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Old 11-13-04, 09:27 PM   #1
Laika
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...you all need to get in touch with Gideon Oliver-- gideon@mindless.com. he wants us to talk to norman siegel about last night's ride. Get in touch as soon as you can, possibly we'll meet tomorrow if you guys are available.
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Old 11-13-04, 09:30 PM   #2
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Care to explain why it's urgent? What happened at the ride?
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Old 11-13-04, 09:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca
Care to explain why it's urgent? What happened at the ride?
Becca:

This is an email I sent in response to one of the regular riders, who, in apologising for having to bail, said he hoped the police would stay away:

Quote:
Tüba,
If only. So I go to GAP on my way home, since it is, and there's maybe five people there.... and eight police vans, a paddy wagon, a flatbed truck and a light truck and easily 35 policemen, including, as I later found out, the borough commander. The five of us become three as a couple of cyclists decide not to participate because they lack lights, and the three of us left, myself, Jonathan and Nicki, decide we'll ride a Courteous Mass out to Coney Island for hot dogs & fries at Nathan's. So, right about 7:15, we push off the curb.

I didn't even have my second foot up on my pedals when I was grabbed by the shoulder. Fair's fair... my headlight wasn't on when I began to roll away, but then I was handcuffed, which was fairly out of proportion, I thought, and was searched and detained while they decided what to do with me. Everyone except the guy who cuffed me seemed embarrassed even to be there and me talking to th em made them more embarrassed, I think. Maybe not. Long story short, eventually, they let me go, no ticket or summons, acting like they were doing me a favor. And they "let us" ride the loop in the park, which is, at that point closed to traffic anyway, which was awfully nice of them.

This is utter and complete bull****. I'm sorry to be snotty about this, but I so want to see the stats on serious crime in Brooklyn during the hour and a half that the massive police show of force was in effect at Grand Army Plaza, which was there to restrict the right of free and peaceable assembly of three- THREE- dangerous CMers. As if, there in the cold and rain, we would have posed a threat to anything but a bowl of soup and a glass of whisky. Did I mention there were three of us?

The captain who took me aside to explain that they were letting me go told me that I was being let go strictly because it was such a small group, and that they were going to continue to show up in force based on the parading w/o a permit thing they tried to enforce against the NYC ride, before the judge's denial of their request for an injunction. Also, our departure at 7:15 instead of 7:30 (which I guess was when the ride started last month) took them by surprise and forced them to "change tactics," a phrase which in this context means "handcuff people who behave unpredictably, even if their behavior is completely legal." Asked point blank if they were going to continue to bust chops in the future, he said they would be restricting "rallies" (at least they're not calling them "protests" anymore) which crossed the line and became "parades," although he was unwilling or unable to define precisely when a "rally" would become a "parade."

During the exceedingly brief Critical Mass ride itself, which was marked by spirits far higher than the cold, rain and disproportionate policing might lead you to believe, Jonathan pointed out that statistically, this was by far the most brutal crackdown on Critical Mass yet, as fully 1/3rd of the riders were in cuffs at one point. His wisdom is, I believe, one of the reasons that the police elected him as the "leader" of CM Brooklyn when they needed someone to negotiate with over the fate of the 1/3rd of the Mass detained. So send your dues checks and membership enquiries to him, I guess.

Much respect to Jonathan and Nicki, who, in the cold and rain, came all the way from Manhattan to help keep the Brooklyn Mass alive this month. Nicki, I'm sorry we dropped you on the hill...I was too distracted by rage to keep the Mass tight. That was wrong, and the other two thirds of the Mass are sorry. Many thanks to all the policemen who "let" us ride the loop... especially those in the van who blew by us in the designated bike lane at 40 mph. And all of you Brooklyn CM riders best show up next month... I've ended up in cuffs in August and in November, and it's time for someone else to take a turn.

"...It goes on one at a time, it starts when you care to act, it starts when you do it again and they said no,
it starts when you say We and know who you mean, and each day you mean one more."

See you next month, on bikes. December 10. GAP. 7pm.
it's a bad time for CM in NYC & Brooklyn.
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Old 11-13-04, 10:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laika
...you all need to get in touch with Gideon Oliver-- gideon@mindless.com. he wants us to talk to norman siegel about last night's ride. Get in touch as soon as you can, possibly we'll meet tomorrow if you guys are available.
Alright, I emailed Gideon Oliver. I'm free tomorrow for the most part, so if necessary I can meet up with whomever. I also plan on writing letters to several newspapers tomorrow as I do not want this to be forgotten.
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Old 11-13-04, 10:30 PM   #5
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Right on. See you tomorrow.
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Old 11-13-04, 10:42 PM   #6
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Right on. See you tomorrow.
As I haven't received a reply yet, where and when are we meeting exactly (if you know).
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Old 11-14-04, 12:25 AM   #7
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Damn. I kinda wish I still lived in the NYC area; I'd have made my way down there. This is complete bull****, if a judge has told the city they're out of line!
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Old 11-14-04, 12:42 AM   #8
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The Portland cops have been all over Portland's CM ride ever since the August 2002 Bike Summer ride, which just happened to be right after they staged a police riot when George W. came to town on August 22, 2002, during the tenure of good ol' nazi Chief Kroeker, ex-LAPD. Ride after ride, massive deployment of officers on bikes and motorcycles, in squad cars, sometimes with the CERT team in Darth Vader riot gear in tow, as well. It's common these days for there to be more cops than cyclists on a CM ride in Portland, sometimes by a ratio of two or three to one. Sometimes it's pepper spray and physical force, most of the time it's just BS tickets and harrassment. The motorcycle cops are the worst. I'm so sorry to hear the NYPD are being such dickheads (but not really too surprised...).
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Old 11-14-04, 03:50 PM   #9
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So, it looks like the NYPD is going "Nazi" on legal riders(three people is a parade/rally?). Why are people being pepper sprayed in Portland? Are the Portland police violating Consitutional rights like the NYPD, or are riders still not riding within the rules of the road?
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Old 11-15-04, 01:00 PM   #10
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Are the Portland police violating Consitutional rights like the NYPD, or are riders still not riding within the rules of the road?
Even on incredibly legal CM rides in Portland, $200 tickets are routinely given out for ambiguous and inflated charges of 'improper use of lane', 'failure to obey a police officer' and 'improper use of bicycle seat'. The level of applied police manpower and the microscopic police scrutiny of every CM participants' equipment and behavior is probably thousands of times greater than it is for the average motorist, or even for the avarage cyclist. IMO, it's basically focused police harassment that makes it very unpelasant to participate in CM, in an attempt to get CM to 'cease and desist'.
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Old 11-15-04, 01:36 PM   #11
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Randy Please please tell me what the improper use of a bicycle seat is! Is it like the warnings on Pledge cans saying use other than that intended is illegal? I am dying to know.
I also agree with what you say on the "microscopic police scrutiny of every CM participants' equipment and behavior ". everyday riding or even riding to a Mass ride I see cars driving and parking in bike lanes, doubling the speed limit, running lights etc. I think it all boils down to police being flexible in how they selectively enforce laws. I have benefited from such flexibility for sure, but cops ignore plenty of traffic violations that are actually dangerous unlike say, a bike with out a bell. Cops themselves in NYC abuse the laws they are there to uphold. Ever ride by a Precinct house that did not have private cars parked on the SIDEWALK? double parked all day in the street, even after the car on the inside has left? They have a tough, dangerous job. Yet being flexible with the law or adament to a T, just spawns cynacism (sp) in the public.
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Old 11-15-04, 03:55 PM   #12
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I was actually thinking about this today...I'm on jury duty and had an hour and a half for lunch, which is about an hour and twenty minutes longer than I usually have and what bothers me so much is the gap between their intentions and the laws they're enforcing. If they had really been so concerned about cycling safety and wrote me a ticket for the no headlight thing, fair enough. But they're using laws to take all the fun out of and discourage the masses, which isn't cricket. (And the parading thing is just BS, until they start requiring permits for that procession they have twice a day, five times a week...what's it called? Oh, yeah...RUSH HOUR.) Honestly, these are technical and traffic laws beng used to restrict the right to free and peaceable assembly. If they'd just come out and say on the face of it "Here's a law we're going to pass restricting group bike rides to 10 or fewer riders," then at least you could fight it based on that. But the dishonesty and misdirection just frosts me. Like in Bklyn the other night...we're being detained by cops, who are out in numbers that can only be called overwhelming, some of us are cuffed and put in the van, they hold us up in the cold and rain for 15min-1/2 an hour, and then ask "What are you going to do? Where are you going?" Now, they never specifically said, "You can't ride in the street." But can anyone seriously maintain the position that they weren't using the threat of force and detention to deter what, in a group of three people, would have been legal and sanctioned behavior? I need to stop here as I'm getting angry about it again.
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Old 11-15-04, 05:58 PM   #13
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Man, that's harsh. My sympathies. Out here in SF,CA, we have it easy. There was much the same in '97 and I'm sure you've read about it.
http://www.brasscheck.com/cm/
http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/~howard/CriticalMass/
http://www.bclu.org/cm/july25.html
http://www.sfgate.com/news/pages/1997/critmass.shtml


Quote:
Originally Posted by Laika
I was actually thinking about this today...I'm on jury duty and had an hour and a half for lunch, which is about an hour and twenty minutes longer than I usually have and what bothers me so much is the gap between their intentions and the laws they're enforcing. If they had really been so concerned about cycling safety and wrote me a ticket for the no headlight thing, fair enough. But they're using laws to take all the fun out of and discourage the masses, which isn't cricket. (And the parading thing is just BS, until they start requiring permits for that procession they have twice a day, five times a week...what's it called? Oh, yeah...RUSH HOUR.) Honestly, these are technical and traffic laws beng used to restrict the right to free and peaceable assembly. If they'd just come out and say on the face of it "Here's a law we're going to pass restricting group bike rides to 10 or fewer riders," then at least you could fight it based on that. But the dishonesty and misdirection just frosts me. Like in Bklyn the other night...we're being detained by cops, who are out in numbers that can only be called overwhelming, some of us are cuffed and put in the van, they hold us up in the cold and rain for 15min-1/2 an hour, and then ask "What are you going to do? Where are you going?" Now, they never specifically said, "You can't ride in the street." But can anyone seriously maintain the position that they weren't using the threat of force and detention to deter what, in a group of three people, would have been legal and sanctioned behavior? I need to stop here as I'm getting angry about it again.
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Old 11-15-04, 06:12 PM   #14
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More info for Laika.

http://nyc.indymedia.org/newswire/di...2087/index.php
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Old 11-15-04, 07:20 PM   #15
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I can't believe the words above. That the police would go so far to take such measures...it's sounds like it's gone beyond the level of absurd that you only see in "Naked Gun" movies...

I wonder what 'special' treatment someone with a camera might get if they notice..not even the Fox 5 Problem Solvers can help out on this one. Might get the wrong people mad at 'em.
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Old 11-15-04, 07:29 PM   #16
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I'll let you know. I'll be at the ride the day after Thanksgiving armed with a vidcam.
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Old 11-15-04, 07:55 PM   #17
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oh man! can you imagine..it's the biggest shopping day of the year. I would think that they will be out in force looking for trouble. Be careful.
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Old 11-15-04, 08:08 PM   #18
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See, that's what I'm expecting. If ever a day was perfect for them to get froggy, that's the day...
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Old 11-15-04, 08:08 PM   #19
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PS: Chombo: Wanna meet with a group of us and ride or no? A couple of us from here are going to meet up before the ride...
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Old 11-15-04, 08:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Thanks. I really enjoy having the perspectives of other cities...and the SF ride is the grandaddy of them all!
They haven't started hitting or macing people here yet. So we have that going for us.
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Old 11-16-04, 11:31 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincenzosi
PS: Chombo: Wanna meet with a group of us and ride or no? A couple of us from here are going to meet up before the ride...

If I'm in town for thanksgiving this year, I'll come check it out - I'll even bring my digi point-and-shoot camera.
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Old 11-16-04, 12:17 PM   #22
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All,

Just wanted to let you know that I emailed Gideon Oliver and told him I'll be at CM NYC the day after Thanksgiving with a vidcam. Seeing as things have gotten out of hand, I'd highly recommend if you have some kind of "capture" equipment, bring it with you.

I'll have a vidcam and a SASE I can pass to someone that I can slip the tape into this way if they take the camera, they don't get my tape also.

Maybe I'll get lucky and I won't need it.
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Old 11-16-04, 12:25 PM   #23
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Get a sign and tell the cops that they're being broadcasted live through your cam. That way they think there's nothing they can do even if they take the camera and tape.
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Old 11-16-04, 12:30 PM   #24
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Unfortunately my cam is so small that I doubt anyone would be dumb enough to believe that
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Old 11-16-04, 01:27 PM   #25
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You gotta love the digital camera revolution. Oddly enough, it seems to be preserving civil rights instead of destroying them as was originally feared (a la X-10 cams)
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