Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hell's Angels Have Some New Pals

Un-bloody-believable! The NZ High Court has ruled that Wanganui District Council's gang patch ban is unlawful!!!
In August 2009, after endless gang-related crap, this council had the balls to say that enough was enough. So it passed a bylaw, banning the wearing of gang insignia in public.
However the Hells Angels gang took it to court, arguing the bylaw was invalid. On Thursday, Justice Denis Clifford said he reckoned so too.
Y'see, because the bylaw didn't specify which public places the ban applied to, it was invalid. He said, in some circumstances, it was justifiable to limit freedom of expression - but in this case the bylaw was invalid, because the council had not considered the significance of limiting the gangs' right to express themselves. However he said a bylaw defining specified places more closely could be legal.
Awwww, poor wee iddle biddle gangs! Having dere wight to expwess demselves twampled on! It must be sooooo damned hard to demand protection money or recruit new members, when you can't swagger around the streets as hostile threatening arrogant mobile billboards! But in their view, they're just a misunderstood motorcycle club - not a gang! Yea, right! They don't congregate for weekly knitting circles! Their insignia intimidate, incite fear, represent violence. Whatever happened to "the greater good", to the wider interests of the community?
Still, at least the court has upheld the council's right to actually create a patch-banning bylaw, so it's now up to councillors to move fast and close the loopholes. That might give Justice Clifford just enough time to rethink his priorities.
And someone else needing to consider which side of the fence he's on is Canterbury University gang researcher Jarrod Gilbert. He says gangs "provide a function in society", and as long as they're law abiding, they can do as they please. He says we can't treat gangs differently just because they adopt a different lifestyle.
Dear Mr.Gilbert, please enlighten me as to what valued function gangs have in our society! Gangs are collections of thieves, thugs, miscreants, drug-dealers, sometimes murderers and rapists.
Both Judge Clifford and Mr.Gilbert need to step outside their ivory towers...and check out the reality!
PS: 14 March 2011 - the Wanganui Council will give it another try!

1 comment:

Angela, Palm.North said...

Please don't give up, Wanganui. You've set a fine example for other councils to follow. Amend your bylaw and keep thesre animals in their place.