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5000+ riders hit the streets for anti-RNC Critical Mass in NYC

NYC Indymedia reports: The first wave of posts on tonight's Critical Mass have come in. The ride was New York's largest critical mass, with well over 5,000 bikes.

Gathering at Union Square in the middle of Manhattan at 7 p.m. and departing at 7:30, oil-free transportation stretched across all horizons around Union Square. First pedaling south down Broadway and then rerouting north on Madison and Sixth avenues, Critical Mass consisted of a 45 block long brigade of cyclists, skaters and pedestrians. The ride lasted about 2 hours, performed its traditional occupation of Times Square and rode past Madison Square Garden (MSG), site of the RNC.

Approximately 800 Critical Massers ended up at St. Mark's church in lower Manhattan, sanctuary for the protest and home to much of the organizing for the counter RNC mobilizing. Upon arriving at the church, the Critical Mass riders hoisted their bikes into the air, waving them overhead as they unleashed a long unified victory cry.

The celebratory mood at St. Mark's lasted only fifteen minutes though before police moved and began arresting participants. Critical Mass riders elsewhere were caught and arrested by New York City Police along the way. Several riders were taken down after passing MSG, dozens more were arrested at the Lincoln Tunnel.

Video of the evening being processed by the Indymedia Center right now shows the regrettably predictable violent nature of the arrests. Caught on tape are images of protesters being thrown off their bicycles, heads beaten into the asphalt, then cuffed with plastic flexi-cuffs. Pedestrians milling about also unfortunately fell victim to the cops, getting pulled off the street and arrested too. The latest reports put the total amount of arrested riders and bystanders at 250 people.

Stories: [1 | 2 | 3]

Photos: [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6]

Audio: [1 | 2 I 3]

Video: [1]

NYPD Notice to Bicyclists

Corporate Media: [1 | 2 (video) | 3 (photos)]

NYC riders say 28.Aug.2004 13:15

more like 10,000

Check the NYC indymedia site. Awesome!

yep 29.Aug.2004 05:43

someone there

right before the ride started i asked a cop if it was true they planned to arrest as many as they could once the ride started. he said "there are 10,000 of you, too many of you, how the hell we supposed to do that?"
I guess id say there was more like 7,000.
it was massive nonetheless.