Australian Left Review


For a left analysis of crime, law and order, Chris Cunneen's article on the b ik e r /p o lic e con fro n ta tio n at Bathurst ("A Riotous Assembly", ALR 92, Winter 1985) is limited by his tendency to treat the conflict as a battle between Good and Evii. Understandably keen to oppose both capitalist media attacks on a p ro le ta r ia n o u tg ro u p and a strengthening of the police as a repressive agent of the state, Cunneen lapses into an idealisation of the bikers and a demonisation of the police. Unfortunately, Cunneen is not alone in resorting to the language of romanticised stereotypes in order to demonstrate the left's proletarian credentials — Brave Bikers versus Callous Cops is a morality play on similar lines to the Pure Prisoners versus Wicked Warders of some left writing on prisons.



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