Big Win

MC’s Stop ‘No Motorcycle Colors’ Policy in Colorado

 

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

Royal Gorge Bridge and Park (RGB&P), located near Cañon City,  Colorado, recently adopted  an over broad policy of discrimination  against any individual wearing motorcycle-related patches or colors. So  the National Council of Clubs (NCOC), an organization representing the  interests  of motorcyclists nationwide, immediately protested the  decision in the form of a written  complaint to RGB&P management. Normally, private actors such as RGB&P cannot be sued for 1st  Amendment restrictions because there is nothing unconstitutional about  private actors discriminating. However, RGB&P leases the land from  Canon City exposing the government actor to civil rights liability for  the discriminatory acts of the private party. After receiving the NCOC’s letter of complaint, RGB&P management  contacted NCOC attorney Wade Eldridge and informed him that all “no  motorcycle club colors” signs had been removed from the park and that  the park reversed its policy. The NCOC verified on June 10th that all   signs have been removed. NCOC participants, members of motorcycle clubs  including 1%’ers, have been granted access to the Park. This is an important win for the NCOC and the motorcycle club  community generally. Many motorcyclists frequent RGB&P and some club  members have even had their ashes spread at the park. Silence is consent. Grassroots political opposition is one of the  most effective strategies for tangible change, as demonstrated by the  NCOC. 

Royal Gorge Bridge & Park’s “No Motorcycle Patch or Colors” Policy Violates the 1st Amendment

 Motorcyclists from Colorado and around the US wearing  motorcycle-related patches and colors, including members of the Colorado  Confederation of Clubs and National Council of Clubs, regularly visit  the Royal Gorge Bridge (RGB&P) and Park in Fremont County, Colorado. Recently,  the RGB&P adopted a broad policy of discrimination against any  individual wearing motorcycle- related patches or colors. RGB&P’s  discriminatory actions involve significant state involvement sufficient  to establish a claim under 42 USC Section 1983. The nature of  RGB&P’s lease with Cañon City and its proximity and dependence on  Fremont County roads for access, puts the city and county into such  positions of interdependence that they must be recognized as “joint  participants” in acts of discrimination. It is settled law  that motorcycle patches and colors are Constitutionally protected by  the 1st Amendment from acts of government discrimination. 

For Immediate Release

May 4, 2017 - Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill Introduced Addressing Motorcycle Profiling

 WASHINGTON, DC  – Today, Representatives Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.),  Michael Burgess (R-Texas) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) along with  Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hamp.) jointly  introduced a bipartisan and bicameral resolution concerning the  profiling of motorcyclists.   The  bill defines the practice of motorcycle profiling and expresses the  sentiments of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on the issue  of motorcycle profiling. Additionally, the bill promotes increased  public awareness on the issue and encourages collaboration, education  and training for the motorcycle and law enforcement communities in order  to end instances of profiling.  The  Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), which has been advocating for a  national solution to address motorcycle profiling with the support of  the Motorcycle Profiling Project, will work over the coming months with  states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs  and individual riders to advance the measure. President  of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, Kirk ‘Hardtail’ Willard, stated  this with the bill’s release: “For too long motorcyclists have felt the  effects of discrimination from law enforcement. Riding a motorcycle  doesn’t make me suspect. We hope that, with this bill’s introduction, we  can shine a national spotlight on this issue that affects every rider  in every state, and helps put an end to this unconstitutional practice.” 

 

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The  Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal  level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as  motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned  with issues at the national and international levels that impact the  freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is  committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of  motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with  its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in  Washington and beyond. 

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