Saturday, March 26, 2005

New York, New York - The police continued their campaign of harassment against the Critical Mass bike ride and cyclists in general, last night. The NYPD used nets to direct, trap, and then arrest 37 riders. They then cut the locks to dozens of bicycles in the area of Union Square and confiscated them claiming they were "abandoned property". After some confusion at least two large groups of cyclists continued the ride. The larger of the two was wrapping up at the Time's Up! space at 49 East Houston Street for coffee and snacks, when police on scooters cut the group off one block away on Layette Street. The majority of the mass turned and were able to escape arrest thanks to a gas station on one side and one of Manhattan's few alleys on the other. One rider was caught and arrested attracting a number of passersby who questioned the officers actions. A woman walking her dog compared the police to fascists. A police officer reminded those who stopped that "it's still legal to walk" and suggested that they continue to do so.