Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on November 8th, 2007 at 6:56 pm
[Updated: 11/9, 8:32am, 2:38pm – See update below about date/time change.]
[This article is by BikePortland.org columnist Elly Blue]
“The event will be a peaceful, legal, and highly visible statement that we all belong equally in our roads and public spaces and that we are all committed to working together…”
In response to last month’s tragedies, we’ve seen a lot of amazing work done by Sam Adam’s office, bicycling leaders, and the community.
We’ve also discovered the inability of our police to appropriately respond to situations involving bicyclists. But this is not just about the police — this is a political problem, and a cultural problem, and its roots go deep. And it’s not just about bicyclists — we are *all* vulnerable road users every time we leave our homes.
We’ve all been itching to turn our indignation into action, and it turns out that a variety of groups and individuals, from Shift to OBRA, the Metal Cowboy, and others have separately begun working out plans for a major demonstration to bring home the importance of equality and justice for bicyclists and all road users.
Let’s all work together.
Two events are planned for next weekend: a press conference on Friday and a major demonstration on Saturday, which will be the focus of the weekend.
Friday, November 16th: Press Conference
12:00 noon: gather at the Justice Center (1120 SW 3rd)
12:15: the assembly will proceed to City Hall (1221 SW 4th)
12:30: Press conference and peaceful demonstration
Saturday, November 17th: Rally in Waterfront Park
12:00 Gather by Salmon Street Springs fountain to speak out about our concerns and demonstrate our commitment to justice, equality, and respect for all on the roads.
Friday’s event will be a chance for us to state our concerns to the press and to our city’s leaders, and make an appeal for change.
At Saturday’s event we will bring that message home and rally the entire community around the transportation issues that affect the safety, health, and quality of life of us all.
Each event will be a peaceful, legal, and highly visible statement that we all belong equally in our roads and public spaces and that we are all committed to working together to create a culture of respect.
If you have some time to spare to make this happen, or if you’re already in the midst of coming up with something similar, please RSVP to meet, plan, and make signs, please join us on Saturday the 10th at 5pm. [RSVP to eleanor(dot)blue(at)gmail(dot)com]
We have some amazing talents coming together already to carefully shape our message and distribute it effectively. But for this movement to succeed, this event has to become a real community effort — bicyclists of all stripes, and people who don’t ride bikes too. It’s safe to say that *everyone* has a stake in transportation equality.
Here’s a comment I received from someone recently that really captures the essence of what we’re trying to to:
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“This is a discussion about how people treat each other, not about which mode should yield to the other. We need to get off our bikes and out of our cars, look each other in the eye, and realize that we all have a lot more in common than not.”