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actions & protests | bikes/transportation m19

Calling All Critical Mass Folks to the March 19th Rally

This call to action is imperative to demonstrate to our fellow Portlanders that the over consumption of oil is unnecessary to function in our city.
shit bag
shit bag
Time to take to the streets after the march and ride in unison. No more fucking oil and no more fucking war. Bring your two-wheeled joy toy down to the rally and make some noise on the streets of Portland!!!!

As we all know, the Portland PO PO enjoy this website as much as we do. Therefore, the location of our gathering will be determined on the streets during the rally. Bring everyone you know that enjoys the feeling of pushing each peddle with a sense of defiance against the machine.
Lets make this critical mass the largest this city has ever seen and express our resentment towards funding an illegal war by pumping fossil fuels into polluting tanks.

This is the time to represent.
See you all on the streets!!
Critical Mass is not a protest 16.Mar.2005 12:53

Jasun Wurster jasun@pnxcorp.com

Hey,

Not to sound like an asshole or anything ... but Critical Mass is to promote bicycle safety and a celebration of bicycling. The rides that happen the last Friday of each month are *not* protest or organized demonstrations. Some riders in Critical Mass are working very hard to foster an environment of mutual respect with the local government so that all citizens of Portland can participate regardless of political beliefs and without fear of frivolous ticketing.

Mainly this post is to inform the Police that frequent Indymedia and is in no way knocking your post.

For more information on critical mass you can join the mailing list at:

 pdxcriticalmass@lists.riseup.net

Jasun Wurster

Critical Mass is a Protest 16.Mar.2005 15:05

DK

What do you think the point of Critical Mass is?
To protest the use of the Automobile.

I will be there an I encourage others to show up
Also, people who drive there gas guzzling SUV"S around town is the reason we are occupying Iraq. Do you see the connection?
What is the purpose of controlling the world's fifth largest oil reserve?

So we can continue driving up, down, and all around.
Coinciding two forms of resistance benefits everyone.

DK you don't get it 16.Mar.2005 18:09

politics are boring

There is no 'point' to critical mass. It is a spontaneous, reclaimation of cyclists' rights to the road. There is no agenda. Each cyclist has their own agenda. There should be no politics involved. It is most effective when it is kept simple. Asking for a 'Critical Mass presence' at protests sort of defeats the point of it. I agree with Jasun and applaud any efforts to get Critical Mass back on track.

I think CM is most effective when standers-by/motorists etc. ask what we are protesting/doing/trying to achieve etc. And the answer is 'nothing, we're just going for a ride.'

Now if cyclists want to protest war.. that is another matter...

cycling in the free world 16.Mar.2005 22:57

captain cook

I think critical mass is great, but the phrase "reclaiming the road" seems absurd to a certain degree. Have cyclists really lost their rights to the road? Cyclists have a right to to the use of roads, but only according to their informal rank in the darwinian context that defines use of roads. Bicycles aren't a primary component of the nation's economy through transport of goods and services. That and the fact they're slower makes them second or third class vehicles on the roadways. Critical Mass has no right to hog the road just because by virtue of numbers, they can.
The way that much of the road network we have came to exist, is that people allowed their taxes to be applied to the construction of roads as an adjunct to the economy. The miles and miles of heavy asphalt roadworks are designed to support semi's and military vehicles. They're for profit generating big trucks and busses. The fact that cyclists can use them for commuting and pleasure is just the bloom on the rose.
It's interesting to speculate what type of roadway might have existed if the public hadn't been virtually compelled to own and operate motor vehicles on such a broad scale. Cities and communities might have planned completely different.
Will bicycles ever be able to replace trucks for their transport capacity? Will bicycles ever be a transport option for those not qualified to transport themselves by bike?
For so many people, bicycles just aren't a viable transport option. Critical Mass is too often just an excuse to retaliate against motorists who have unwittingly participated in the evolution of infrastructure that has diminished quality of life for everyone. You're efforts on the poor suckers are either lost or counterproductive, except for the entertainment factor, which some seem to enjoy despite being delayed in their vehicles.
I look forward to seeing all of you out there. I'll be walking.

And bicycles don't really work for the disabled... 17.Mar.2005 07:23

Scotty B.

Adding on to Captain Cook's comment up there, I hope people realize that bicyling isn't a viable option for everyone. I'm disabled. I can't ride a bike. I can only walk about a mile, two miles maximum. So if I want to go anywhere, I've got to use public transit or ride with someone in a car. I know that there's some people that think that riding a bus is just as bad as riding a car, but it's the only option out there for a lot of people. So...sometimes I think critical mass posts an "everyone out there should ride these" message that I can't agree with.

To Scotty 17.Mar.2005 10:24

Bent_Rider

I have all my respect and sympathy for your disablity, but there are bikes available that will work for disabled people.

I met a fellow on the American River Bike Trail in Sacramento. He had no legs at all, auto accident, his ride was a hand-peddled trike. I'm not a slow rider, but could barely keep up with him as he peddled that thing at 20+ mph for over 5 miles.

There was also some time ago a bike tour from Siagon to Hanoi for Vietnam vets, many who were disabled. They rode the same kind of hand peddled trikes.

 http://www.angelfire.com/pa4/EMERYSTRIKES/

 http://www.cycle-n-sleep.co.uk/disabled.htm

bs 17.Mar.2005 15:49

...

Will the bicycle ever replace the automobile? Count on it. All of you whack yuppies that complain about bikes should look around at the world outside of Amerika. Other nations, most notably Japan, use bikes primarily. Not that there aren't cars, but bikes are the mass of traffic. By most speculation Japan is technologically more advanced than us at the moment, as well. In fact, Kar Kulture is almost uniquely Amerikan. Regardless of the beliefs of the individual Mass rider, we are proving that bikes work. Better than cars. I understand that we will never destroy every motorized vehicle. That's fine. But the automobile as a staple of our economy and lifestyle is killing us. Cars kill more young folks in the US than guns. Cars kill more people in the US each year than all US soldiers killed in Vietnam. Etc. Etc. It's ridiculous. Bikers need to band together. If it means polarization and isolation, then so be it.

SUV's on their sides- molotov cocktails in their eyes. Bike punks for life.

bikes 17.Mar.2005 16:08

gk

Well, I love the group bikes, Critical Mass. I'm a protest marcher. A few years back when our march was getting all split up, CM came in, kind like to the rescue. I love their carefree style and urge them on, all the way. They make a political statement. The war is about oil, and they don't use it!

data in 18.Mar.2005 11:23

captain cook

scotty b...I'd really like to know what you think of bent_rider's idea that a bike for disabled persons might be an option for you personally. I currently have the impression that disabled persons able and inclined to defy the constrictions of their disability and the general reality of being disabled, to get on a bike, are exceptions to the rule. It takes a particularly athletic minded person. Lots of people aren't. In general, irregardless of age, a lot of people really don't have the physical integrity to cut it on a bicycle, beautiful as that form of transportation is.

Huh? 18.Mar.2005 19:59

Unconnected

What's with all the bullshit here? The weak arguments?

When people start talking about "It takes a particularly athletic minded person" and "bicycles don't really work for the disabled", it makes you wonder. Well, it makes _me_ wonder. I mean, I don't like to sound paranoid, but _is_ there some kind of conspiracy here? Disinformation campaign? COINTELPRO?

First of all, no it doesn't take that much of an athletic person to ride a bike. As anyone knows who's not full of shit, the bike is the most efficient form of transportation on the planet (due to gears and such). Which translates into, if you can walk, you can ride. And once you ride some, you'll be able to ride some more.

For all the people that are unhealthy now and would have a hard time riding a bike any substantial distance (more than a mile, say), they'd probably have a hard time walking that same distance. The problem here is laziness and nothing else.

Disabled persons (and others who truly can't ride a bike) make up a minority of the population. This in no way means they should be marginalized, but the fact that some people are disabled (or otherwise honestly can't ride a bike) does not then make cars necessary. In particular, it doesn't make such widespread use of cars within cities necessary. Also, I'm sure people understand that -- what with the current infrastructure and all -- it may be necessary at times (even for non-disabled persons) to use some form of internal-combustion transport (and no, I don't mean that as license for people to be lazy).

Who's talking about replacing trucks with bikes for "their transport capacity?" Where does this simpleton bullshit come from? Who's even talking about such things here? People who ride bikes (the ones we're talking about here anyway) would, for example, like to see trucks replaced by efficient trains, more local production, regional autonomy... things like that.

I would also guess that idealistically, many CM types and others wouldn't mind if there were no bikes, as long as you could walk wherever you needed to go (within the city). In other words, I don't think anyone is celebrating pavement so much as celebrating life and the freedom to choose (the best option available to us now), while making incremental change toward a better future (or something like that). And I'll take a moment here to say that _everyone_ (and not just bikers, as ... said) who's for sustainability and community and against decadence/consumerism/militarism and the apparent tendency toward self-destruction should band together.

Critical mass is political, whether you want it to be or not. You can't hide from it. If it wasn't political, the cops probably wouldn't fuck with it so much. Now, how you approach it is up to you of course, but it _is_ political, and it should be, keeping in mind that political expression can take many forms (within and outside of CM).

Also, critical mass _is_ dissent, again whether you want it to be or not. Even if you're totally square and riding a bike by yourself, you are still making a statement (how does it feel?!), you are still swimming upstream (so to speak, though I guess actually you are usually moving downstream while riding). _Intentionally_ choosing to ride a bike and to not a drive a car is _definitely_ making a statement and is almost certainly a protest of some kind.

And I'd like to know, What's wrong with taking a stand? What's wrong with saying, This is what I/we think is right. (Assuming of course that we remain open to other views.) Why are we so afraid to offend and why are we so concerned with other people's approval and validation? Can we ever move forward without being willing to commit wholeheartedly to our professed values, or if we spend all our time worrying about what people who probably aren't even thinking about it think? How about if we act on what we believe and let "them" think whatever they're going to think? Sure, we can talk to "them" when we can, but this isn't about "winning hearts and minds" so much as it's about doing what we can and doing what we think is right.

Even if it's not a "protest" to you, you can't make a broad statement saying that's it not for everyone, especially when for many (most?) it is. And to the one who said CM has no point... What!? Of course it has a point. If it didn't have a point, no one would do it. Everything is done for a reason, even stupid things, and CM in particular is out there trying to be visible, trying to be noticed, trying to say, Look we have a right to be here too and to be safe. If that's not "making a point" I guess I'm just confused about basic meanings and need to go back to school. Yeah, so set me straight me now -- I want to get "on track."

Mmmmh? 13.Jun.2005 07:10

DG

If bs thinks that 'kar kulture' is an almost uniquely 'Amerikan' invention than he has clearly never lived outside of Amerika. I am British, have lived in Japan (where for a whole year I was famous for being the only cyclist on the roads of Nagasaki), Sicily, Thailand, and of course the UK and as far as I can tell kar kulture is alive and kicking in all of these countiries and many others I have visiited beside.

Tempting though it maybe, America can't be judged as a lone culprit, although they are definitely a culpable ringleader.