Cyclists roll out peaceful protest New York Daily News
September 25th, 2004
By Kerry Burke and Maki Becker
Protestors on bicycles took to the streets of Manhattan last
night, but it was a smooth ride compared with what happened
before the Republican National Convention.
The 800 cyclists who turned out yesterday wheeled around
town for about an hour to promote environmentally friendly
forms of transportation. There were eight arrests for disorderly
conduct and obstructing traffic at 36th St. and Fifth Ave. and
one more at Union Square, police said. Cops seized about 33
bikes abandoned on Seventh Ave.
On Aug. 27, more than 5,000 bicyclists brought parts of Manhattan
to a standstill, and cops made more than 230 arrests.
Dubbed Critical Mass, the group rides have been staged the last
Friday of every month for years, but none put the brakes on
vehicular traffic like the one before the convention.
Last night, police helped keep the ride going by stopping traffic
with their scooters.
The ride started about 7:25 p.m. at Union Square, headed uptown
along Park Ave. and then down on Seventh Ave. and Broadway, but
some groups splintered off.
“This ride unifies everyone who cycles,” said Carl Hopkins, 36,
a security guard who lives in Manhattan. “This is the most
biker-unfriendly city there is. We want to take back the streets
from the cars.”
Copyright 2004, Daily News, L.P.