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Thursday, February 10, 2005 |
Critical Mass a.k.a. Inconvenience America
I knew it was going to go down like this. It was bound to happen. For those of you that don't know, the brief history sans sarcasm. Critical Mass is the obnoxious bike movement that has bikers gather at a certain place and time, do a mass bike ride, and tie up traffic for automobiles. They do this is lots of cities every month. The goal is to raise bike awareness and that cars should share the road. It's quite populor. Here in New York City, they've been doing this for months if not years. And from what I hear, it was a relatively nice affair, not at all like the obscenity screaming deals like in Texas. Sure, sometimes a pedestrian or two gets mowed down, but that's not a big deal (sarcasm is back on, fyi, although in the cyclists' defense, our pedestrians here are morons too, I'll tell that tale in a later post). Police even directed traffic to keep things moving smoothly, and the disruption was no greater then the usual city events like the many street fairs on the weekend. And then the idiots had to bring politics into it. Last I heard, Bush was not part of some Jihad on bikes, but you wouldn't guess that from the strikingly partisan language coming from the Critical Mass planned for the RNC convention. It was planned like some cycle of attack headed right for MSG. And while I agree that political comment, most of all, should be defended, not getting a permit months in advance wasn't very bright. Especially when a stated goal of your event is to distrupt traffic and inconvenience everyone. And it REALLY doesn't help when you bring left wing politics into it when dealing with a right wing government. It's been no suprise that the cops have cracked down hard, HARD, on this event ever since. Every Critical Mass since has not happenned because heavy police presence and threats of mass arrests have scared everyone from participating. And without a parade permit, these guys have got nothing to protect them legally. They finally went ahead and had an event last month, but as could be predicted, lots of people went to jail, and the police went WAY overboard in making the arrests. I almost feel sorry for these bikers, with their free speech rights being trampled, with the abusive police tactics (you don't need to beatdown EVERYONE you arrest), with their bike parade forever ruined. But then I remember every time a biker (especially bike messengers) did a hit and run on me, and I'm ready to ban bikes from the city altogether.


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