Friday, August 29, 2008

Critical Mass is Tonight...all around the world.

picture from DNC critical mass, taken by: Tyler Dickey

In Minneapolis it will be the critical mass before the RNC swine convention begins.
Law enforcement already preparing for "anarchists," according to this article from Twin Cities Fox news affiliate.

Here in NYC..

Well you know the drill. But don't believe the hype.

Article in Today's Metro:

by amy zimmer / metro new york
AUG 29, 2008

Friday night’s Critical Mass marks a seminal event in the ride’s history: Four years ago the police arrested more than 250 people during the monthly ride that attracted thousands during the Republic National Convention.
The ride — which has been a New York City fixture since 1993 — had a party-like vibe prior to August 2004. Critical Mass regulars believe the police tactics they saw during the RNC has not relented since.

“People are still concerned that the NYPD is using excessive force and harassment,” said Barbara Ross, who was arrested during the convention.

The RNC experience was a “turning point” for Ross, a volunteer for Times Up! — the environmental group that promotes Critical Mass. “I had never been involved in fighting for First Amendment issues.”

While some, like Ross, became more politically active, others just left town.

“I know people who left New York … some people didn’t feel safe around the cops anymore," said Mark Taylor, who had just started law school when he was arrested during the RNC while riding as a legal observer. “It was a dramatic thing to see mass arrests and be caught up in it and see how arbitrary it was.”

He now works on cases defending Critical Mass riders, including Christopher Long, who was filmed being knocked off his bike by a cop during last month’s Critical Mass.

“There’s more public awareness of what the police department is up to and more recognition of a lack of oversight,” Taylor said. “But I don’t think the police feel any more restrained.”


Open arms

“I think Summer Streets was an important lesson for the city,” Ross said. “If the NYPD works with the cyclists like before the RNC, I’m convinced the ride will grow again with families, older cyclists and a more diverse ride.”

Time's Up released this press release about tonight's ride:

Link to Press Release Here

(Happy Now Barbara)


Critical Mass gains support from the community after release of videos
showing NYPD’s harassment of the ride since the 2004 Republic National

WHAT: Critical Mass Ride
WHEN: Friday, August 29, 2008 at 7:00 PM
WHERE: Union Square Park North at 17th Street
**Ride participants & supporters will be available for comments before the
ride begins.

New York, NY (August 29, 2008) – Friday night, cyclists will gather at
7:00 PM in Union Square North for the Critical Mass monthly group ride.
Supporters of the ride will be there to send off cyclists who have
continued hitting the car-clogged streets, despite 4 years of harassment
from the NYPD since the 2004 Republican National Convention. Outrage from
the community has been growing since a bystander’s video was released by
Time’s Up! and the Glass Bead Collective showing Officer Patrick Pogan
body slamming Christopher Long off his bicycle while riding on the July
2008 Critical Mass. Members of the City Council have also joined the
chorus of indignation, calling for the Manhattan District Attorney to
investigate the NYPD’s policies toward Critical Mass rides.

"Under the management of Mayor Bloomberg, the NYPD has waged an expensive,
unnecessary and dangerous campaign against group bicycle rides and
non-polluting transportation since 2004. Time’s Up! and the cycling
community are confident that public pressure will convince the NYPD to
return to the more sensible police tactics used prior to the Republican
National Convention," says Barbara Ross, a regular Critical Mass
participant and volunteer with Time's Up! Environmental Group.


Video of Christopher Long body slammed by NYPD on July 2008 Critical Mass
ride in Time’s Square:

City Council Member’s letter to the Manhattan DA calling for an
investigation into the NYPD’s policies toward Critical Mass:

Time’s Up! letter to the editor published in New York Times replying to
Raymond Kelly’s comments on Critical Mass:


Critical Mass is a monthly celebration of non-polluting transportation,
which takes place in hundreds of cities around the world. Critical Mass
and other group rides have contributed to the increase in cycling and
safer streets.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez, aren't there any other cm'ers out there that the press, etc. can quote?????

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MSP's Critical Mass went fairly well, 600+ riders over 30 miles between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. No arrests, and the pigs were even distributing water bottles for parched riders.

Maybe MSP can teach something to NYC?

3:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how many riders last night?

4:22 PM  
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9:23 PM  

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