Well its that time of year again. When Presidential candidates (backed by major corporate dollars) spend millions on their conventions, preach about freedom and equality and fully allow their host cities to become militarized police states that look a lot like this:
Wow, I remember back in 2004. Ah yes the Republican National Convention in the oh so Republican town of New York. By allowing my city to host the RNC (Thanks Mayor Bloomberg) lets remember some of the good times:
*We turned our 10 year Critical Mass into a violent battleground of police harassment. *We got lots of people arrested, even for just standing on the sidewalk thinking about protesting. *Tied up the court system with hundreds of lawsuits for things like locking people in a toxic bus depot for 48 hours. Many of these cases are still pending but most of them have been dropped favoring the demonstrators. *Allowed plain clothes officers to manically ride around on scooters ramming into people. *Sent NYPD cops all over the country to infiltrate such violent protest groups like the “Billionaires for Bush.”
Denver will be having a critical mass on Wednesday August 27th.
In Miami, a cab driver is trying for his own Olympic record of the number of cyclists he can take out.
Sunday, on the MacArthur Causeway, a cab struck eleven cyclists out for a club ride. According to the Miami Herald Six of the cyclists were rushed to local hospitals. The most seriously injured was a 48-year-old man who is in critical condition and undergoing surgery at Ryder Trauma Center; five others were in stable condition. The other five suffered severe road burn when thrown to the pavement and were treated at the scene.
Unbelievable. My thoughts go out to all those injured. The cabie will probably get a slap on the wrist and this will be considered an “unfortunate accident,” with no investigation.
August 24th, 2008 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Kicking things off with a Messenger Prom on August 30th:
and a bike polo tournament:
Speaking of the Olympics, China is still holding a dozen foreigners including 8 Americans, 1 being a friend of mine, Brian Conley, for such heinous acts as unfurling a protest banner. Wow, what a fair and tolerant host country. I hope all the new consumers they have opened up to Pepsi products was worth it.
More on the bullshit of the Chinese government here.
August 24th, 2008 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Last week a bicycle sharing program was launched in Washington DC. The system, modeled after the highly successful Velib program in France. This new program, kicked off by making 100 bicycle available for a $40.00 a year membership fee.
Here is an article from the LA times explaining how the system works:
DC Rolls out Bike Sharing Plan to thin Traffic. By Cynthia Dizikes, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer August 15, 2008
The bad news is its sponsored by mega-media conglomerate, Clear Channel, the same people who banned the Dixie Chicks for being anti-war. I guess someone has to pay for this and it seems as if they have a full staff to maintain the bicycles. I’m sure this has nothing to do with all the advertising revenue potential from various kiosks set up around DC. It just seems a little weird to have a corporation who constantly supports the Republicans, you know the people who’s policies have lead to a warm planet and inflated gas prices, to now be trying to get more people on bikes. I guess its like Exxon trying to profit off the oil and the alternative fuel. The good news is that there is a new system in America where you can have another option in getting around by bicycle started in the Nation’s capital.
Pabst Blue Ribbon and Bustin Board Company presents:
Brooklyn Blitz 2008
What: “Brooklyn Blitz 2008″ – BIKES AND BOARDS!!!!
When: Sunday, August 24 @ 7pm sharp
South end of McCarren Park @ 6-6:30pm, following the Jelly NYC McCarren Pool Party Bike and boards race,blitzkrieg around brooklyn.
: Pabst Blue Ribbon , Bustin Boards, NYC massive +Co + guests will be sponsoring the event and free beer/raffle giveaways at East River Bar afterwards. who is fastest,board vs.board and bike vs bike. Show up 6-6:30 at the south end of McCarren Park and get your checkpoint manifest card, doubling as your VIP beer ticket to use at East River Bar for free beer. Bikes and boards will pile high, horn will sound @ 7pm, and we’ll be off to ravage the streets of Williamsburg, meet your checkpoints and get to the bar with your completed card to drink FREE PBR and chill with the dopest people in this city.==
race starts Sunday, August 24 at 7pm sharp!
Then there is the Lower East Side Bike Show and BBQ.
11am at PS 142, 100 Attorney Street, corner of Rivington in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Come Celebrate being a New Yorker on two wheels, all Bicycles Welcome, bring yours.
The executive director of Time’s Up wrote a letter to the editors of the New York Times about Critical Mass and misconceptions of the NYPD. This was in response to an article that was published on August 4th.
Letter The Cyclists and the Police Published: August 12, 2008
To the Editor:
Re â€œPolice and a Cyclistsâ€™ Group, and Four Years of Clashesâ€ (news article, Aug. 4), in which I am quoted as the director of Timeâ€™s Up, which promotes the Critical Mass rides but is not involved.
in organizing them:
The function of Critical Mass is to create a safe space where people can ride together. Group rides like Critical Mass play an important role in generating new cyclists, who in turn become everyday bike commuters. The ride grew steadily for a decade until the crackdown after the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City.
The article reports that Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly â€œsaid the Police Department wants to work with the riders.â€ By no means has the Police Department tried to work with us. Critical Mass riders have been harassed, spied on, beaten, arrested and even sued by the city. Yet we have prevailed in the courtroom â€” it has been proved over and over that police statements do not match videotaped evidence.
We also contest Mr. Kellyâ€™s claim that Critical Mass riders go against traffic. While it is true that the ride has no set route, under normal circumstances, it does follow the traffic flow.
Most appalling is Mr. Kellyâ€™s and the spokesmanâ€™s assertion that the ride was â€œhijackedâ€ by an â€œanarchist groupâ€ before the Republican convention. This is a baseless scare tactic. Critical Mass has no leaders. The lack of control that Mr. Kelly calls anarchy can be better termed community.
We are aware that the phenomenon of leaderless mass bike rides can be perceived as something different and unusual to the police. But that does not make it provocation or anarchy. It is a celebration of what our streets could look like in a better New York City.
Bill DiPaola New York, Aug. 5, 2008
The writer is the executive director of Timeâ€™s Up, an environmental organization.