Is this really true?
Is this really true?
One of my favorite websites is: Animal New York,
and I’m not just saying that cause they did a piece about me…ok, sort of.
They’ve also got a piece on Critical “Al Sharpton” Mass too.
Another video from Al Sharpton on Critical Mass from Peter Shapiro:
Daily news article.
So I would love to get people’s opinion about this. Some of you have already sounded off.
1) was Al Sharpton’s participation in Critical Mass helpful or counter productive for drawing attention to the 4 year harassment campaign of the bike ride?
2) How can we build upon the what happened with the May Critical Mass and have a more unified ride in June?
“Play Magazine, which covers endurance sports and adventure travel, presents a blog by Robert Mackey, an amateur cyclist who will ride a mountain stage of the Tour de France in July.”
Check out his progress at the Time’s latest blog, The Climb
June 8th…the 1st annual tour De Queens. It will start at 34-24 23rd Plac–no wait 24-64 23 Street, no wait…23 Ave. No. Aw forget it…
check the website. Tour De Queens
Seth, is one of the people who congratulated me on getting my bike back. This has been a great way to meet fans of bikeblog and letting me know who’s out there.
Tod Seelie of Suckapants has some great photos of this past weekend.
Well the rumors were true, controversial leader Al Sharpton came to speak to the crowd of bikers at Critical Mass and then got on a bike and rode.
No one was sure if this was actually going to happen but standing on the steps of Union Square South it was clear people had already divided into two schools of thought, which is no surprise when the Reverend Al Sharpton is involved.
But before Rev. Al could even get to the podium, a group of about 40 bikers gave the call to ride and took off West on 14th Street. Its bad enough that the cops divide us, but when we do it to ourselves, it only plays into their hands. Despite what an individual feel about the granstanding tactics of Al Sharpton, we owed it to him to speak and to try and keep the ridership of critical mass together…Thus creating a MASS. This is a truly reflective of the harassment campaign the NYPD has been so effective at, dividing the ridership and scaring people off from even attending critical mass.
Here is a bit of Al’s speech on the steps of Union Square South, from Gothamists own Jen Chung
Part of the problem was the PR war the ride is constantly fighting. This press release was sent out a few day before critical mass.
“The Rev. Al Sharpton has enlisted the help of hundreds of bicyclists to stage a traffic â€œslowdownâ€ tomorrow â€” around the time many New Yorkers are heading home for the weekend â€” to protest the Sean Bell trial verdict.”
With news like this, there was no wonder there was confusion and those who want to protect the nature of critical mass, felt it was being hijacked. Thats what critical mass is all about, different agendas, different tactics…anyone can lead it, speak about it direct it and scream…”We are all Sean Bell” at the top of their lungs. The ride must learn to work with whatever and whoever is there.
Meanwhile two groups of around 40 bikers were circling around the Union Square area while Al Sharpton was speaking to a larger crowd of about 150-200 bike riders. These groups were getting broken up by cops and many were pulled over and ticketed for vague traffic violations.
Chris Ryan was able to put together this video of Al and the ride.
I’m not sure how this will all affect the ride in the future. My hope is that people continue to come out and keep up the pressure. Maybe we can learn a lesson here that patients is a virtue, that people should stick together and ride together.