Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Jesus Christ Action Astor Place

Thanks to Fred Askew, street action photographer extraodinaire, we are able to witness yet another artistic powerful protest of one individual taking matters into his own hands. Yes that is a real person who decided to protest war by dressing up as Jesus and climbing on top of a street lamp post for all of Lower Manhattan to see. Around his waste is an American flag as his swaddling cloth and above his head is a small sign that says, "War?" This makes me think of the advertisement one automaker tried to come up with to infuse our savior in its marketing campaign by posing the simple question..."what car would jesus drive?" Makes you wonder in this age of oil war and enviromental destruction due to the automobile exactly what car would he drive? Or would the baredoot healer of the sick just walk or better ride a bicycle. Then you have to ask if we're going to bring Christ into all this, what would he think about going to war for oil? What country would Jesus bomb in our brand new crusade to fight the Turks?

I think it was a nice symbolic action. Props to the artist and props to Fred Askew taking the photos and putting them up on Indymedia...

also constantly check for great timely photos of everything New York.

Speaking of taking maters into their own hands...

I also discovered the Bicycle-Riders Freedom Front on Indy Media. I'm not sure if it is a good idea to use the initials FF in this age of demonizing environmentalists as terrorists with similar names like ELF and ALF but all the more reason to do it because Media fear hype is way more of a problem then anything these groups engage in.

Anyho, these people did an action to help bike riders and I applaude them.

Here is the Indymedia article...

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 26, 2005, members of the Bicycle-riders Freedom Front (BFF) dismantled a section of the recently installed anti-bike barriers on the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge.
Below is the anonymous communique sent out by Bicycle-Riders Freedom Front members in NYC about recently taken action.

To whom it may concern:

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 26, 2005, members of the Bicycle-riders Freedom Front (BFF) dismantled a section of the recently installed anti-bike barriers on the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge. These barriers prevent cyclists from taking a direct exit off of the bike path and force them to follow a lengthy detour to the unlit underside of the Manhattan Bridge, where several cyclists have reported incidents of harassment.

These barriers are just another hazard of living in a city designed and shaped by car-worshipping
ideologues. For years, cyclists in New York City have believed that they have had no choice but to live with inadequate bike lanes, inconsiderate and aggressive drivers, and poorly designed and maintained bike paths and bridges. Every day cyclists are the victims of hit and run drivers who are rarely held culpable for their actions. Every day cyclists are forced to compete with car traffic because their bike paths-- if they are lucky enough to be on one of the few roads with a demarcated bike path-- are blocked by idling and double-parked vehicles, including police vehicles.
Every day cyclists injure themselves and damage their bikes on bridges built without any consideration for bicycle and pedestrian safety.

If moderates continue to fail to win changes, we will take direct action. We want the dangerous bumps on the Williamsburg Bridge bike path removed by the city or we will remove them ourselves. We demand that lights be installed on the Willis Avenue Bridge and that a stop light and crosswalk be constructed on the Bronx side of the bridge, where pedestrians and cyclists are presently forced to cross multiple lanes of fast traffic.

We are pedestrians and bicyclists who refuse to submit to the tyranny of car-centrist urban planners who desigh and build OUR city for the convenience of the automobile. We call for other walkers and riders to pick up the wrench and help us to dismantle car culture one bolt at a time.



So Friday is the big Critical Mass.

April 29th

at 6:00pm there is a speak out on the steps of the South Side of Union Square. "Still we Speak." This is a permited gathering to let people know about how the city is attacking critical mass and Time's up an 18 year environmental group that should be rewarded for there commitment to a cleaner and more environmental friendly New York City.

Then at 7:00pm its time to pick your spot to start Critical Mass.

There are 4 start point options

1) Madison Park (23rd and Broadway)

2) Union Square North (the standard meeting spot for critical mass for about 8 years)

3) Tompkin square park

4) Washington Square park.

If you are an avid CMers I highly recomend supporting another location besides Union Square Park. When you get to that location, look for other riders and try and gather stragelers to one spot...I think this will become clear.

If you have never been to Critical Mass and were waiting for the warm weather...I say go to Union Square.

The idea is to break things up and make critical mass more fun. One goal will be to try and link up these rides from all 4 locations, but it may not happen. We may all be riding around the city as 4 happy little crews. I'd use the word cells but then of course thanks to media fear mongering...well you get the idea.


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