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Citizen bikers visit Capitol to voice concerns

John Marshall / Red Dirt Report
Mark "Bus" Buskirk Army Veteran and spokesman for the group Sooner State ABATE visits Meagan Hansen of Rep. Jason Dunnington’s office. She was offered a fruit cup or pastry.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – "Would you like whipped cream with that fruit cup?" one of the members asked as they wheeled their condiment cart around the Capitol Thursday.

"If you think having us serve fruit cups with whipped cream is funny, once a year we go to OK Kids Corral and deliver presents. We are usually dressed up as elves and Santa, we also love to go to Children's Hospital," said Mark "Bus" Buskirk Army Veteran and spokesman for the group Sooner State ABATE.

Bus led the members around the Capitol hallways and said they also work within the community to help other causes. He said there are about 1,000 members in the state. Like many Oklahomans they were at the Capitol to make sure their voice is heard.

We make a big push twice a year to remind folks of what the group stands for. Dressed in full biking gear with their cuts, what they call their vests, the group pushed a cart through the Capitol hallways offering their treats to everyone.

Their message was to raise awareness about what they call illegal profiling by Oklahoma law enforcement. They had some other concerns including legislation to deal with distracted drivers they say run over many bikers every year.

“We are here to sound the alarm about illegal search and profiling procedures by Oklahoma Law enforcement,” Bus claims that police pull bikers over because of what they wear and ride. He said, "I've been stopped and the first question out of their mouth is, ‘Where are you going?’"

At the heart of his concern is what he calls a "fusion center" that he claims the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) operates. He talked about how OSBI collects personal information every time they stop a vehicle.

These members asked to not be identified by name as they wheeled goodies around the Capitol Thursday. (John Marshall / Red Dirt Report)

He went on to say they use this in conjunction with other profiling efforts to suppress constitutional rights. Bus claims they collect as much information as they can then collate the information for further road stops.

He says they even ask you to take off your shirt so they can photograph tattoos, make notes about what patches are on their vests and anything else that can identify citizens for their database.

He says that police feel they are above the law and they violate his and others constitutional rights on a regular basis. "Just because you wear a vest doesn't mean you are a criminal," Bus explained.

Bus said that he blames the media and the show “Sons of Anarchy” for much of the harassment leveled on the group by law enforcement.

Bus explained that in addition to their concerns they want to show a little appreciation for the support personnel at the Capitol.

"The executive assistants, the legislative assistants, all the divisions that help make the process work, we try to hit all of them and show our appreciation for their hard work." 

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John Marshall

John Marshall is a videographer and new addition to Red Dirt Report. As he told us: I am...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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