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Eleven fun things to do at Critical Mass

Be pro-active: Don't stand idly by and let yourself or some else get brutalized. Let's get organized so we can safely have a good time.
A list of fun things to do at Critical Mass:
1. THROW YOUR BIKES IN A PILE IN FRONT OF THE RIOT COPS!!!!! Ever tried to walk through a pile of bikes? How about a group of people trying to maintain a line formation walking through a pile of bikes? Or a horse trying to walk a pile of bikes.
2. BRING A WHISTLE. here's the protocol: If you hear a whistle, that means the cops are being meanies. Stop what your doing and move toward the whistle. Blow on your whistle too if you are in the same area. The whistle will mess with the cops psychologically and signal us to swarm the area where the cops are messing with people. In the past people have kept on riding ahead while cops were rough people up behind them. Let's show solidarity.
3. FORM LINES WITH YOUR BIKES. Yell "Line up" as a signal. Get off your bike and hold it in front of you perpendicular to the direction you are facing. Overlap your tires with the people next to you. This will form a solid wall of bikes. Do it in layers. Put padding on the side of your bike so people in front of you won't get too hurt if they get pushed in a bike behind them. You can move forward and backward by "walking the tires" (ie right side, left side, right side, left side...) Crouching puts you in a solid hard-to-knock-over stance. Smaller affinity group can form tight U's or circles with backs facing inward and bikes facing outward.
4. BUILD EXTRA SEATS ONTO YOUR BIKE so that people who get separated from their bikes can jump on and get away in a hurry. Banana seats and handle bars are good for this too.
5. FORM A ROLLERBLADE OR SKATEBOARD AFFINITY GROUP for increased manueverability. Link arms a lot. These folks could:
6. BRING RE-INFORCED BANNERS, LARGE INFLATABLES OR "CHINESE DRAGON" STYLE PUPPETS to form a defensive wall around the perimeter of the Mass. "Oil greed fuels war" is a good banner slogan
7. GROUPS CAN RIDE AROUND IN A FIGURE 8. Practice beforehand. Looks cool, confuses the police by being chaotic.
9. HONOR A DIVERSITY OF TACTICS Interfering with people who are doing things that you probably wouldn't do yourself creates hurt feelings and disunity. It makes it easier for the police to divide and conquer us.
10. DO THE "REPEAT AFTER ME" Works like this: One person yells "Repeat after me" Every who hears her yells "repeat after me" (get it?) This goes back and forth for a few times until enough people have joined in. Then the first person says something really important that the rest of the Mass needs to know. Then everyone repeats what she said, really loud.

If you like what this says please put it on a flyer and distribute it around town at activist spaces, bike shops and at Critical Mass itself. I'd do so myself but I can't for reasons I'm not going to discuss over the internet 'cause it's none of your damn business.

You forgot some... 23.Sep.2002 17:13


#12 - Pick up a copy of the Oregon Bicyclist's Manual. Read it.

#13 - Actually follow the rules of the road for a change.

Ooooh, some for Katt 23.Sep.2002 17:44


1. Let the state tell you when where and how to act, doing so will create social change at a rate faster than any other way. We all know that the civil rights movement, the suffarage movement, the union movement and on and on all followed the rules...

2. Tell others how to act and be, this way we don't need the cops to do their "job" when you have people doing it for them. The state needs all the help it can get!

YAAAAAY for following the rules!!! Watch out for us, we're going to whine until you stop being unjust to everyone who isn't a rich white person.

Awesome 23.Sep.2002 18:20

Can't wait

This is going to be fun!

To Birdman 23.Sep.2002 20:20


1. Let the state tell you when where and how to act, doing so will create social change at a rate faster than any other way. We all know that the civil rights movement, the suffarage movement, the union movement and on and on all followed the rules...

You're being overly dramatic. In the case of the civil rights movement, there was an actual civil rights problem to be dealt with. With Critical Mass here in Portland, we have a problem of a bunch of hooligans doing their best to make sure that people think "idiots clogging up traffic downtown" when they think "bicyclist." Yes, there are bad drivers out there, but now there's bad bicyclists as well. That's never a good combination.

If you can be bothered to read the bicycle code, it states that bikes and cars are equal on the road when it comes to traffic regulations. Do you have a problem with equality?

how come all you are white 23.Sep.2002 20:27

james carr

I hear alot of creativity and people with the right idea. But then I hear a whole lot os crud. These crud talk'n people are on the fence or scared. I mean really fascism is so self evident you all are afraid, or maybe you love capitalism and,this sick ass decadence that kills millions and fucks the rest into submission. OBEY and be happy. But capitalism has failed just like rome, thats why all you depressed scared motherfuckers are on anxiety disorder drugs like PAXIL CELEXA PROZAC ZOLOFT WELLBUTRIN, and XANAX. The time for fear is gone if you care about your life and lives of others, not to mention the planet we live on. It is time to say no more to terror loving franken-food pushing insane corporate rulers of the whole fucking world-or else. It ties into this bike ride cause we are a threat and they want to destroy us, we are bad consumers yet good humans who will not sanction a war by driving that damn road machine you love so much. Wake up there is no law.The laws are too keep them up and us down we do not legitimize any part of those sick old institutions of war, and racism. Read the bike manual KISS MY ASS. wake up wake up there is little time left soon we won't even be allowed to protest or even leave our homes. It is time white radicals to knock on doors and turn on the nation to the truth about u.s. imperialism NOW

equality EQUALITY 23.Sep.2002 20:41


EQUALITY oh my god you are a something man,cop,somthing oh man Equality they kill us with that shit they start and maintain wars to run em. The poisons the terror the weapons of technology and decadence and greed most don't even car pool equality. Also I was arrested for riding my bike arrested and brutalized. They take some road rager or some drunk potential murderer and just ticket or take away his license. They don't beat and pepper spray him(and his baby) holy poop Equality. oh KATT please learn the truth and get help PLEASE

whistles, indeed 23.Sep.2002 21:06


The whistle idea is actually pretty cool. It will direct the cameras to where the brutality is going down. Thanks to the cameras and subsequent postings on indy, one officer has several statements against him. Document what the police do. We pay their salaries and there's no excuse for them to behave like they sometimes do.

keep moving 23.Sep.2002 21:28


I like many of the suggestions above from a street fight stand point, but if the purpose of Critical Mass is for it to be a bike ride then the ride should keep moving. There is a finite number of cops who will be involved, and when the ride stops it is their game. The strength of CM is that traditional crowd control methods do not work, when everyone stops (straddling bikes no less) the police can do what they want. They don't care about the chants.
It has been arranged for NLG legal observers to ride along, and there will be plenty of cameras I'm sure. Keep an eye on your friends, and if one gets in trouble stop and assist or observe. But don't expect the rest of the group to stop riding. People should stop looking at CM as a traditional "protest". It is a bike ride. Standing around is not part of it.

hypocrisy? 23.Sep.2002 22:08

Wondering about James

James, are you saying that none of the people involved in CM would "sanction a war by driving that damn road machine you love so much"?

I bet there's plenty of oil being burned by even the most radical of anti-motorists.

Bankrupt or bust! 23.Sep.2002 22:57

Heck yeah!

I'm bringing a co-worker to mass. He saw us riding last time and got really interested. Katt you need to rethink obeying the law- corking works!- and it's a LOT safer for the mass to remain critical. I like the measures people are thinking up!
I hear you ya'll about bikes bieng a trip hazard. I was scheming to un-arrest someone at the last mass but couldn't see a way to exit quickly enough with all our bikes in the way- not to mention some stupid peace cop that kept shoving me and telling me not to yell "let them go!" at the cops. The first time baby bush came to town the resident mayor (war on the homeless) Katz was whining about the sixty thousand dallor price tag for portland police's security at the event. If they keep attacking and harrassing us I wonder how long it will take before they're bankrupt?

Just a thought,

swinging both ways 24.Sep.2002 01:07


I drive a car. I hate it but I do. I usually only drive when leaving town. However, I cycle to work every MOtherfucking day and its a war out there. Yes, I break godman Oregon cycle code. Why? because I want to get to my destination in one piece.

Equality on the roads is bullshit. Right of way at all times should be in this order 1)peds 2)skateboard/rollerblades 3)Cart and Donkey 4)cars that run off sewage 4)cars 5) SUV scum 6)pigs on wheels

We may not be the civil rights movement but CM is a vital act of civil disobedience.

Katt: If you don't want to break the rules, don't come on an event like Critical Mass.

The true gas hogs 24.Sep.2002 06:46


>>I bet there's plenty of oil being burned by even the most radical of anti-motorists.
A vegetarian who drives to the store uses less gas than a meat-eater who bikes or walks.

...Or a horse trying to walk a pile of bikes. 24.Sep.2002 11:31

not a leftist.

Have any of you idiots ever considered what would happen to a horse that may very well break a leg walking through a pile of your bikes? I thought animal rights was a core belief of all leftwing nutjobs... Instead, you advocate making the evil capitalist glue factories rich. Sad. What would our comrades at ALF say?

Gasmask? 24.Sep.2002 12:02


What about gas masks? this helps with pepper-spray and CS gas too. Face masks? Thick handled signs? Water ballons? This time NOBODY gets arrested, NOBODY! Tickets? Not a chance! Just tell the pigs to backdafuckup and keep 'em confused and guessing. Don't let the state or it's goons push you around. Cars and Cops suck!


Bike gangs will inherit the Earth 24.Sep.2002 14:05

I don't like to get beat up

Bike Daddy:
If you desert people getting beat up and keep riding then I have no respect for you, period. Whether you want to call it a protest or not the fact of the matter is that the police attack people at Critical Mass. If you don't stand in solidarity with those people than you are a piece of shit in my book. I'm sorry, but I know WAY too many people (myself included) who have been beat down and/or tortured on the way to and in jail to buy this "the ride must go on no matter what" bullshit. If the police are fucking with anyone in the Mass, then the rest of the Mass should stop and not go anywhere until the situation is dealt with, preferably by separating the person under attack from the police that are attacking her. We owe it to eachother.
Not a leftist:
Horses won't walk into a pile of bikes, silly! If horses are confused about how far down the ground is (spinning tire spokes would confuse a horse's vision), then they will not walk into that area, no matter how much the nazi on top kicks it in the side. Horses are smarter than that. Same goes for a crowd of people jumping up and down.
I love horses and don't bring them to dangerous riots.
Cops don't know how to love and do bring horse to riots.
I think people should avoid hurting horses as much as possible, but if a horse does get hurt in a chaotic riotous situation, I for one am going to blame it on the asshole riding the horse using it to trample people.
Of course it's always easier to blame the than to confront an unpleasant reality, isn't it?

Not to be too flip here or anything 24.Sep.2002 14:22

Bithchin argument

>>I bet there's plenty of oil being burned by even the most radical of anti-motorists.
A vegetarian who drives to the store uses less gas than a meat-eater who bikes or walks or drives.

Actually a Vegatarian who walks to the store uses more gas, unless the meat are grain fed rather than fed through grazing.

Getting back to the whistle thing 24.Sep.2002 16:22


If you take the time to work out and practice simple whistled codes beforehand, you can communicate over considerable distances- much farther than the unaided human voice can reach. There's a whistled "language" used in the Canary Islands that's been shown to be intelligible at distances up to three miles.

Saladin's cavalry used coded beats on kettledrums to direct the movements of horsemen- a similar ability might be a handy thing.

yup, you are being "flip" 24.Sep.2002 16:26


Factory farmed beef is grain-fed, therefore oil-fed.

Veggies Rule. And so do Bikes

oh yea, and cops suck.

to all the buttmunches 24.Sep.2002 21:22


words words words....whine whine whine....yea right, we'll ride bikes in the snow....we'll ride bikes in the rain....we'll ride bikes at night and pretend we're not insane!

I ride a bike every damn day at work and dodge dumbass drivers coming out of their driveway. I also know better than to throw the baby out with the bath water. Cars may not always run on fossil fuel, maybe someday they will run on green eggs and ham, but until that day comes, we all must do what we can. Ride your bike. Drive your truck. Live your truth but don't presume you can fuck, with me or my right to choose. Next thing I know you will want me to lose the gun I carry inside my boots.

For taxpayer 24.Sep.2002 22:10

taxin me

Glad to hear you pay taxes. Great argument. Your a bona- fide genius. Keep up the great comments on indymedia. Your fucking awesome. I'm in love with you. You got money, huh? You give it away, too... Looks like you got a phone. Could I have your phone number? We could have a shooting contest. Then we could take our boots off. Oh, your just great. We should hang out more often, listen to the rad-io, and swill a couple of brewski's in your SUV. God, that would be the BOMB!

Not Going 24.Sep.2002 23:03


You're right, Critical Mass is an event I'd never participate in. When I ride my bike downtown (or anywhere in town, for that matter), I tend to do things like stopping at stop signs and red/yellow lights, staying in the rightmost lane except when turning left, things like that.

Riding with a bunch of kooks intent on disrupting all the traffic out there as much as they can just isn't my style...

Response to "Katt" 25.Sep.2002 08:30


Why I am going:

I do not want to get ticketed. I do not want to get arrested. I am not going to break any traffic laws. I do not want to create animosity with drivers. I have never even been to a critical mass. I am going because of the increase in police brutality and other brutality towards bikers and others. I am going to be witness to this oppression. I am going because I hear more and more stories from biker friends about some drivers trying to hit them or harrassing them. I am going because I want the peaceful respectful side of critical mass to have greater representation. I am going because the only reason our cities are designed the way they are is because of the automobile industry lobby (L.A. is a model for this and look at them). Who else is going to do anything about it? Will the 5 o'clock news represent? Will the Oregonian aim for justice? City hall hasn't shown the slightest interest in these problems. The least I can do is stand (bike) along side my friends.

I have driven through downtown plenty of times on critical mass days. I have spent thousands of hours stuck behind cars. I have NEVER been caught in a bike traffic jam. How many cars is equivalent to 800 bikes? 15? 20?