2006-02-20 Taking The Law For A Ride - NY Post

Taking The Law For A Ride

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/editorial/63815.htm

New York Post

February 20, 2006

Editorial

February 20, 2006 -- New York State Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman last week dealt the city a setback in its attempt to gain some reasonable control over the bicycling nihilists who call themselves Critical Mass.

For years the group made regular last-Friday-of-the-month rides --- with very little fanfare or attention from cops.

That changed during the 2004 Republican National Convention, when 264 Critical Mass members were arrested for parading without a permit as they caused massive traffic disruptions.

Since then, the city has tried to get the courts to see the importance of exercising some pre-emptive oversight on the group's events.

Justice Stallman rejected the city's attempt to block members of an alleged radical environmental group from taking part in the latest ride and pre-event gathering at Union Square.

Stallman called this an "irregular strategy" that was "as unnecessary as it is inappropriate."

Well, Critical Mass is an irregular group: Active in some 400 cities, it officially has no leaders.

Furthermore, Stallman was ridiculously naive to suggest that the city needed more proof that a large number of people, with bikes, all arriving at one place --- Union Square --- around the same time weren't there for the bike ride.

Stallman then pleaded for the two sides to make peace: "The social compact and the realities of living in a crowded place demand patience, mutual respect and self-restraint."

Well, sure, that makes sense.

Except that Critical Mass has shown virtually no sign that its members have any regard whatsoever for "patience, mutual respect and self-restraint."

To the contrary, their continued actions demonstrate that Critical Mass is more interested in tearing up the social compact than abiding by it.

Which is why a nation needs laws. Some folks simply won't "do the right thing" as a matter of principle.

This case needs to be heard by the state's Court of Appeals immediately. This number of individuals engaged in unorganized, borderline anarchical behavior is a fatal accident just waiting to happen.

Copyright 2006, New York Post