01NR30 - 2001 Meeting of the Minds Will Demonstrate Biker Support For USA
Motorcycle Riders Foundation – E-MAIL NEWS RELEASE
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tom Pauley
September 16, 2001 #01-30 Phone: 202-546-0983
An Open Letter to the Membership of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations, and Other Leaders of the Motorcyclists’ Rights Movement Worldwide
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It was with great anticipation that the Motorcycle Riders Foundation began its workday on Tuesday, September 11. After the groundwork laid earlier this year by the visits to our nation’s capitol by SMROs and intensive lobbying throughout the summer, we hoped for substantial progress this very week on our chief goals of rescuing health care, countering the threat to our rights and freedom posed by environmental regulation, and enhancing traffic safety. A letter was about to be delivered to the Administration on these issues that would culminate in important meetings with officials prior to the Meeting of the Minds. Communications with other Administration officials and Members of Congress had been ongoing on the issues of health care and the EPA, and meetings were anticipated this very week to expedite progress on both fronts.
All that changed at 8:45 a.m. Within minutes of the first act of war perpetrated against our nation, federal buildings were evacuated, security perimeters enlarged and barricades erected around Democracy’s most prized institutions, many just one block from MRF’s Washington office. As U.S. fighter aircraft wailed in patrol overhead, the Mayor declared a state of emergency in the District of Columbia, and the Sergeant at Arms ordered the evacuation of the Congress of the United States.
Police controlled every artery that came close to the centers of our government. Convoys of military vehicles rolled into town and Military Police took station. By day’s end, the U.S. military and over 100 law enforcement agencies had secured the better part of an entire city to safeguard our government.
As the many military veterans in our ranks knew in their hearts, America was being plunged into war. As the networks covered the Pentagon aflame, the billowing smoke was visible for miles. One network camera positioned near the White House was trained across the river on the smoke from the Pentagon; in the foreground of that shot was the Eisenhower Executive Office Building where MRF took ABATE of Illinois to visit the President’s domestic policy staff just a few months ago. Times had changed so radically, in just minutes, that it was difficult to see that building in the same way.
On Thursday, September 13th, MRF placed calls to the White House and to key supporters in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. The calls were placed to signal that the American motorcyclists’ rights movement supports our nation and our flag in this dark hour. Indeed, bikers around the globe are standing shoulder to shoulder with their American brothers and sisters against this dire threat to free-loving citizens worldwide.
The White House was the first to return the call. Our contacts in the Office of the President appreciated our call of support and pledged that resolving our issues remains important. What was then expressed was something obvious to every American: today, there is one priority and one duty: the defense of our nation – and the unity of freedom-loving people around the world.
Our September 27-29 gathering in Topeka, Kansas, may be the most important Meeting of the Minds you and your loved ones will ever attend. As always, it will be a time of renewing friendships, building unity, revitalizing advocacy and laying down a strategy for success as we meet the ongoing challenge of “Riding Through Regulation,” which is our theme this year.
But this year – more than any other in the history of the rights movement – your Meeting of the Minds will be a celebration of freedom and a time for American motorcyclists to embrace their true identity, as American patriots.
We urge you to commit yourselves now to attending the Meeting of the Minds. Even if you had no previous intention to attend, come anyway. Because of the campaign against tyranny promised by the United States, America needs to see bikers united, bikers resolved. The Meeting of the Minds is the perfect place to demonstrate that unity and that resolve.
We understand that traveling to Topeka and taking time off will be a sacrifice, but this promises to be an era of sacrifice. Consider the words of support and encouragement sent to MRF and to you by your brothers and sisters around the world, then ask yourself: isn’t the sacrifice worth it?
A few examples ----------
“The motorcyclists in Finland are enormous shocked, seeing those terrible things to happen in your country. We are thinking of you.”
---------- Kekku, Suomen Motoristit r.y. (Finnish Motorcycle Association)
“My thoughts and those of all our friends here are with you all at this terrible time. God be with you and the American people at this time.”
---------- Craig Carey-Clinch, Motorcycle Industry Association U.K.
“Like most, I couldn’t believe what I saw. The unimaginable happened and it went on. The people here in Germany are under shock, many were crying … Since this afternoon, all flags on official and government buildings have been lowered. In the evening hours, ecumenical services have been held in cities all over the country. Please accept our deepest sympathy and condolences.”
---------- Christian Lehnen, Kuhle Wampe Germany
“You have our prayers and support 100%! America is truly a symbol of light in the world, and we are all inspired by the incredible efforts, resolve, strength, courage and dignity with which America is now conducting efforts at rescue and eventual recovery. May God be with you and all of us. This is an attack on all the decent, civilized people of the world, and we stand with you in condemning this barbarism.”
-------- James Mirasol, President, National Motorcycle Club Federation of the Philippines
“The perpetrators of this infamous crime should know that they are not merely opposed by a political elite but by hundreds of millions of ordinary and right-thinking people throughout the world…. At the Federation of European Motorcycle Associations (FEMA) Rally in Belgium this coming weekend, the official MAG UK presence will fly the Star Spangled Banner of the United States alongside the Union Flag of the United Kingdom. By this, we will demonstrate our support and solidarity for our American allies who are, like us, citizens of the free world.”
---------- Neil Liversidge, National Chairman, Motorcycle Action Group UK
Show that you stand together with bikers worldwide. Demonstrate the solidarity and support your brothers and sisters are eager to demonstrate to you.
Ride with the Leaders™ to Meeting of the Minds!
Tom Pauley, President, and Tom Wyld, Vice President of Government Relations,
on behalf of the Board of Directors, Motorcycle Riders Foundation
- MRF: My Ride is Freedom -
The first motorcyclists' rights
organization to establish a full-time legislative advocacy presence in Washington. The Motorcycle Riders
Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street
rider. MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates
who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom. MRF proudly claims state
motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American rider rights
movement among its leading members. Motorcyclists worldwide can thumb-start their search
for rider rights and safety on the web at www.mrf.org.
© All information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction
permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated
in 1987, is an independent, membership-based national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington D.C. which operates in
co-partnership with State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations
nationwide. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and
regulation, motorcycling safety education, training, licensing and public
awareness. The MRF provides individual and SMRO member-volunteers with guidance, support and information to protect motorcyclists' rights and
advance motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. The MRF sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists' rights
activists and publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.
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