[*BCM*] Nice statement about CM from a Londoner
ralbrecht at speakeasy.net
Thu Nov 4 00:06:51 EDT 2010
From the blog "At War With The Motorist"
← Weekly War Bulletin, 26 June 2010
What point are you tryin to make, mate?
Posted on June 30, 2010 by Joe Dunckley| 2 Comments
Confession: before friday, I had never joined a Critical Mass. I liked
the idea, but I had always been busy, or else it had slipped my mind.
But on friday I remembered, had no excuses, and it was a lovely day to
head down to the river after work. Clearly, several hundred people
agreed that it was a nice afternoon for a bicycle ride.
A colleague declined to join me. “Yeah, because that’s a brilliant way
to win people over and promote cycling.” A cabbie asked what point we
were trying to make, as we blocked his entry to the Strand to let the
mass pass. A North American gentleman out for a walk on Picadilly asked
us what we thought we were doing, and raised the excellent philosophical
point that no man has any right to block the traffic. A young lady on
Shaftesbury Avenue asked what we thought was achieved by a thousand
people riding around in a slow moving block?
What we were doing was having a nice afternoon bicycle ride in the sun.
What we achieved was a nice afternoon bicycle ride in the sun. The
point that we made is that it’s nice to have an afternoon bicycle ride
in the sun.
If Critical Mass had to make a point at all, I would suggest that the
point it should be making is that no man has any right to block the
traffic. That no man has the right to hold a city hostage, to
intimidate and inconvenience the people who are out trying to enjoy a
summer evening in town, to make an unpleasant racket, and to destroy our
heritage, environment, and health. And all day every day of the month
the Motorist is blocking the traffic. Every traffic jam in London,
every dead pedestrian and uncrossable road, every background drone and
booming truck, every smog cloud and dirty building is caused by the
Motorist, and they get away with this without comment the width and
breadth of the city, all day, every day. Critical Mass is a couple of
hours a month where some people stop them and say: this is you. These
five minutes when we piss you off and laugh in your angry face: this is
what you do every day to everybody in this city.
But Critical Mass doesn’t have a point. It’s just a nice bicycle ride
on a sunny afternoon.
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