Following the festive arrival of the DNC2RNC "Democracy Uprising" march, protesters against the Republican National Convention staged the largest ever New York City Critical Mass bike ride. Well over 5000 riders filled nearly 4 kilometers of city streets before breaking into smaller groups. [Read minute-by-minute reports.] Critical Mass is a direct action that takes place in cities throughout the world on the last Friday of every month as a way to reclaim urban streets and promote oil-free transportation.
The ride lasted about 2 hours (full audio), performed its traditional occupation of Times Square and rode past Madison Square Garden, site of the RNC, shutting down traffic in Midtown Manhattan. Approximately 800 Critical Massers ended up at St. Mark's Church in lower Manhattan, sanctuary for the protest and home to much of the organizing for the counter-RNC mobilizing. Upon arriving at the church, the Critical Mass riders hoisted their bikes into the air, waving them overhead as they unleashed a long unified victory cry.
However, the police arrived 15 minutes later and violently arrested many people. There were a total of 264 arrests over several locations; at least 6 Indymedia journalists were arrested.
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