[*BCM*] The movement that divides us
dabbotthammond at comcast.net
Mon Jun 5 22:29:58 EDT 2006
In the congestion of the city, what’s to prevent a cyclist at a red light from hopping off the saddle and BECOMING A PEDESTRIAN??? I’ve done it many times to pass efficiently, if not as quickly, through an intersection. As for stop signs, the legal (in Mass., anyway) duration of a complete stop is 1/100 second, emphasis on COMPLETE, I.E., 0 MPH. OOOOHH, what an inconvenience!!
Your perceived rights to special treatment over automobiles are in direct conflict with my perceived rights to demonstrate, by example, the legitimacy of road-sharing, solar-powered electric-assist micro-vehicles such as my electric-assist bicycle. The conflict comes, not because you have the ability to dictate my riding behavior, but because motorists angered (unjustly, I recognize) at your behavior, take it out on me the next time.
Like it or not, the act of bicycling has become political. Hummer drivers (perhaps the same one, twice) have pulled up beside me (at a stop sign), and told me I’m a supporter of terrorism because I don’t suck down petroleum like a “Patriotic American”. Bicyclists didn’t define themselves as political, but I EMBRACE THAT HUMMER DRIVER’S DEFINITION OF ME! I hope my Sustainable Energy orientation strikes true terror into the hearts of the global corporate energy cartel that directs the Bush Regime. I hope my chosen lifestyle and anti-violent activist orientation scares the living poop out of the incipient one-party dictatorship. This is why I so fiercely advocate for the rules that will keep solar-powered electric-assist micro-vehicles from suffering a total ban from the public ways of Massachusetts.
Trotsky said, “If you mean to defeat your enemy, and not merely make one last, grand gesture of defiance, you will not let your enemy dictate your strategy, tactics, weaponry, rules of engagement, or battlefield.” The Bush regime is the world’s master of violence, powerful weaponry, diabolical strategy and inhuman tactics. The Eco-Millennium movement rejects all these, but we MUST win. Stealth co-option of the public ways by sustainable energy vehicles is one way to realize one of our most important tactical goals.
You said, “In other words, the bully has more chance of changing the system than the bullied. “ To paraphrase, (in a way that will undoubtedly rile anarchists) “The organized have more chance of changing the system than the unorganized.”
In order for me to deflect potentially distracting discourse, let me say this: I’m not a socialist – in my view, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between socialism and capitalism in their ultimate goals: to keep the wealthy and powerful, wealthy and powerful. I support and advocate consensus-rooted, biome/ecosystem-oriented communitarianism, supported by a strong and sound foundation of local democratic workers’ cooperatives. There should be no States and no Nations.
Oooops now, not only am I in trouble with the Ministry of Homeland Security, so is anybody who reads this.
Deal with it, yo….
From: bostoncriticalmass-bounces at bostoncriticalmass.org [mailto:bostoncriticalmass-bounces at bostoncriticalmass.org] On Behalf Of Pete Stidman
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 11:42 AM
To: Boston Critical Mass
Subject: Re: [*BCM*] The movement that divides us
”What a cyclist is, regardless of what some lawbook says, is an undecided, unanswered question in the US. There obviously is no universally accepted norm about when to cross a red light or stop sign, and I would say the bigger tendency is to not act like a vehicle, but to act like a pedestrian when crossing the road.
BUT none of this is important at all right now. I think the whole argument is a huge distraction from the real problem, which is cars. Compare pedestrian deaths by car to pedestrian deaths by bicycle and you'll quickly see what I mean.
These ideas in the biking community come as a result of car drivers in positions of power saying to bike advocacy groups, "Well hey, if you expect to get us to teach drivers about cyclists, cyclists better get their act together." and then activists parroting that back to others and blaming cyclists for the fact that the streets aren't safe.
IT"S A FALSE ARGUMENT. And it's divisive. I have to hand it to the powers that be, it's a neat trick. “
How it really happens:
Any place you go that has laws that protect cyclists, bike lanes etcetera, Bicyclists stop at the stop lights. Like Boulder Colorado for instance. Bikes stop at all stop signs and lights, even 4-ways, BUT, in those cities, when a cyclist pulls up to a full up four way stop, 3 cars and them, the three car drivers immediately look to the bike to go, regardless of which order they arrived in, an automatic bike right-of-way.
In that situation, a cyclist doesn't mind following every law. The law and the norms respect them. Bicyclists are recognized as having a stronger right of way than cars.
It's not the weak one (bicyclist) who has to give first, it's the strong one (car). It is a rule of nature that the weak one does not have as large an effect on the system. If you want systemic change, you go for changes that are strong, not weak. In other words, the bully has more chance of changing the system than the bullied.
As long as I'm getting honked at, told to get off the road, doored, barnstormed, flipped off, and whatever, I'm going to run those goddamned lights. And that is something that is so deep in me and hundreds of other cyclists who have grown to hate cars, police, and road planners that no cycling advocacy group in the world could ever change it without getting at the root cause behind itâ€”cars.
Getting pissed at cyclists who run reds is like telling people who are poor to quit complaining about it and work for minimum wage, if they do they'll get rich. Yeah fucking right.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Bostoncriticalmass