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Zoobomber harassment gets press coverage

Today's Willamette Week exposes the police harassment of bike riders to main stream readers.
Local cops tried to put the brakes on Portland's daredevil bicycle posse Sept. 5, picking the lock on the group's communal bike pile on Southwest Oak Street and hauling their wheels away in the back of a squad car and a '93 Ford pickup.

The removal of the bikes, stashed on the sidewalk across the street from Rocco's Pizza and Pasta, left the bike enthusiasts known as the Zoobombers fuming that they've been unfairly targeted by police.

Sunday nights, Zoobombers meet at Rocco's and take the MAX to the Oregon Zoo for a speedy downhill cruise on their specialized mini-bikes.

According to Zoobomber Robin Dale, who witnessed the bike round-up, the real reason for the mass confiscation is that police remain red-faced over an incident earlier this summer, when they issued, then had to revoke, a slew of citations. (See "Speed Demons," WW, June 25, 2003.)

Portland Police spokesman Brian Schmautz, however, says rules are rules, and any bike--let alone a pile of 14--obstructing a sidewalk is subject to immediate removal. Schmautz says officers gave multiple warnings over the course of three weeks, stopping to ask kids milling outside Rocco's to claim the bikes or identify their owners. Mike Crane, manager at Rocco's and witness to Friday's incident, says he never heard about any warnings.

While the bikes are now being released to owners who can describe what they look like, the antagonism seems far from over. Dale says the 50 bikers who bombed Sunday night were detained by about three dozen cops before boarding the MAX downtown. He says they were warned to behave themselves, then allowed to continue on to what Dale described as a "very nice ride."

homepage: homepage: http://www.wweek.com/flatfiles/News4324.lasso

indymedia stories better 17.Sep.2003 10:31

anti-corporate media

the indymedia stories and photos about this issue were much more informative and entertaining.

by picking up the willy week, you are supporting the sexual subjugation of women (and men). those ads in the back are horrible examples of objectification and commodification. if you respect life, you'll reject the w.w.

Nah 17.Sep.2003 12:08

Ed Harley

burying your head in the sand because you dislike certain content in certain media is absurd and counterproductive. reading mainstream press of all kinds is a valuable tool for understanding systems of power, propaganda, how public opinion is shaped and manipulated, and much, much more. know thy enemy.

Anti-corporate hypocrisy 17.Sep.2003 12:26


It is ironic that Indymedia, the servers that run it, the infrastructure that connects it, and the computer you are using right now to read it would all be impossible if not for some of the biggest corporations in the world.


Mother = Kneebiter, Nitwit 17.Sep.2003 12:34

Ed Harley

Right on, Mother... in order to be allowed to voice dissent of any kind, you must use only technology that was available before the dawn of the corporation. You must not wear shoes, you must not use the telephone, you must eat only twigs and leaves, you must only bathe in rivers, and brush your teeth with bark dust. Otherwise you are a hypocrite, and you must sit passively by while the world is turned into a giant oil rig by Halliburton and associates. Thanks for setting it straight!

Ed Harley = Illiterate, Pogostick, Flying doughnut 17.Sep.2003 12:54


Don't you know the meaning of "ironic", Ed? Or do you have some other reasons for your name calling?

Come Again? 17.Sep.2003 13:59


I don't follow you, Momma... talk to me plain and simple and all straightforward-like.

to momma 17.Sep.2003 21:44

purple punk

Then is it ironic that the biggest corporations in the world wouldn't exist without the innovation of the little guy and without the labor of the little guy?

dialectics 18.Sep.2003 04:32


Actually, Mother, this is all very old news, and Marx explained quite thoroughly a long time ago how it works. It's still worthwhile to read his analysis, which you can find in Das Kapital, or maybe try out some nicely written popularized versions such as Marx for Beginners by Rius.

The basic idea is that capitalism as a system of economic organization makes possible all manner of nifty things, like "labor saving machinery," but when was the last time you ever heard of such things actually "saving labor," as in reducing the length of the working day for actual workers? It might seem ironic that we have "labor saving machinery," but instead of making life more leisurely for real workers, the real workers just end up getting laid off and have to work and compete even harder just to survive. But it's not ironic, it's the nature of how capitalism works. The problem lies with who owns the means of production and allocates the benefits from that production. Under capitalism, marvelous advances in material production and technologies are possible, but the social progress made possible in principle by such things is throttled by the system of social relations, ie, capitalist ownership, because such social progress is not in the interests of the ownership class.

Naturally, when the working classes choose to do something about this state of affairs, they will not hesitate in their struggle to take up the tools that the capitalist system of production has managed to produce, if those tools can further the cause of social democracy, and rightfully so. Ownership of capital entitles the owner to claims on social production without any necessary connection to merit. Why shouldn't we benefit from these new tools, while also working to overthrow the irrational, oppressive, and obsolete systems of social relations that persist, grafted onto the rational body of capitalist production?

me is right, so is Marx 18.Sep.2003 10:42

not me

Heavens to Betsy, I've been waiting for a ZooBomb or WW thread to turn to Marxism for as long as I've been visiting IMC. Naturally, a tremendous number of nicknacks are produced for the capitalist market some are retooled for use by opponents of capitalism; PCs running Linux, the famed Capn' Crunch whistle which would hijack the phone system, soy sauce drums being used as rainbarrels, or old busses being converted to biodiesel. Humans are crafty and can adapt well. Unfortunately it is this craftiness which has brought us to the verge of economic and environmental destruction. Have a nice day.

and.. 23.Sep.2003 13:43


don't forget all the neglected kids bikes that are made by crappy mega-corporations and sold cheaply to our throw away society that somehow get to the goodwill and us zoobombers fix up and reuse! too bad the cops steal. thats part of the cycle we didnt think about...

zoobombers take the lead 23.Sep.2003 18:35


word up from ZB central: we have recovered some of our bikes from the cops (well actually just 2 cops, the rest have been either encouraging, cleaver, courious, quiet)

cops/robbers 6 bikes
zoobomb 8 bikes

Ever wonder if Coulson and Suttle get together and play cops and robbers? Man, those guys need to work on their tactics skills... although they do have nice matching costumes
HAHAHA (im funny)
w/ better funding we could pay for more actual crime fighters, eg
w/ better funding we could pay for more actual crime fighters, eg "Blue Ribbon"