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  1. #1
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    Victory for Critical Mass!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by The New York Daily News
    Judge dismisses New York's bid to force bike rally to get permit

    NEW YORK (AP) -- The city's bid to force cyclists to obtain a parade permit for a monthly Manhattan bicycle rally that has resulted in hundreds of arrests since summer was dismissed Thursday by a federal judge.

    U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III tossed out the city's countersuit and said the issue should be resolved in state court.

    Although Pauley did not condone the cyclists' actions, he noted that police had not required the Critical Mass rallies to have permits for nearly a decade until officers began arresting riders two days before this summer's Republican National convention.

    In addition, he said, police had for years aided the rallies by blocking cross-town intersections to allow cyclists to proceed without interruption and by letting them run red lights.



    "After allowing Critical Mass rides in Manhattan for 10 years without permits," Pauley wrote, "the police department has acquiesced to the very conduct it now seeks to prohibit."

    Pauley also cited testimony this month by assistant police Chief Bruce H. Smolka Jr., who said the department "can enforce the laws without an injunction, but an injunction would be helpful."

    Pauley also denied the city's application to require cyclists to get a permit from the Department of Parks and Recreation to gather at Union Square Park before the start of each rally, saying that was an issue for state courts.

    Cyclists had argued that since no one claims to organize the event, the issuance of permits would have been difficult. They said they do not need a formal organization because they have the same rights to streets as motorists do.

    Attorney Norman Seagal, who represented five cyclists who had their bikes seized at a rally, said he hoped the city would accept the ruling.

    "We believe that the judge was legally correct, and hopefully the strength of his legal argument will deter the city from seeking to appeal," Seagal said.

    Sheryl Neufeld, of the city law department, said that she was disappointed in the decision and that the city was considering an appeal.

    "To allow Critical Mass bike rides to continue in their present form continues to be a danger to the public safety," she said.

    The bike rides started in San Francisco in 1992 and came to New York two years later. They generally occur all over the world on the last Friday of each month and are designed to make a statement about cyclists' rights and to protest urban areas' reliance on motor vehicles.

    They became large enough in New York recently that police decided to tighten the rules, leading to the arrest of more than 260 cyclists during a ride days before the GOP convention in August.

    Dozens more cyclists were arrested at subsequent rallies.
    YAHOO! It's gonna be a party on the New Years Eve ride, no doubt!
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincenzosi
    YAHOO! It's gonna be a party on the New Years Eve ride, no doubt!
    Keep us posted. We are all watching on http://nyc.indymedia.org
    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

  3. #3
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Good deal. Have you noticed that the one city most directly affected by Sept.11th and it's aftermath seems the least willing to do away with civil rights like some of these goose steppin' red states? Lead by example, that's what Momma used to say...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
    Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    Good deal. Have you noticed that the one city most directly affected by Sept.11th and it's aftermath seems the least willing to do away with civil rights like some of these goose steppin' red states? Lead by example, that's what Momma used to say...
    Why do they call the red states red states anyways? Sometimes, I can't tell the difference between the red states and China, in terms of civil rights. The only difference is the people in the red states are fatter than the Chinese.
    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

  5. #5
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barenakedbiker
    Why do they call the red states red states anyways?
    Cuz they're soaked in blood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
    Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    Cuz they're soaked in blood.
    OIC. I thought it's because they are all pinko commies.
    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

  7. #7
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    It ought to be Blue and Grey. The underlying issues that brought about the Civil War are still at least partly there. Republican gerrymandering has aggravated the problem(s).

  8. #8
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    From what I gather, the suit was not dismissed on the merits of the case. All that happened was that the Federal court decided it was not the correct venue for the city to initiate the litigation.

    Expect the city to file the same suit in state court.

  9. #9
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    hmmm....i love how just because you do not agree with their political point of view, they're commie racists. btw, i live in a red state, and i'm not republican or democrat. i agree that racisim is a problem, but not just in the south. it's still fairly prolific across the entire country.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Red states were named for the red color TV news give a state on a map when the Repubilican canadate wins that states Electorial votes. Democrats are shaded blue, while the rare indepentent are shaded white. (last happened in 1948)
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member IchbinJay's Avatar
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    I think their really is no such thing as bad publicity and that even if the Supreme Court did ban the rides that it woudl get more people to think about the situation and to act in different methods. Afterall, when has the law ever been on our side?

  12. #12
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    I'm glad Critical Mass won. What was happening to those cyclists was horrible. I hope they continue to win in State court whatever appeals the city might launch.

  13. #13
    Better than you since 83! junioroverlord's Avatar
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    God I hate nazis.
    "Riding bikes on the street is the fuggin jam!" Juvi-Kyle

  14. #14
    Wingnut Cravin's Avatar
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    The red and blue colors of the states in TV news coverage were just the opposite a while ago (Republicans blue, Democrats red) until someone complained that the red was too harsh for liberal socialist Democrats, and they chose a more soothing blue color for them.

  15. #15
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    I'd say this thread has degenerated pretty well beyond the original post...
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by IchbinJay
    I think their really is no such thing as bad publicity and that even if the Supreme Court did ban the rides that it woudl get more people to think about the situation and to act in different methods. Afterall, when has the law ever been on our side?
    The law is more the convenience of motorists', not for bicyclists' safety.
    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

  17. #17
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barenakedbiker
    Why do they call the red states red states anyways? Sometimes, I can't tell the difference between the red states and China, in terms of civil rights. The only difference is the people in the red states are fatter than the Chinese.
    Clearly open-minded thinking at it's zenith.
    No worries

  18. #18
    formerly cycletourist HunterBee's Avatar
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    I thought the red states were red to symbolize the fascism of the repugnican party. And the democrats are blue because they keep losing :-)

  19. #19
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincenzosi
    I'd say this thread has degenerated pretty well beyond the original post...
    I hate when that happens...

    But want to know: how will this ruling help commuting cyclists? I realize that when one person's rights are curtailed, all our rights are threatened. But what problem is Critical Mass addressing, other than the problem of police overreaction to their rides? It obviously helps Critical Mass (for now,) but how will it help me?
    No worries

  20. #20
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    This isn't the commuting forum, it's the advocacy forum; but if it helps, here's what one of my lawyer friends posted on a local list in response to questions regarding how the NYC ruling helps Critical Mass in other cities like Portland (where the cops have been overbearing for the last two years). I think I've highlighted the critical passage(s):

    Disclaimer: this ain't legal advice, okay?

    "The real lesson is not the following legal stuff, but to look at how the NYC CM folks have framed the fight as one about their first amendment rights! If you are talking to the press or whomever, think about if that is how you...might want to frame your local fight.

    legal stuff:

    Short answer, [the NYC ruling] is "persuasive" but not binding anywhere else.

    Medium answer, there are state and federal courts, each has trial, appellate and supreme courts (although NY's lowest court is called the state supreme court, so be careful out there!)

    Trial court decisions are binding only to the facts and litigants involved. BUT other trial courts look around to see what their neighbors are doing. legally though only higher courts have binding effect on courts below them, and even then state in state only and federal in federal only (mainly). So a state appelate court decision is binding on all trial courts in that state, but not necessarily in other appelate courts in that state, which is why a supreme court will hear an issue, to settle it once and for all.

    Long answer: state supreme court decision is law of that state, US Supreme CT decision is binding in the US, each however has different jurisdiction and in some instances a STATE supreme court decision can be appealed to the US supreme court.

    If an appellate court has ruled on a case, then that is the law for all those below them, unless and until the appropriate supreme court changes or upholds their decision.

    In general, once the trial court has made a decision people need to decide if they want to appeal or not. There are tons of reasons to appeal and to not appeal, some deal with the legal issues, some deal with external issues like money or politics. They always say when your client says they'll take their case to the supreme court, get paid in advance!

    So the New York Federal Trial Court decision is binding on them, but as was previously noted there is the interplay between state and federal claims, and what court is proper to be dealing with this stuff.
    Now if this exact same issue were to come up in Portland and we were in state court, the state court would look to Oregon law first, then maybe federal law, but a federal trial decision is not binding anywhere but in that trial, for those litigants and those facts. Also in Federal court unless it is a state issue, you would only look to federal law.

    So I think the moral in this story, is that the iceberg has many tips and we are one and NY is another. NYCM has a well-framed fight going on and the court is following the law!"

  21. #21
    Telemark! TeleJohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    This isn't the commuting forum, it's the advocacy forum; but if it helps, here's what one of my lawyer friends posted on a local list in response to questions regarding how the NYC ruling helps Critical Mass in other cities like Portland (where the cops have been overbearing for the last two years). I think I've highlighted the critical passage(s):

    ...
    So, to answer LittleBigMan, it doesn't help the person who uses the bicycle everday for practical reasons (real advocacy), it helps CM. Right?

  22. #22
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    Depends... Mainly on when the police start considering ten commuters in a bike lane heading for work at the same time a procession that needs a parade permit.

    But then again, they would never stretch the Critical Mass thing out to other cyclists. They're just after Critical Mass, right?

    Right?
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  23. #23
    militant commuter
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    On one hand cops from one side of town don't seem to talk to cops on the other, unless some directive comes from on high. This directive has come from the top, so...
    Maybe we could be targeted as commuters. Other members have sugested this, and I think it is valid, cops do let bikes run lights and stretch laws, which benifits bike commuting. But CM is good for riding and commuting, you know when some car passes another in the bikelane nearly killing you, and they say they don't care about any of that when you confront them, you feel alone and vunerable. CM shows you that there are others out there eating the same sh*t, still riding.

  24. #24
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycm'er
    CM shows you that there are others out there eating the same sh*t, still riding.
    Damn that's good, dude. I've been trying to put that into words for awhile. Well said.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    Good deal. Have you noticed that the one city most directly affected by Sept.11th and it's aftermath seems the least willing to do away with civil rights like some of these goose steppin' red states? Lead by example, that's what Momma used to say...
    I must have totally missed your point. From the actions of the City of New York, as evidenced in the posts of New Yorkers on this forum, it seems that New York is having no problem at all trying to do away with people's rights.

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