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NYC November CM... Black Friday!

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NYC November CM... Black Friday!

Old 11-26-04, 10:21 PM
  #26  
Konakazi
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Originally Posted by slvoid
I bike to work every day along with a whole bunch of people who take the main avenue I take and several of my coworkers, THAT is our CM. ... Doh! My bad! I'll stop that.
Yeah maybe getting wasted and reliving your haydays as a 12 year old wannabe BMX star as you ride to work in your personal critical mass isn't the best idea!
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Old 11-27-04, 02:27 AM
  #27  
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Sorry to hear about the NYC bummer mass. Best wishes for a better ride in the future. Maybe a little evade and ellude is in order. Disperse and regroup.

CM SF was mellow. The cops just followed with a few motorcycles and a van. They were low key. Once a car accelerated dangerously, squeling it's tires. The cops nabbed him. Cheers.

The streets were jamed with cars. I was cruising around the waterfront before the ride and saw a Hummer take an hour to go three miles. I rode the three miles along the Embarcadero twice in an hour and stopped to pee and talk to the guy at the bike shack. Three miles an hour, gotta love it.

Looked like not too many riders, but by ride time a sizable mass was riding down Market St. Couple of tall bikes, and some recumbents. Did a pass by Union Sq. Hooted through the underground garage at Moscone Center. Went up and down a bunch of hills, which kept everyone warm. Out on Geary, Filmore, out and back, up and down, and all around.

This is how CM should be, drink beer before the mass, smoke some medicinal and ride. Two sounds systems were in tow rockin out, blasting 'Material Girl' past Macy's.

It's cool the support and interest shown by people on the sidewalks and even in cars. Lot's of tourists slack jawed and wide eyed.
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Old 11-27-04, 11:57 AM
  #28  
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Yesterday was my very first Critical Mass; looks like I missed out on the years of fun and am joining in for the period of strife and rebellion. The one thing I would like to add to the other participants' comments is that for various reasons I had a lot of errands in the Union Square area from 5pm onwards, and got to see the police forces assembling. First, at around 25th and East River Greenway (under the highway) there was about a hundred scooters, and a few vans; when I saw the officers with bundles of zip-tie handcuffs, I got a little worried ... They were looking me up and down as I rode down the Greenway. Then, I came up on Broadway towards Union Square, only to find five of those big NYPD buses maneuvering in the street. Then there were squad cars, the netting, vans with speakers, bicycle cops, and helicopters (some of them from news organisations?). What an astonishing amount of resources to devote to this fairly trivial matter!
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Old 11-27-04, 03:58 PM
  #29  
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Looking back on this, i think maybe one way to attack this is financial. I'm going to draft a letter which I'll share and I plan on mailing to the mayor, my councilman, commissioner kelly and my newspaper of choice that asks really just one question...how much has the city spent on the effort to end critical mass, and to what end. I would imagine many of the officers massed up last night were on OT, and I don't guess that it's cheap to keep multiple helicopters aloft for hours at a time.

For better of for worse, we have the attention of the local media on this. Maybe if we divert the focus from us and towards how expensive it is to try to stop us the city will at least have to account for the money they're spending on this idiocy.

Anyone who is interested, I'll give the text of the letter once done.

Any other ideas?
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Old 11-28-04, 12:25 AM
  #30  
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Amen. If you'd like some cooperation on that letter, I'd be more than happy to provide it.
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Old 11-28-04, 03:39 AM
  #31  
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I'm sorry it was such a bust for you guys...are any of you planning to try for the next Brooklyn ride?
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Old 11-28-04, 10:11 AM
  #32  
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Brooklyn is a bit out of the way for me, unfortunately...
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Old 11-28-04, 10:55 AM
  #33  
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Wasn't the brooklyn ride the one that had 80 cops and only 3 people attend?
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Old 11-28-04, 10:59 AM
  #34  
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80 cops, 10 riders, 5 arrests. At least from what I remember. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?
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Old 11-28-04, 11:57 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Wasn't the brooklyn ride the one that had 80 cops and only 3 people attend?
Yeah! That was awesome. I was psyched that even three people were there...it was pouring rain and bitterly cold, and some of the staunch Brooklynites had begged out well in advance. We'll see how it goes this month.
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Old 11-28-04, 07:19 PM
  #36  
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What's up with the Brooklyn CM? I've only heard of it more recently. 3 people? Damn, that's rough.
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Old 11-28-04, 07:29 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Konakazi
What's up with the Brooklyn CM? I've only heard of it more recently. 3 people? Damn, that's rough.
Hey! Here's the short version.
Started in July. I was on the rides in august, september and november. August and September, there was absolutely no police presence and between 30 and 100 riders. I was out of town in October and so missed the first appearance of the NYPD. Apparently, they showed up in overwhelming numbers, though. Coincidentally, in late October, we had a meeting (read: four of us had drinks in a bar in Park slope) and one of the things we agreed on was that it would be a good idea if timesup added our Bklyn CM to their events listings.
Anyway the next one was in November, and the night was very cold, very wet and very windy. I only went because it's on my way home, and while I didn't mind being the only one there, I would have felt awful if someone else was the only one there. This is the e-mail I wrote about half an hour after I got home:

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 Nicky, 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 them 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 bullsh*t. 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 Nicky, who, in the cold and rain, came all the way from Manhattan to help keep the Brooklyn Mass alive this month. Nicky, 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.
-Jaime
That's about as much as I know, except that it's a shame this mass is being wrecked, because the rides before the police cracked down were small, chill and fun as hell.
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Old 11-28-04, 08:51 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Laika
Yeah! That was awesome. I was psyched that even three people were there...it was pouring rain and bitterly cold, and some of the staunch Brooklynites had begged out well in advance. We'll see how it goes this month.
I hate to say it but there's usually a group of rodies that rides around the park. Would police think they're part of the CM too?
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Old 11-28-04, 09:27 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by slvoid
I hate to say it but there's usually a group of rodies that rides around the park. Would police think they're part of the CM too?
Kissena trains and races there. and there are some halfassed pacelines training there every morning while I commute through. but I think the police really only cracked down on the Bklyn ride when it got posted on the times up site.
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Old 11-28-04, 09:58 PM
  #40  
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I ride with the Kissena guys sometimes. I'd hate to be riding along on the 2nd friday in the evening on a training ride when out of nowhere the fuzz starts pulling us over.
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Old 11-28-04, 10:01 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by slvoid
I ride with the Kissena guys sometimes. I'd hate to be riding along on the 2nd friday in the evening on a training ride when out of nowhere the fuzz starts pulling us over.
well, as long as ou don't have that crazy, anti-everything look in your eye, I'd guess you''ll be all right.
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Old 11-29-04, 01:43 PM
  #42  
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I'm so depressed. The NYPD got bought off, sounds like. Probably by Exxon.

Down with Bloomberg. Give us a real liberal mayor who likes NYC creative and strange, just like in the old days.

Sad.
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Old 11-29-04, 01:58 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Laika
Looking back on this, i think maybe one way to attack this is financial. I'm going to draft a letter which I'll share and I plan on mailing to the mayor, my councilman, commissioner kelly and my newspaper of choice that asks really just one question...how much has the city spent on the effort to end critical mass, and to what end. I would imagine many of the officers massed up last night were on OT, and I don't guess that it's cheap to keep multiple helicopters aloft for hours at a time.

For better of for worse, we have the attention of the local media on this. Maybe if we divert the focus from us and towards how expensive it is to try to stop us the city will at least have to account for the money they're spending on this idiocy.

Anyone who is interested, I'll give the text of the letter once done.

Any other ideas?
This is a great idea. Is it Channel 7 Eyewitness news that does the stories on the regular people's problems in the city?

Our tax dollars at work, right?
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Old 11-30-04, 02:45 PM
  #44  
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It would be nice if the Village Voice did a big article about what's happening in the city with Critical Mass. They have the audience and the resources to do research and really expose the ridiculousness of it all.

Maybe we should start a petition and send it to them requesting they do an expose. We're definitely well within their political community interests...
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Old 11-30-04, 08:27 PM
  #45  
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I'm sure it's been pitched, and we'll see something soon, cuz all this seems like it would be a good read to the people. just about everyone's ridden a bike at some point in the past so maybe they can relate to this story easily.
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Old 11-30-04, 09:30 PM
  #46  
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Well it may have been pitched before but not when things are at such a level. Now that it has been escalated steadily for the past four months there's a lot more data available and certainly alot more of a story to report.
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Old 11-30-04, 09:33 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Konakazi
Well it may have been pitched before but not when things are at such a level. Now that it has been escalated steadily for the past four months there's a lot more data available and certainly alot more of a story to report.
The Village Voice posted a thing I wrote on their website in the summer, after the RNC arrests. I'll drop the editor I dealt with a line and see if he's intereested. Anyone here willing to talk/email him about this if he is?

No promises...I talked to the guy long enough to get paid for what I did, but it's better than nothing.
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Old 12-01-04, 10:56 AM
  #48  
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Yeah I'd absolutely speak about it! What better way to draw attention to our plight?
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Old 12-01-04, 10:57 AM
  #49  
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I'd absolutely email him.
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Old 12-01-04, 04:24 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Konakazi
What is the story with this? Last I heard, the city's injuction against Critical Mass riders was denied and a preliminary injuction barring the City from seizing bicycles without charges was granted.

More info on that
here.
I went to that website, and found the judge's order. It is very specific to the October 29, 2004 ride, and does not specify any other CM rides. It also states that the police are not restrained from enforcing the law or seizing bicycles that are unattended or obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic. That's all there on page 24.

Surely there's more about the legalities someplace, to regulate the on-going CM rides to prevent more confrontations by the police? However, the bicyclists have done some damage themselves, such as during the July 30th ride "many" of the 4,000 riders went onto the Battery Park underpass and onto the FDR, where some cyclists blocked entraces and exits, bringing traffic to a standstill (pages 3-4). Or how about page 4, where on the August ride cyclists went North on 5th Ave against traffic?

If the NYC CM wants to help prove they -ahem, we- ARE traffic, somebody needs to mind the traffic laws.
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