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Police State? Police attack critical mass bike ride





joshumu
http://articles.citypages.com/2007-09-12/news/vicious-cycle/
http://twincities.indymedia.org/newswire/display/31148/index.php

I am one of the 19 arrested, and i did not see a single violent cyclist. I did see cops pepper spraying crowds in wide arcs hitting complete bystanders. People thrown to the ground off their bikes from behind with no provocation. Kids that were already arrested and in hand cuffs maced at point blank.
I was taking photos of the excessive force until I caught a blast of pepper spray to the face. I could no longer see to take photos so i tried my best to leave the area. I walked my bike a few steps before a projectile taser round hit me in the neck, sending me straight to the ground, convulsing with electric shock. One cop stepped on my face, another on my leg, wile another put me in hand cuffs. I wasn't resisting at all. They kept us locked up in a sauna of a paddy wagon for 3 hours to sweat drops of pepper spray back into our eyes. We were all charged with PC Riot. A night and a day in jail before the demonstration organizers legal team bailed us out. Except for me, because i am from out of state and wouldn't take a bond, a nice lady i had never met before posted $3000 bail for me.
GSIS
From what I've just seen, on YouTube, of previous Minneapolis Critical Mass rides I'd say it looked like a riot. I see a bunch of louts blocking roads and preventing others from going about their business.

Not a good or sensible way to get your point across, IMHO.
paul_indo
What is a critical mass?

What happened to your photos?
moworks2
joshumu wrote:
http://articles.citypages.com/2007-09-12/news/vicious-cycle/
http://twincities.indymedia.org/newswire/display/31148/index.php

I am one of the 19 arrested, and i did not see a single violent cyclist. I did see cops pepper spraying crowds in wide arcs hitting complete bystanders. People thrown to the ground off their bikes from behind with no provocation. Kids that were already arrested and in hand cuffs maced at point blank.
I was taking photos of the excessive force until I caught a blast of pepper spray to the face. I could no longer see to take photos so i tried my best to leave the area. I walked my bike a few steps before a projectile taser round hit me in the neck, sending me straight to the ground, convulsing with electric shock. One cop stepped on my face, another on my leg, wile another put me in hand cuffs. I wasn't resisting at all. They kept us locked up in a sauna of a paddy wagon for 3 hours to sweat drops of pepper spray back into our eyes. We were all charged with PC Riot. A night and a day in jail before the demonstration organizers legal team bailed us out. Except for me, because i am from out of state and wouldn't take a bond, a nice lady i had never met before posted $3000 bail for me.


I'd like to know what this critical mass was about...nonetheless, are you looking for sympathy? Do you want to show us how violent the police are?

You've had a taste of living in what american politicians call a democracy these days. You don't like it? What are you going to do about it?

And like the other poster said, you made life difficult for a lot of other people. Is that ok with you? Do you not have any compassion for them as they go about their day trying to get to work, or go home, or just do some food shopping?

I do think it sucks that the police are so violent but that's basically what they are. Do you expect them to hand out roses and pat you on the back? Society, what we have made it, is a violent, competitive place. You take part in an action that is violent in its obstruction of the daily life of thousands; I think you have to be willing to deal with the consequences of your action.

Finally, it does suck what happened to you. Again. What are you going to do about it?

kind regards...

M
joshumu
No, no sympathy wanted. Just telling a story. And, sorry I should have included a definition of Critical Mass sense ti would seem nobody has a clue. Critical Mass is a monthly bike ride (in most major cities) that tries to promote bike culture, usually with a side point that we should reduce our dependence on petroleum. When blocking traffic, it is usually running a red to stay as a "mass". Generally we like to ride in a variety of neighborhoods, making many of turns. That also makes it so cars wont get caught behind us for to long. And most importantly, its really fun. Kinda like a moving block party, complete with music, food, and socializing.

Quote:
You've had a taste of living in what american politicians call a democracy these days. You don't like it? What are you going to do about it?


I have had many tastes of our so called democracy. This wasn't a surprise what they did to me. But there was a loss of logic with pepper spraying an entire crowd which by then included many onlooking bystanders. And no, i dont like it. What am i going to do about it? Direct Action. I was in Minneapolis at the time networking and strategizing for the RNC protests.

Quote:
What happened to your photos?


The police are holding my camera, backpack, water bottle, journal, book(the story of B), and ID(or all things) as evidence.

Quote:
From what I've just seen, on YouTube, of previous Minneapolis Critical Mass rides I'd say it looked like a riot. I see a bunch of louts blocking roads and preventing others from going about their business.


Impeding traffic for one lousily light, Making people wait for maybe two or three minutes = a riot. You definitely have never seen a riot. But that is your opinion. Mine is, the cops did much more "preventing others from going about their business", by wildly pepper spraying everybody in the area, including many people stopped shopping at a gas stating and near by store to see what was happening. One of which starting taking video with his phone until he got maced at point blank and arrested for PC Riot. The cops still have the underwear he bought. Another example is the cops causing an accident (hit and run actually) when they accelerated against a teenager on his bike, breaking his wrist.
All that said, to be fair, you will never see the day when i value your commute higher then our freedom or environment.

And just to make public opinion clear, you see much more waves and smiles from car driver/ riders then you get anger. Its the sight of hundreds of colorful bike and people, an expression of freedom, maybe.
paul_indo
We are not all in America so yes probably lot's of people have not heard of this critical mass thing. Sounds like a good idea although every time I saw a bunch of riders like this in Australia they were arrogant road hogs. I am a bike rider myself, even rode to work in Jakarta for a year or so, but I would never join those groups in Australia.
moworks2
and still ride to get around the city in which i live, but I'm not comfortable making other people suffer, inconveniencing them because they don't see 'things' my way...

I'm not criticizing the critical mass event and i'm surely not taking the side of police officers who treat people like crap...

I wonder what solutions we could come up with if we were better educated...not in what to think but how...

my own sense of society is that we're all living in our own individual bubbles of fear, pride, angst, joy, pleasure, jealousy, etc...it's hard to be compassionate about others, about the planet, animals, when we're brought up this way and living this way...we've got walls around us twenty feet high and the motto is usually protect me and mine first and to hell with the rest...starts with the individual, then the family, the state, the country...tribal instinct gone global...

go to as many critical mass events as you like, i don't think it'll change anything...it's up to all of us, individually, to come together for constructive change...self knowledge is the key, without that nothing but superficial change like what's been going on for centuries...

M
Jinx
I remember seeing Critical Mass rides when I lived in Richmond, Virginia. The route they rode took them right past the bookstore where I used to work. I always thought they looked like fun. I never heard of any problems with them, and the people on the sidewalks would usually wave and smile when they went by. There was usually a police car following slowly behind them, but I think that was more to make sure they didn't get run over by any impatient motorists caught behind them.

Of course, I worked in Carytown, which is kind of an open-minded Bohemian sort of area, so there were a lot of like-minded folk around when I saw the rides... other parts of town may have been more hostile toward them, I don't know.
joshumu
http://youtube.com/watch?v=g_PpgVUraQQ

notice the cop walking and peppering everyone in sight. At the very end of the clip, i roll up and take a photo. I was arrested soon after.
GSIS
joshumu wrote:
You definitely have never seen a riot.


When you've walked a mile in my boots I'll allow you to have an opinion about me. Wink

I was in Jakarta when Suharto had the offices of the opposition party raided. This caused mass riots involving the deaths, officially, of about 10 people. According to international monitoring sources the actual number was around 170.

The building I lived in was surrounded by stone and petrol-bomb throwing rioters, and the office I worked in was bombed with - fortunately - no loss of life. For weeks afterwards armed police and the military guarded public and expat buildings. Here's a badly assembled composite of news stories about the rioting: http://youtube.com/watch?v=g09owmdU50g&mode=related&search=

From http://www.primitivestate.com/dictionary_term.asp?term_id=97898

Quote:
Mob Definition
(n.) A mobcap.
(v. t.) To wrap up in, or cover with, a cowl.
(n.) The lower classes of a community; the populace, or the lowest part of it.
(n.) A throng; a rabble; esp., an unlawful or riotous assembly; a disorderly crowd.
(v. t.) To crowd about, as a mob, and attack or annoy; as, to mob a house or a person.


I would regard blocking traffic 'just to stay as a mass' as unlawful and disorderly since it goes against the rules established - in your own country - for orderly conduct. Ergo, it was a riot.

I would also think that most drivers presented with a mob like that would NOT put their lives or property at risk by getting out of their vehicles and telling you what they really think.

If you used orderly and discrete methods to gain support for cycling and other eco-friendly transport I would certainly be in support of that. Your methods simply make me think you're there for the fight - not for any positive result.
Bondings
In my opinion the rights to protest and free speech are way more important than the disturbance caused by blocking traffic for a few minutes in a not very important street. The police should escort/secure these kind of protests instead of blocking/stopping them and attacking with pepper spray.

The right to (peaceful) protest is one of the basic requirements of a democracy. To say more, it is also needed for people to use that right and actually be involved and protest. Without this, we are de facto living in a police state. The minor inconvenience of blocking traffic for a few minutes is nothing compared to it.

You get all my support for it.
Quote:
go to as many critical mass events as you like, i don't think it'll change anything...it's up to all of us, individually, to come together for constructive change

Sitting home won't change anything. Protesting and getting noticed might seem inefficient, but it is one of the only ways to show your dedication and start changes.
moworks2
Bondings wrote:
In my opinion the rights to protest and free speech are way more important than the disturbance caused by blocking traffic for a few minutes in a not very important street. The police should escort/secure these kind of protests instead of blocking/stopping them and attacking with pepper spray.

The right to (peaceful) protest is one of the basic requirements of a democracy. To say more, it is also needed for people to use that right and actually be involved and protest. Without this, we are de facto living in a police state. The minor inconvenience of blocking traffic for a few minutes is nothing compared to it.

You get all my support for it.
Quote:
go to as many critical mass events as you like, i don't think it'll change anything...it's up to all of us, individually, to come together for constructive change

Sitting home won't change anything. Protesting and getting noticed might seem inefficient, but it is one of the only ways to show your dedication and start changes.


I didn't say not to go, didn't say to sit home, just wonder how much it all really changes...i mean sure, i've seen strikes that are effective in getting big business to give up some bucks, perks for workers and the protests are a direct cause...i've seen here in france huge demonstrations against government actions that were later rescinded due to these protests...if anything i think americans are too complacent and let politicians do anything they want and question/protest far too little...

i guess i just feel that the human race is gonna need a major change of consciousness in order for any real change to take place...all the values these days are work, money, shopping, possession...there's so little compassion, so little love, so little tenderness...

M
GSIS
moworks2 wrote:

i guess i just feel that the human race is gonna need a major change of consciousness in order for any real change to take place...all the values these days are work, money, shopping, possession...there's so little compassion, so little love, so little tenderness...
M


Agreed. Society defines and rates people by what they do, and how wealthy they are. Read any newspaper. Find a story about some individual. It'll probably tell you his, or her, job. Something like: "Johnny Someone, carpenter, ... ". This person's job is probably completely irrelevant to the story. If the story is about a woman it'll probably even tell you her marital status - "Mrs Someone was ...".

A very unpleasant example of rating people by their jobs and wealth is the McCann story. I do not believe, for a minute, that if these people had been window-cleaners who had scraped together the money for a family holiday they would have got any more than a few days of media attention. There'd have been no audience with the Pope, the Find Madeleine fund would have been peppered with foreign coins and bus tickets. It's unlikely any millionaires would have contributed to their fighting fund. Very few would have given poor Madeleine, or her family, a second thought. Wealthy Madeleine is newsworthy, though. Further - had Madeleine been the daughter of poor parents they would almost certainly have been given "arguido" (official suspect) status from the outset and would probably have been detained in Portugal until police enquiries were complete.

In reality, IMHO, the guy that sweeps the factory floor is just as important to the business as the Managing Director.

Someone who rides a bicycle has just as much right to cross a junction on a green light as someone in a car. But - with rights come responsibilities. If the light is red you stop and wait for it to change. You do not impede the flow of traffic crossing on green. If you do so as an individual you risk a fine. If you do so en-mass you risk being accused of a public order offence which, if the number of people involved is high enough (ironically this could be thought of as a critical mass) that public order offence is a riot even if just a subdued and mild one with no petrol bombs or other weapons.
Moonspider
moworks2 wrote:
Society, what we have made it, is a violent, competitive place.


I'd argue that nature, of which we are a product, is a violent and competitive place. The evolution of species and natural selection are functions of this competition.

I believe human society actually serves to limit the amount of violence and competition which we must face (no matter what the system, whether democracy, communism, Marxism, capitalism, anarchism or hunter-gatherer societies). However I don't think it can do away with it entirely since we are evolutionary products of a violent and competitive system. We have evolved to be so because the continued survival of our hominid species required it. Were homo sapiens not so, were we not able to successfully struggle with our natural competitors and the demands of our environment, nature would have selected us for extinction.

Respectfully,
M
simp
Nice to know that Burma isn't the only place run by a brutal, thuggish military/pig junta.
Moonspider
simp wrote:
Nice to know that Burma isn't the only place run by a brutal, thuggish military/pig junta.


Excuse me? Are you saying that the United States is no better to its populace than the government of Myanmar? You are actually comparing police officers in Colorado using pepper spray to the Myanmar security forces opening fire with automatic weapons on a crowd and killing 9 people and calling those equal?

Respectfully,
M
joshumu
I agree that we need a major change of consciousness. To use the symbolism of Daniel Quinn, programs and protests are only sticks in the river, when we need to change the course of the entire river. But those metaphorical sticks maybe nesicary steps to changing the river. Or maybe not. And, GSIS, it was just and expression, not that i believe your story. But you gave the definition for a mob. Now I would say we were a mob, but we were not rioting.


So a quick update. They dropped the charges on all but four of us. All four of us are getting charged with gross misdemeanor, mostly assault, obstructing, or riot. I finally got to read their side of the story, and I'm not surprised that it is completely fabricated. I'm looking at a possible year in jail and $4000 in fines, not to mention court court costs. So i suppose I'm going to take it to court.
moworks2
Moonspider wrote:
moworks2 wrote:
Society, what we have made it, is a violent, competitive place.


I'd argue that nature, of which we are a product, is a violent and competitive place. The evolution of species and natural selection are functions of this competition.

I believe human society actually serves to limit the amount of violence and competition which we must face (no matter what the system, whether democracy, communism, Marxism, capitalism, anarchism or hunter-gatherer societies). However I don't think it can do away with it entirely since we are evolutionary products of a violent and competitive system. We have evolved to be so because the continued survival of our hominid species required it. Were homo sapiens not so, were we not able to successfully struggle with our natural competitors and the demands of our environment, nature would have selected us for extinction.

Respectfully,
M


Hi moonspider...how ya' doin'?...

You know, I used to think the same way, feel the same way, nature, violent, we're part of it, and so on. But then it started to feel like I was using it as an excuse. I thought we use this argument to rationalize our behavior and thought. But we also like to say we are rulers of the earth, (perhaps bible origin?), and we have dominion over all the other animals. So which is it? Part of it, not part of it?

I feel we just use arguments to suite our need at the time. It's easy to justlfy the police violence or crowd violence or war when 'it's not our fault, it's nature's fault'.

I feel humans are capable of using their brains, their hearts to stop the violence and competition. Of course, no such luck to date.

If we keep falling back on this argument of us being violent because it's our nature we have no hope of peace ever. I just don't accept that. It's narrow. It's small minded. It's petty.

I feel we need to remain open minded to grow and learn and live in peace.

Just the opposite of politics around the world today. (I guess another topic) Where tradition and the past are what's for sale and damn the insanity going on around us.

But here, bike protests, police spraying pepper, authority waying in over the masses? A lot of people aren't happy.

The rich politicians, the rich businessmen, and the police and armed forces that work for them don't care much about pollution. They want higher profits, they want control, they want to not be bothered by people who respect the earth, nature, and one another. Tree huggers are a disease.

I think most people have lost all sensitivity to nature. There's not much respect for the animals and the world around us so why expect us to be kind to one another? We're all egomaniacs worried about me and mine. So many 'sides'. We no longer live together as a species. It's us and them.

Some days I wonder if there's any hope for the future of man.

I feel we create conditions for violence and competition today. It doesn't have to be that way. What do 'we' want? What's important? What are we living for? I no longer listen to the religious leaders who have failed in every way. I no longer listen to the politicians who have also failed us. Both corrupt, immature institutions that need to be abandoned.

kind regards...

M

ps...sorry not to respond to the last post you did on that matt lauer thread...the summer happened, i was away a bit, but mostly i had some health issues that are now mostly resolved...i was going to respond but found recently my email notify wasn't working, then, steve fixed it, but a few new posts to this thread and again i had no email notify...it's a pain to keep up without it...
Moonspider
moworks2 wrote:
Moonspider wrote:
moworks2 wrote:
Society, what we have made it, is a violent, competitive place.


I'd argue that nature, of which we are a product, is a violent and competitive place. The evolution of species and natural selection are functions of this competition.

I believe human society actually serves to limit the amount of violence and competition which we must face (no matter what the system, whether democracy, communism, Marxism, capitalism, anarchism or hunter-gatherer societies). However I don't think it can do away with it entirely since we are evolutionary products of a violent and competitive system. We have evolved to be so because the continued survival of our hominid species required it. Were homo sapiens not so, were we not able to successfully struggle with our natural competitors and the demands of our environment, nature would have selected us for extinction.

Respectfully,
M


Hi moonspider...how ya' doin'?...


Doing well, thank you. Great to see you back! Sorry to hear about your health issues and I pray that you continue to do well.

moworks2 wrote:
You know, I used to think the same way, feel the same way, nature, violent, we're part of it, and so on. But then it started to feel like I was using it as an excuse. I thought we use this argument to rationalize our behavior and thought. But we also like to say we are rulers of the earth, (perhaps bible origin?), and we have dominion over all the other animals. So which is it? Part of it, not part of it?

I feel we just use arguments to suite our need at the time. It's easy to justlfy the police violence or crowd violence or war when 'it's not our fault, it's nature's fault'.

I feel humans are capable of using their brains, their hearts to stop the violence and competition. Of course, no such luck to date.


I agree wholeheartedly, whether it be violence or some other problem, such as addiction, upon which people sometimes blame nature. We all have natural tendencies inherent in the fact that we are animals. And we each may have predispositions to certain behaviors.

But unlike animals, we are sentient and possess the mental ability (and I'd say have a moral responsibility) to think beyond our natural tendencies and overcome our baser nature if the behavior is immoral.

We may often disagree, but in principle I agree with you on this.

Take care.

Respectfully,
M
IceCreamTruck
You can't be at the wrong place at the wrong time, press your luck, and not expect to get arrested along with everyone else. What you are some kind of pretty boy that the cops are just going to take it easy on?

I'm sorry for you because I don't want to see anyone get arrested, but sometimes people make choices to hang out on the edge. Sometimes when you are risking too much you get burned.

We live in a police state. I've had to get used to that fact and so do you...especially if we want to change the system together some day. If the police tell you to move then it's too late. They caught you being slow! Get on your game, This is War! Lucky for us the bullets are words! It's about time to change the goverment. This one is broken.
Moonspider
IceCreamTruck wrote:
We live in a police state. I've had to get used to that fact and so do you...


Excuse me????!!!!!!

Surely you don't leave the country very much or study history, do you? Given your statement, I'm not sure that you understand the definition of a "police state."

Respectfully,
M
Bru, stuffce
A police state is "a country that maintains repressive control over the people by means of police (especially secret police)"

America now uses secret police to detain without trial it's own citizens, it is now legal to secretly tap the phones of it's citizens, which it routinely does, it used to be a part of the constitution that a warrant was necessary for search and seizure of a citizen's property. Not now.

Police states seldom come into being fully fledged, they usually start with the thin end of the wedge and accrue more power and become more repressive as time passes. It is important to fight them every step of the way.
Moonspider
Bru, stuffce wrote:
A police state is "a country that maintains repressive control over the people by means of police (especially secret police)"


I agree with that definition. However I do not know of a secret police force in the United States.

Bru, stuffce wrote:
America now uses secret police to detain without trial it's own citizens,


I am not familiar with an example where a U.S. citizen has been detained without benefit of charge during the Bush Administration. What you seem to be referring to is a suspension of habeas corpus. Although Presidents Lincoln and Roosevelt both suspended that right during the War Between the States and World War II respectively, President Bush has not suspended this right.

Bru, stuffce wrote:
it is now legal to secretly tap the phones of it's citizens, which it routinely does,


That is an awfully broad statement that does not adequately define the very narrow parameters by which a phone line may be tapped without a warrant under the NSA program. It only applies to phone calls originating from outside the United States from people with known or suspected links to Al Qaeda. Thus I could call an al Qaeda member from here and a wire tap would be illegal without a warrant. Or an Al Qaeda member and I could call back and forth here inside the United States and any phone surveillance would require a warrant.

Your description made it sound as if all phone calls were fair game, which is not even remotely the case.

Bru, stuffce wrote:
it used to be a part of the constitution that a warrant was necessary for search and seizure of a citizen's property. Not now.


That still is the law. I don’t know of an example where a U.S. citizens rights under the Fourth Amendment were violated under the Bush Administration. (I can think of some under others, such as Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt.)

Bru, stuffce wrote:
Police states seldom come into being fully fledged, they usually start with the thin end of the wedge and accrue more power and become more repressive as time passes. It is important to fight them every step of the way.


I agree with you there. But the United States is no where near that compared to other countries. Even Britain is much farther along that path, where citizens enjoy fewer freedoms, law enforcement has far more power, and people live under an army of surveillance cameras in London. It is certainly nothing like China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Cuba, Venezuela, Myanmar, Iran, etc.

Respectfully,
M
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