Taking The Law For A Ride
New York Post
February 20, 2006
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