Normally, I’m posting relatively uplifting, personally informative posts about knitting/design, and I stay away from political activism, or just activism in general. However, I feel that as a blogger connected to a network of other bloggers, it’s my duty to spread the word about unjust things that masses of people have the power to change.
Case in point:
The NYPD has been unconstitutionally (and I’d venture to say illegally) harassing bikers participating in New York’s monthly Critical Mass bike rides.
This is not okay. I am aware that police corruption happens in every city, but this is pretty low. If Atlanta were not so hilly, I’d probably bike many more places than I currently do (but I’m out of shape and it’s damn difficult to bike around here if you’re out of shape). That, and traffic is awful for bikers around here, even with all the people with “Share the Road” stickers on the backs of their cars, and I’m pretty sure that it’s not so great for most American cities, with some exceptions. So I’m a fan of the Critical Mass rides, because I want biking to become an expected part of road traffic. It’s environmentally friendly, it’s healthy, and it’s a legal form of vehicular transportation, governed by enforceable laws very similar to motor traffic laws. So even though I may not like the slow biker holding up traffic in my lane whom I cannot pass, I respect the biker and his/her right to be on the road.
And I think that the NYPD should, too.
(link found via Boing Boing)
Yup. NYC used to have a large and vibrant Critical Mass ride, but the NYPD started trying to suppress it when it coincided with the 2004 Republican National Convention. My sister wound up spending part of that evening in a riverfront shipping container turned holding cell, but fortunately for her was dating a lawyer at the time.
As for why the NYPD has kept it up in the face of public, legal, and judicial pressure, I think now it’s just a matter of not wanting to ever admit to a mistake.