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Thread: Still We Ride

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    Still We Ride

    I just got my copy of "Still We Ride", the movie. Awesome on the street video of the police state in action. Cyclists and every American who is concerned about their right to assemble peacefully, to speak, and to ride bike on the public streets should see this movie. The extras include a interview with Critical Mass Co-founder Chris Carlsson.
    http://www.stillweridethemovie.com/
    “The struggle continues,” said civil rights attorney Siegel, noting more than 500 people have been arrested for bicycle riding since last August, mostly in Critical Mass. A candidate for public advocate, Siegel is representing the bicyclists in their ongoing court case with the city, in which the city contends they need permits both to ride in Critical Mass and gather in Union Sq. and that it’s illegal for members of the environmental group Time’s Up! to publicize the unpermitted event.

    “If I have a right legally to ride my bike on the street, I don’t need any government permission to do that,” Siegel said. “And we can’t allow the government to say we need permission to gather [in a park].” And if the city’s proposed ban to keep Critical Mass from being publicized existed in Colonial times, he added, the Boston Tea Party never would have happened, because, “No one could publicize that they were going to throw the tea in the harbor…. History tells us, you lose your fundamental freedoms, gradually, quietly,” Siegel warned.

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    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    And yet, millions of other bicyclists have assembled and rode completely hassle free numerous times. Wonder if there is a connection between Critical Mass itself and arrests rather than bicycling in a group as they seem to claim.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L.
    And yet, millions of other bicyclists have assembled and rode completely hassle free numerous times. Wonder if there is a connection between Critical Mass itself and arrests rather than bicycling in a group as they seem to claim.
    Permitted cycling groups do indeed ride unmolested. But the question is, do cyclists need a permit to ride en-mass when motor traffic travels en-mass 24/7 without a permit. If cyclists are indeed traffic, and allowed the same rights as motor vehicles, then you have your answer. A judge will decide.

    For your own edification, I would suggest seeing for yourself. Travel to NYC or SF or Chicago and see for yourself. See the video. If you had seen the video, you would know that people on bikes who were not even riding in CM, but simply going down the block for Sushi, were also swept up and arrested. Now when have drivers ever been arrested because fellow drivers were breaking the law?

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    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    I have ridden in many non-permitted groups and not had a problem. Regarding the movie, do they film cyclists no where near Critical Mass getting arrested or is it only people in the near vicinity of a Critical Mass? We had a local guy here try and get a Critical Mass started and the local Bicycle Advocacy groups begged people not to support it as they seemed to think it would destroy everything they had accomplished in the last 20 years.
    There must be some cycling clubs in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco that don't get permits for every ride. I can't believe the police would pull over every group of 3 or more cyclists and ask for their permit.

    The website below seems to offer a lot of rides but don't say anything about permits for instance.

    http://www.nycc.org/rides_day.shtml

    Also if a motorcycle gang of 100 or more vehicles, or a "Car" Gang of 100 or more vehicles came in and clogged traffic regularly on purpose and a large number of that group broke laws on a regular basis as many say Critical Mass does, I would not be surprised if the Police tried to stop it.

    The difference between cars as traffic, and "Critical Mass" as traffic is the cars are not riding together, they are many individuals with many seperate destinations trying to get to home, work, any number of places. The purpose of Critical Mass is to obstruct. Is it any wonder then that police get pressure to quash it? There are much better ways to advocate cycling without making more enemies it seems to me. I am not saying that the police are saints. But I also am suspect in regards to movements that seem to do their best to egg the police on and then film it when the police get fed up.

    I guess what I am trying to say is there is almost always two sides to every story, even filmed stories.

    Incidentally, I would very much like to visit those cities someday but just don't have the funds to do it immediately so I will have to trust the opposing viewpoints of other riders from those cities as well as yours and figure it out the best I can on the input I read here.

    A really cool thinig would be if all those people in Critical Mass held their own little Critical Masses everyday just like the car traffic does except on their bikes. Biking to work, to lunch, to errands. That would be cool and I would be very surprised if a single one of them got arrested in such a way.
    Last edited by Paul L.; 09-07-05 at 01:34 PM.
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    Also if a motorcycle gang of 100 or more vehicles, or a "Car" Gang of 100 or more vehicles came in and clogged traffic regularly on purpose and a large number of that group broke laws on a regular basis as many say Critical Mass does, I would not be surprised if the Police tried to stop it.
    Isn't this called "Rush Hour"? This is usually marked by millions of people clogging the freeways and streets, at least here in LA, and it lasts much more than one hour a day.

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    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkear
    Isn't this called "Rush Hour"? This is usually marked by millions of people clogging the freeways and streets, at least here in LA, and it lasts much more than one hour a day.

    Hmmm, I don't know about rush hour in LA but most of the cars in "rush hour" in Phoenix go to seperate destinations for a purpose rather than just riding around to see how congested they can make it.
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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkear
    Isn't this called "Rush Hour"? This is usually marked by millions of people clogging the freeways and streets, at least here in LA, and it lasts much more than one hour a day.
    The key difference is that those in rush hour don't organize with each other to all leave the same work place at the same time and drive in a bunch. It is not at all purposeful, in fact no one in rush hour wants to be in it, it is something every driver want to avoid.

    Paul L. is right on in his comments. For many of us our 'critical mass' is us commuting on the streets every day. If it was ever the reality that there were so many cycle commuters and individual riders as to cause jams and block traffic, then that would be an amazing day!

    If CM had a position against specific anti-bike laws, I'd support it. If they broke these specific laws to bring attention to them, fine. But to simply say 'were traffic too' doesn't make sense to me. Where are the laws that say you/we are not? And if it is public perception, then how does the public improve their perception of cyclist if their encounter with cyclists is being blocked by a horde of them seemingly out for the sole purpose of causing havoc?

    Al
    Last edited by noisebeam; 09-07-05 at 01:51 PM.

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    I rode critical mass in SF several years ago. I quit after some of the guys started whacking cars and SUVs with bicycle pumps. It's simply not a smart thing to do, and doesn't reflect well on the cyclists who aren't eco-terorrists.

    Don't get me wrong, I hate careless, unsafe motorists just as much as the next guy. Critical mass is a semi-good idea. I just think it's been infiltrated and poisoned by the extreme eco-terrorists who are pushing more for a "save-the-striped-pandas " agenda, rather than the simple right to a safe, well-lit place for cycling. That's where I see Critical Mass being sorely divided.

    I deal with all the crap of downtown SF traffic on a daily basis. I find that good, defensive bike handling skills gets you much farther than riding slow through town and blocking traffic with a bunch of angry, bicycle-pump-weilding folks who are out to save the world.

    Save the world? Hell, I just want to get to and from the train station as fast as possible.
    Last edited by james_swift; 09-07-05 at 02:07 PM.

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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james_swift
    I just think it's been infiltrated and poisoned by the extreme
    Maybe not just the extreme, car-terrorists, etc., but also by those that want to make a scene, enjoy the feeling and comfort of breaking laws en-mass, the protest atmosphere, etc.
    I understand there are old-school CM folks, who have made a difference in many cities in past decades, but I wonder what is left to do?

    I'd much rather have focused advocay to address specific issues, whether laws that are unfavorable/unsafe for cyclists, or advocacy for a specific infrastructure change to help cyclist. (i.e. not general statement like 'more bike lanes' but specifics, like 'the road between 40th and 44th on main need to be widened')

    Al

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    My position has been expressed well so far in this thread. I am definitely a pro-cycling (not anti-car) activist. I have never participated in a CM ride and have no plans to do so, because I consider many of them to constitute bad public relations. Having said that, I may participate in an upcoming memorial ride to honor the fallen Marine cyclist, Patrick Klokow, and to highlight the danger inherent in the design of the particularly bicycle-hostile intersection at which he was killed by an evidently inattentive or incompetent motorist. However, this is not a CM ride, in the sense that it is scheduled for a Sunday morning (9-11, in fact), rather than a Friday afternoon rush hour.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L.
    I have ridden in many non-permitted groups and not had a problem. Regarding the movie, do they film cyclists no where near Critical Mass getting arrested or is it only people in the near vicinity of a Critical Mass? We had a local guy here try and get a Critical Mass started and the local Bicycle Advocacy groups begged people not to support it as they seemed to think it would destroy everything they had accomplished in the last 20 years.
    Once again, someone from the "provinces", who has never been on or seen a large urban Critical Mass ride, knows everything about it.

    See the video, and then let's talk about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by james_swift
    bunch of angry, bicycle-pump-weilding folks who are out to save the world.
    I've been on every CM in SF for the past 5 months and have seen nothing but peaceful cyclist. Stop slandering.

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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    Once again, someone from the "provinces", who has never been on or seen a large urban Critical Mass ride, knows everything about it.

    See the video, and then let's talk about it.
    WTF does 'provinces' mean?
    Hmmm, I've seen NYC CM ride from the perspective of a car by chance.
    I've ridden in AZ on a CM ride. Folks did not stay in tight lines, they spread out across several lanes at time. It was quite different in many ways that a friendly recreational group ride.
    I've also seen short video and photo of lots of CM rides. What I've seen doesn't look like sharing the road, more like taking it over.

    Al

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    I did not start this thread to start another CM debate, but to discuss the film "Still We Ride".
    Critical Mass has been debated to death. Yet it still goes on after 13 years.

    Please, let's stick to that here. See the film and let's talk about it. You can order it online and it will arrive in a few days. In it you will see video documentation of the police abuse, including tampering with evidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    WTF does 'provinces' mean?
    Hmmm, I've seen NYC CM ride from the perspective of a car by chance.
    I've ridden in AZ on a CM ride. Folks did not stay in tight lines, they spread out across several lanes at time. It was quite different in many ways that a friendly recreational group ride.
    I've also seen short video and photo of lots of CM rides. What I've seen doesn't look like sharing the road, more like taking it over.
    Al
    pro·vin·cial adj.
    Of or relating to a province.
    Of or characteristic of people from the provinces; not fashionable or sophisticated: “Well-educated professional women... made me feel uncomfortably provincial” (J.R. Salamanca).
    Limited in perspective; narrow and self-centered.

    n.
    A native or inhabitant of the provinces.
    A person who has provincial ideas or habits.

    Provincial

    adj 1: of or associated with a province; "provincial government" 2: characteristic of the provinces or their people; "deeply provincial and conformist"; "in that well-educated company I felt uncomfortably provincial"; "narrow provincial attitudes" [ant: cosmopolitan] n 1: (Roman Catholic Church) an official in charge of an ecclesiastical province acting under the superior general of a religious order; "the general of the Jesuits receives monthly reports from the provincials" 2: a country person [syn: peasant, bucolic]

    Once again, let's talk about the film, "Still We Ride". Please.

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    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Ok, haven't seen the video just footage that appears to be included on the video. If you watch the video without taking into consideration the past of Critical Mass though you stand the chance of losing context. The fact that police don't regularly stop groups of bicyclists and treat them as you say the video says is regular treatment in New York makes wonder though.

    Incidentally, if they charged cost for the video, I might be tempted to buy it and watch it to argue with you but, as they appear to be making a profit from this, it would appear I need to support their cause in order to even start this argument so I will bow out now and let you discuss with others who buy the video..
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    Once again, let's talk about the film, "Still We Ride". Please.
    Someone asked a question a few posts above this that I haven't seen answered yet.

    "Regarding the movie, do they film cyclists no where near Critical Mass getting arrested or is it only people in the near vicinity of a Critical Mass? "

    -B

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    Quote Originally Posted by TMX
    Someone asked a question a few posts above this that I haven't seen answered yet.

    "Regarding the movie, do they film cyclists no where near Critical Mass getting arrested or is it only people in the near vicinity of a Critical Mass? "

    -B
    Will someone from NYC please answer. The movie is about Critical Mass. The arrests seem to be Critical Mass arrests.

    If you're point is that the police are targeting CM cyclists only, you may be right, but that is also the point of the movie and the legal battle to counter the police and city.

    But why are all you folks so apologetic for the police and so unsympathetic to your fellow cyclists and citizens? When you see the faces of the folks riding their bikes peacefully down a NY street, how can you be so dis-connected from them. The police state gains ground gradually, and just cause it's not YOU being arrested, be aware, that it's still OUR rights that are being violated.

    And why are you so willing to allow motor traffic to completely take over the streets, but not willing to allow human powered traffic to do the same?

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    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    I've been on every CM in SF for the past 5 months and have seen nothing but peaceful cyclist. Stop slandering.
    I rode Critical Mass religiously 7 years ago...youngin'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by james_swift
    I rode Critical Mass religiously 7 years ago...youngin'.
    Off and on for the past 8 years. I started going the year after the '97 San Fransisco police crackdown.
    I'm a 1 hour train ride away, so tend not to go as much in the winter or when I have to work late on Friday.

    I'm even in the back cover photograph (along with about 900 others) on Chris Carllson's book, Critical Mass-Defient Celebration.

    Which city?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    Will someone from NYC please answer. The movie is about Critical Mass. The arrests seem to be Critical Mass arrests.

    If you're point is that the police are targeting CM cyclists only, you may be right, but that is also the point of the movie and the legal battle to counter the police and city.

    But why are all you folks so apologetic for the police and so unsympathetic to your fellow cyclists and citizens? When you see the faces of the folks riding their bikes peacefully down a NY street, how can you be so dis-connected from them. The police state gains ground gradually, and just cause it's not YOU being arrested, be aware, that it's still OUR rights that are being violated.

    And why are you so willing to allow motor traffic to completely take over the streets, but not willing to allow human powered traffic to do the same?

    WOW! This is probably the most eloquent quote!
    Given the majority's ruling, the only safe bicycle in Illinois is a stationary exercise bike located in one's home or at the gym. ----Illinois State Supreme Court, Boub V Wayne

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    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    Will someone from NYC please answer. The movie is about Critical Mass. The arrests seem to be Critical Mass arrests.

    If you're point is that the police are targeting CM cyclists only, you may be right, but that is also the point of the movie and the legal battle to counter the police and city.

    But why are all you folks so apologetic for the police and so unsympathetic to your fellow cyclists and citizens? When you see the faces of the folks riding their bikes peacefully down a NY street, how can you be so dis-connected from them. The police state gains ground gradually, and just cause it's not YOU being arrested, be aware, that it's still OUR rights that are being violated.

    And why are you so willing to allow motor traffic to completely take over the streets, but not willing to allow human powered traffic to do the same?

    Sorry not from New York but I guess my problem is I live in a town with a workable solution setup to keep Cars and Bikes co-existing peacefully. Police officers are occasionally ignorant but more often than not I have seen them actually defending cyclists to drivers around here. I even accidentally ran a stop sign the other day and instead of pulling me over he kind of chuckled and waved (I did look funny, the feet said stop and the hands said go so my legs were Flayling everywhere but the bike wasn't stopping).
    I hear a lot of stuff about Critical Mass and see pedestrians holding their bikes above their heads in the middle of the street (that picture was on the films website, and yes, if they are carrying their bikes they are pedestrians standing in the middle of the street) and it leaves me thinking they are not perhaps going about this in the right way. The police also are not approaching this in the right way mind you but I don't know what else they would do. They have been told to stop it (probably from someone who doesn't want them to use their name for political reasons) but they aren't supposed to treat it like a riot (which some of those stills from the video do appear like they are doing just that). I have never met a New York city police officer. I have heard they were right there alongside the NYFD at 9/11 though so not all of them can be evil power hungry people. Most of the officers I have known around here tend to be pretty good, with a few jerks stirred into the mix. Guess that is where I am coming from.
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    Without exception, I have always found police to be very helpful to bicyclists and protective of them.

    The problem with some of the high-profile activist groups like Critical Mass, PETA, and others is that they start out well-meaning, then they get infiltrated by zealot kooks. They get the support of some well-meaning people who have no idea what the zealots have in store. Next thing you know, the event is a hullaballoo that turns a lot of people off to what was originally a worthy cause.
    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    Off and on for the past 8 years. I started going the year after the '97 San Fransisco police crackdown.
    I'm a 1 hour train ride away, so tend not to go as much in the winter or when I have to work late on Friday.

    I'm even in the back cover photograph (along with about 900 others) on Chris Carllson's book, Critical Mass-Defient Celebration.

    Which city?
    Am I supposed to be impressed?

    You're not from SF? Even worse. 'Cuz after you and your CM buddies come to my city and piss-off the motorists, it's the locals like myself who have to deal with the pissed-off motorists looking for payback for what you did Friday night. Trust me, your average SF motorist can't tell who rode CM and who didn't, nor do they even care.

    Do this born and bred San Franciscan a favor and go mess-up your own city. I've got enough troubles dealing with the maniacal SF Muni bus and taxi cab drivers without the added danger of your post-CM enraged motorists.

    I don't have a socio-political agenda. I'm just trying to get from point A to point B in the city as quickly as possible.
    Last edited by james_swift; 09-08-05 at 06:00 AM.

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    JRA
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    Once again, let's talk about the film, "Still We Ride". Please.
    Could we please talk about cycling advocacy?


    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    Awesome on the street video of the police state in action.
    Could we please talk about cycling advocacy? "Police state?" Even if true, it has nothing to do with cycling advocacy.


    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    I did not start this thread to start another CM debate...
    No, you started it to stir up crap and promote a propaganda film. This thread promotes a film and is spam.


    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    Critical Mass has been debated to death.
    Yea, it has. And yet CM proponents still polute a cycling advocacy forum with flame bait like this thread. I, for one, am getting tired of CM proponents spamming this forum and posting their propaganda.


    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    Yet it still goes on after 13 years.
    Yea, unfortunately it does. It would be better for cyclists if it didn't.
    Last edited by JRA; 09-08-05 at 12:45 AM.
    "It may even be that motoring is more healthful than not motoring; death rates were certainly higher in the pre-motoring age."- John Forester
    "Laws cannot be properly understood as if written in plain English..."- Forester defending obfuscation.
    "Motorist propaganda, continued for sixty years, is what has put cyclists on sidewalks." - Forester, sociologist in his own mind
    "'There are no rules of the road on MUPs.' -John Forester" - Helmet Head quoting 'The Great One'

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