September 29th: The Parade Without A Permit formed around the fountain of Washington Square Park. At 7:45pm, the drummers played soft beats and 200 of us circled the park center. The vibe was both tense and jubilant. Nobody knew how the police would react, when and if the seven cops on foot would call in the reinforcements surely clustered just out of view along the surrounding blocks.
When we stepped out of the west side of the park and onto the streets, we were immediately in Speaker Christine Quinn’s district and immediately in violation of the new rules the police wrote and Quinn rubber-stamped. Since February 2007, it’s been illegal for 50 or more people to process through New York City without first requesting and then receiving permission by the NYPD.
Photo by Anne Nomus nyc indymedia.org By the Stonewall Inn, the drummers played harder and faster, and everyone chanted, â€œResist! Resist! Raise up you fist! Resist! Resist! We know you are pissed!â€ We swarmed Christopher Street. From that point on, we moved along in the streets of the Village and, when we turned up Eighth Avenue, transformed all four lanes into a dance hall. Photo by Anne Nomus nyc indymedia.org
Our front line consisted of pink and black clad queers holding three banners: the center one stated â€œDefend Freedom of Assembly! Stop the Cop Law!â€; the right one, â€œQuinn Betrays Queers!â€; and the left depicted Speaker Quinn in a way-oversized police hat with the message â€œQuinn Cops Out!â€
Fists raised, drums thumping, our pack proved you don’t need permission to process through the City with 50 or more people. It wasn’t just a healthy sign of the democratic process. It was a fucking good time. Diners smiled and clapped. Passersby jumped in.
Over the rhythms, revelers towards the back of our roving carnival started a spontaneous chant that we all took up: â€œNo permit! No permit! We don’t need no permit! We’ll burn it! We’ll burn it! Your fucking permit!â€ Most of us wore a patch depicting the number â€œ51â€ to underscore this point.
Plainclothes cops were in the streets with us. A police car zoomed up to the back of the parade, and the officers in it shouted through loudspeakers to intimidate the crowd. But really, the police response was minor. In many similar kinds of actions, the NYPD have made arrests and even cracked skulls. That they weren’t on Saturday night was the clearest indication we’re focusing on the right target: Quinn gave the NYPD the cover to pass the anti-assembly rules, and the police were returning the favor.
â€œChris Quinn! Hypocrite!â€ everyone chanted. â€œYour policies are full of shit!â€
photo by James Wagner We’re going to keep exposing the fact that Speaker Quinn wants to be mayor and she’s willing to sell our civil rights down the historical river for her own personal gain. As an out lesbian, she has betrayed the political legacy that gave her the power she enjoys today. We’re not going to let Quinn take the streets away from usâ€”not without a fight.
We danced through the Meatpacking District, longing for the days when trans-sex workers still made transactions and six-story billboards didn’t exist. Then we processed south to Christopher Street, where we picked up more people and steered towards the piers that still serve as a meeting place for queers, especially queer youth of colorâ€”though the area is now under heavy surveillance and locked down at night. By 9:30 p.m., fireworks were erupting, and we were lounging in the grass, passing around beverages and grins.
This is what democracy looks like. We hope to see it more often in the City.
Messenger Appreciation Day Friday, 10-05-07 -All day! Happy Messenger Appreciation Day! We will be kicking off MAD by giving out free food and water to messengers at a park. (Park location TBA) From 10am to 6pm.
Our party will kick off at 6:30 at 49 E. Houston St. More free food, cheap booze, music and dancing! We will also have a raffle with fabulous prizes and your once in a lifetime opportunity to *win a date with the NYBMF*! All proceeds go to your favorite non-profit foundation that grants money to injured messengers and messenger programs…the New York Bicycle Messenger Foundation!!!
Please help spread the word to other WORKING MESSENGERS!!! Thank you!
October 2nd, 2007 | Category: General | Comments are closed
This article explains about NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s trip to Paris.
In Paris, Bloomberg Eyes Bike Program for Home By DIANE CARDWELL Published: September 30, 2007
PARIS, Sept. 29 â€” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, on his first trip here since he took office, acknowledged the challenges of bringing home a popular Parisian bike rental program the administration is exploring, saying he was unsure it would translate to New York.
Noting challenges like roads damaged by seasonal changes, the lack of bike lanes, liability problems and the possibility that commuters would not want to carry helmets to work, Mr. Bloomberg said: â€œYou try to see whether it fits, and some parts of it will, but it may very well give you an idea to do something totally different.â€
Under the program, which started in July, thousands of bicycles are docked along Paris streets, and customers can rent them after buying a membership ranging in time from a day (about $1.30) to a year (about $38). Members pay by the half-hour, with the first 30 minutes free. To discourage long rides, the fee rises from $1.30 for the second half-hour to $5.20 for the fourth. Noting challenges like roads damaged by seasonal changes, the lack of bike lanes, liability problems and the possibility that commuters would not want to carry helmets to work, Mr. Bloomberg said: â€œYou try to see whether it fits, and some parts of it will, but it may very well give you an idea to do something totally different.â€
Under the program, which started in July, thousands of bicycles are docked along Paris streets, and customers can rent them after buying a membership ranging in time from a day (about $1.30) to a year (about $38). Members pay by the half-hour, with the first 30 minutes free. To discourage long rides, the fee rises from $1.30 for the second half-hour to $5.20 for the fourth.
Judging from the lines of empty consoles in the city center and the ubiquity of riders, even in the rain, the program has been a hit here, despite occasional technical glitches and a lack in some places of empty spots to return a bicycle. One official told Mr. Bloomberg that 100,000 people had signed up for yearly membership and that customers had taken more than 5 million rides.
Whether such a system could survive in New York, where bike theft is common, remains to be seen. Lionel Bordeaux, a press officer for City Hall here, said the fact that all fees were paid by credit card, and a roughly $200 charge for unreturned bikes, discouraged stealing.
Mr. Bloombergâ€™s trip is shaping up to be a lushly appointed tour for him and his close aides, with meals and meetings with business, academic, cultural and governmental luminaries, including the American ambassador, Craig Roberts Stapleton; Bernard Arnault, chief of the luxury goods behemoth LVMH MoÃ«t Hennessy Louis Vuitton; and Luc Jacquet, the director of â€œMarch of the Penguins.â€
Arriving at the HÃ´tel de Ville, the grand City Hall, Mr. Bloomberg gave Mayor Bertrand DelanoÃ« an apple-shaped silver dish from Tiffany. Mr. DelanoÃ« presented his counterpart with a silver tray and gave a gold brooch in the shape of the Paris logo, a ship, to Mr. Bloombergâ€™s companion, Diana L. Taylor, who promptly put it on.
The couple, along with Mr. Bloombergâ€™s deputy mayors Patricia E. Harris and Kevin Sheekey, then joined Mr. DelanoÃ« for a lunch including foie gras and mushroom soup, fish and several glasses of wine, including a 1995 ChÃ¢teau Margaux Pavillon Rouge that Mr. Bloomberg seemed to particularly enjoy.
â€œThe wines were French, and they were excellent,â€ Mr. Bloomberg, a fan of California merlot, told reporters, saying that he did not normally drink at lunch but had made an exception out of deference to Mr. DelanoÃ«â€™s hospitality. â€œCanâ€™t explain the second glass of red, but thatâ€™s neither here nor there,â€ he joked.
Mr. Bloomberg ended his day in Blackpool, England, at a dinner with David Cameron of the Conservative Party, whose conference Mr. Bloomberg is to address on Sunday. ————————————–
I wonder if Mayor Bloomberg explained to the French that a bicycle program also might not work in NYC because the city spends millions of dollars to harass cyclists….hmmm. Probably didn’t come up during lunch time wine tasting…It must be so hard to be a billionaire.
October 2nd, 2007 | Category: General | Comments are closed
MEMORIAL TO BE HELD FOR PEDESTRIAN HOPE MILLER, KILLED BY A CAR ON DEADLY HOUSTON STREET
After a third death in the Houston Street construction zone, Timeâ€™s Up! remembers the lives lost and pushes the City to take action.
HOUSTON STREET MEMORIAL AND SPEAK OUT Tuesday, Oct 2nd, 6:30pm at Houston St. and 6th Ave. Elected Officials, Pedestrian and Public Space Advocates have been invited to attend. **Memorial plaque, created by Visual Resistance, and stencil will be placed at crash site
New York, NY (October 2, 2007) – Time’s Up! will hold a memorial to commemorate Hope Miller, 28, and raise awareness of the City’s failure to address unsafe conditions for cyclists and pedestrians on Houston Street. Miller was struck and killed on Houston Street at 6th Avenue on Tuesday, September 25th by a hit-and-run driver allegedly fleeing a previous accident.
Hope Millerâ€™s death is the third known fatality since June, 2005 to occur in the area of Houston Street undergoing construction. Cyclist Andrew Morgan, 25, was killed by a furniture truck turning on the corner of Houston and Elizabeth Street on June 22, 2005 and cyclist Derek Lake, 23, was crushed beneath the wheels of a tractor-trailer at Houston and LaGuardia Place on June 26, 2006.
Uneven pavement, unclear lane delineations, improperly placed metal plates, and absent safety workers have been a consistent problem since the construction began over two years ago. The DOT plans for Houston include traffic signals and turning bays that will facilitate faster vehicular traffic and result in an even more dangerous street. The DOT also abandoned their ten-year-old plan for protected bike lanes on Houston.
â€The City needs to switch their priorities from accommodating cars and trucks on Houston Street to protecting cyclists and pedestrians,â€ says Bill DiPaola, Executive Director of Timeâ€™s Up! â€œThe Cityâ€™s reneging on the 10-year promise for safe bike lanes on a newly paved, eight lane Houston Street, is a decision that will continue to endanger pedestrians and cyclists.â€
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29TH @ 7PM WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK @ THE FOUNTAIN
Queers, Allies and Everyone affected by the NYPDâ€™s anti-assembly rules: Join us in the streets as we challenge these rules!
Weâ€™re going to assemble in City Council Speaker Christine Quinnâ€™s district to PARADE WITHOUT A PERMIT! Weâ€™re going to deliver a big FUCK YOU to Speaker Quinnâ€”after all, sheâ€™s quashed some of the very civil rights that made it possible for her, an out lesbian, to hold political office.
Bring noisemakers, signs and your dancing bodies out to reclaim OUR streets!
Why target Speaker Christine Quinn?
In 2006, multiple courts ruled the Cityâ€™s assembly rules unconstitutional, and City Council was charged with fixing them. Instead of conducting public hearings and placing the matter into the hands of City Council, Speaker Quinn abdicated her responsibilities and allowed the NYPD to write these rules behind closed doors.
In February 2007, she rubberstamped the new rules into effect. Suddenly, it became illegal for 50 or more people to gather and process through New York Cityâ€”unless they request and are given prior permission from the police.
Of course, the NYPD has a long history of attacking political groups, and one of their favorite tools is to deny permit requests of groupsâ€”like the organizers of the 2007 Trans Day of Actionâ€”who they donâ€™t like.
Why do police decide who can assemble and who cannot? And since when do the police write rules? And why is all of this okay with Quinn?
Quinn so desperately wants to be mayor that she has sold the queer community and her constituents down the historical river for her own political gain. Weâ€™ll remind Quinn that she has her pot of gold, but she better not forgot the rainbow that led her to it!
The Stonewall veterans never asked for a permit, and neither will we!
Shout Out for a Pink and Black Block. Anyone who wants to participate, show your colors, jump in and dance to the beats of the Anti-Authoritarians, a queer drum corp.
Not the medical drama from the Korean War, M.A.S.H. is the movie by Gabe Morford and Michael Martin which propelled the fixed gear bicycle to the next level, a world of tricks and making possible the impossible on a track bike.
Track bikes have been trendy for a while, we all know this, now seeing enough skinny black jeans hipsters whizzin by with brakeless bikes. M.A.S.H. is a video that everyone was peepin on YouTube and quickly became a household name as far as sub cultures are concerned. Its a video like a skateboarding video, mostly riding and doing tricks…but it showed possibilities. Like the first time someone landed a kick flip or a rail slide. Its how these trends expand. How the Zephyr team broke all the molds in Dogtown and Zboys (the documentary) by doing things with their boards that had never been achieved.
M.A.S.H has had that same kind of influence, where the bike community around the world is holding trick events and pushing the limits with new tricks and ridin styles. Of course these trends exist on their own, but this video definitely can be heralded as a benchmark in the trend.
The movie was launched last year at the Bicycle Film Festival and now is playing at select screenings around the country.