Friday, September 30, 2005

the deviant thrill of the scatter

Critical Mass was lots of fun tonight...sort of. Yes there were arrests. 20-40 people is the estimate. The multiple meet up spots worked good. 150 people were at Union Square, 30 people in Washington Square and about 20 in Tompkins. The group at Washington Square was left alone and played a game of "Find the other rides," which made for a leisuely stroll reminiscent of the good ol days when critical mass wasn't considered a terroist threat. We linked up with the main ride going up Lafayette street. After some cheering our crys of joy were quickly drowned out by the sounds of a siren. An ambulance cruised up the street and the riders pulled to the side only to observe the rushed ambulance stop at Starbucks. The driver must have had a Latte attack, which proves the point that the police are willing to use emergency vehicle and fire trucks to prove we are a dangerous traffic menace. It is also important to note, we pulled over quickly. The ride got info to aviod 14th street so we stayed downtown and took a piece of the West Side Highway for old time sakes. Then we heard the police found us and sure enough showed up at Bleeker with a squadron of scooters and police vans. A few more arrests were made. Using technology helped a lot but there were still arrests. Having multiple meet up spots worked well and people were real good about communicating information to the front and back of the ride. We still kicked ass. Still we ride. Next ride is Oct 28th which will no doubt be Halloween themed dress up ride. Support Brooklyn Critical Mass and keep riding.

More updates to follow. Please send me pictures.


Blogger Mark said...

I was ridding my pedicab last night and saw all the scooter cops. The scooter cops "cork" the street blocking traffic so they can stop us from ellegedly blocking traffic.


2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night I caught up with the madison square group. I lost the group and caught back up in lower manhattan. This is when another rider pointed out a guy who kept leaving the group and appeared to be radio'ng in information. I watched to witness it first hand and told random nearby people we suspected him to be a cop. We made a left and then a quick right. The suspected cop went straight instead of right. Sure enough several blocks later he was back in the group. Now we are waiting for the light to enter the west side highway. All of a sudden he jumps the sidewalk and rides towards the back of the group then turns down a side street. My friend trails him and I start to trail both of them. When he saw my friend on the side street he came back out and then rode away from the group, away from the westside highway. At this point we are convinced he is a cop and are ready to call him on it but we never see him back in the group. He was riding what appeared to be a cheap full suspension mountain bike. He was older and out of shape, had saggy jeans, black zip up hoody, and NY baseball cap.

Any advice how to out them quicker? I would feel really bad to call out a rider who wasn't a cop.

3:03 PM  
Blogger barenakedbiker said...

Go up and say hello to the suspect popo. Watch the reaction.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, Love the flickr page you have. Also keep up the pedicab work. You guys are my heroes. I also saw that fat dude with the saggy jeans and thought...hmmm, could be an undercover. I hate to say it but are rides are getting smaller and smaller. Soon we should be able to know or recognize just about everyone and maybe the undercovers will stick out even more. The whole "Cop or not a cop" game is amusing and aggravating. One ride, I thought this guy was an undercover and it turned out to be my friend's Dad who was a firefighter from Boston. It sucks having to profile people. The important thing to know about Undercovers is to observe them on either radios or cell phones...I noticed a few suspicious characters that fit the cop profile but were never on their phones. They need to be relaying information to the uniformed cops who are going to try and arrest us. Otherwise undercovers role in the rides is to try and lead us to a spot where they can arrest us or put us into danger like going on the FDR or a bridge. Somewhere they can say we are even more of a threat to the precious cars of this city which can do no wrong, even when they kill us. We should be outing undercovers as long as it doesn't distract too much from our enjoyment of critical mass. After all, it's once a month we get to ride together for 2 hours, the rest of time belongs to the gas guzzlers. I know that a cops cover is very important so they are less likely to reveal it such as to leave when arrests are being made or not to engage in the arrests themselves. Either way its best to try and distance youself from undercovers. If outing them is the best way, then go for it.

8:14 PM  
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3:29 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

there is an easy way to find out if someone is an undercover cop. Just ask them. I think that an undercover officer isn't legaly permitted to say no. they can try and dodge the question, but I don't think they can say no. also take their picture. If they are an undercover cop you should tell them where they can find a car parked in the bike lane to ticket.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous alias said...

Mark, I think this may be technicaly correct, but it is an ongoing myth that cops "have to" tell you the truth. They can and do lie about being undercovers, all the time.

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