Re: Miami Critical Mass has run in with the Cops
- I am pretty new to Critical Mass, only having partaken since
I really want to know, and I hope some of you guys will fill me in--
are these run-ins with the police regular occurrences, or have they
been increasing in frequency? I have read about two or maybe three
since joining this group, and I think it might be an indication of
really important change.
I think it could be a good thing. I know there are a lot of
different schools of thought on peaceful protest, but I think it
could be great if enough of us had the courage to take the (little)
heat that comes with getting arrested like apparently happened in
Miami. One approach is if someone gets busted, they cooperate fully,
and they get out with probably a small fine. (Wouldn't it be a dream
if their fellow critical massers could pool money and take care of
their kin?) That kind of nonviolent participation in the dumb game
could maybe work really well for us and help, slowly, to effect the
change we're after.
Incidentally, has anyone seen these Bush ads that ridicule the idea
of paying more for gas and therefore not driving, and, as the ad
comedically demonstrates, cycling? Such activities, according to the
ad, are "wacky."
Please do let me know if run-ins like this have been going on for
years, or have been getting more and more frequent.
> are these run-ins with the police regular occurrences,Yeah, pretty much. It is city dependant, tho', and to a lesser degree on
the behavior of the mass as a whole.
> I think it could be a good thing. I know there are a lot ofIn Minneapolis, a mass arrest pumped up the numbers of the mass threefold.
> different schools of thought on peaceful protest, but I think it
> could be great if enough of us had the courage to take the (little)
> heat that comes with getting arrested like apparently happened in
I imagine a lot had to do with a sympathetic mayor and councilman who
rode with the mass the following month and met with massers.
On the other hand, in Portland, arrests brought out a large number of
trouble seekers who caused the mass to become very "aggro" and drove away
long time riders.
In Chicago, arrests completely shut down the "Art Institute" rides in the
mid '90s. In the late '90s, a series of arrests severely cut the number
of riders until the riders were acquited or otherwise had their charges
> One approach is if someone gets busted, they cooperate fully,Then the police start a war of attrition if they want the mass shut down.
> and they get out with probably a small fine.
If by cooperate you mean be polite and cooperate with the procedure, then
I personally think that is the best policy, but I firmly support fighting
the charges in court.
> (Wouldn't it be a dream if their fellow critical massers could poolHappened in Chicago with the "Cigar Box of Justice" and fundraisers for
> money and take care of their kin?)
the arrestees. When I was arrested, I was told that under no
circumstances was I to pay any lawyers or any fees out of pocket. All
funds would come from the central fund, to which, of course, I was free to
contribute. I think it is the "Metamucil Jar of Justice" in Minneapolis.
The rules, such as they were, in Chicago were that funds be used for those
arrested or cited for riding in the mass. If the charge was anything
incidental to the mass (drug use, vandalism, fights etc.) you were on your
own. My group was charged with "Mob Action" and "Disorderly Conduct."
As hinted above, as a group, we refused the plea offers, and took our case
to court. As luck would have it, an ex-boyfriend of one of the arestees
is a high powered defense attorney and subpoenad the dispatch tapes which
proved absolutely essential in our defense. Despite (or perhaps because
of) the police lying like sin on the stand, we won.
The Chicago mass now runs hassel free with even some assistance from the
police to hasten their trip through downtown and it routinely numbers
When the mass started in St. Louis, we believe that the police there
checked in with the Chicago police and were told that if they just let the
mass happen, there would be no problems. 5 years of hassel free masses
later, this has proved accurate.
> Incidentally, has anyone seen these Bush ads that ridicule the idea ofhttp://www.georgewbush.com/tvads/
> paying more for gas and therefore not driving, and, as the ad
> comedically demonstrates, cycling? Such activities, according to the
> ad, are "wacky."
Dan "one less parent" Kliman