RNC Protests Begin With Largest Ever NYC Critical Mass


Times Square
Times Square

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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Critcal mass arrest

Halsey 29.Aug.2004 19:16

friday night on 2nd ave btw 9th and 10th St. i was arrested for resisting arrest it would seem. but i was never told i was being placed under arrest, i was read no rights and zip-ty cuffed. myself and a few hundred other cyclist where brouth to pier 59 on the westside i think it was. a holding area with 12ft high cages with razor wire in a huge garage space. the floor was coved with sut and oil. without atiquate seating and after about 15hrs or so everyone was covered with filth from sleeping on the ground. we where then brought to the "tombs" (central booking) where where where processed and moved throught about 8 different holing cells and never given the opertunity to speak to a lawyer. the proccessing was painfuly slow id guess intentionaly to keep the people off the streets for as long as possable. after 34hrs i was finaly released with a DAT (desk apearence ticket, which doesnt require booking) at about 730am on sunday morning. needless to say it sucked and i am very greatful for the national lawyers guilde for all there involvment. fight the good fight!

Exxon/Mobil, the RNC & Widespread Nonviolent Militancy

A Litlle Bird 29.Aug.2004 23:40

Exxon/Mobil, the RNC & Widespread Nonviolent Militancy

"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is
a merger of state and corporate power" -- Benito Mussolini

"If elected, I will run the government like a business" -- George W.

Forget for a moment that Exxon/Mobil (XOM) is the main proponent of
greenhouse gas emissions?
Along with Enron, the Exxon/Mobil corporation was the biggest monetary
contributor to George W. Bush's 200 presidential campaign. It has
reaped the benefits of record high petroleum oil prices which have
been brought about and sustained by G.W. Bush's energy policies. One
can easily make the argument that this latest war in Iraq was fought
largely for XOM (and other oil corporations) -- their gas they sell is
tainted with the blood of American soldiers and Iraqi "collateral
damage." But, whether you buy that argument or not, it is easy to see
how closely interrelated corporate policy (particularly XOM's) is with
the government policy. If we have any ideals (or hopes for future
generations) we must recognize this situation for what it is --
It may not be the genocidal fascism of the industrialized Nazi's, but
this brand of Republican fascism must, nevertheless, be seriously
confronted before it gets bolder and causes more pain and suffering
around the world. This American fascism may not be the genocidal
fascism of the Nazi's, but it empowers the oil corporations and
facilitates a global warming which could wipe out most species on
Greenpeace and Adbusters, along with some others, have already called
for an international boycott of Esso/Exxon/Mobil (and there have
already been international days of protest) but? we need to become
evermore coordinated and vigilant. At the very least we should be
able to get every Democrat to boycott the Republican-funding XOM and,
at best, we should be able to put that fascist corporation out of
business by means of widespread nonviolent militant civil
disobedience. We need to fight to win and we need to add populist
elements to the battle. Any one person or group can participate at
their own level in this protest which can include, but is not limited
to, sit-ins, leafleting, creative harassment of all types, and maybe
petty vandalism like graffiti and stopped-up toilets. Don't forget
(and I'm not recommending this), Gandhi, on multiple occasions,
advocated even suicide (by fasting, walking into clubs, and in
response to Nazism) to draw attention to injustice. And Gandhi wasn't
even facing ecocide.
The RNC begins August 29th in NYC where up to 2 million people are
expected to protest Bush and his policies. At that time, there and in
cities around the world, a simultaneously coordinated protest of XOM
can send a clear message that we the people are not fooled by oilman
Bush and the corporate fascism he represents. In NYC all of the XOM
stations can be protested throughout the week of the RNC while, in
other cities, high-traffic stations can be engaged during peak rush
hours (4-7 p.m.). The number and ambition of activists in your
community will obviously determine the style and number of protests in
your city, but make sure to write letters to the editor and contact
other media outlets for best results. In some areas the "flash mob"
style of protest could be most effective -- even with folks unaware of
the protest beforehand. Whoever takes charge locally will largely
determine the style of protest -- but everyone who shows up, literally
and figuratively, is worthy of respect and is not to be dictated to.
Leadership in this cause is largely to just get the ball rolling as
effectively as possible -- so spread the word in your community and
get creative with actionable plans. Learn your rights and take a
stand despite the Patriot Act. True patriots revolt (against a true,
clear, corporate fascist entity that we can destroy). Lay siege,
conquer and destroy! Exxon/Mobil must die.