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  1. #1
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    NYC critical mass this past week.

    was anyone who browses this forum there?? 16 arrested...and this flyer passed out?

    Here is the text of the flyer the NYPD was handing out at Union Square tonight:

    "NOTICE TO BICYCLISTS

    * THE NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT REQUIRES YOUR COOPERATION IN COMPLYING WITH THE LAW AND PROTECTING THE PUBLIC FROM HARM.

    IT IS DANGEROUS AND ILLEGAL TO RIDE A BICYCLE IN A PROCESSION ON THE PUBLIC STREETS WITHIN NEW YORK CITY, IF A PERMIT FOR THE PROCESSION HAS NOT BEEN ISSUED BY THE NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

    NO PERMIT HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR A BICYCLE PROCESSION FOR TONIGHT, NOVEMBER 26, 2004

    IF YOU CHOOSE TO RIDE IN A PROCESSION THIS EVENING, YOU WILL BE ARRESTED AND YOUR BICYCLE WILL BE SEIZED

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION"

    When asked what constituted a "procession", representatives from the NYPD's Community Affairs Department consulted with NYPD legal and informed riders that "more than two" is a procession.



    ...

  2. #2
    hang up your boots ostro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 704jason
    When asked what constituted a "procession", representatives from the NYPD's Community Affairs Department consulted with NYPD legal and informed riders that "more than two" is a procession.



    ...
    That is soooo f@#ed up, "more than two"!!!!! truly ridiculous, so what about a family riding down the street.

    and here we are liberating other nations so called "freedom"

    makes me think of a certain Agnostic Front song

  3. #3
    The King of Town manboy's Avatar
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    Time to install a riot shield to get my cruiser battle-ready...

  4. #4
    hang up your boots ostro's Avatar
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    I know it may counter the original idea but in protest of what is going on now, maybe you guys should stick to the traffic laws and continue with CM. New York law sees cyclists as vehicles requiring you ride on street and obey traffic laws. CM is in and of itself is not a violation of the law as long as you follow those laws.

    The way i see it, you are eventually going to lose mass participation the way it carrys on now. The point is to raise awareness and you can accomplish that with a planned route that obeys traffic laws and circles blocks to maintain crtical mass.

    ...just my 2cents

  5. #5
    Philly bike nerd nocoins's Avatar
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    thats the same flyer they pass out around every critical mass in NYC... at least the one I have seen since the RNC Mass. I think they make a lot of threats but cant really follow through. Most of the people that get arrested at these things get arrested because they do dumb stuff. Its not illegal to ride through NYC, but it is illegal to stop your bike in the middle of the intersection or throw rocks through the windows of SUV's. With that said, keep riding!
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  6. #6
    Senior Citizen Discount fixedfiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocoins
    thats the same flyer they pass out around every critical mass in NYC... at least the one I have seen since the RNC Mass. I think they make a lot of threats but cant really follow through. Most of the people that get arrested at these things get arrested because they do dumb stuff. Its not illegal to ride through NYC, but it is illegal to stop your bike in the middle of the intersection or throw rocks through the windows of SUV's. With that said, keep riding!
    No, that's not the same flyer they have been handing out since the RNC. There has been less and less tolerance for Mass riders. If you've been going for the past few months, you would know that. I've seen people get arrested for no reason. It's almost like they're just picking people off because no one is doing anything illegal.

  7. #7
    無くなった HereNT's Avatar
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    Apparently they changed the law so that it is illegal to simply ride the mass?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ostro
    CM is in and of itself is not a violation of the law as long as you follow those laws.
    Actually, the flyer says that even a traffic obeying Courteous Mass is illegal.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocoins
    thats the same flyer they pass out around every critical mass in NYC... at least the one I have seen since the RNC Mass. I think they make a lot of threats but cant really follow through. Most of the people that get arrested at these things get arrested because they do dumb stuff. Its not illegal to ride through NYC, but it is illegal to stop your bike in the middle of the intersection or throw rocks through the windows of SUV's. With that said, keep riding!
    This is a different flyer this month. And the recording they played this month threatened preemptive arrests.

  10. #10
    Philly bike nerd nocoins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixedfiend
    No, that's not the same flyer they have been handing out since the RNC. There has been less and less tolerance for Mass riders. If you've been going for the past few months, you would know that. I've seen people get arrested for no reason. It's almost like they're just picking people off because no one is doing anything illegal.

    Original Post.
    "NOTICE TO BICYCLISTS

    * THE NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT REQUIRES YOUR COOPERATION IN COMPLYING WITH THE LAW AND PROTECTING THE PUBLIC FROM HARM.

    IT IS DANGEROUS AND ILLEGAL TO RIDE A BICYCLE IN A PROCESSION ON THE PUBLIC STREETS WITHIN NEW YORK CITY, IF A PERMIT FOR THE PROCESSION HAS NOT BEEN ISSUED BY THE NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

    NO PERMIT HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR A BICYCLE PROCESSION FOR TONIGHT, NOVEMBER 26, 2004

    IF YOU CHOOSE TO RIDE IN A PROCESSION THIS EVENING, YOU WILL BE ARRESTED AND YOUR BICYCLE WILL BE SEIZED

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION"

    When asked what constituted a "procession", representatives from the NYPD's Community Affairs Department consulted with NYPD legal and informed riders that "more than two" is a procession.

    FLYER HANDED OUT AT THE RNC

    "It is illegal to ride a bicycle in a procession on the public streets within Nyew York City if a permit for the procession has not been issued by the NYC police department.

    Bicyclist are subject to the same rules of the road applicable to motor vehicles including obedience to all official governmental signs, signals, markings, and other devices erected for the purpose of regulating, warning or guiding traffic

    Bicyclists may not ride on sidewalks, expressways, drives, highways interstate routes, bridges, tunnels and thruways

    Bicyclists must ride in usable bicycle lanes or near the curb or edge of the roadway and not more than two abreast

    Bicyclists may not impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic, intentionally impeding governmental and emergency vehicles is a serious offense.

    Violators of the foregoing are subject to arrest and bicycle seizure

    Issued by the New York City Police Department"

    Seems pretty close to me.

    with that said, I would have to argue that there is no reason for the police to simply "pull people off the road" unless they were doing something to provoke it. I have lived in both NYC and Philadelphia and am not nieve to the injustice facing cyclists, but at the same time I also know that unless the police are able to show some sort of cause, they cannot just pull people off the road. The arrests I have seen at these events (and I have seen quite a few) usually are the result of someone arguing with an officer, getting off their bike in the middle of an intersection, blocking traffic [corking] to allow the rest of the cyclists to ride through against the light (which I always appreciate when they do that, but they have to realize that they can be arrested for it), or just doing something dumb and violent (throwing rocks or garbage). I am not against critical Mass. I fight for the rights of cyclists all the time and I am one of the people who uses his bike for everthing (dont own a car and I dont use mass transit usually) so I ride 7 days a week in the city rain or shine. I think things are getting tougher at all the CM events, but I have to put SOME responsibility on the people who are riding. Its great to ride in a large group and show the motorized public that bicycles are part of the road and deserve the same respect as cars and pedestrians, but at the same time, when you have a lot of tension in a crowd, people are bound to do things that will get them in trouble. With that said, I hope people continue to do the CM rides, but I hope they dont allow the stress put on them by the City cause them to do something dumb.
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  11. #11
    hang up your boots ostro's Avatar
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    what is really screwed up about the whole thing is that they are requiring a permit. This is next to impossible unless you have covered all the your bases, policing, restrooms, first aid, all the things that require mass cash.

    the only way to beat this is to have a mass soo large it would completely overwhelm the city, a few of these and they will be forced to address cyclists issues. Of course this is what CM is about but ridership is still too low. Maybe there needs to be an International CM and the first place is New York.

    International Critical Mass - 2005 New York
    Bring yourself, bring a friend and bring a bike.

    Of course as soon as you organize such an event you always get splinter groups pushing their own agendas.

    This is an issue that will be dealt with soon, truth is there are more and more cars on the road everyday, driving will eventually have to become an ineffective and impractical method of transporation.

  12. #12
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    I have a better idea. Instead of critical mass taking over a street, how about critical mass taking over, oh, Grand Central Station.

    No riding. Just 1000 people show up at the same time, pack into Grand Central, and sit there in the main concourse.

    Then a month later, do the same thing on the subway. 1000 cyclists squeeze onto one subway train.

    Maybe the month after go back to Union Square, 1000 strong, and just sit there and wait...

    And wait...

    And wait...

    And as the police fume because they can't stop you from hanging around, you just chuckle....

    And wait...

    And wait...

    And wait...

    Until they can't take it anymore, because you know they won't leave; they want to get you when you ride.

    But you don't ride. You just waste their time...

    And you wait...

    And wait...

    And wait...

    And you frustrate the hell out of them.

    Then you start calling the media and asking them to look into how much the waiting game cost the city.

    Maybe then people will realize how frigging ridiculous this whole thing really is.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocoins
    (flyertext)Seems pretty close to me.
    Not to belabor this but...actually the October flyer detailed an approved route, gave instructions for cyclists wishing to leave the route and detailed the sorts of things that would lead to arrest. That ride went really well...until the police themselves forced riders off of the route they themselves detailed on their own flyers.

    I think I have a copy of the October flyer somewhere. I remember I made a point of asking for an extra one because the language seemed to be in direct contradiction of the recent court decision.

    with that said, I would have to argue that there is no reason for the police to simply "pull people off the road" unless they were doing something to provoke it. I have lived in both NYC and Philadelphia and am not nieve to the injustice facing cyclists, but at the same time I also know that unless the police are able to show some sort of cause, they cannot just pull people off the road. (snipped many good points for space)
    You'll have to take my word for it...the arrests at the last few CMs have been for no reason other than for participation in CM. Not to belabor my own personal experience, but though I was only cuffed and detained at the Brooklyn CM in November, I was one of a group of three riders there to participate on a cold, windy, wet night. Is three even enough to constitute a procession? Honestly, even if the Mass had been allowed to proceed, there wouldn't have been any way we could have done anything but ride bikes...three is far too few to calm any traffic or take over any streets.

    With that said, I hope people continue to do the CM rides, but I hope they dont allow the stress put on them by the City cause them to do something dumb.
    People in NYC seem to be pretty good at tolerating this sort of nonsense in the hope that it will pass. Even at the RNC ride, I only saw one guy who was being obnoxious to the olice, and even that was kept to the level of non-profane abuse. There are *******s at every ride, of course, and owning & riding a bike doesn't make anyone a saint, but the majority of NYC CM riders I've met at recent rides have been in good humor about the whole thing.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincenzosi
    I have a better idea.
    This is a good idea. There's been a push to get CM riders on to a txt flash system for the rides. If a core of 200 people could be relied upon to turn up at your "stand-and-wait" events, they would be large enough to frustrate. I think it would eventually be effective.

    The thing I keep thinking about on Friday's ride is those helicopters. How much GD money did it cost to keep multiple helcopters aloft for hours and hours like that? and to what end?

  15. #15
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    I felt like I was in frigging Watts LA on Friday with the damn helis going over.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincenzosi
    I felt like I was in frigging Watts LA on Friday with the damn helis going over.
    Dude, you should have been there in August when we had not just helis but a blimp! That was sweet!

  17. #17
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    There were blimps there, but most of them were in those little scooters glaring at passing cyclists.

    Sorry. I still haven't gotten over Friday
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  18. #18
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    What NYC is doing doesn't sound right, man. Why are they so anal about it? Do people normally ignore all the traffic laws and harass drivers or something?

    That's absolutely ridiculous that three people on bikes constitute a procession.
    "There'll be time for complacency when I'm six feet under. "

  19. #19
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    HOLY CRAP, WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS BEFORE?

    Why not have the next Critical Mass right in front of Madeline Provenzano's office? Seriously... Her Bronx office or her Manhattan office... Start there, and repeatedly circle the block! It would be priceless!
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diggy18
    What NYC is doing doesn't sound right, man. Why are they so anal about it? Do people normally ignore all the traffic laws and harass drivers or something?

    That's absolutely ridiculous that three people on bikes constitute a procession.
    I don't think people in NYC are any bigger idiots during CM than in other cities. The problem, IMHO, is this:

    NYC has a billionaire Republican mayor who brought the RNC here despite the fact that this is an overwhelmingly Democratic city. There was an enormous amount of very vocal opposition on the streets before and during the convention, and, chronologically, the first protest to draw a lot of attention and cause mass arrests was the August CM, which was listed by Times Up as part of their "Bike National Convention" but which would have taken place (although with many fewer people) regardless of where the RNC was held. At any rate, the A31 CM was a thumb in the Republican mayor's eye, and demonstrated how ill-prepared the NYPD was to allow peaceful protest without trampling on civil rights.
    Fast forward a month...the convention is over, but Commissioner Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg's egos are still bruised. All of the protesters have gone home and are untouchable....except for Critical Mass. So what's going on now, IMHO, is payback for the August CM.

    My 2, anyway. I'd be glad to hear alternate theories, though.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincenzosi
    HOLY CRAP, WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS BEFORE?

    Why not have the next Critical Mass right in front of Madeline Provenzano's office? Seriously... Her Bronx office or her Manhattan office... Start there, and repeatedly circle the block! It would be priceless!
    I suggest a silent vigil, marked only by the relentless sound of bicycle bells and horns.

  22. #22
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    the only way to beat this is to have a mass soo large it would completely overwhelm the city, a few of these and they will be forced to address cyclists issues. Of course this is what CM is about but ridership is still too low. Maybe there needs to be an International CM and the first place is New York.

    International Critical Mass - 2005 New York
    Bring yourself, bring a friend and bring a bike.

    ...that would be so great if something like that could be pulled off...i mean, realistically it could happen...would be great to kick off the world messenger gathering there next year...

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ostro
    what is really screwed up about the whole thing is that they are requiring a permit. This is next to impossible unless you have covered all the your bases, policing, restrooms, first aid, all the things that require mass cash.

    the only way to beat this is to have a mass soo large it would completely overwhelm the city, a few of these and they will be forced to address cyclists issues. Of course this is what CM is about but ridership is still too low. Maybe there needs to be an International CM and the first place is New York.

    International Critical Mass - 2005 New York
    Bring yourself, bring a friend and bring a bike.

    Of course as soon as you organize such an event you always get splinter groups pushing their own agendas.

    This is an issue that will be dealt with soon, truth is there are more and more cars on the road everyday, driving will eventually have to become an ineffective and impractical method of transporation.
    As more and more cars get on the road, that will happen.

  24. #24
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    As far as I'm concerned, driving in Manhattan is already outmoded by pretty much anything else.
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  25. #25
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    Keep fighting! If you work or live in NYC and you call yourself a cyclist, you need to join these rides. Stand up for your rights! It is your duty as an American to make a stand against this kind of repression. I have a parading without a permit charge on my record that I'm quite proud of. Wish I could join you guys! I'll do every CM in DC from now on in support of cycling in my city. You guys are an inspiration to me. Thank you!

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