Wednesday, September 06, 2006

This Friday is Brooklyn Critical Mass

photo by: Blue Cinema

Last month 200 cyclists participated in Brooklyn Critical Mass and rode out to a location where Shamar Porter, a ten year old who was killed by a car on his bike in the Brownsville area of Brookyln.

(this from the Dailynews about the tragic event)

from the NY Daily News:
Today will surely be a rollercoaster of deep sadness and somber pride for Shawnette Porter.

She will be laying her only son to rest this morning, then spending the evening at a Little League finals game her boy wanted nothing more than to play in.

Ten-year-old Shamar Porter was mowed down on his way back from the park after helping his team clinch the championship ballgame.

"I have to be there," Porter, 33, said in an emotional interview. "That's what he played for."

The contest would follow the most painful of experiences.

"The hardest thing will be putting him in the ground and knowing that is the last time I'm going to see him," Porter said of the burial, which will be held in Morganville, N.J.

Here is a blurb on this month's Brooklyn Critical Mass from NYC indymedia

During the course of the last two years, the New York Police
Department and the Mayor's office have attempted unsuccessfully to
thwart the monthly critical mass rides in Manhattan. This circus has
cost millions of dollars, countless police man hours, and even a few
injuries to both cyclist and officer. As many people know, the
crackdown started with the August 2004 ride because of the confusion
and proximity with the Republican National Convention.

Interestingly enough another critical mass has emerged in this city
over the same time period. On the second Friday of July or August of
2004, Brooklyn saw its first critical mass. The actual date of the
first ride will differ with each cyclist to whom you talk. The
Brooklyn critical mass riders have seen the NYPD on their rides,
starting in October of 2004. The interaction between the officers and
the cyclists is extremely different from their counterpart across the
East River. The police and the riders have an agreement, similar to
the way it was before August of 2004 in Manhattan. When the front of
the ride gets to a red light, the cyclists will stop, and if the light
changes while the ride is going through, the police will cork the
intersection. For those of you not in the know, corking is when a
person will situate themselves in front of stopped cars to let them
know that there is a ride coming through. By corking, the ride
becomes safer, while traffic believe it or not can run smoother.

The relationship between the riders and police has become so friendly
that when the cyclists asked the police officers if they would ride
their bikes instead of their scooters, the police officers happily
obliged. Some have even reported that when a motorist asks "What is
going on?" one police officer replied, "It's Critical Mass, they are
riding to demonstrate their right to the road." The same officer is
just as confused as everyone, as to the disparity between the two

Last month (August 11th, 2006), over one hundred cyclists rode out to
the Brownsville section of Brooklyn to memorialize Shamar Porter, a
ten year old who was killed by a truck, while riding his bike home
from his little league game. Alarmingly and coincidentally, another
child Jose` Mora, 11, was killed by a car Monday September 4th at 730
pm crossing North Conduit Blvd near Atlantic Ave. Brooklyn
Critical Mass may or may not make it out to East New York on Friday
September 8th. There is no route, and there are no leaders, but when
enough people hear about Jose's death, momentum will carry the riders

Photo links to past Brooklyn Masses:

pictures 1
picture set 2
another picture set
Meanwhile, it keeps happening:

1010 Wins (posted Tuesday 05 September 2006 7:12am

oy Riding Bicycle Killed in Brooklyn

NEW YORK -- An 11-year-old boy was struck and killed while he was
riding his bicycle in Brooklyn.

New York City police say the accident was at 6:30 Monday evening on
Conduit Boulevard. Family members told police that Jose Manual Mora
was on his way to get a haircut for the first day of school. He was
walking his bike across the busy intersection at McKinley Avenue when
he was hit by a Honda Accord.

Police say the driver of the car stayed at the scene and was not charged.

The boy was taken to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead
-- about 90 minutes after the accident.

Relatives say the boy, his mother and younger sister had just moved
from Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Neighbors say the street lights in the area have been out for months
-- making the area dark and dangerous.


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