely enough in the courts once the "Good Guys" catch them.

The politician wants to be re elected and since the "Good Guys' have the media worked into a frenzy about the "Bad Outlaw Biker" and have created a platform or agenda for the politician - the politician gets on board blindly or is drawn in to the fray by the media's feeding frenzy - politicians love the camera and the microphone...

The bar owner needs to keep his liquor license but the "Good Guys' tell the bar owner that if he lets in club patches he will loose it. The "Good Guys" however will not arm the bar owner and staff with the information on what is and is not acceptable so a wide and sweeping ban comes into effect...So the bar owner is now doing the job of the police officer, so is the politician and now we have a police state...and it is all done hiding behind the Petty Trespass Act...The bar owner can't be sued for discrimination because of the Petty Trespass Act,  the police services squeeze our community with impunity in an unconstitutional fashion and the politician wins the vote of the people the media scared the beejeebers out of. See how that is working????
It works this way exactly in many other situations as well.

I know many of you think I am exaggerating but I am not. These scenarios are played out every day.

I have been on the "Wrong" side of the bargaining table and I have experienced this scenario first hand not once but three times, with three different commanding officers in three different communities - I had people so pissed with me when the City of Grande Prairie AB enacted it's bylaw banning colors. They thought it was me that instigated it - it was the "Good Guys", just like it was the "Good Guys" in Manitoba & Saskatchewan where they are trying this same tactic. (And failing in Saskatoon's case, but not before a bunch of mainstream riders were unjustly treated).

The Police services are very good at intimidation and getting the mainstream person to do their bidding. Too often they hit their detractors in our pocket book so we can't continue to fight them or point out their hidden agendas. (Like they did with me in Olds - the police services have the power to do to you whatever they want if they don't agree with your way of thinking. If they want to prove a point to you - they will.)

One question I get asked a lot is: If what you say is true BDB, then why are there still outlaw motorcycle clubs around? You say the police services have the kind of control/power that could squash them so why are they still around?

Well, just like Yves Lavigne, (The man the RCMP tout as their EXPERT on the Canadian Outlaw Biker Scene) I believe it's good for the police services business to keep the OMC's around.

They are highly visible. Unlike the "race based gangs" they are easier to feature on TV (easier to point out without being accused of racism), they are easier to infiltrate, to score some wins on the score board and to be honest - I think it's the police services way of controlling the purse strings...they can go to a politician and say we need more laws, more resources, more funding....OUTLAW BIKERS - they serve a purpose - they build the careers of police services members.

I am not for protecting criminals, however, I am not for a police state either and I am not pro or anti politician. I am for common sense and a more calm and rational approach to things BUT that doesn't seem to be a popular approach at all.

Trying to get everyone else in this equation to play nice in the same sand box...yah, there's a nice pipe will never happen, but there has to be a way for some "common" sense to enter the equation so that those of us who are just motorcycle riders, riding club affiliated or not, can just enjoy our community and friends without being unduly targeted.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject. 

You never know when one person's comment is going to spark that light bulb moment where in we discover the answer we seek...So come shine some wisdom and wit on the subject cause yah just never know what will come out of it!!!

In the news today:

Not much to report. Classy Chassis & Cycle is having their big boxing week blow out and the Motorcycle USA team has put together their list of the top 10 of all things motorcycling for 2009.
And of course there is the story I discuss at the top of this page...

I hope that if you are fortunate enough to live where you can be riding that you ride like everyone out there is blind and can not see you and the rest of you, stay warm - eh!

Belt Drive Betty
National VP A.I.M.Can

Post a Comment

  1. Once again BDB nails it. I've been lucky so far in my dealings with various police services. Even in cases where they have expressed serious concerns and objections, all turned out fine after engaging in some honest and intellegent conversations.

    However, I know many who have not been seen a "good guy" when in fact they were just trying to do some good. BDB is a perfect example of someone who has been considered "bad guy" because she doesn't see "colours". She also doesn't see everything as Black or White but rather sees everything as shades of grey.

    In the end, police and politicians, will wave the law around flippantly to further their agendas or make new ones to do so. Laws like this one are discriminatory no matter how you look at it. Many will justify them as a reasonable infringment on the rights of certain groups in an effort to rid society of certain evil doers.

    What isn't realized is that this is the wrong course of action to take in an attempt to crack down on organizations that are connected to crime. Here the good, law abiding riders are also tarred with the same black brush. Am I a criminal too just because I ride a motorcycle? What if I drive a supped up Honda Civic...does that make me a Street Racer? Oh Ontario it does.

    What if a group of riders walk into a bar wearing BDB patches? Are they now part of an evil criminal gang? No I'm not being silly here...the law in some areas bans that type of thing but wearing a BDB patch (established as a media outlet) would be no different that a bunch of people wearing a CNN shirt. I wonder what will happen the next time a TV crew from CNN walks into a bar in Virgina after a day of covering some story.

    What if that same group of people wore RoadAwareness patches? An established road safey campaign but no matter...all tarred with the same brush.

    Once again though, the average person doesn't care until it affects them personally and the average person will believe however the media and politicians choose to spin it.

    This "situational ignorance" will continue until people learn to think for themselves.

  2. Nowadays it seems like Constitutional Rights, just like our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms can come and go as easily as a pen stroke... and that's scary.

    Rockers and patches aren't swastikas.
    Why all the unnecessary punishment, and where does it end?

    Ride safe all.

  3. My feeling is that since people are able to leave their "Hells Angels" jackets in their SUV (yes, I'm assuming they did not come on their bike), that they can still go into a bar and enjoy a beer or whatever without putting on a show of intimidation for the other customers.

    If I was a bar owner, I would not want to see a lot of Hell's Angels with their insignia flouted in my bar.

    And as a non-criminal motorcycle club member, we have also had to deal with restaurant owners who are nervous of us "motorcyclists" driving other customers away. I can understand that it's hard to get customers back once they feel intimidated.

    I am not too sympathetic with people who feel the need to wear Hells Angels colours to a bar, or even to an outdoor public motorcycle event.

  4. As I said in my post, I am not so much concerned with the sensibilities of the OMC member but the person coming into a town, a tourist, stopping for something to eat and a beverage who happens to wear an Old Bastards patch as an example - how is the bar owner supposed to know if the Old Bastards is OMC, RC or MC? He'll just tell buddy - we don't allow patches and as a tourist, buddy may or may not take offense - but why is that even necessary. If the police services really want to stop the OMC's from wearing their gear in bars etc all they have to do is circulate to the bar/business owners images of the insignia's they should not allow in - everyone else should be OK.
    But, they can't do that because then they'd be discriminating.
    As long as they steer clear of providing any direction to the business owner, no one can be sued.