Motorcycle riders will continue to be marginalised victims of society unless they stop being keyboard warriors and become real activists, says a rider representative.
Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland president Chris Mearns says he is frustrated by the riders willing to criticise, but not help.
The last time riders rallied in numbers was during the Freedom Rallies against the VLAD so-called “anti-bikie” laws.
One recent example is the issue of almost 200 CBD parking spaces lost in Brisbane with the development of the casino.
Council has so far only been able to replace 33 spots, well short of its promised 94.
The Brisbane Motorcycle Parking Progress Group Facebook site has been quick to admonish council, despite council’s offer to form a working group with riders to identify potential parking areas.
Social media blamed
Chris says it has been almost impossible to get volunteers together for the working party and he blames social media.
He says social media has become a vehicle for expressing people’s frustration but not for getting issues resolved.
“If the matter that is needing action only has one answer and does not require any negotiation or additional interaction then there is hope that social media may generate sufficient pressure to get a result,” he says.
“However, once further face-to-face discourse is required, only old-school direct interaction will get the matter advanced.
“Unfortunately it is becoming evident that the general population has become way too complacent and unwilling to go the extra mile and engage in the old-fashioned way.”
Call for activists
Chris has called on riders to become real activists for rights.
He says the state-based rider associations and Australian Motorcycle Council are filled with “passionate people” who have been fighting for riders’ rights for many years on “limited budgets with limited resources”.
“In various states there are people that have given extraordinary amounts of time, and even their own finances to attempt to resolve the perennial issues afflicting riding some of which can on occasion take years of input to bring to finalisation,” he says.
“Unfortunately, as social media has gained traction there has been a corresponding reduction in the amount of people willing to offer their direct services to these organisations because of the belief that if they make a statement on a social media outlet then they have done their part and all will be made right.”
He called on “passionate and talented” people to become activists, join state rider associations and help fight for riders’ rights and liberties.
“Only real people can make a real difference,” he says.
CBD parking problem
Meanwhile, Chris says their representative on the council working group will negotiate on behalf of riders, if no riders come forward to assist.
“If riders can’t get their act together, we will get in and do it,” Chris says
“Our representative has previously actually worked for council.
“He has distinct suggestions not only to replace lost street bays, but to add discounted motorcycle parking in council’s two parking facilities.
“For example, the bottom floor of the King George Square parking facility is usually vacant. One suggestion is to get heavily discounted motorcycle parking on that floor at maybe $20 a week.”