2005-05-01 34 CM Arrests - NY Newsday

34 arrested in Critical Mass bike ride


http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/manhattan/nyc-bike0501,0,2347905.story

New York Newsday

May 1st, 2005

By Lindsay Faber

A total of 34 people were arrested at Friday night's Critical Mass
ride, the 12th anniversary of the movement, police said.

The 20 men and 14 women arrested were issued desk appearance
tickets, police said.

The first warm-weather ride of the season, which happened to fall
on the event's birthday, may have attracted twice as many riders,
about 400, than the other monthly rides this year.

Though Critical Mass has been without incident since its inception,
the publicity surrounding it has surged since last August's Republican
National Convention, when a highly-publicized ride drew several
thousand people and resulted in more than 100 arrests.

Since then, organizers of the event have wrangled with the Police
Department, whose position is that the riders regularly violate
traffic laws and parade without permit.

The continuing duel between the two sides has even made its way to
a federal courtroom. In December, a federal judge dismissed the city's
effort to force cyclists to obtain permits before the ride.

On Friday night, communicating via cell phone, the riders kicked
off the event from various spots in Manhattan, including Union Square,
Madison Square and Tompkins Square Park, possibly in an attempt to
evade police. In the past, the riders set out together from Union
Square.

The monthly promotion of pollution-free transportation occurs the
last Friday of every month.

Copyright 2005, Newsday