Photo by Josh Whitesnake Amazing weekend. Bike Kill was awesome as usual. Lots of participation. Here are some pix photo by: Bike Fever…on Flickr.com Bike Fever’s and Photo by Violent Grind the best pictures of jousting I have seen. the violent grind
Josh Whitesnake of Mess NYC has a good photo report of this weekend events.
October 30th, 2006 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Ken Stanek was the big winner this weekend. First he came in 2nd place in qualifing time at the Goldsprints series at Lulu’s in Greenpoint on Friday night…then he won the Halloween race the next day. DAMN.
This is an ongoing series. For two more Friday’s in November, you can qualify for the your best time in a 200 meter indoor race. Then the best time’s will battle it out on Friday, November 17th.
Lulu’s Lounge is located at 113 Franklin St. just off of Greenpoint Ave. in beautiful Greenpoint Brookyln.
7-9pm. $5.00 to enter, $1.00 each race. Race until you get your best time.
October 30th, 2006 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Brad Will, was killed in Oaxaca Mexico on Friday by paramilitaries who did not want him reporting on the killing and brutalization of the local residents who have been staging a 5 month occupation of their city. Brad is a friend of mine. He was a tireless activist, journalist and environmentalist. I have been on many front lines with Brad staring down the barrel of over-reaction and militarization of the police force who are used by the corporation as security gaurds to enforce their plunder of the planet. Brad was there to say no and stand-up for equality, but he was also there as a journalist, reporting on the stories that aren’t meant to be heard. Brad took it to the highest level. He helped set up independent media centers in Latin America, he traveled the world, he kept his camera rolling on the truth and eventually it took his life.
He died doing what he loved. We always talked about tactics, cameras and about…”getting that shot.”
Brad was also a hard working local activist, working on the grass roots issues of our community. He was a cyclist and was passionate about riding.
I will miss you brother. Thanks for all you have done for us and your never ending love for the people. You will be greatly missed.
Here is an account of local Oaxaca activists who had an eye-witness report of Brad’s murder.
NOTE: This account is not meant to be a complete account of the day, it is meant to be from the perspectives and experiences of two people in the midst of what can only be described as a battle in the streets of Santa Lucia, in Oaxaca. We know that other things happened in other neighborhoods, and that other things probably happened in our vicinity. This is our best effort at capturing the events that we experienced and witnessed.
On Thursday night, Barricade Three in Santa Lucia del Camino set up a little earlier than normal. Reinforcing the barricades for Friday’s day of action required more trucks and buses than usual. At times, it was a chaotic scene with camiÃ³n after camiÃ³n joining the barricade and people unsure of where they should go. Eventually things calmed down. Many more people than usual guarded the barricade and the tranquility of the night had many regulars taking time to lie down, if not sleep. As day broke, the barricade took on the feel of a community holiday or small block party with small children running about. At what felt like an informal pot-luck, people brought tortillas and beans, sandwiches, bread, and arroz con leche. Most chose to not cover their faces, despite this being a regular practice at the barricades. Up to this point, the only “contentious” moment was the permitted approached of a chicken truck that surprised several people.
Sudenly, about a dozen people started shouting, donning masks, picking up Molotov cocktails (known as bombas Molotov) and cohetes (large bottle rockets typically shit out of PVC pipes the people call bazookas), and collecting rocks and sticks. A small group moved forward to see why a truck that was part of the barricade (about 200 feet away) was moving and investigate a commotion on the other side of that barricade. After advancing about 100 feet, the group spotted 150 to 200 PrÃistas (supporters of the authoritarian PRI party that ruled Mexico for 70 years and currently “rule” the state of Oaxaca) marching toward the barricade. The cohetes were fired into the air to warn the PrÃistas not to approach. The warning was ignored.
The tiny group of defenders fell back to the barricade and gathered more supplies. It was a chaotic situation. Prioritizing in the moment, a split second decision was made to leave our bags, in part because rocks from the PrÃistas were already falling where our bags lay. As we sprinted down side streets to the closest barricade, there were shouts for children to go inside their homes to safety. At the next barricade, people were banging on poles and railing to sound the alarm and rally the neighborhood to fight the PrÃista advance. People came out of their homes and armed themselves with sticks, machetes, metal poles, cohetes and rocks. Once a fairly large crowd had gathered several people started shouting “Vamos, compaÃ±erQos, Vamos!” (Let’s go) and “Avanza!” (advance). People began advancing to the fallen barricade and the PrÃistas, spreading out along the width of the four-lane highway, it’s median, and sidewalks. Both sides fired their cohetes, and as we drew nearer rocks started flying from both sides. We pushed the PrÃistas back passed the remnants of the now disassembled barricade. There was a lull of about thirty seconds as we populated the area around the barricade before many decided to chase the still-visible PrÃistas only about 100 feet away from us. Though most of them retreated faster than we advanced, one unlucky PrÃistas was forced to choose his own safety and well-being over that of his fancy SUV. The look of regret was visible on his face as rocks crashed to the ground around him and he turned and ran. The SUV, lacking a license plate, briefly became the target instead of the retreating PrÃistas. Tires slashed, windows smashed, someone decided to ensure that it was beyond use and set it ablaze. While some focused their attention on the SUV, some continued to chase the PrÃistas. Most PrÃistas had scattered into nearby homes and businesses, so people re-grouped back at the barricade.
As we all clustered in the intersection, the two of us looked around and estimated that there were at least 500 people ready to defend their neighborhood. We were both amazed by what we were seeing. Neither of us had ever witnessed such an incredible display of collective self-defense. We both nearly cried at the inspiring sight of people successfully working together to ward off aggression without centralized leadership. The barricade reclaimed, sandbags replaced, and the PrÃistas pushed back, the battle appeared for a few moments, to be over.
We’re unsure as to the exact reason for the second advance, but we believe that PrÃistas were again spotted at the next intersection where they had scattered minutes before. As we cautiously advanced, walking in cover when possible, shots were heard from the intersection and everyone ducked or ran for cover. Many corporate news outlets, most notably those relying on AP “reporter” Rebeca Romero (widely believed to be on Ulises Ruiz’s payroll), have claimed it was “unclear” as to who shot first. It was the PrÃistas. From the ground, on the receiving end of the gunfire, there is no doubt as to who shot first. There is nothing “unclear” about it. It was the PrÃistas, shown by El Universal photos and local television to be armed to the teeth, who shot first. After the shooting stopped, the group moved quickly to the other side of the road and to the corner where the shots had originated from. The attacking PrÃistas had retreated back away from the highway and deeper into the neighborhood. Fifty to 100 people slowly advanced north a block into the neighborhood while 200 people gradually moved up, either by going north, or approaching it from the west by way of the barricade. Again the group moved north, taking cover by vehicles parked along the street. In addition to shooters at the far end of the street, more PrÃistas were taking cover inside a building along the street. The building was targeted with Molotovs, rocks, bricks, and cohetes. Someone kicked the door in before PrÃistas down the street started shooting again and we had to retreat back to the end of the block. This gave the PrÃistas time to close and blockade the door. A few attempts with similar results gave way to milling about, as we waited for reinforcements. One block west towards the barricade, about 100 people had gathered to take cover from additional PrÃistas on that street. Soon we heard a truck roar to life and a few minutes later, compaÃ±eros in a dump truck came to provide shielding for another advance. In the first such advance, the truck went too far down the road, shooting started again, at which point we fell back to the end of the block. Most waited there while the truck maneuvered itself horizontally across the street in front of the gate of the targeted building. Once the truck was ready, another advance began and the truck smashed open the gate. Another round of shooting began, and again everyone took cover and began to withdraw.
At this point, Brad Will, an Indymedia reporter from New York, was shot in the abdomen as he was filming. Many people ran to carry him around the block and down the street. As we waited for a car to arrive to take him to the hospital, efforts were made to keep him conscious and breathing, including CPR. As Brad showed signs of consciousness and movement, the crowd surrounding him cheered. He was carried into a car and driven to the hospital. Moments later, as people were still taking in what happened, it started to rain. People gathered up the Molotovs and cohetes and got them out of the rain. About a half hour later, people started to gradually head back to the barricade.
When we arrived at the barricade, we learned from a teary-eyed compaÃ±ero that Brad had died on his way to the hospital. People from APPO such as Flavo Sosa arrived at the scene and were attempting to coordinate with the rest of the city where there had been other attacks. Hundreds of bottles were being filled and prepared as Molotov cocktails. Thanks to the help of several compaÃ±eras, we recovered one of our bags; though the other which contained a passport, several forms of id, travelers checks, over $1,000 pesos (most of which was intended to be used for the barricade), a video camera, is gone and was presumably stolen by the PrÃistas. Hundreds remained at the barricade for the night. The two of us went to a compaÃ±ero’s house to rest, write and watch the news.
As of this writing, the PrÃistas have set up their own barricades within the neighborhood, APPO has activated the mobile brigades, 4 or 5 people have died, dozens injured, and barricade 3 remains up, reinforced, and alert. Among the attackers were local municipal police (such as Abel Santiago ZÃ¡rate and Juan Carlos Soriano Velasco) and politicians/PRI thugs (such Manuel Aguilar and Pedro Carmona, the man identified as Brad Will’s killer), all from the neighborhood. Though the two of us had slightly differing expectations of how the day would pan out, neither of us expected an attack of this kind or magnitude in broad daylight. The diversity of people who fought the PrÃista attackers was astounding. We saw young kinds helping to gather cohetes and Molotovs. We saw old women armed with rocks making their way to the front. We saw people wearing circle As, hammer and sickles, and people who didn’t wear their political identity on their sleeves. In the end, it didn’t matter who you were, only what side you stood on.
La lucha sigue; the struggle continues.
“Tenemos dos manos y un corazÃ³n para luchar.”
“We have two hands and a heart to struggle.”
Two Poggers in Oaxaca
We didn’t know Brad before meeting him here in Oaxaca, and wish to direct you to accounts of his life that are better than anything we would be able to write. Our thoughts go to his family, friends, and loved ones. ———————————— illustration of Brad from FLY:
Brad Will was killed on October 27, 2006, in Oaxaca, Mexico, while working as a journalist for the global Indymedia network. He was shot in the torso while documenting an armed, paramilitary assault on the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca, a fusion of striking local teachers and other community organizations demanding democracy in Mexico.
The members of the New York City Independent Media Center mourn the loss of this inspiring colleague and friend. We want to thank everyone who has sent condolences to our office and posted remembrances to www.nyc.indymedia.org. We share our grief with the people of our city and beyond who lived, worked, and struggled with Brad over the course of his dynamic but short life. We can only imagine the pain of the people of Oaxaca who have lost seven of their neighbors to this fight, including Emilio Alonso Fabian, a teacher, and who now face an invasion by federal troops.
All we want in compensation for his death is the only thing Brad ever wanted to see in this world: justice.
We, along with all of Brad’s friends, reject the use of further state-sponsored violence in Oaxaca. The New York City Independent Media Center supports the demand of Reporters Without Borders for a full and complete investigation by Mexican authorities into Oaxaca State Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz’s continued use of plain-clothed municipal police as a political paramilitary force. The arrest of his assailants is not enough. The NYC IMC also supports the call of Zapatista Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos “to compaÃ±eros and compaÃ±eras in other countries to unite and to demand justice for this dead compaÃ±ero.” Marcos issued this call “especially to all of the alternative media, and free media here in Mexico and in all the world.” Indymedia was born from the Zapatista vision of a global network of alternative communication against neoliberalism and for humanity. To believe in Indymedia is to believe that journalism is either in the service of justice or it is a cause of injustice. We speak and listen, resist and struggle. In that spirit, Brad Will was both a journalist and a human rights activist.
He was a part of this movement of independent journalists who go where the corporate media do not or stay long after they are gone. Perhaps Brad’s death would have been prevented if Mexican, international, and US media corporations had told the story of the Oaxacan people. Then those of us who live in comfort would not only be learning now about this 5 month old strike, or about this 500 year old struggle.
And then Brad might not have felt the need to face down those assassins in Oaxaca holding merely the ineffective shields of his US passport and prensa extranjera badge. Then Brad would not have joined the fast-growing list of journalists killed in action, or the much longer list of those killed in recent years by troops defending entrenched, unjust power in Latin America.
Still, those of us who knew Brad know that his work would never have been completed. From the community gardens of the Lower East Side to the Movimento Sem Terra encampments of Brazil, he would have continued to travel to where the people who make this world a beautiful place are resisting those who would cause it further death and destruction. Now, in his memory, we will all travel those roads. We are the network, all of us who speak and listen, all of us who resist. ———————————– Related news articles: Village voice alternet daily news
What could be more frightening than seeing Mike Dee commando on a couch in Vegas? Not much…
Halloween weekend kicks off with… Tonight starts a 4 time weekly Gold Sprints Race series in Greenpoint. LuLu’s Lounge 113 Franklin St. @ Greenpoint Ave. in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Each Friday night you can have the chance to qualify with the best time on an indoor roller race. $5 to enter, $1.00 each race.
Tonight is the first night from 7-9pm, then there will be a group ride to the Time’s Up fundraiser party in Manhattan. ———————- Here is an article on Goldsprints
GoldSprints Expand on National Cycling Phenomenon
News Released: September 28, 2006
(PRLEAP.COM) It began in Zurich, Switzerland during the 1999 Cycle Messenger World Championships. Popularized by legends like Major Taylor roller races were a vastly popular activity until the 1960′s. It took messengers and other ‘underground’ bike subcultures to realize a revival. Modern configurations feature 2D and 3D visualization allowing anyone to be a rock star in front of a huge crowd of ecstatic friends
Get Sum organizers, Mike Dee and Hodari De Palm debuted the set up at 2005′s Cycle Messenger World Championships in New York City and expanded to six American cities: NYC, Philly, DC, Boston, Baltimore, and now Las Vegas. With their superior equipment set-up and iconic status in NYC’s messenger scene they’ve evolved to showcase the first GoldSprints Series starting this Halloween in New York.
GoldSprints have the excitement, competition and community aspects of messenger style street racing without the potential for major injury or death. It can quickly and safely be organized in a party, party venue or on stage.
GoldSprints can be hired for events allowing urban athletes from all walks of life to get in on the excitement. Sponsorship is available for a wide range of opportunities from equipment, transportation to tournament prizes for participants. Sponsors getting in now will have and undeniable right to be considered authentic and original as the scene grows.
“The first time that I ever saw GoldSprints, it was the coolest thing ever. Everyone wanted to keep it going.” says Mike Dee, co-owner of Get Sum Entertainment and star of the messenger documentary Red Light Go. He is often citied as an authority on NYC messenger events and culture through: VH1′s can’t get a date and Nerve.com’s “Sex Advice” anthology under the Chronicle Books imprint. Sponsorship, as well as event inquiries from individuals and organizations should be directed to Mike Dee at goldsprintsnyc
October 27th, 2006 | Category: General | Comments are closed
So the second fastest Female messenger in the world is Anja Raecher from Zurich. Here is a picture of Anja Anja won her crown in the World Messenger championships in Australia. Here is a Zurich tv report: tv report
here is a report from Australian tv on the worlds: tv report
here is a link to more pictures from the CWMC 06: pix
Vladimir Teichberg, otherwise know as Vlad…has done some cool things with video. He is a member of the glass bead collective who does cool projections at parties and has contributed to a number of documentaries about protests such as Mandate and Watch This! about the Republican National Convention. Along with Chrisitian, he came up with this simple but cool rig to video critical mass…and he got an article in this week’s October 25th, 2006 | Category: General | 7 comments - (Comments are closed)
Did I mention that. So does our so-called civic leadership. What the fuck is the problem with these city council people? We elect people like Council speaker Christine Quinn and then they stab us in the back and applaude the police for their new parade regulations? We are not a free society. They say the terrorists hate our freedom? Like the freedom to go to the police and beg for their permission to have a bike ride???
Ok I’m calming down, 10…9…8…ok…whew.
Here is a recap of what is going on.
October 18th the NY Times annouced that the Police had redifined what a parade is and that people would have to ask for a permit in order to have a “parade.”
Manhattan: New Rules for Parade Permits
By AL BAKER Published: October 18, 2006 The New York Times
After recent court rulings found the Police Department’s parade regulations too vague, the department is moving to require parade permits for groups of 10 or more bicyclists or pedestrians who plan to travel more than two city blocks without complying with traffic laws. It is also pushing to require permits for groups of 30 or more bicyclists or pedestrians who obey traffic laws. The new rules are expected to be unveiled in a public notice today. The department will discuss them at a hearing on Nov. 27. Norman Siegel, a lawyer whose clients include bicyclists, said the new rules “raise serious civil liberties issues.”
Here is my translation of what this is all about:
We the NYPD have been royally embarassed at our failed attempts to stop a peaceful, non-confrontational bike ride known as critical mass. We have tried every trick in the book…orange nets, violent arrests, stealing bikes, lying to people, using under cover cops, wasting tax resources with helicopters which end up spying on people making out on roofs. Faslifing video footage, dooring people, raming them with scooters…it just hasn’t worked. Often times things have backfired like we crashed into each other on our scooters and the same people we are trying to arrest ended up being an EMT and helping our fallen officers. We have been investigated by the NYtimes, we have gotten thrown out of Federal court, thrown out of State court. We just can’t get one over on these damn bike riders who have been doing this ride for 10 years without a problem. We were told that critical mass is a violent group who stops traffic and loves Sadam Hussien and ever since the Republican National Convention in 2004 we haven’t been able to stop this damn thing which really doesn’t break the law and hardly ties up trafffic any more than every day in Midtown when we shut down Time’s square so Justin Timberlake can perform on MTV. So we are trying a 2nd attempt to define what a parade is…we think we finally got them this time and instead of having this agreed on by a wide range of the city council we are defining what the rules are and besides Christine Quinn likes it so…there.
So here we go again.
Here is what Christine Quinn said in response to the police taking upon themselves to decide what is legal and illegal:
STATEMENT BY SPEAKER CHRISTINE C. QUINN
Re: NYPD Parade Regulations
The New York City Police Department’s proposed regulations for when and what activities will require parade permits are a substantial improvement over regulations proposed earlier.
We are very pleased that the NYPD was receptive to our suggestions for a practical approach to traffic and public safety issues.
New York City is a symbol of creativity and free expression for people around the world. It is difficult to balance the protection of civil liberties with the need for public order. We believe that the newly proposed rules have struck a better balance. We hope that the Police Department will carefully consider all the comments that they receive from individuals and groups during this public comment period. We hope too that the Police Department will be open to additional suggestions of ways to better balance the competing interests at stake.
Here is my translation of what Christine Quinn is saying:
“New York City is a symbol of creativity and free expression for people around the world. So I think it is perfectly ok for the NYPD to do what ever it thinks is best to stop one of the greatest events of creativity and free expression, like critical mass. I also think its ok for the NYPD to define the rules and not have it be decided on by the city council as a representative form of governance. After all the NYPD know best. I don’t care what the evidence says or what the NY Times reports on. I will turn a blind eye, much like my mayor and never address the real issues of our civil liberties being flushed down the toliet. For example when he invites 5,000 republicans to have a party here, we will imprision 1,000 demonstators in a toxic bus depot for 48 hours and continue to wage war on free speech and free expression. Lets clog up the courts with arrests that get thrown out and confiscate bicycles and yes lets spend thousands of dollars to stop a monthly bike ride that goes on in 300 cities around the world. Now I hope Mayor Bloomberg will give me a raise.”
This just in from Time’s Up, the NYPD has given it another go redifining their unconstitutional parade law (the main crutch of their Critical Mass persecution). Unfortunately it seems to have appeased important early opponents, such as Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. Blurb from the NY Times below, more info at OnNYTurf and Razor Apple. Looks like the famous Halloween ride might be the last one before we return to the days of arresting hippies on bikes in NYC again. Sigh.
Oh, and PS. Apparently there is also a provision in the works to make it a crime to PROMOTE any such “illegal” activity. That’s right, you are now no longer allowed to say what you want about what you want. But wait, I’m sure you knew that already. Anyone else see that movie V For Vendetta?
In another of the important high priority category of what the city needs…we find another lame duck…no, not a Jets stadium on the West side highway or a NASCAR track on Staten Island. This time its a giant water park on Randall’s Island. Now not to be a spoiler of anyone’s wet fun…but my first thought is…have you ever been to Randall’s island besides for a rock concert? The place smells…bad. Not the kind of smell that would make me want to frolic in a giant wave pool with thousands of New Yorkers. What needs to be happening with Randall’s Island is for it to stop being a dumping ground and start to embrace the nature. One person who knows a lot about this is environmentalist and community activist Harry Bubbins. Harry has done tireless work in organizing and protecting of community gardens in the South Bronx, leading environmental bike and kayak tours and working with young people to gain a better understanding of their environment.
Harry has been focusing his efforts on fighting the water park and more info on his work can be found at friends of Brook park
Now you can help by sponsering Harry in a triatholon…here is a letter from Harry:
As you know, I have been working hard to stop the water theme park on Randall’s Island and to preserve this rich resource for all New Yorkers.
This Saturday I am going to be in a triathlon for the cause, and I need you to sponsor me!
Even just $1 a mile will go a long way to helping our lawyers push this case through to victory for all of us.