Critial Mass, still we ride, still they arrest.
This comes to us from an eye witness reporter on the ride who posted to the Danbury, CT indymedia website:
www.madhattersimc.org and the NYC, indymedia website:
check here for more news and photos too.
Critical Mass, Still We Ride, Still They Arrest
This Critical Mass was a lot cooler than last months but that didn't stop police from their usual defiance of two losses in federal court and their continued defiance of a federal judge's order to back off.
We gathered at Union Square, 70 strong and the usual loop of amplified voice was again present telling us we would be arrested if we proceeded with the procession. A smattering of police were there handing out literature about the rules of the road. We did recon and saw there were cops on scooters and vans at 17th and Irving and at 18th and Park Avenue South, with laptops in tow. Vans were near them with a flatbed.
We headed east on 17th and we decided to get off our bikes and walk two blocks as the scooters flew by and started the arrests. Many escaped and 6 were arrested on 5th and 13th, consisting of 2 NLG green hats, 1 school teacher and one old woman on bike and two others. Bikes were seized and the intersection was blocked by the cops. Passersby knew what was up and disagreed with the cops vocally.
Reports have come in that as bikes escaped down one-way streets, cops in explorers and vans followed them and tried to hurt them by bumping up on curbs near them to make them fall.
Nine of us watched the arrests for a while and then headed uptown to 45th and turned left and became 15 from other scatterers. Then we went to Times Square and did a mini bike lift and waited there for 20 minutes until 8:30pm. We saw the reflections of sirens and then saw 50 bikes and we joined them, energy in the air. We only made it 10 blocks, to about 25th and B'way and the cops in the rear opened up and let the scooters come through. Everyone swarmed and I hightailed it with 3 others who were fed up and left to go home. I doublebacked and saw the aftermath of the arrests at 26th and B'way, 4 to be exact with bike seizures.
We're back at the Time's Up space at 49 East Houston Street. I can't confirm all 10 arrestees, but i do know that the last 4 were taken to the 9th precinct.
The cops yell at us for blocking traffic when they block traffic for us and while they arrest people, making a huge scene.
The cops have been arresting since the RNC any bicycle during Critical Mass or Bike Bloc who disobey the rules of the road, yet automobiles get off and still run red lights thousands of times a day with no arrests.
"Hey sarge, did you catch any rapists or murderers tonight?"
"No, just some bicyclists."
For more info: call the NLG at 212-679-6018