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Letters to editor by 6th graders re: Zoobomber bike theft incident

I explained the Zoobomber bike incident to my 4th and 6th grade social studies classes. From there, we discussed the various options open to the Zoobombers, which included awaking the general populace as to what's going on around them. My 6th graders came up with the following letter, which we're sending to the "Oregonian," "Willamette Week" and "Mercury."
To the Editor:

We heard from our teacher about a very weird incident involving a peaceful group of bike riders and the "PoPos"! A Portland and Beaverton police officer impounded fifteen "Zoobomber" bikes that were locked on a bike rack at SW 10th and Oak Street, claiming that the bikes were an "obstruction." We always thought that bike racks were for bikes, but that's just us. We also learned that the police threatened the bikers with a taser just for asking why the bikes were being taken. We've always been told that we live in a democracy, but this doesn't sound very democratic.

This incident was only reported on a website that not many people read (Indymedia), so not many people know this happened. But we think it's important that everyone knows about this.

Mr. Baroff's 6th grade Social Studies Class
ACCESS Program at Sabin School, Portland
nice 12.Sep.2003 15:12


Good work Dave! And bravo to our engaged young citizens

good job 12.Sep.2003 15:47

Ben Maras

Good job, seriously, more kids need to be informed on what happens. The "popo" part made me laugh, good stuff. Just FYI, it was also reported on KBOO.

It warms the heart 12.Sep.2003 19:07


Popo sounds much cuter coming from a child. I wonder if it will make people feel the kids were 'coached" though... I hope the media doesn't ignore the letter.

Thanks for being a good teacher.

No coaching on the "PoPo" comment 12.Sep.2003 19:56


I swear on my father's grave that one of my students came up with the "PoPo" line completely on his own. And boy did it warm my heart. He also told me he's been shot with a rubber bullet and pepper-sprayed (but then again this is Portland, where even ten-month-olds get hit with that nasty juice). Anyway, where there's life there's hope, as these kids just reminded us. I don't know about you, but I need the reassurance once in a while because there's some truly nasty and ominous shit going down.

Hooray, for sixth graders.... 12.Sep.2003 20:34


My comment to the young ones...you are the strongest voice supporting this peaceful community. Remember, as you mature the strength of your own opinion and the strength that comes from many voices speaking as one. Sixth graders ROCK!

Little Kids 13.Sep.2003 01:43


If all the idiot parents weren't bringing their small children to incidents they very likely knew would result in peper spray or rubber bullets being fired, you wouldn't have anything to complain about.

Obviously 13.Sep.2003 02:34


Obviously those parents didn't know. At the Bush protest last year, there were kids and old people. You could tell by their response that it wasn't what they expected. They didn't think they would be terrorized by the police for exercising their rights. They may have thought it good to bring the children along to let them experience first hand one of the benefits of a Democracy, that thing that Americans tout so much to the rest of the world, that thing that supposedly we have and they don't: freedom of speech. They didn't know we were living in an increasingly fascist city.

There have been less children at subsequent events.

So the cops, and the mayor, and the president, can be pleased that they scared the kiddies away. Good job.

Why don't you go out on tv and tell the world that if we exercise our rights, we can be attacked by police. You need to go on tv for everyone to get the message, you see. Tell them, "I'm a fascist cop and I'll beat your skull in if you say the wrong thing!"

Don't get me wrong, I don't think all cops are bad. But you sound like the kind of guy who blames Kendra James for making that cop kill her. "I'm a fascist cop and if you take dope, I might kill you, and it'll be your fault!"

Keep bringing your kids 13.Sep.2003 08:08


"Anonymous" speaks the truth, but that is exactly why we have to keep bringing our kids. But since we know that the cops will pepper-spray a ten-month-old point blank, we don't have to keep them on the front lines. I had my little ones at the Bush protest and we moved out into the perimeter when it looked like things were starting to heat up (my six-year-old said "I want to get out of here. I think they're going to pepper-spray some people." {But I am definitely not blaming any parents that got caught in the line of fire, because the cops' actions were fast and furious.})

The important thing is that we allow our kids to see the power of the state in its full brownshirt force. Only then will they understand what they're going to be up against and that things will have to change. The earlier they learn that mainstream media is nothing but lies and/or a purposeful diversion from things that matter, the better.

What about bringing your kids to critical mass? 13.Sep.2003 13:41

SKiDmark aeeightysix@hotmail.com

Isn't cycling a family activity? Should I be afraid of my kids being hurt by police while riding their bikes? There are teenagers who go to ZOObomb, with their parents and without. I don't think they should be subject to a beatdown by the Police either. I also think it's important to show society that we are families and it is just as important to show that the police are willing to beat down families that speak out against injustice.

img 13.Sep.2003 23:42



Dear Child 14.Sep.2003 07:18

Rogue Cop

Rozie Sizer doesn't care about your opinion. She is taking orders from the corporations via Councilman Francesconi. who take orders from his bribing friends at the Multnomah Athletic club. It's next to PGE Park, which is named after a corporation for a reason. The corporations own the city of Portland, get used to it. Councilman Francesconi wants to be Mayor, I hope you will tell your parents.

Probably won't get printed but still great work 14.Sep.2003 13:41

Nick Nolan hellish@comcast.net

This is great, but the comporations control the media and it won't get printed. Still, you have awakened the children which is great!