Australia No Longer An Option

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Photo: Photo-illustration: Everett Bogue; Photo: istockphoto

Sometimes — okay, often — we worry about the world devolving into chaos. And when we get particularly worked up (like when we read something like this), we start wondering where we would go. Like, what's the escape hatch? Canada is the easiest option, but it's cold and full of Canadians there. But Australia — ahhh, that's the answer. A continent unto itself, overflowing with natural resources, kangaroos, and Elle Macpherson look-alikes. It's a comfort knowing that, if it all goes kaplooey here, we could always, er, run and take cover in the land Down Under, where women glow and men...do whatever it is they do. Hang out on the beach eating Vegemite sandwiches and whatnot.

Which is why we were disturbed to read about the "bikie brawl" that broke out at Sydney Airport over the weekend.

Apparently, bike gangs, or as they call them, "bikies," are becoming a problem in Australian cities, where they traffic in drugs and violence. This weekend's hostilities started on a flight from Melbourne and involved two warring biker groups, one of whom telephoned from the air for reinforcements. When the plane landed, a mêlée broke out, lasting for fifteen minutes.

Bikies waiting at the gate had apparently smuggled "knives and knuckle dusters" past security, though much of the fighting involved metal stanchions being wielded like swords. One death ensued, possibly caused when one combatant battered a stanchion into the head of a prone victim. In the aftermath of the incident, two gang-related murders were reported in Canberra, and "high-ranking Sydney bikie Mahmoud Dib" was under arrest.

Only four suspects were arrested at the airport. The rest escaped, mostly by hailing cabs. (And they call themselves bikies.) Wow is all we can say. Canada is looking better every day. As is LaGuardia.

Fears gangland war has spread to Canberra [Australian]
Man killed in suspected biker brawl at Sydney airport [Guardian]