Bikes as Protest

Phoebe Connelly

Bike-based activism has been an intriguing aspect of the protests here at the RNC. The Critical Mass ride on Friday drew around 5,000 people and received wide coverage, which, while focused on the approximately 250 arrests that occurred when the ride ended, also included photos of the bikers riding merrily through the streets. Time's Up organized Bike Bloc events today during the UFPJ March that proved to be lively parts of the day's protests. Text messages circulated through the march warning protesters that those on bikes were being specially targeted by police worried about their actions.What is intriguing, hopeful even, about the splash made by Critical Mass on Friday is that it is a form of resistance and protest that extends beyond the event-specific protests that appear during moments like the RNC, only to fade into the woodwork at other times. Bike-based protest,with its emphasis on the rights of bicyclists to equal access can perhaps have more of a lasting effect because it is an action squarely based in the realities of the daily commute.

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Phoebe Connelly, a former managing editor at In These Times, is Web Editor at The American Prospect.
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