Activist group Anonymous says Queensland’s anti-bikie laws are “creeping fascism” and has warned Premier Campbell Newman to “expect us”.
The group says the new laws, which apply mandatory sentences for members of organisations the government deems as criminal, have gone too far.
But the Government, which says the laws are aimed only at criminal bikie gangs and the “worst of the worst” criminals, has hit back, with Police Minister Jack Dempsey describing the activists as “gutless cowards”.
A YouTube video claiming to be by the group Anonymous says the Queensland Government’s extreme laws will prompt an extreme reaction.
Mr Dempsey said the original video is being investigated.
“Obviously they are just gutless cowards – they have to hide behind a mask,” he said.
“It is very disappointing but obviously police obviously will investigate the matter thoroughly.
“I’m very confident with the police investigating the matter and obviously will ensure the safety of everyone involved.”
Premier Campbell Newman and his wife have also received harassing phone calls over the weekend, after their mobile phone numbers were published by a motorcycle group.
The Australian branch of Anonymous posted their online video on Thursday saying the laws impinged on the right to freedom from arbitrary detention, to a fair trial before an independent judge and the right to free speech and association.
“In the name of community safety the new legislation makes very large and serious incursions into fundamental human rights,” a masked anonymous member said in the video.
“The creeping fascism has already begun and the bill is already being used against everyday people like you and me.
“This is a direct attack on our rights. We will not tolerate it. We are Anonymous. We are a legion.
“We do not forgive, we do not forget. Campbell Newman, expect us.”
The video points out a case where a man was harshly questioned for wearing a Sons of Anarchy t-shirt, which is a television show.
The video claims that there have also been cases where “normal people on motorbikes have been searched, and investigated for doing nothing more than riding a motorcycle”.
The video has been viewed more than 157,000 times and the Queensland Police Service said it was aware of the threat.
“As the matter is currently under investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further,” a spokeswoman told AAP.
The government has also declined to comment.
In an article on The Conversation University of Queensland Technology senior law lecturer Mark Lauchs states while the legislation specifically targets people associated with named outlaw motorcycle gangs, the definition of “association” is loose.
Mr Lauchs says the laws allow opportunities for innocent people to be caught by the legislation.
“In the end, the statement that law abiding motorbike riders have “nothing to worry about” cannot be claimed with any certainty,” he says.