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Followup on ZooBomber's Bike Theft

Letter to Oregonian
This is a copy of the letter that I sent to Oregonian today hopeing for publication. As one of the witnesses to the "pre-emptive action" by the Police in the attempt to discourage ZooBomb, I am contacting legal assistance, information to be posted in future follow-up post. Preliminary fact-finding has been met with resistance and lack of communication due to the fact that the action happened late on a Friday night and all offices involved can make the escuse of "it's the weekend, leave a message and we'll get back to you next week". Here is the phone # for owners of the bikes that were stolen to call and complain.
TriMet Police, ask to speak to "Marilyn": 503-962-7560

LETTER TO EDITOR OF OREGONIAN ( letters@news.oregonian.com)

Friday evening a Portland Police Officer and a Beaverton Police Officer, assigned to the Tri Met Police team, confiscated approx 30 bicycles that had been locked together on a city-provided bike rack on the SE corner of 10th and SW Oak in downtown Portland. The official reason given in what little dialogue existed prior to the police warning observers with tazers and threat of arrest was that they were obstructing the sidewalk. The pictures taken to gather evidence by the friends of owners of the bikes clearly show that both police and pedestrians were not restricted normal passage on the sidewalk except by the police. The bikes belong to members of a local bicycle organization called ZooBomb who on Sunday evenings for the last year ride the Max from downtown to the Zoo stop, go to the top of the hill and then ride down really fast in the dark when there is no traffic on the winding road back to Burnside. The real reason that the bikes were taken was a retaliatory, pre-emptive action against ZooBomb due to the embarrassment to the police approx. 1 1/2 months ago when they "cracked down" on zoobombers at the library Max stop, issuing citations and exclusions for reasons that were clear misuse and misinterpretations of TriMet rules. Trimet had the police drop all charges and clear all exclusions. Sunday, Sept. 3rd, the first anniversary of ZooBomb crew over 100 bicyclists and the police wanted to discourage and if possible stop the kids from having a good time. The actions by the city and its various enforcement and regulatory departments to discourage anything that does not fit into its idea of conformity and vision of proper activity has been creating a climate of fear and nazi-like repression that we can no longer tolerate. I urge all concerned citizens to write to the Mayor, Chief of Police and Tri-met to voice opposition to this theft of bicycles, for theft is what it was.
Robin Dale
feedback to the mayor 08.Sep.2003 08:36


You can also direct feedback online at  http://www.portlandonline.com/mayor/index.cfm?c=27998

More places to write 08.Sep.2003 09:19


Some more places to write:

Portland Bicycle Transportation Alliance:  info@bta4bikes.org

City of Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee:  roger.geller@pdxtrans.org

too many words 08.Sep.2003 10:53


The oregonian limits letters to 150 words, this text is 332 words long. It's a good point to make, but if you want it to be published you better take out the x-acto and figure out what is really neccessary.

Other contacts 08.Sep.2003 21:36


You should contact the "Willamette Week," "Mercury" and "Portland Tribune" to try and get a reporter to cover this story. A couple of good journalists in town are Jim Redden of the "Tribune" and Phil Busse of "The Mercury." In fact, Busse's work is probably more sympathetic to Leftist causes than any reporter this side of "The Alliance" (even though "The Mercury" is a snarky, nihilistic, often reactionary and not nearly as clever as it thinks it is waste of paper).

creating a climate of fear and nazi-like repression 09.Sep.2003 07:32

zoobomb and CM are predictable hipster pastimes

With all that is wrong with the world, is having a pile of children's bikes which were obviously a nuisance be removed by the city really a fight worth engaging in?

Boy it's a good thing babies aren't dying all around the world as a result of policies intended to preserve our cushy American lifestyle...wait, they are. Fortunately, brave individuals are fighting such injustice by coasting downhill on scavenged children's bikes. Yes, we'd all be in a pickle if such great citizens didn't stand up for what's right.

re: hipster pastimes (or nazi repression?) 09.Sep.2003 08:39


The previous poster made this comment:

> Fortunately, brave individuals are fighting such injustice by coasting downhill on scavenged children's bikes. Yes, we'd all be in a pickle if such great citizens didn't stand up for what's right.

I would agree about the hipster part, but at least the "hipsters" are doing what they think may help. "Coasting downhill on scavenged children's bikes" is a fairly earth-friendly way of promoting biking, and biking is one of the things we all need to do in order to help the children starving around the world: by biking we are decreasing the need for wars of oil, and not consuming a new SUV every 6 years leaves that much more labor and resources available for the rest of the world.

Of course, while ZB and CM are helpful in their own small ways, there are definitely other things that can and must be done. Unfortunately, we do not all have the ability or knowledge to do what is most helpful to those starving kids, so between know and when we do, we should all work on what we know helps somewhat, and what we are good at: promoting biking. For us that means we should CM on Friday, help out at places like community cycling center on saturday, and ZB on Sunday! ;)

ARGG!!!! 11.Sep.2003 17:59


This sucks so bad! Is there not some attorney out here that can take this on?

I know it is small in the world scale, but it just can't be let go of without a struggle!

If we can demonstrate how insanely petty the cops are in this, it might do some good.

I don't know... this just really makes me mad.