Mo­tor­cy­clists make their point

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

A dif­fer­ent sort of mo­tor­cy­cle gang roared into Glen­view School last week – tough-seem­ing gen­tle­men spread­ing a mes­sage of non­vi­o­lence.

Ten White Rib­bon rid­ers vis­ited three East­ern Porirua pri­mary schools and Porirua Col­lege last Mon­day as part of a 5000 kilo­me­tre, 10-day ride through New Zealand. The rally is in its fifth year and is funded by the Fam­i­lies Com­mis­sion.

The men tak­ing part might have looked tough in leather and patches, but were gen­tle­men, said Jacko, a rider with the ex-mil­i­tary Pa­triot De­fence Force mo­tor­cy­cle club.

‘‘This is our way of mak­ing a dif­fer­ence,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a men’s ini­tia­tive. It’s men stand­ing up and tak­ing own­er­ship of the prob­lem and want­ing to be part of the so­lu­tion.’’

By storm­ing into schools on Har­ley David­sons, the rid­ers re­ally got the at­ten­tion of young boys and girls, Jacko said.

Fel­low rider Taku­rua Tawaera said some Glen­view pupils asked him what gang he was from, which al­lowed him to start a con­ver­sa­tion about the group’s mis­sion.

Mr Tawaera’s mo­tor­cy­cle club, Te Ahi Kikoha, is made up of so­cial work­ers, ex-gang mem­bers and ex-pris­on­ers, many with a his­tory of vi­o­lence against women.

Now re­formed, mem­bers aim to erad­i­cate de­grad­ing or sex­u­al­is­ing lan­guage and acts to­wards women, Mr Tawaera said.

‘‘We do it be­cause we care for women and fam­i­lies.

‘‘What can we con­trib­ute now that we didn’t do in our younger life?’’

Rid­ers col­lected pledges from men to re­nounce vi­o­lence against women, White Rib­bon cam­paign man­ager Rob McCann said.

‘‘ Vi­o­lence against women re­sults in 14 deaths each year. It also af­fects those who use it, of­ten mak­ing them feel sad, iso­lated, ashamed and fright­ened of los­ing re­la­tion­ships,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s about men tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for their own, and other men’s, vi­o­lence.’’


Mo­tors and morals: Glen­view School pupil Maila Lafaele, 11, got a thrill meet­ing White Rib­bon mo­tor­cy­clist John Crofts last Mon­day.

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