Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Public Space, Critical Mass

This is a link to an article that "Yes!" magazine posted online and it struck a chord with me because Rev. Billy, the author of the article, is talking about the Critical Mass bike protests and all the arrests that have happened involving them.

Personally, I'm usually turned off by his showmanship, but then when I read articles by this guy I'm always impressed. He always has an interesting take on our rights and freedoms ect.

I was arrested in the big Critical Mass protest that happened right before the Republican National Convention in 2004 and I felt like it was a pretty lame cause to be arrested for. I felt like if you're going to protest and risk getting thrown in jail it should be for something more worthwhile than rights for bicyclists in New York City. It was really random that I ended up in the protest in the first place, I just happened to be pedicabbing in Times Square that night, so I wasn't very informed and I felt stupid and naive for jumping in. I pleaded guilty, just so I could get my pedicab back. And that was the thing to do because it was rented! Props to the guy that rented me the pedicab!

I wish the circumstances had allowed me to fight it and plead not guilty because the whole thing was just wrong! The cops were wrong, Bloomberg was wrong, the courts have called the whole thing illegal and unlawful. I'm glad that so many people did fight it.

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