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Call for Myrtle Beach Boycott

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BOYCOTT MYRTLE BEACH

12/12/02 UPDATE:  From CMT/ABATE = I just wanted everyone to know that CMT/ABATE of Tennessee at its most recent Board of Director's meeting on 12/8/2002 voted unanimously to support the boycott of Myrtle Beach. Let's keep the ball rolling. Many of our members were interested in this effort and wanted to show their support. Some were planning on going this spring and are changing their minds in lieu of this information.

Steven Lundwall
Director, CMT/ABATE Inc.

11/04/02 UPDATE:  ABATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA VOTED ON 11/02/02 TO SUPPORT THE MYRTLE BEACH BOYCOTT.

Cop Kills Two Motorcyclists During Myrtle Beach Bike Week

On May 18, 2002, during the Harley-Davidson spring motorcycle rally in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Horry County policeman Lance CPL. James J. Costello, badge number 466, was driving an unmarked cruiser southbound on U.S. 17 in Murrells Inlet when he collided with a motorcycle while attempting to cross the northbound lanes.  Costello faced a yield sign before he turned.  Victoria Lee Zickafoose and Charles Eugene Heyde Sr., who were on the motorcycle, died at the scene.  Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Greg Hembree determined September 26th that Costello would not be charged with reckless homicide and gave the case to the Highway Patrol.  Hembree said the investigation of the crash failed to develop enough evidence to support the charge.  State troopers who investigated decided not to cite Costello.

Horry County Cop Will Not Face Charges in Fatal Crash During Harley Week
An Horry County police officer will not face reckless homicide charges in relation to a fatal car versus-motorcycle crash last spring.  The crash happened in the early morning hours of May 18, along a stretch of Highway 17 Business in Murrells Inlet.  Officer James Costello's unmarked police car collided with a motorcycle.  A Michigan man and a Georgia woman were riding on the motorcycle, and both died in the crash.  Officer Costello suffered only minor injuries.  A Highway Patrol accident report showed that the motorcycle was traveling at more than 72 miles-per-hour at the time of the collision.  Horry County Solicitor Greg Hembree says there was no evidence that would support a reckless homicide charge against Costello.  Highway Patrol officials are still considering traffic violations.

This is from a rider in Horry County:

Well by now you have all heard that the cop who killed the bikers in Murrells Inlet during bike week was cleared of charges.  Of course the spin the Horry County Solicitors office is putting on is that the bikers were speeding.  Just what the hell does that have to do with a damn thing?  Fact remains the officer was not paying a damn bit of attention and killed these people.  We all know if it had been a motorcycle cop killed by a civilian in a cage the legal system would have been all over it like white on rice.  There is a very prejudicial tide turning against bikers in Horry County.  Lets don't forget this especially when election time comes.

Biker boycott sought after officer not charged

HORRY COUNTY Myrtle Beach - A group of bikers is sending e-mails encouraging others to skip the annual biker rally along the Grand Strand.

The bikers are angry that charges were not filed against a police officer whose car collided with a motorcycle and killed two riders during last May's Harley Davidson Dealers Association Myrtle Beach Rally.

Prosecutor Greg Hembree said last month that Lance Cpl. James Costello will not be charged with reckless homicide because there was not enough evidence to warrant the charge.

The Highway Patrol also decided not to cite Costello.

The biker boycott is gaining momentum and should affect turnout for the spring rally, which attracts about 200,000 bikers, said Deb Knox, an officer with an N.C. bikers' rights group.

Harley Davidson's events coordinator says she has not heard about the boycott.

"Usually this kind of thing blows over after a while," said Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President Asby Ward. "And it's a long time before spring." - ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

From the Sons of Liberty Riders Website:

"What can we do?" you ask.

Well, the cards are stacked against us.  Judges tend to stick with the cops... Legislators used to be judges ... and Governors used to be legislators.  Changing a law or rule would take forever to pass.  Let's go for the wallet, the money, something any politician understands!

Avoid Myrtle Beach in 2002 and 2003.  There is plenty to do instead, and plenty to see.  Maybe if enough of you spend your money elsewhere, the local venders and businesses will put pressure on the city to control the actions of their officers, and to promote motorcycle awareness.

Of course you don't have to pay any attention to this, or our suggestions.

You can forget about the dead brother and sister while you ride through town, showing your nice clean chrome.  They used to polish their bikes before they were killed.

Enjoy looking at all the bikes, they sure did, before they were killed.

Visit the vendors and buy some stuff, that's what they did before they were killed.

Trust the local police to watch out for your safety, that's what they did before they were killed.

On the other hand, you can show your displeasure for the way the Myrtle Beach police kill bikers and STAY AWAY!  Spend your money elsewhere, like at the drags or north to Ocean City Bike Week.

We have a forum on our message board where you can leave your message, whether you agree or disagree.  We will post updates there also.

Support your brothers and sisters.  They would support you!

If you prefer to email your thoughts on the senseless death of two bikers by a policeman, send an email to myrtle@solriders.net and it will make its way to the right people, and the press.

~ Sons of Liberty Riders

For more from the Sons of Liberty Riders, click on the banner below.

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Texas Motorcycle Rights Association is in full support of this  Boycott. ~ Sputnik president of TMRA II

Letter to editor by WV ABATE PRES.:

Contrary to the statement made to the Associated Press: "Usually this kind of thing blows over after a while," said Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President Asby Ward.  "And it's a long time before spring."

I don't believe that will be the case this time.  Today, ABATE of West Virginia has voted to support the Myrtle Beach Boycott.  The West Virginia Confederation of Clubs is expected to follow suit at their meeting next week.  Rest assured that I will be in attendance to gain that support.  Remember, Myrtle Beach is closer to West Virginia than any other major biker festival with the exception of Easyriders Rodeo in Chillicothe, Ohio.  The Motorcyclists of West Virginia have a wide sphere of influence with the rest of West Virginia's citizens who frequent Myrtle throughout the year.  We intend to use that influence to persuade our aunt's, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, neighbors, and anyone else that will listen, that maybe Myrtle isn't such a cool place to visit after all.  Yes, Spring is a long time away.  But that just gives us more time to gather steam.

"DUCK"

WV ABATE State President

Note from FastFred: ABATE of SC has yet to officially endorse this boycott and letter writing campaign however it is very likely that ABATE of SC will do so at the next state meeting. Currently Sons of Liberty Riders SOLR officially endorses this Boycott; you may learn more about the boycott and SOLR at www.solriders.net     UPDATE:  ABATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA VOTED TO ENDORSE THE BOYCOTT AT THEIR NOVEMBER MEETING.

From your Anderson Chapter Coordinator:

OK, most of us knew about the deaths in Myrtle Beach this spring; most of us were angry at the cop; most of us were appalled when charges weren't forthcoming; most of us were outraged when the whole matter appeared to have been dropped; and . . . most of us did absolutely nothing about it!

Now is our (read YOUR) chance to make a difference.  Visit the ABATE of SC website and the Sons of Liberty Riders website.  Write letters, post comments on the message board, and, perhaps the easiest thing for you to do, STAY AWAY FROM MYRTLE BEACH!

Other states are already joining in this boycott - imagine how many others will have joined by the time the spring rally rolls around!  Maybe some other community will see the tremendous opportunity this presents and announce a spring bike rally during the same time period in a new location.  In my opinion, the boycott would be even more effective if thousands of bikers not only stayed away from Myrtle Beach, but also rode to another event to spend their money.

We (and that includes YOU) have an opportunity to make a difference.  If this boycott is successful, (and even at this early stage there is every indication that it will be) we can affect how Myrtle Beach prosecutes those who inflict injury or death on motorcyclists.  And if we do that, I promise you, the rest of the nation will take notice.

I strongly urge you to support this boycott and spread the word.

Judy Diaz

NOTE:  I shamelessly robbed articles from Fast Freds ABATE e-mail updates, the ABATE of SC website and the Sons of Liberty Riders website for this piece.   See www.abatesc.com and www.solriders.net .  THANK YOU FRED!

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Additional note from Judy Diaz:
 
The following is a response posted on the Myrtle Beach message board on the SOLR website.
 
One response from the city of MB:
"Chuck Dunn" <CDunn@cityofmyrtlebeach.com>

As a fellow bike rider, I appreciate your concern over the death of the bikers last May.  I have received numerous emails from your group showing their dislike for the decision of the Solicitor not to file charges against the officer.  Please allow me to clear up some issues concerning this matter.  First, the incident occurred in Murrels Inlet, not Myrtle Beach.  Second, the officer is employed by the Horry County Police Dept.again, not the City of Myrtle Beach.  Third, Murrels Inlet is located 15 miles south of Myrtle Beach.  Fourth, the decision not to file charges against the officer was made by the Horry County Solicitors office.  Fifth, the accident was investigated by the South Carolina Highway Patrol, not the City of Myrtle Beach.  Finally, the City of Myrtle Beach does not plan or organize the bike events, only play host to a number of bikers that visit the area.  I would suggest that you and your fellow members address your concerns with the Horry County Police Dept. The Horry County Solicitors Office, and the S.C. Highway Patrol.
 
What is stated above is probably correct; however Murrels Inlet and Horry County both benefit from the bike event commonly referred to as "The Myrtle Beach Spring Rally"; and a boycott of this rally will definitely affect the tourist monies brought into their respective bank accounts.  Whether or not the City of Myrtle Beach plans or organizes the events does not matter - they reap the benefits to the tune of over 1 Million Dollars (estimated) in hospitality tax alone.  By boycotting the Myrtle Beach Rally we are, in effect, also boycotting Murrels Inlet and Horry County. 
 
~ Judy 

BOYCOTT MYRTLE BEACH AND HORRY COUNTY DURING THE 2003 SPRING BIKE RALLY!