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2 Great events to support a cleaner, greener environment.
So there's a little snow on the ground, the sun is out and its melting away. Tonight is the February Critical Mass, a cycling event celebrated in almost 400 cities around the world. The last Friday of every month. Meet at 7:00pm on the North Side of Union Square Park, across from the Barnes and Noble book store in downtown Manhattan. Join in a celebration of human powered vehicles. The ride leaves Union Square around 7:20 and takes a leisurely stroll around town. Don't worry if you see some police helicopters flying over head wasting your tax dollars...the cops are probably just violating some couples right to privacy.
Then there is a benefit to promote Bio-Diesel. This is an alternative fuel substance made from vegetable oil. A eco-savvy bunch is trying to open the first bio-diesel garage in NYC. When you say, "No Blood for Oil," you can actually mean it. No need to be anti-car. Any diesel engine can use this vegetable oil based fuel. Learn more about this at the benefit.
Friday February 25, 2005
Featuring Great Dance Music including drum-n-bass,
techno, breaks and broken beat grooves with DJs â¦
Swingsett, (ism, jazzsoundting) w/ vocalist Rhiannon
(Sister NYC, the Shift)
Criterion, (Broklyn Beats)
plus Singer, Beatboxer, and Live looper, Kid Beyond
from San Francisco
Plus a very special set by the mesmerizing acoustic duo
Chocolate Thai and Jubilee
Also, projection artist Paul Clay with his unique and
artistic video mixes and live video artists, The Killer
Bansheeâs all the way from San Francisco
Body painting, dancing, performance and vibes by the
Art and Propaganda by Complacent.org
Environmental performances by The Green Circus and much
Last minute addition: We will be joined by bio-diesel
pioneer Sarah Augusta Lewison, who is the subject of
the movie âThe Fat of the Landâ and was part of the
first ever U.S. biodiesel tour! The film will be
screened at 9 pm sharp to kick off the event. WOW!!
At 9:30 Sarah will join Arrow for biodiesel/veggie oil
Q and A, with a brief update of the latest developments
with the vegetable-powered BIO-BUS and related
9:pm till 4am
$7 to $15 Sliding Scale donation
(Money collected will go towards keeping the BIO-BUS
and the BIO TOUR project going strong for sustainable
energy in 2005!)
ALWAN FOR THE ARTS
16 Beaver Street,
in the Financial District between Broadway & Broad
New York, NY www.alwan.org
Straight south Broadway past Wall St.
Take the left fork at the giant bull
Beaver is first Street on left.
Alwan is 1 1/2 blocks East on Beaver.
Subway: 4,5 Bowling Green R,W Whitehall
2,3 Wall Street J,M Broad Street 1,9 South Ferry
P.S. This will also be a celebration of Arrowâs B-Day,
so please come!
(and Fly and Crito and Barbra Lee--all Piscean peeps
Go to http://www.biotour.org/eventdetails.html for
performer updates and further details.
About thirty bike riders took to the streets in Nottingham, England with the theme, "no blood for oil" and "No G8 2005."
They seemed to have a successful ride bringing attention to their cause and making space for non-polluting, non-fossil fuel burning transpiration.
Critical mass is everywhere and not just for the last Friday's of every month, anymore.
The link for this site: www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/02/305420.html
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the United Kingdom, 27 Greenpeace activists were arrested trying to disrupt the opening day of trading at the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) Trading was tied up for an hour as demonstrators made noise, with air horns and other noise devises. Traders and security attacked the demonstrators and at one point pushed a heavy metal file cabinet on some of them. There is a report that at least one activist was sent to the hospital.
Also outside the IPE, demonstrators hung banners, one reading, âClimate change kills Stop pushing oil."
The protest comes on the day the Kyoto Protocol is put into implementation.
Stephen Tindale, from Greenpeace, said: "Climate change poses the gravest threat our planet has ever faced, yet oil is traded in this place with impunity as if the lives of millions and the future of whole species mean nothing.
"This madness has to end, it's that simple. Today, as Kyoto becomes law, we ask the world to take a deep breath and consider where our oil addiction is taking us."
see the BBC story at:
How do we know this? Because the Sprawl is already here and seems to be the biggest agenda for our elected officials as they pave the way for box stores and the corporate, state funded land grab. Meanwhile in Brooklyn we have a police force mounted the kind that could stop a small army, no not for some unarmed African merchant/possible rape suspect. Not for a mysterious homeless man hell-bent on starting track fires and damaging the pristine MTA, Not even to stop a mad terrorist bomber with a rental van. No the NYPD was properly deployed with our tax dollars to monitor a bike ride. Brooklyn Critical Mass on February 11th, 2005. I got very loose reports about this ride but it seemed positive. To police, big in size with their scooters and vans, chaperoned the ride and did not attack. They made communication with the 20-30 riders and even asked them to stop at red light, which the bike ride complied. No arrests. Remember, this is how all-good critical mass starts in cities all over the world. 20 riders, 50 ridersâ€¦then into the thousandsâ€¦just to go on a bike ride. Bravo.
Meanwhile our mayor who will not rest until his baby West side stadium is built and he can comfortably relax in his special skybox was busy bashing Madison Square Garden for being greedy and not playing fair like a good megalomaniacal corporation should be. How dare Cablevision compete with this stadium project trying to protect its interests? I mean MSG is no saint, its just funny to watch these two corporate giants bitch slapping each other while the peasants eat cake and canâ€™t get their C train to work properly and whoâ€™s public schools lake playgrounds and where principals in the Bronx have to pull NYPD officers off of there students. It is infuriating that the debate about these stadiums leaves out the public interests and needs. Do we as a city where the average price of an apartment is One million dollars need to bow down to our mayor who can only think about making the Jets happy to tie up traffic on Sunday nights? I love sports, donâ€™t get me wrongâ€¦but my favorite sport is Hockey and were sitting around wondering if our league will disband forever. I really hope they do complete that stadium and then the NFL goes on strike. Letâ€™s face it; there isnâ€™t much we can do.
There isnâ€™t much we can do about loosing our public space and unique character of our city. Look at Brooklyn. Landowner Bruce Ratner, is going to be the big winner in Brooklyn with his new Basketball Stadium. Oh what jobs it will bring. Peanut vendors, and parking lot attendants and much more Baristas at Starbucks. Plus Bruce will get 17 towers ranging from 20 to 58 stories tall, 2.5 million square feet of office and retail space and 4,500 units of unaffordable housing. Yeah. Private gym facilities. I can just see it now. A giant monolith of corporate private space 1.3 times larger then the World Trade Center site, dedicated to licking Bruce Ratners boots. Meanwhile, you guessed it, we will all sit in traffic, go to stores that will be out of everything and not be allowed to loiter anywhere near the premises.
And then get ready for SPRAWL Mart which will be the first one to open in Rego Park Queensâ€¦can we stop this giant retail store that, yes provides jobs but doesnâ€™t allow workers to form unions and receive adequate benefits? Wait, one store did form a Union in Canadaâ€¦what did Wal-mart do? It closed the store. Bravo. Meanwhile Wal-mart had to settle a deal to pay for their violations of child labor laws. Well if our kids can make it in our failing schools they can always be box stackers at Americaâ€™s number one largest employer. Mayor Bloomberg said in a press conference, â€œit was the city's job to decide which stores should open here. We have to make this city open to everybody," he said. "There's always two sides. Some people like big stores, some people don't like big stores, but that's in the end what the marketplace should determine." Hey I agree. Some people like to work for less than minimum wage and have illegal immigrants clean the floors at night until they get caught and to not promote woman and to not let their employees form a union and get due health insurance benefits and some people donâ€™t. In the end it is up to the consumer to decide, right? Cause if they want that Chinese made lamp cheaper than anybody else and to support a global chain that undermines their local communities wellbeingâ€¦they should have it!
Here is story from this years Idiotarod which when down in NYC: 1/29/05
Just a few days ago, I think cause the jet lag has effected my sense of time, I was in the warm streets of Bangkok, Thailand on a long deserved vacation. Now I think its like 5 degrees outside and I find myself running down the streets of DowntownBrooklyn loosely attached to a shopping cart, wearing a hockey helmet. We're running pretty fast now, banging into other shopping carts and trying to avoid the traps people have laid out to foil fellow racers such as marbles and vegetable grease strewn out on the cobble stones. Wait a second...is someone throwing raw meat at me? It must be the butcher team. Why are we racing with shopping carts? Is this some post-apocolytic future nightmare and the stores have run out of food? Are we in a scene from a Rodney King riot and we've just looted the local Best Buy? No, we have to get to the first checkpoint and figure out the quickest way to get our team of five sled dog runners across the Brooklyn Bridge. This is the 2005 idiotarod race.
Quick overview: The race is based on the Alaskan sled dog race across Alaska known as the iditorad. A couple of wise guys from San Francisco decided to make a play on that and thus started the Idiotarod. Its far to cold to be running in Alaska and a well trained pack of malamutes are hard to come by on the foggy shores of the West Coast, so people settled for just getting a team of 5 people to attach themselves to shopping carts and run a race. Last year the idea was tried in New York City, and thus the first idiotarod was born. The idea here is fun, think John Belushi running around a track on a diet of chocolate donuts although through pictures and my experience in this race, I noticed a fun in shape jogging outfits...so maybe people can actually run and enjoy it. I can run, but prefer a bicycle and can only make good time if the cops are chasing me at a demonstration...sometimes. Most importantly the idea here is to dress up, form a goofy costumed team, run through the streets of Manhattan attached to a shopping cart, make people wonder why the fuck you are doing this and not in bed hibernating under 2 down comforters.
So the registration for your team was right by the River CafÃ© and the old Brooklyn Ice Cream shop around 2pm. A picturesque viewpoint of the East side of Manhattan. There was still plenty of snow on the ground so it seemed fitting that someone had erected a plastic igloo and was rocking a sound system and serving drinks. I came to watch, missing the chance to pre-arrange myself on a team because of being away on vacation. Then a friend of mine from the Madagascar Institute came up to me wearing ill-fitting football pads from high school and a motorcycle helmet. Gear asked me if I was on a team and convinced me to join theirs. All I needed was a hockey helmet and a red bandana. Thatâs what they thought. All I needed was to be warm and to consume at least one beer.
The various teams of the race were assembling with some looking determined to win the best costume prize. Of course there was at least one pirate team, a few clowns, some foam looking tiki heads, some dudes with black afro wigs and yes a mime team. So far my favorites were the short bus who looked like they should never take off their helmets and this amazing crafted fabric octopus encompassing the whole shopping cart. We paid the $5.00 per person entry fee and began to psyhe ourselves out against a field of at least 20-30 teams. There were some rules we had to be aware of in this race. You must have 5 racers, you must have a shopping cart that has not been too altered and you must hit all the checkpoints.
After a short while of sizing each other up, smiling for the cameras and preparing our ketchup bottles to be used as red goo spiting weapons...after all our team was named Bludgeon or something like that) it was time to race.
And there off. All the teams began running for the Brooklyn Bridge to hit the first check point on the West Side, Chambers St. Our team consisted of Albert form Madagascar, Gear and his girlfriend Kate who have an aversion for anyone attempting to take her picture, me and this guy who actually enjoyed running...Ed. We made a break for the pedestrian staircase that is sort of a short cut for entering the Brooklyn Bridge. For some reason, I thought less people would think of this but as we were all trying to slam our carts up the stairs, I quickly learned that this was the most desired route. Some black clad ninja team was trying to block us out from getting our cart up the stairs. They were rewarded with a smattering of ketchup poured down the backside...don't mess with Red Bludgeon. We worked our way up the stairs and started hauling ass up the Bridge. Other teams were passing us, getting Ketchuped, stopping to catch their breath, trying to avoid pedestrians. I started to feel my side ache after running for like half a mile. Gear had fallen back, but Ed was attached to the front and just kept going. The downhill was great. We sort of jumped on the cart and plowed down the bridge with Albert anchoring the back of the cart.
We reached the Manhattan side, turned onto Chambers Street and headed for the first check point...this bar. Other teams were already gathered outside, but it looked like we had faired pretty well. At the checkpoint, one member of your team was supposed to go in the bar and give the judges an egg timer, where you were supposed to wait for 20 minutes, or if you knew one of the judges you could make a bribe and have your time reduced. Albert happened to know one of them, it happens to be his wife, Tara who is 9 months pregnant...unfortunately she was at the other check point. More racers were coming in and the sidewalks were starting to fill up. I knew at any moment the NYPD would show up with no idea what was going on. I was right. As soon as they discovered this was not a protest, they sort of stood by and made sure we didn't block the street. I heard one officer say, that they were just concerned about our safety...right...thats all I'm gonna say. I was concerned about getting a six pack of tall boys so our team could properly rehydrate for the long journey ahead of 20 blocks. After a while of waiting on the opposite street corner, fighting with some dork with a bad mustache about trying to take our picture and watching other teams be given the go-ahead. Albert ran out of the bar and we were off.
The next check point was the Lotus Bar on Clinton St. So we had to get East. We started zig zagging up Church St. in hot pursuit of other teams. It was great looking around on various side streets and see random teams of shopping carts running, breaking up the monotony of peoples typical Saturday routine.
One team with bicycle helmets and red brooms attached to the top, like some sort of dysfunctional roman legion were following us. We fought back with ice chunks from the street and of course...ketchup.
We made it to Lotus Bar, thinking we had made good time by Alberts navigation of crossing town via a side street all the way over to Essex. We discovered there were a lot of teams already there and the competative side of me was like damn. It was the usual scene, people milling about waiting to leave, cheering on others arriving and filling out into the street to gain the attention of the NYPD's 9th precinct which is notorious for fucking with art and activists street activities.
I tried to warn everyone I could to keep their booze on the dl especially with plain clothes 50 sniffing around. I stopped one team in the midst of chugging an entire box of wine. Then I turned around and it was too late, our lead jogging expert Ed was getting busted by the man. Right after he was escorted away by two cops to be delivered his on the street sentence, a cart rolls up with tons of bottles of booze and annouces, "the Bar car is open!" Now I don't want to spoil anyones fun especially when it comes to drinking but we just lost our best runner.
So me and Albert get the go ahead and start racing for the finish at tompkins square park. We are down to 2 people. Then we see Kate and Gear waddling up the Ave. B and we're like...lets go! Then Ed comes in. Down but not out. Looks like he only got a summons. We race up B, together again and are attacked by race volunteers armed with snowballs. We attack back with shaving cream. Then we turn up 7th Street and head into the final half a block. There is a row of people standing and cheering.
We finished the race in 9th place. Apparently the team going as the president along with secert service got first...of course the president always win. In this case the president was a she and it looked like she took a bad ankle injury, she also had some mysterious white powder under her nose...hmmm, just like our president.
I ran into my buddy Chris Ryan of the local ska/punk band Team Spider. www.teamspider.com He had shown up to video the race for his local public access show on MNN...Wednesday Nights at 11:30pm on channel 57...plug plug. He said he was talking with one of the local beat cops and they asked what was going on. He said, oh its a race, just having fun. Just then some small explosions went off. The cop said, "fun with fireworks?" Then ran off in the direction of the noise.
Yes there were bottle rockets bursting in air to celebrate a sucessful idiotarod race. There was also the Time's Up sound bike providing tunes from a large portable bike trailer/sound system. Local kids danced to the music and waited for someone to give them a light to join in the bottle rockets. After a while of hanging out, it was time for the traditional piling of the shopping carts.
The local police watched and did nothing. When a few squad cars rolled in, it was just time to go.