I read with much interest this morning all about the Justice Rally in Surrey, alternately wishing that I could have been there and glad I wasn't.

I have not had the best of experiences with the RCMP, even though I have uncles who are now retired from the force. As a rider and someone who used to host motorcycles shows I have had experiences with a number of officers who have had me feeling terrified and yet furious/indignant - it's a very scary and uncertain place to be.

Way back, when I held my first bike show, I remember the grilling I got - the first question out of the Staff Sgt's mouth was "Are the Hells Angels Coming?" My answer was rather flip - I mean I was stunned to be asked that question - "How the HE Double Hockey Sticks would I know? It's not like extended a personal invitation, it's a public function, they might come."

I was put through the ringer - they even enacted a no colors on city property bylaw here in Grande Prairie to convince the Hells Angels not show up for that show. I had to have extra insurance and we had to make sure no one wore any kind of patch or colors - we handed out bags at the entrance....because the event was on city property. (they did this to me 10 days before the event.)

My experiences with the RCMP never improved as a show coordinator simply because I refused to tell people they couldn't come to my event based on the clothes they wore,(the people could stay but the patches had to be taken off - that made no sense to me),
which is why in year two we moved to Wembley and why in year three we moved to central Alberta. I was trying to find a jurisdiction that understood that 99% of riders are just PEOPLE who have no criminal intent, they just enjoy their motorcycles.

I damned near lost everything I own and almost got thrown in jail over the bike show in Olds. Why? Because the RCMP decided they were going to teach me a lesson - and I got it, loud and clear. They walked through the venue 6 wide, they blocked our gates, they parked 4 and 5 cruisers at our gates, stopped people and diverted people - they made sure we had NO spectators and they made sure that our costs were way over what they would normally be. In order to get our licensing we had to prepare for 50K people when we know we'd be really lucky to get 15K and we never hit 5K. Insurance went from 18 -$1900 to $3,700, port o potties went from 2,500 to $11K...

$100K in debt later - I won't hold bike shows anymore, the financial risk is just too great and the RCMP have absolute power. I have been chastised by many for saying we live in a police state but then most of the people who have chastised me - who have held Canada up as this wonderful example of freedom are people who are on the right side of the RCMP and by that I am not referring to whether or not one is law abiding, but more whether or not one just does the RCMP's bidding. If you have no reason to challenge the system - you'll never experience what the system is capable of. I have and people, and from my experience - it's not pretty.

Had I simply said, yeah I don't care, we'll ban colors at a motorcycle show - my experiences would have been so very, very different - I KNOW THAT!

I also know one should not tar any one group with a sweeping brush of discrimination - I know that there are many on the force who are good people and who do their jobs because they want to serve and protect. I also know that there are many on the force who have major egos, who are power hungry and who know how to use the law to further their own personal agendas/vendettas. These have been my personal experiences.

Cpl Robinson appears to be a man who is either in crisis OR he has major psychological issues IMHO. The job of being a peace officer is far from easy and can be very hard on the head - you see the worst that human nature can offer. Some break - they can't take the horrid things they see. In the cases of soldiers and accident victims it's called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I think that term could apply to many on the force and those who work in the other emergency services - fire and ambulance. They are the hardest jobs imaginable - I used to date a firefighter - some of the things he saw and experienced...

Did the rally in Surrey serve any purpose? Yes. It got more recognition for BCCOM, always a good thing. It made 100 riders feel better. It gave the newspapers something to talk about. It may cause a few people to be better drivers - awareness may be heightened for the moment.

But did it really do anything to effect positive change on a broader long term level?

Doubtful. Had there been 10K people out, 100K - then yeah, maybe we'd see some change but you see politics/law are numbers games and our numbers as motorcyclists - united motorcyclists aren't anywhere near large enough to cause the powers that be to change their attitudes on anything to do with us.

Until the general public decides to hold a protest - until there are hundreds of thousands of people saying "ENOUGH" - nothing will change. The RCMP operate with virtual impunity in my humble opinion. The news is filled with examples of that impunity all of the time, think back to Ottawa and Giuliano Zaccardelli the former RCMP Commissioner, or the other Surrey/Delta area officers (5 if memory serves me correctly) who last year were charged with impaired driving - all around this time of year. I can cite cases where officers have committed acts of indecent exposure in a Toys are Us store, or beaten their spouse. They are human and they break the law they get off easier for their offenses.
I think they do...but hey that's just my personal opinion - I'd LOVE to know what your opinion is.

If you are fortunate enough to live where you can ride, PLEASE, ride like everyone around you is blind and can not see you.

Belt Drive Betty

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  1. Hi Betty,

    I kind of know the feeling of being mistreated by the system. I live in Washington State. a couple of years ago my wife and I attended the Sun & Surf annual biker event in Ocean Shores WA. Most of the bikers there were Harley riders. We were on our Goldwing. The local police were pulling over most of the Harleys that had riders wearing the little beany type helmets and citing them.

    Back at the event I talked to many riders who had gotten tickets and most were very irate. I was fortunate not to have been stopped, but I enrolled many people for a service I provide through Prepaid Legal Services. This allows the people who are being stopped to have access to attorneys 24 hours a day and help in getting unfair tickets dismissed. This was a big help for many of these riders.
    If you know anyone who would like to have their rights enforced, even in Canada, please visit my website at

  2. HMMMM, my good friend Kayla told me about this group about a year ago...very interesting stuff there.

  3. myami2:07 AM

    The shameful behaviour demonstrated by RCMP members is an embarassment to Canadians. And I say this even though my career calls for me to often work side-by-side RCMP members.
    We can complain all we want but the surest way to get justice is for people to start making formal complaints against these power-mongers....and sending copies out to the Ombudsman, the media, etc. Get your concerns ON RECORD.
    Here in BC, we have an interesting legal society that acts as a "watchdog" of the RCMP. Check out their website at Pivot Legal Society.
    ....and keep those complaints flowing. Ten thousand flies can't be wrong if they're all sitting on a pile of shit....then you know it's shit.