It’s a bit rich when buggers like the Hells Angels complain about something being unlawful.
But that’s their latest stunt – they are invoking the Bill of Rights in support of their bid to block a bylaw that bans them from wearing their patches on the streets of Wanganui.
Among other arguments, they say they are a club, not a gang.
The motorcycle gang, which has a fortified headquarters in the city, said the move would breach the Bill of Rights. It has hired a lawyer to fight
Wanganui District Council’s bid to become the first city to ban gang insignia.
Five Hells Angels members will argue their case before a council subcommittee on Friday.
The gang is one of 10 whose patches will be banned if the bylaw is passed.
Offenders could be fined up to $2000 and have their patches confiscated.
Christchurch lawyer Steven Rollo has been hired to fight the bylaw – and he has not ruled out court action.
His nine-page submission says the Hells Angels are not a gang, do not exist for criminal purposes and that members are mostly in full employment and active in the community.
“It has a reputation which it does not entirely deserve and which is founded on the exploits of individuals that tend to be exaggerated.”
Wanganui MP Chester Borrows, who sponsored the anti-gang patch bill allowing the bylaw, seems pretty sure the ban is legally sound.
But yep, them civil libertarians are batting for the gang – or should that be club?
Council for Civil Liberties spokesman Michael Bott said freedom of expression, including the right to wear anything, should apply to everyone.
The bylaw’s inconsistency with the Bill of Rights meant the Hells Angels could potentially argue their case in the Supreme Court or at the United Nations, he said.
Alf would like to see the Hell’s Angels take their case all the way to the UN.
Actually, he will think about persuading The Boss to help them get there. With one-way tickets.