More than two thousand bikies have rallied in parkland opposite Queensland’s Supreme Court to protest against the state’s crackdown on outlaw gangs.
Under the new laws, known bikies can be jailed for up to three years if they gather in a public place, or could be jailed in solitary confinement, wearing pink suits, for months before trial.
Those that spoke at the protest have been personally hit by the laws, including Tracy Carew whose husband Joshua Carew and brothers Steven Smith and Scott Conley were arrested in December, following a meeting at the Yandina Hotel.
She says her husband spent weeks in solitary confinement 23 hours a day before being released, and Smith is still locked up.
“The mental damage is irreversible,” she said.
“One thing for sure, since their release they have not been the same.
“We will fight to have those laws changed so that every Queenslander has a right to associate with whoever they want, wherever and whenever they want.”
Lawyer Zeke Bentley, who is spearheading the United Motorcycle Council of Queensland’s High Court challenge, told the rally the laws are a breach of fundamental rights.
Signatures were also gathered by Paul Keyworth from the Motorcyclists Australia Party, who he wants to turn into a political party before the next state election in 2015.
Independent MP for Nicklin Peter Wellington says the ultimate revenge will be at the ballot box.
He says the Newman government has taken the laws too far.
“Today on Australia Day we usually celebrate our freedoms and our liberties and we are the envy of countries,” he said.
“But today, at our rally we are starting the fight to win back those freedoms and liberties Campbell Newman has taken away.
“No longer in Queensland is everyone equal before the law, no longer are you innocent until proven guilty, and no longer can our courts impose reasonable bail conditions until the charge is contested in court.
“That is not the Australian way.”