Civil Obedience On Bikes in Santa Monica Today

This may be the most vague post you read all day, mostly because none of the actual info has really been made public yet (and I’m in San Francisco today so no pinning this one on me). Basically, in retaliation for the SMPD constantly harrassing cyclists and making their lives generally hellish, the rogue group called the Crimanimalz (yes those guys) are planning some kind of 100% legal disruption today. Again, I don’t know the deal but from what I can gather they’ve double checked the laws and plan to raise holy havok when the SMPD shows up and tries to get all uppity and oppressive and what not. Updates later on after it all goes down. Pics too I’m sure.

Update: There’s a post up on West Side Bike Side detailing what actually went down:

Yesterday approximately 6o cyclists protested police harassment (photos on Flickr & Ridazz) of Santa Monica Critical Mass.  In response to the 14 citations of Santa Monica Critical Mass (SMCM) riders last Friday we, the Crimanimalz, blocked 4 crosswalks for a cumulative period of 40 minutes.  By walking back and forth across crosswalks continuously the Crimanimalz were able to legally create massive traffic jams.  We effectively showed that legal behavior can be outrageously disruptive.  Further, we showed that should the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) continue targeting cyclists on Critical Mass, there will be consequences for traffic in Santa Monica on other days.

9 Replies to “Civil Obedience On Bikes in Santa Monica Today”

  1. Saw a crazy number of cops run up to the alley off broadway just west of the Promenade. No idea what happened but it did appear like later someone was being pulled into a squad car. By the look the the person though my guess would be that he’s not a bicycle enthusiast.

  2. Aye aye aye, I certainly support bikes and their rights to be on the road safely.

    But what have they got planned? If they want to get others in the city to support them is shouldn’t disrupt their day. All they will accomplish is pissing them off and alienating potential supports to help get things changed.

  3. seanboonner: You’re 1/3 right. The intent was to create conflict, to point to the underlying cause of that conflict (SMPD’s unreasonable crackdown on Critical Mass — 14 cop cars at last week’s ride), and to rally support.

    The 14 cop cars at last week’s “Critical Manners” ride (obeying the letter of the law) were the result of one resident complaint. So we used that. If resident complaints are what the police listen to, then let’s give them some resident complaints, goddammitt. They don’t want us biking. Let’s see how they like us not biking.

    Meanwhile, we carried signs. We passed out fliers. We talked to motorists one-on-one. “There’s a reason for this snarl, and it’s the police’s unreasonable crackdown on a bunch of people on bikes. This is a last resort, after over a year of the police not listening to us. BUT … they’ll listen to you. Please call in. Yes. Call the police. We want you to call the police.”

    So yes, we created conflict where there was none. Because we’ve figured out who the SMPD will listen to. Speaking using voices we know they’ll hear. Hopefully, it worked.

  4. As for alienating people, frazgo, it’s a risk we took. We relied heavily upon our ability to talk to people and redirect their anger. That was the easy part. The hard part was getting people to call in anyway. People really don’t like to talk to the police.

  5. FYI: You can bike all you want up and down San Vicente Blvd in Santa Monica. It’s a virtual bike track with bike lanes and everything. The SMPD do not hassle people that bike there. It’s when you amass a huge group of people to bike around a small city and disrupt traffic and safety on a Friday night when they get pissed. What’s the point? Anti car demonstration? We get it.
    In the end these type of actions add less and less validity to your cause and marginalize you to a subculture of kids w/ nothing better to do. It’s laughable.

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