Skip to main content
Learn How to Start and Run a T-Shirt Business using RedBubble, Society6 and TeePublic - Click Here

Biker Gangs Unite in Gawler for Poker Run

I went out for my regular walk this morning and headed onto the path following the main road into Gawler (my home town), South Australia. Unusually this morning the streets were lined with people, families with cameras, video cameras and as well there were, seemingly hundreds of police. Police in cars, on bikes, even in helicopters. The main road was almost completely at a stand still with the number of vehicles.

All this fuss just to see me take my morning walk?

Well, no. The Gypsy Joker Poker Run is an annual event that starts in Gawler and tours the Barossa Valley. For those last few of you on the planet that have never heard of the Gypsy Jokers they're considered an 'outlaw' Biker Gang (or a Biker 'Association' depending on who you talk to). Each year the event attracts probably around 100-200 Gypsy Joker members and about the same number of Police to make sure nobody gets out of hand.

This article, Reckless' bikie run angers police, that appeared in the Sunday Mail after the 2007 Poker Run will give you some idea of the event. The comments on the article are typical of the public reaction which is often in the negative towards the police.

The photo you see here is of the 2007 run and was taken on the main road that runs through the centre of the town of Gawler. I don't have any photos from this year because, frankly, a large group of bikers is about as impressive as the Tour Down Under Bicycle race (which also runs through Gawler each year) which I make no effort to view either. Hence I didn't wait around for the bikers to actually start their run. I digress...

The purpose of this article was to highlight the fact that this years run was a little more unique and probably an Australian (if not world wide) first. To protest against some new laws that the South Australian Government is introducing, known as the Serious and Organised Crime Control Act (more commonly known as the 'anti-bikie' legislation), the Gypsy Jokers are uniting with members from several rival Biker groups as explained in this article from The Age Newspaper, Rivals unite to protest anti-bikie laws.

Whilst I didn't stop to watch the run I did see all the bikers gathered at the Gawler-Barossa Race Track, just around the corner from where I live. I would estimate their numbers had to be close to a thousand (but that's assuming everyone there was in fact a bikie gang member - couldn't tell from the distance away I was).

One of the main features of these poker runs is, in fact, the police presence, which is welcome but, as these new laws come in, seemingly is becoming more hostile.

Rather than just maintaining the peace, police make a point of pulling over every single bikie and checking them for drug possession, breath testing and checking their bikes for defects. One assumes it's meant to act as a deterrent in the hope that bikers just won't bother next year however all it really achieves is massive slow down of traffic (to a crawl) and disrupts our town more than it would if police simply took a hands off, observational approach.

Personally I agree with the bikers to be protesting these laws because, whilst they're supposedly focussed on biker gangs, the wording of them is said to be some what ambiguous and could be used far beyond their intended purpose.

The laws haven't officially been introduced yet (as far as I'm aware) and so far their effect is to unite rival gangs into a common purpose and promote negative public sentiment towards police. i.e. nobody likes it when they're pulled over for breath testing or having their vehicle checked for defects.

Good going South Australian Government. You've turned the annual Poker Run into a major tourist attraction. I can imagine if this years run is truly successful - and there's no reason why it shouldn't be as the rival gangs can't afford to justify the reasons for these laws - then I can imagine next years run will be even bigger.

Mardi Gras in Sydney started out like this. Originally it was a protest that was faced with much police harassment, today it's one of the biggest parties on the planet. Could the Gypsy Joker Poker Run end up being Mardi Gras for the bikers and other petrol heads?

Time will tell.

All I can say is that I saw as many people excited to see a procession of this many bikers as I've ever seen for any kind of parade through Gawler. This town is far from threatened by the bikers. In fact we seem to embrace their presence and welcome the economic boost they bring to the region. It's good that the police are present but their aggressive approach seems to be misguided.

Comments

St!nk
* Affiliate Link - Support our advertisers and help keep this site free *

Popular posts from this blog

Movie Review: Long Story Short (2021) *Very minor spoilers*

Written and directed by Australian actor, Josh Lawson, Long Story Short is a fun rom-com about putting things off until the 'right' time and maybe how that isn't a good strategy for life. Rafe Spall plays Teddy, a guy who has a reputation for putting things off, and waiting too long to act on important decisions like setting a wedding date to his fiance, Leanne (Zahra Newman). It's not that he's lazy or unmotivated, it's just that he likes to wait for the perfect time to act. One day while visiting his father's grave he meets a strange woman (Noni Hazlehurst) who promises to give him a gift on his wedding day. Teddy doesn't think too much of it but then, on his wedding day, he jumps forward a year in time, where Leanne is celebrating their one year wedding anniversary. Teddy barely has time to comprehend his predicament before he flashes forward to their two year anniversary. Long Story Short inevitably will be compared to the Bill Murray movie, Ground

Movie Review: Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) *Spoiler Free*

I must admit I definitely didn’t dislike the original, theatrical cut of Joss Wheden’s 2017 Justice League. In fact I gave it a mostly positive review and I bought the DVD. However after seeing Zack Snyder’s Justice League , a four hour epic, I definitely prefer the latter. Comparing the two versions, the overall story is mostly the same. Based on Lex Luthor’s warning at the end of Batman Versus Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman must assemble a team of superheroes to combat an imminent attack on the planet by an alien army. Where the versions differ is in the character development and backstory of each hero as they are brought into the team. As well you get a much more fleshed out backstory and motivation for the movie’s villains. Most of this character development is either scaled back or completely changed in the original 2017 release, with the major, major villain erased from that film entirely. I also got the sense that once the team comes together the mood between the characters

Lower Your Expectations, COVID-19 Vaccines Aren't a 'Cure-All'

I'm going to preface this post with the obvious, I'm not a medical expert. I have no experience with creating vaccines nor how they work. Everything that follows is based upon my own opinions and thoughts. Definitely do your own research on whether you want to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or not. The following cut'n'paste message has been circulating on Facebook. At least that's where I first came across it. It's not attributed to anyone so it's not possible to draw any conclusions about the original poster's motivations or intent: --- Post begins --- Let’s awaken some people’s minds... What happens if you decide to get "vaccinated" (beside the fact that you could end up very sick or even dead)??? Here are 12 important questions and answers before considering getting vaccinated: "If I get vaccinated can I stop wearing a mask(s)?" Government: "NO" "If I get vaccinated will the restaurants, bars, schools, fitness clubs, h

Podcasts for Comic Book Movie Nerds and Enterprising Side Hustlers

If you haven’t discovered Podcasts yet you’re missing out on an entire world of ready to listen to content covering a whole library of interests that you can download into your favorite mobile podcast app and listen to at your convenience. If you have I thought I’d spend take the opportunity to recommend some of the podcasts I’m listening to. My podcast app of choice is Beyond Pod for Android but any podcast app will probably do. Once you have your app installed search for these shows from within the app. Comic Book Movie Podcasts If you haven’t noticed I’m a total comic book movie nerd but I don’t really know anyone who likes these movies as much as I do. Consequently I seek out podcasts where I can hear all kinds of discussions surrounding these movies, from the moment they are first announced, to a scene by scene, spoiler breakdown of the final movie release (after I’ve seen the film of course). Fatman Beyond - Director, Kevin Smith, and screen writer Marc Bernardin, deliver a usu

TV Series Review: WandaVision (2021) *Spoiler Free*

Marvel Studios continues the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the small screen with the nine part series, WandaVision , now streaming on Disney+. Initially released weekly during January and February 2021, the entire series is now available to stream with a Disney+ subscription. Set a few weeks after Avengers: Endgame , superheroes, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olson) and Vision (Paul Bettany) appear to be living an idealistic life in a black and white 1950’s sitcom. However everything isn’t as it seems in this new reality. WandaVision is an unusual story about love, loss, grief, and healing told through the lens of witches and superheroes. It’s a fairly original concept with plenty of humor, interesting character development, and quite a few surprises. I don’t usually review television series, despite watching quite a lot of them through various streaming services, however WandaVision is definitely worth an exception. For me, the series was the closest yet to watching a live action version o

Crowne Plaza Hotel and Botanical Gardens, Adelaide, South Australia.

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Adelaide, South Australia My partner, Enigma, and I finally managed our two day getaway in Adelaide staying at the Crowne Plaza Hotel , ideally located not far from the central shopping district, arts precinct, and cafe strip. I say 'finally' because we initially booked this getaway in November of 2020 and watched it disappear on the morning we were meant to leave as SA went into a hard lockdown due to a COVID19 outbreak. Frustratingly the lockdown turned out to be unnecessary thanks to a not entirely accurate reporting on the movements of one positive case. However the damage to our trip was done. Lock down was lifted two days later but we had to reschedule our stay for January. Thankfully the Crowne Plaza was able to honor the same discount prices we had initially booked for, bringing the stay within our budget for two nights. Service at the hotel has been good. This is the first hotel we've stayed at with a street level concierge, who explains where t

Five Websites to Print Your Own Custom Designs/Photos Onto T-Shirts and Other Gifts

Have you ever wanted to print your child’s art onto their very own skateboard, or create a calendar of all your holiday snaps (or maybe even a photo book)? That’s where Print On Demand websites come in. They specialise in printing custom images onto their products, with orders being as small as just one item. While many of these sites are designed for artists and photographers to open online shops to sell their designs that doesn’t mean you can’t use these sites too. There’s no reason you can’t open your own free shop for the sole purpose of buying your own printed designs - some sites will let you design custom products without needing to open a shop at all. Below I’ve created a list of five Print On Demand sites I’ve used and recommend, along with a sixth bonus option that you may not have even thought of but is probably the most convenient of all. Red Bubble - Has grown into quite possibly one of the biggest Print On Demand sites online. Registering a free account will give you acc

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET