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Weekly Critical Mass will continue (and here's why!)

how can supposedly pro-bike people be AGAINST any bike activism?
I'm wondering, if anyone calls themselves a bike activist, how could they NOT support a pro-bike event? Is it because they're not in control of it? Or maybe they have an ulterior motive to try and persuade people not to join together? Who ARE these people who don't want anymore weekly rides? Its this type of bullshit that divides activists into a million unconnected sub-groups with little power, instead of joining in solidarity to make real change. Well, regardless of who is making these arguments, I think its time to discuss them. The big arguments to end CM Weekly is that 1. people are afraid of the cops, 2. it's not "official" Critical Mass, and 3. its "bad publicity".
1. So, by that logic, we should NEVER have protests because some people MIGHT get arrested. And if we do ever have a protest, it should be polite and orderly and have a nice permit. So, I guess we should all stay safe behind our computers and have email discussions about "revolution" then? Naaaaaah. To quote ol' Thomas Jefferson from the front of the "Justice" Center, "The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave." We, as activists, are those waves that keep the sea from stagnation. If you stand for something which the masses don't believe in, then you will probably face repression. Sorry, but that's just the way it is. The worst response to this repression is to give in silently. Authority relies on fear and intimidation to repress. Once you give into their intimidation, you become powerless, since they have already beaten you mentally. If you believe in what you are doing 100%, then you are immune to fear and intimidation, and as such, become immune to repression. You are only as oppressed as you allow yourself to be.
Secondly, the cops haven't been THAT BAD lately, ESPECIALLY with the smaller rides. Sure, you can't cork every intersection and play chicken with cars, but we still make a visible presence, and if you follow the laws (while the cops are looking) everything goes fine. Once you start to treat a cop like you would any other human being, it is simply human nature to respond in kind. Sure, if you run a red light in front of them, they will probably give you a ticket because their bosses told them to, but I can almost guarantee that if you are relaxed and don't show fear or aggression, they will just simply do their job, give you a ticket, and let you be on your way. You just have to maintain mental control over the situation. Authority figures aren't the sharpest knives in the box, after all. The cops expect you to be a ferocious revolutionary that wants to kill them, but when they see you are just a regular human being who is simply speaking out for what you believe in, it changes the dynamics of the whole situation. And after all, the worst that happens is a ticket, which if you choose not to pay, simply results in a suspension of your driving license. Oh no! and if you want your license reinstated, you pay 75 bucks and its good to go.

2. So the Weekly Ride isn't "official"... .screw that! CM isn't about being "official". "official" is simply a way for some wannabe control group to say "yes, we allow you to do this". Why do the "official" CM people even give a shit what I do? Because it's not "official" Critical Mass doctrine? What gives anyone the right to tell me what to do or not to do? It sounds like the nay-sayers are worried about "their" Critical Mass. Sorry, but its not just your thing anymore. It belongs to anyone who shows up with a bicycle. i personally NEED a Critical Mass every week to get out my frustration of being bullied around on the road by 2 ton tanks. This ride is a way to stand together as a force to be reckoned with, not to mention, its just nice to meet up with a bunch of like minded people and ride our bikes.

3. the Weekly Rides are "bad publicity"? PUH-LEASE! Like having a mob of 1000 bikes taking up 10 blocks of city traffic is GOOD publicity!! If you think someone in a car is thinking "wow, I would be pissed if there were only 25 bikes taking up one block of traffic, but since there are 1000 taking up 10 blocks, I guess its ok." Face it, hardly ANYONE in a car during CM is happy about the ride. CM doesn't change anyone's mind about bike rights, if you see a ride, you will have one of two reactions, either "Hey, that kicks ass!" or "Fucking bicyclists!". No one sees a group of bicyclists taking up the whole road and doesn't form an opinion. And if you ARE undecided, I don't think that seeing a larger quantity of bikes on the road will change your opinion to the positive. Protests don't usually sway public opinion to the positive. Most onlookers already have an opinion, and by waving a sign, you probably won't change their whole viewpoint. Protests are for those who already believe, to give them hope, encouragement, and a sense of community/solidarity. Protests are a way of seeing that you are not the only one, that there are others engaged in the same struggle, and gaining empowerment from that solidarity. That is what Critical Mass and all protests are about, SOLIDARITY.

So, I will continue to ride every week (meeting at 5:30, riding at 6pm every Friday) regardless of how many people there are, because this is something I BELIEVE IN. And to the "official" Critical Mass people, you do your own thing, whatever it is that may be, and we'll continue to speak out and stand up for cyclists rights and alternative transportation. And hopefully you'll make it for the once a month, "official" ride, when we can still all ride together in solidarity (only 12 times a YEAR, though).

Live by the bike,
-seven
Chill Dude 07.May.2003 22:18

LBL

You lettin your paranoia get the upper hand. Go on, you have a nice bike ride, it's okay. No one will come up to you and say that you're doin it all wrong. But, ya know, for all this hollarin that CM has no head, you sure seem to wanna be boss.

ideas 08.May.2003 09:46

Eastside 'yall....

I guess there will be weekly rides as long as people continue to show up, but I fear that by doing this, as well as in conjunction with major protests, it lessens the impact, and that over time, instead of say 1000 riders at the end of the month, the attendance will be spread out more or less evenly throughout the month, resulting in smaller ride. I mean it's the difference between those who happen to encounter CM seeing a sea of bicycles as far up Burnside as they can see, and saying "Wow", or a smaller group every week, with a higher ratio of cops, and saying "it's just critical mass again". But go for it, we should just somehow make the monthly "official" ride more of a draw, and something distinct from the weekly rides. The scavenger hunt a couple weeks ago was a great idea, (although I missed it)

And if there are going to be weekly rides, we can get a bit more creative with that too. One idea is that, perhaps once a month, CM can meet in a different neighborhood each month, for example Sellwood one month, St. John's the next, representing parts of town not normally associated with Critical mass. Maybe if that's successful we could go for even more far-flung areas like Beaverton or Gresham. That would be interesting.....

Anyway, just brainstorming. Oh, and I have a question for Hillary. How many dogs do you have living under your porch anyway?

SHUT UP! 08.May.2003 16:03

seven

You think I own CM? HA! The weekly rides rule. So what if they dilute the monthly rides. A dozen riders out there weekly is better than a thousand on the last Friday. FUCK YOU! I'm callin' the shots here and if you don't like it don't ride. SOLIDARITY!

uh yeah, that last chump WASN"T me 08.May.2003 17:43

the one and only, seven

ok, so apparently, some little chump is trying to use my name to talk shit, whatever. i didn't make the "SHUT THE FUCK UP" comment. some troll assbag made that coment under my moniker. and uhh, i'm pretty sure i'm not the magical leader of CM....what stupid lengths these trolls will go to.

Right On 08.May.2003 17:56

Brian

I feel ya seven. I think the weekly rides are great. It's stupid to think the weekly rides will dilute the monthly rides. Its not like somebody will do one weekly ride and think "well, I guess that was the only Critical Mass I can do this month." Chances are, if you go to a weekly ride, you'll also show up for the monthly ride too. In fact, pretty much everyone at the weekly rides shows up every week, end of the month or not.

Hey there criminal massers 08.May.2003 17:56

eight

To all you criminal massers out there

i like the neighborhood rides! 08.May.2003 18:01

uop

i think the weekly rides in different neighborhoods is a pretty good idea. that would at least be interesting to try.

ALERT! passive-aggressive "seven" impersonator troll attempting to undermine CM 08.May.2003 22:06

the original and true seven

Whatever passive-aggressive troll "seven" impersonator posted that last comment claiming to be me, THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE "SEVEN", is a goddamn solidarity wrecking, dirtbag, piece of shit motherfucker.

I'll tell you what's right when it comes to Critical Mass because I am the CMCC Portland liason. All you worthless fucks answer to ME!

The weekly rides WILL CONTINUE!

YOU ARE ALL EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE!

The remarks that CM happens once a month, and the weekly rides should choose a different name...ARE STUPID AND WORTHLESS! CMCC has determined that weekly rides are appropriate at this point, and YOU WILL NOT QUESTION!

People who opt to ride only on the last Friday, ARE SISSYPIES AND WILL BE PURGED!

Hopefully we can talk tonight 09.May.2003 13:38

Brian criticalmasser@riseup.net

Hey, seven. WHoever the hell you are. I am Brian and I made the post of ending the weekly CM rides and it seems that this post of yours is a direct rebuttal of mine. Thats cool. I am going to be there tonight, I am there every week. Hopefully you are there too and we can talk to each other, because I think that you are taking my orignal arguments out of context and arent looking at the bigger picture. But I dont do that all the time too...perhaps we can learn something from each other, anyway, I'll be at CM around 5:30 and I have blue bike with a bucket, find me. Peace.Love.

the revolution devours its children 12.May.2003 20:11

psychlist

It is strange the way these things develop into interpersonal battles and contests; but not altogether unprecendented. The revolution begins, but the founding revolutionaries aren't revolutionary enough for some, and more change ensues...Heads roll (bikes roll), and eventually, there is a schizm where very simple ideals once were. Why does it matter how often we ride? If there is an "authentic" Critical Mass that happens every last Friday, fine. But making a statement on the off-weeks should not be seen as a rogue operation. If ANY people want to get out of their metal coffins and find solidarity among strangers and friends because of a basic commonality, it shouldn't be condescended. Rather, it seems like these rides are truly just an extension of the whole point of creating a bike mass: to be visible by increasing our size (since we can't jack up our rides, we have to band together...). How could any attempt to raise bike awareness and connect the cyclist community be detrimental to the basic point of "critical mass"?

If we want to foster a community of cyclists/bikers/two-wheeled crusaders for a rad, clean world, we need to get over ourselves and our personal/singular agendas and be conscious that bike activism and the building of a new kind of community is something that no one owns; we can do it, but if we try to tell each other what's right and what's not, then fascism has permeated us already...No one owns the group; all are free to drop off a ride whenever they please, right?

Oh and PS, personally, I think it takes more than one day a month of effort to turn the world on its head, especially if that world is so rugged, off-road capable, equipped with a comfy ass-cushion and sound system to block out everything not-under-my-control, advertized in all media and thirsty for 97-octane...I'll be riding daily, sometimes with others to be seen, sometimes just to get to where I'm going. I think that's the point. (?)