NYC: Our beloved Critical Mass ride is under attack!

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.soc' started by TIME'S UP! (via Jym Dyer), Aug 25, 2004.

  1. [Also Posted to critical-mass]

    http://nyc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/103215/index.php

    An important message from TIME'S UP! to our community.

    What: New York City Critical Mass
    When: Friday, August 27th, 7pm
    Where: Union Square North

    Our beloved Critical Mass Ride is under attack! Take a
    look at this scan of a letter from the NYPD:

    http://www.times-up.org/images/nypd-to-ta-re-cm.jpg

    All threats, intimidation tactics and harassment, however,
    will not keep us from going forward with this amazing community
    ritual! We have worked hard to build this dynamic community and
    to advocate for the rights of those that use alternative modes
    of transportation! We have worked hard to reclaim our rights to
    public space in our city of New York!

    Tell all your friends. Bring family, neighbors, lovers and
    strangers. Bring noisemakers, musical instruments, face-paint,
    flowers, and your energy and joy. Bring things to juggle and to
    share and also your conviction that we have a right to converge
    and ride throughout this glorious city. Bring video cameras.

    * We will not be intimidated!
    * We will not be threatened and harassed!
    * This is our city! This is our community!

    Let's make this the biggest, loudest, most joyful Critical Mass
    ever!

    We are not afraid! We are powerful and energized! We live and
    visit here because New York is a place we love! We will not let
    them create a culture of fear and intimidation!

    *** LET'S ROLL! ***
     
    Tags:


  2. Stan de SD

    Stan de SD Guest

    "TIME'S UP! (via Jym Dyer)" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > [Also Posted to critical-mass]
    >
    > http://nyc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/103215/index.php
    >
    > An important message from TIME'S UP! to our community.
    >
    > What: New York City Critical Mass
    > When: Friday, August 27th, 7pm
    > Where: Union Square North
    >
    > Our beloved Critical Mass Ride is under attack! Take a
    > look at this scan of a letter from the NYPD:
    >
    > http://www.times-up.org/images/nypd-to-ta-re-cm.jpg
    >
    > All threats, intimidation tactics and harassment, however,
    > will not keep us from going forward with this amazing community
    > ritual! We have worked hard to build this dynamic community and
    > to advocate for the rights of those that use alternative modes
    > of transportation! We have worked hard to reclaim our rights to
    > public space in our city of New York!
    >
    > Tell all your friends. Bring family, neighbors, lovers and
    > strangers. Bring noisemakers, musical instruments, face-paint,


    Jym, we know you're a clown even without the face-paint...

    > flowers, and your energy and joy. Bring things to juggle and to
    > share and also your conviction that we have a right to converge
    > and ride throughout this glorious city. Bring video cameras.
    >
    > * We will not be intimidated!
    > * We will not be threatened and harassed!
    > * This is our city! This is our community!
    >
    > Let's make this the biggest, loudest, most joyful Critical Mass
    > ever!
    >
    > We are not afraid! We are powerful and energized! We live and
    > visit here because New York is a place we love! We will not let
    > them create a culture of fear and intimidation!
    >
    > *** LET'S ROLL! ***
     
  3. http://nyc.indymedia.org/feature/display/103268/index.php

    [Currently featured at toplevel http://nyc.indymedia.org/
    site, but that's not a persistent URL.]

    Below is a press release that was sent by TIME'S UP! to
    numerous media contacts.

    =------------8<-------------Cut-Here-------------8<------------=

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    August 25, 2004 (xxx) xxx-xxxx

    Thousands of Cyclists to Reclaim New York City
    Streets in Historic Pre-RNC Critical Mass Ride

    Police threaten riders with arrest (see bottom of this release)

    At 7pm this Friday August 27 New York cyclists and skaters will
    gather at the north side of Union Square to take part in the
    time honored ritual of Critical Mass, a community bike
    ride. While Critical Mass has been present in Manhattan only
    since 1998, it began in San Francisco in 1992 and quickly spread
    across the world and now takes place monthly in over three
    hundred cities around the world.

    Typically the NYPD maintains a minimal presence at Critical Mass
    events with a hands-off approach to the monthly ride. When there
    is a police presence at Critical Mass, police scooter escorts in
    fact assist Critical Mass riders in ``corking'' traffic by
    stopping cars from side streets that have a green light -
    helping riders run red lights. However, since this month’s
    Critical Mass promises to be one of the largest seen in New York
    City due to it being the Friday before the Republican National
    Convention and is seen by many as a kick-off event to a week of
    protest, the NYPD has taken a circuitous route to dealing with
    Critical Mass. Since the ride is an organic event with no
    leaders and no central organization, the NYPD addressed a letter
    to Transportation Alternatives encouraging them to inform their
    members that this month’s ride will see a different approach
    from the police.

    The NYPD is saying that Critical Mass creates dangerous
    conditions to both citizens and riders by its significant
    impediment to traffic. Riders are ``Obstructing Governmental
    Administration''. Now riders will apparently risk arrest for not
    abiding by the very laws the police have helped them violate in
    the past. Critical Mass itself is not an illegal event, as bike
    riding is legal but since the ride can number up to 1500, and is
    expected to top that number on Friday, it has always been in the
    best interest of all involved to allow the ride to cork traffic
    so that is passes as quickly as possible. Isolated clumps of
    bike riders throughout the city would create chaos, while
    allowing the entire group to stay together and pass quickly
    creates only minor inconveniences for automobile traffic.

    Participants in Critical Mass look forward to each month’s
    ride as a reclamation of public space and a defiant celebration
    of an alternative more positive version of urban living. This
    month’s ride has long been viewed as a tone-setter for the
    week of protest against the Republican National Convention and
    the timing of this letter is clearly indicative of an attempt to
    create a climate of fear around anti-RNC protests. As many
    activists are expected to be present at Friday’s Critical
    Mass, it is clearly a chance for the NYPD to make mass arrests
    and present themselves as being in charge. By identifying
    Critical Mass participants as lawbreakers, and appealing
    directly to Transportation Alternatives as a ``wonderful
    organization'' with ``lawful desires'', the NYPD clearly means
    to manufacture a dichotomy between ``good'' and ``bad''
    protestors: those who will surrender their Constitutional rights
    in the face of police intimidation and those who will not. (Also
    see: ``peaceful protestor'' buttons.) The best way for them to
    send this message is by criminalizing Critical Mass and
    arresting its participants before the week of anti-RNC protests
    even begin.

    =30=

    A scan of the NYPD's letter can be obtained here:
    http://www.times-up.org/images/nypd-to-ta-re-cm.jpg

    =------------>8-------------Cut-Here------------->8------------=
     
  4. H

    H Guest

    "Stan de SD" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "TIME'S UP! (via Jym Dyer)" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]

    ....
    > > Our beloved Critical Mass Ride is under attack! Take a
    > > look at this scan of a letter from the NYPD:
    > > http://www.times-up.org/images/nypd-to-ta-re-cm.jpg
    > >




    Its not cool to flagrantly break traffic laws and do things like ride
    in circles in the middle of intersections. Doing so works against the
    whole concept of asserting rights for bicycles. It creates anger in
    motorists, further propagates the common urban notion that a bicyle is
    a renegade and unpredicatable vehicle, and gives police a valid reason
    to write tickets, make arrests and "restore order".

    Why can't critical mass rides simply be a large number of cyclists
    travelling together through the city and exercising their rights
    without breaking traffic laws?

    It seems to me that the letter from the police is _not_ an "attack" as
    the subject line calls it. It is reasonable and even friendly plea
    from the police to just NOT break traffic laws.

    If some people feel the need to act like clowns and
    aggressively/systematically violate the traffic rules that allow all
    vehicles to get along, they fully deserve to be cited and possibily
    even arrested.
     
  5. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "TIME'S UP! (via Jym Dyer)" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > [Also Posted to critical-mass]
    >
    > http://nyc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/103215/index.php
    >
    > An important message from TIME'S UP! to our community.
    >
    > What: New York City Critical Mass
    > When: Friday, August 27th, 7pm
    > Where: Union Square North
    >
    > Our beloved Critical Mass Ride is under attack! Take a
    > look at this scan of a letter from the NYPD:
    >
    > http://www.times-up.org/images/nypd-to-ta-re-cm.jpg
    >


    If the riders in this are routinely breaking the law, then I agree with the
    letter. If instead, the riders are obeying the current traffic laws, then
    this letter has no merit.

    Which is it?

    Pete
     
  6. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >[Also Posted to critical-mass]
    >http://nyc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/103215/index.php
    >An important message from TIME'S UP! to our community.
    >What: New York City Critical Mass
    >When: Friday, August 27th, 7pm
    >Where: Union Square North
    >Our beloved Critical Mass Ride is under attack! Take a
    >look at this scan of a letter from the NYPD:
    >http://www.times-up.org/images/nypd-to-ta-re-cm.jpg


    Where is the attack? All I see is a request that you obey the law.

    >All threats, intimidation tactics and harassment, however,
    >will not keep us from going forward with this amazing community
    >ritual! We have worked hard to build this dynamic community and
    >to advocate for the rights of those that use alternative modes
    >of transportation! We have worked hard to reclaim our rights to
    >public space in our city of New York!


    Please continue to do so, but obey the law while you are at it.
    Otherwise you are portraying cyclists as a bunch of law breakers.

    ---------------
    Alex
     
  7. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...


    >Participants in Critical Mass look forward to each month’s
    >ride as a reclamation of public space and a defiant celebration
    >of an alternative more positive version of urban living.


    What is being re-calimed? It's not like you cant' ride your
    bikes on the very same streets at other times of the month.

    >This
    >month’s ride has long been viewed as a tone-setter for the
    >week of protest against the Republican National Convention and
    >the timing of this letter is clearly indicative of an attempt to
    >create a climate of fear around anti-RNC protests.


    The letter sounds more like a nice way to ask that you not cause
    trouble because there are not enough cops to babysit the RNC and
    CM.
    ------------
    Alex
     
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