Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009 | Critical Mass is a joke, albeit a very bad and dangerous one.
If the idea is to “support cycling” it fails utterly. If the goal is to portray cyclists as a law-breaking mob of thugs, then by all means continue your charade. However, as a cyclist myself, and as a rational thinker, my position is that we need to help bring motorists and cyclists views together peacefully. Not by acting like impetuous children.
There is no argument that supports the existence of Critical Mass. Whether it is for environmental reasons or to supposedly support cycling — there are far better ways to reach any goal than this. The participants confuse their actions with “civil disobedience”. If they followed the lead of Gandhi, they would welcome being arrested, and they would not use their behavior against the people. They would ride their bikes around dirty power plants, or car manufacturers, and let themselves get arrested for their illegal behavior. In short, Critical Mass participants are misguided cowards.
What the article fails to point out is that many participants view Critical Mass as simply a drunken joy ride. It is common practice for hundreds of the participants to get “juiced” before the ride. Their “F— the Police” attitude is well documented on blogs and all over the web. This is an excuse to wantonly break the law and get away with it through “mob rules” mentality.
I was surprised to read that one Critical Mass attendee named Alameddin said “I don’t think [police] were as attentive as they’ve been in previous runs. I think they would direct traffic better and I saw that a lot people were getting hurt tonight. I saw at least five people fall.” So let me get this straight: You participate in an unlawful event and willfully go about a route that is unknown to police, and then you complain that they are not doing enough to protect you? Get real.
For all other events of this type, people need to register for the event, get permission, and pay permitting fees (which helps pay for police and other services). Don’t complain when you unlawfully proceed in a childish fashion and then do not receive the support that other legitimate organizations get.
If San Diego does not act now to put a stop to this unruly mob it can very well one day turn into what Vancouver experiences. The police there recently made a public statement to ask motorists to simply stay off the road the day the mob hits the streets so as to reduce violence. Congratulations Vancouver, you let a mob dictate how its citizens can go about their lives. You must be proud.