Support BikePortland

Guest article: Why civil disobedience needs more bikes

Posted by on November 5th, 2014 at 11:56 am

Note: This article has been deleted. For an explanation, read this post.

Please support BikePortland.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

194 Comments
  • Avatar
    Ethan Jewett November 5, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Amen. Seriously.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Zimmerman November 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    And this is why we need the Forest Park trails to be ridden by mountain bikers as if they were already open to us.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Brian November 5, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      I often wonder why more people haven’t done just that, or many of the other trails for that matter. Maple Trail is often vacant while hikers and runners swarm Leif Erickson right next to it? Why do most people continue to avoid the “hiker only” trails, or only ride Wildwood at night? Perhaps it is out of respect for the hard work that NWTA does (and PUMP did). That being said, I don’t think civil disobedience in Forest Park would lead to negative repercussions for NWTA since it isn’t coming from their leadership to do so. It is only a matter of time before it reaches a tipping point, given the increase in the number of people on mountain bikes, and Parks will have a much larger problem to deal with.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        TJ November 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm

        We may be off topic, but riding Maple a few weeks ago at dusk on a cross bike, I thought awesome. Then I thought if “they” put a sign-up welcoming cyclist, glorified beach cruisers and Burley Bee trailers would be careening off trail.

        There are many real concerns involving Forest Park that go beyond my fat tires access. Simply proving I can safely ride and not disrupt the park doesn’t address every concern of those not interested in permitting further access.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Matt F November 5, 2014 at 3:47 pm

          “There are many real concerns involving Forest Park that go beyond my fat tires access.”…for example?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        wsbob November 6, 2014 at 9:41 am

        The disobedience not being civil, is a big obstacle to overcome.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          are November 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

          what a clever turn of phrase

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Zimmerman November 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm

          I can ride my bike on trails in a civilized or non-civilized matter. The way you perceive it is your own problem and frankly, one I don’t care if you have anymore.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            wsbob November 6, 2014 at 11:30 pm

            “…The way you perceive it is your own problem and frankly, one I don’t care if you have anymore.” Zimmerman

            Yet you’ve posted a retort, meaning you apparently do care. Prevailing fact is, that when it’s contemplated to defiantly take a particular activity into a situation where that activity is not a permitted activity, civility in doing so becomes extremely important to success of the effort. If that is, success is considered to be having the activity become accepted and adopted for that setting.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    matt picio November 5, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    “Swarms of riders also rode to demand safer paved streets, only to see their victories robbed from them by the imposition of the automobile years later” – Hardly. Compared to the early 1900s, the roads are still FAR, FAR safer today. Hyperbole doesn’t make the point, it weakens it.

    Respectfully, civil disobedience doesn’t need more bikes – it needs more people. It needs folks showing up. It needs a cause and a vision which is broad enough for a large number of people to get behind. I don’t think we currently have that in Portland. I don’t think we have a common vision, a common purpose, or a common motivation at present.

    Disagree? Good. Now go out and prove me wrong.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • TonyT
      TonyT November 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      “Compared to the early 1900s, the roads are still FAR, FAR safer today.”

      Depends on how you’re defining safer and which roads you’re talking about I imagine. Just an hour ago I was looking at some photos of the Oregon Historical Society. One of the images captured what appeared to be an average residential street in the early 1900s. It was unpaved and probably no more than 12 wide, with a pretty sweet tunnel formed by the low tree branches. It might as well have been a country road in the middle of nowhere and it was right in the city. I’d let my kid play ball in that street any day.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Hart Noecker November 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      ‘A common vision’ sounds like the the ‘one big tent’ language that ensures nothing ever gets done for fear of turning somebody off.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Chainwhipped November 6, 2014 at 5:43 pm

        And everyone who has a reasoned disagreement with you here is coming off as very, very smart by comparison.

        If you really wanted to affect change in cycling’s favor, you’d use your car to block the street, not your bike.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      stephen salter November 6, 2014 at 8:02 am

      “It needs a cause and a vision which is broad enough for a large number of people to get behind.”

      you mean like maintaining the status quo? Most folks show up for that everyday already..in their cars.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      wsbob November 6, 2014 at 9:48 am

      “Respectfully, civil disobedience doesn’t need more bikes – it needs more people. It needs folks showing up.It needs a cause and a vision which is broad enough for a large number of people to get behind. I don’t think we currently have that in Portland. …” picio

      That, plus better organization, sums up the situation grass roots change efforts need to succeed. I think insufficient, ongoing organization played a big part in Occupy Portland’s demise.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Adam H. November 5, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Hate to burst your bubble, but bikes won’t save the planet. I love riding my bike and think they can be great tools for many things (transportation, community, environmentalism) but they are not the end-all solution to everything you don’t like.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      spare_wheel November 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      cars and light trucks contribute ~18% of greenhouse emissions in the USA. active transport may not save the planet but it can help.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Hart Noecker November 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm

        I weep for the lack of imagination it must take to believe that bikes won’t save the world.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Adam H. November 5, 2014 at 4:05 pm

          How can bikes solve the growing world hunger crisis? How can they eliminate sexism/misogyny in the tech sector? How can bikes cure Ebola? How can they solve the crisis in the Middle East and end all wars?

          I honestly don’t know and am open to your suggestions.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            ricochet November 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm

            If Ebola is something you’re worried about, I’m not sure anything can help you.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            meece November 5, 2014 at 7:37 pm

            I assure you, as a woman, I gain much confidence, respect and strength from riding a bike and being a bad ass year round rider that I do getting dolled up and driving a car to work. With all the money I save riding my bike, I spend more on quality, local, organic food. There by freeing the countries food which we steal and import and my money to be used by those less fortunate. And you don’t think the power grubbing politics of the middle east aren’t in some significant sense fueled by oil? Puh lease.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Gasper Johnson November 5, 2014 at 9:43 pm

            DUDE! Totally working on helping to address issues around sexuality and gender over here! Join the bikesexual revolution!

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            9watts November 5, 2014 at 11:47 pm

            “How can bikes solve the growing world hunger crisis? How can they eliminate sexism/misogyny in the tech sector? How can bikes cure Ebola? How can they solve the crisis in the Middle East and end all wars?
            I honestly don’t know and am open to your suggestions.”

            Violence and inequality underlie a bunch of the things you listed, Adam H. A bicycle is a good tool to counteract both. It doesn’t require oil (middle east violence, wars, billions of our tax dollars); biking is good for your health (physical and mental); it is cheap, so anyone pretty much can take advantage of it (counteracts inequality which is much increased by our auto-dependence, see Catherine Lutz’s writings if you want to learn more). Of course bicycles all by themselves aren’t going to solve everyone’s pet list of issues they care most about. But I can’t think of any single object that offers so many avenues for fixing the ills that plague our society today.
            Why do you think the bicycle was included in John C. Ryan’s Seven Wonders: Everyday Things for a Healthier Planet book?
            http://grist.org/article/magnificent/

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Adam Herstein November 6, 2014 at 12:01 am

              You raise some good points. By all means, I think more people should ride bikes and that would be better for society. Lead by example. But most problems are better tackled by actually trying to solve the problem, instead of riding your bike in protest.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Hart Noecker November 6, 2014 at 12:51 am

                We don’t really do protest much. As covered in the article, PDX Bike Swarm engages mostly in planned direct action.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts November 6, 2014 at 9:11 am

                “But most problems are better tackled by actually trying to solve the problem, instead of riding your bike in protest.”

                I’m curious how you know this? They do teach this in school, and the system we have is premised on this, but is it actually true? I don’t know where you have to stand to have this panoptic view of the relative efficacy of this or that tactic. I was in Seattle in November of 1999. Lots of people from lots of walks of life were there too. We, all of us, were protesting because the avenues open to us to do as you say: solve the problem, were ineffectual, make believe, or simply nonexistent. Same with any protest I’ve ever participated in. Sometimes you realize that THE SYSTEM is broken and no amount of tweaking from within is going to amount to a hill of beans.

                That doesn’t mean everyone is comfortable with this tactic, or understands its role, or has to participate, but some of the caustic responses this article is getting here seem misplaced.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Adam H. November 6, 2014 at 9:22 am

                Right, and there’s nothing wrong with peaceful protest. History has shown that to be an effective tool. Look at Ghandi’s march to the sea, the sit-ins in the 1960’s, or even the Clinton Street bike rides. But once you start purposely provoking police or using your bike to block gas stations, it crosses the line into violence/anarchy and that usually solves nothing. Civil disobedience doesn’t have to be violent.

                In my opinion, you *should* use bikes to protest something relating to bikes, like diverters, or wanting better infrastructure. But using bikes to further your personal cause against something totally unrelated seems pointless.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts November 6, 2014 at 9:29 am

                “In my opinion, you *should* use bikes to protest something relating to bikes, like diverters, or wanting better infrastructure. But using bikes to further your personal cause against something totally unrelated seems pointless.”

                You are perfectly entitled to your opinion, but my problem is with your omniscient take on this, that you know exactly where the line is, or that because there is a line you, bikeswarm may not do X or Y. None of that seems to allow for the possibility that your assessment may not be the only one or even be correct, much less reflect the fact that in this here democracy (ahem) what Hart & Co. are doing is (some would say an essential) part of the kind of free society we think we have.

                “But once you start purposely provoking police or using your bike to block gas stations, it crosses the line into violence/anarchy and that usually solves nothing. Civil disobedience doesn’t have to be violent.”

                I don’t think anyone said civil disobedience ‘has to be violent’ and I don’t think BikeSwarms’ actions to date would be considered violent, by most measures of that word.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Krista D December 1, 2014 at 10:32 am

              Biking ABSOLUTELY does involve oil. You think all that metal, rubber, grease and such on your bike just magically appeared?? How many new bike parts or supplies to you use to maintain your bike that are, or are transported by, oil based items? Riding a bike WILL NOT save the world. It *will* get people healthier and, perhaps, cause them to think a little bit more how they can do their own little thing to make things better. But to make a blanket statement that bikes will save the world just shows your ***words deleted by moderator because they were mean and insulting*** thinking.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Adam H. December 1, 2014 at 1:36 pm

                Apparently, the mods think that “pie-in-the-sky, groundless and factless” is an insulting phrase…

                Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Sean November 5, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      The goal isn’t to have an end all be all tool but to add another tool to the box. Is is about giving another spot for like minded people to join and make a tangible visible effort at creating the change that is talked about but that we arent achieving.https://m.facebook.com/pdxbikeswarm

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    J_R November 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Count me as one who strongly believes it is detrimental and counterproductive to bicyclists and the promotion of cycling for transportation and recreation when bicycles are used as symbol in protests of policies and actions that are mostly unrelated to bicycle transportation.

    All you have to do is read the comments in O-live or serve on a jury to realize that there are plenty of people who already hate bicyclists. If people believe their livelihood or safety are being threatened or harmed by bicyclists, I have no doubt they will retaliate in subtle or no-so-subtle ways. Maybe it will be when they’re on a jury and choose not to believe a cyclist’s testimony. Maybe it will be by contributing to the election campaign of a bike-hater running for office. Maybe it will be by “giving a scare” to some cyclist with his horn for no other reason than he’s annoyed by cyclists in general.

    I don’t want me or my children to bear the burden of anti-cyclist rages caused by someone who has correctly or incorrectly interpreted your actions and has associated them with bicyclists.

    I don’t have a problem with Critical Mass or the use of bicycles to emphasize the point of safe travel for all. But I really don’t want you to use a bike as a symbol in an act of civil disobedience. When it comes to blocking pipelines or gas stations, I’d much rather that you commandeered a tanker truck and left your bike at home.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      spare_wheel November 5, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      “But I really don’t want you to use a bike…”

      I feel the same way about pedestrian protestors!

      If people believe their livelihood or safety are being threatened or harmed by pedestrians, I have no doubt they will retaliate in subtle or no-so-subtle ways. Maybe it will be when they’re on a jury and choose not to believe a pedestrians’ testimony. Maybe it will be by “giving a scare” to some pedestrian with his horn for no other reason than he’s annoyed by pedestrians in general.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        My Magic Hat November 6, 2014 at 11:54 am

        ??

        Did you just draw a comparison between the use of a bike – a choice – and the use of the feet we are born with?

        The point may be lost in its absurdity.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          spare_wheel November 7, 2014 at 11:15 am

          where did i compare a bike to a human foot?

          you may disagree…but i view walking is a legitimate mode of transport. in fact, last year more people in portland walked to work than biked to work.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          9watts November 14, 2014 at 8:04 am

          “Did you just draw a comparison between the use of a bike – a choice – and the use of the feet we are born with?”

          Walking and biking and using a wheelchair or skateboard in this USofA are all choices these days, as is driving. Walking and biking and using a wheelchair or skateboard are rights everyone and anyone can exercise. Driving is not a right but a privilege.

          I don’t think whether you are ‘born with’ one of these is the relevant criterion.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Hart Noecker November 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      “All you have to do is read the comments in O-live or serve on a jury to realize that there are plenty of people who already hate bicyclists.”

      Nobody cares what OLive comments think. You’re certainly not beholden to them in any way.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Adam H. November 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm

        The O-Live commentaries are your fellow citizens. Or do the opinions of some not matter anymore?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Hart Noecker November 5, 2014 at 4:05 pm

          They certainly won’t hold us back. They’re literally the last thing we’d ever worry about.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Mike November 6, 2014 at 6:06 pm

            It takes getting the general public on your side to help make change. A bunch of people on tall bikes hooting and hollering certainly draws attention but does your message get across. Much like occupy portland became a laughing stock except for those hunkered down under their tarps. Keep on keeping on though.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Middle of the Road guy November 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm

        why do you think anyone cares about BikePortland commenters?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          9watts November 5, 2014 at 11:02 pm

          Because bikeportland commenters are intelligent, thoughtful, articulate, interesting, and usually debate in a civil manner. I can’t say any of those things for the snippets of O-live comments I regret having read.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Mike November 6, 2014 at 11:31 am

          BikePortland people are better than everyone else.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      nuovorecord November 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      Well said. The problem with the idea of using a bicycle in an act of civil disobedience is that it puts bicycling into an “outlaw” status. Normalizing the behavior of cycling for everyone is what we should be working towards, not reinforcing certain peoples’ belief that it’s done by a bunch of anarchists. Your views, Hart, are your own and you’re certainly entitled to them. But everyone on a bike is judged by the behavior of a few who chose to break the law.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        spare_wheel November 5, 2014 at 5:11 pm

        characterizing civil disobedience as “outlaw” behavior is nonsense. it’s protected speech under the 2nd amendment.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          nuovorecord November 5, 2014 at 5:15 pm

          But that is how the population in general perceives it. Hearts and minds…

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          nuovorecord November 5, 2014 at 5:16 pm

          And the second amendment? You sure about that?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            dr2chase November 5, 2014 at 6:37 pm

            Ssshhh. Big Tent.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            spare_wheel November 5, 2014 at 7:11 pm

            oops: 1st.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            spare_wheel November 5, 2014 at 7:34 pm

            Despite my brain fart it’s not against the law…although maybe you wish it were.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          shuppatsu November 6, 2014 at 1:36 pm

          Civil disobedience can certainly be against the law. Just because you’re breaking the law to make a political point doesn’t make it legal. I can’t slaughter a bunch of babies to protest abortion.

          I am not an expert on civil disobedience. But at least Gandhi and King were very aware that they were breaking the law, and urged their followers to submit to the consequences of that, including being arrested. The idea being that the moral injustice being visited on the lawbreakers would call attention to the injustice inherent in the system.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            spare_wheel November 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm

            can be sure. but most of the time, no.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              El Biciclero November 6, 2014 at 2:46 pm

              If not against the law, how is it “disobedience”? Wouldn’t it then just be “protesting”?

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                spare_wheel November 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm

                Example: During protests the 1st amendment typically supersedes “disorderly conduct”.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              shuppatsu November 6, 2014 at 5:00 pm

              Your right to protest is protected, but constrained. You can’t block traffic. You may need a permit.

              http://aclu-or.org/content/your-right-protest

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                spare_wheel November 7, 2014 at 9:05 am

                “You can’t block traffic.”

                Nice try but your absolute statement is not correct.

                For example, permitted and unpermitted protests protests in PDX have blocked traffic many dozens of times since I moved here. There *can be* reasonable restrictions on protest but this depends on local laws and leeway is often granted by local governments and the courts.

                Let me quote an Oregon State Bar article:

                “The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to assemble and engage in peaceful protest in what have become known as “traditional public forums,” such as streets, sidewalks and parks”

                Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Hart Noecker November 5, 2014 at 5:28 pm

        The entire point of the article is that when the law becomes unjust, we need more outlaws. Was this not apparent?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          nuovorecord November 5, 2014 at 6:06 pm

          Was it not apparent that I disagree with your premise?

          You’re taking an activity that a wide spectrum of the population lawfully and peacefully participates in, for a variety of reasons, and creating/reinforcing the perspective in the greater public eye that people that ride bicycles are a bunch of law-breakers. I don’t ride my bike as a means of public protest; it’s a means of transportation and recreation. Yet I have to deal with the attitudes of others who see me riding my bicycle and think I’m somehow affiliated with the way you choose to use a bicycle.

          I think there are plenty of things in the world that need changing and that we could find plenty of common ground. But I am not convinced that using a bicycle as a tool for civil disobedience is an effective means of advancing bicycling in general.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Sean November 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm

        Ever speed or drink and drive? What about an accident. At least they are disrupting traffic for a cause. And this cause is a damn good one.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Sean November 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      As if cars have never disrupted the status quo. Every time someone dies behind the wheel of a car a household is thrown into disarry. Every time a neighbood is bulldozed for an interstate you are disrupting lives.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        davemess November 6, 2014 at 8:26 am

        Difference being: Cars are ingrained in American society. 95% of the country can EASILY relate to a car. People are not going to associate cars with anything but transportation and driving. Bikes on the other hand not quite as saturated in our country. Therefore most people have weak (at best) opinions and associations with bikes, and are going to be pretty easily swayed by the slightest things (hey that cyclist ran that red light, hey those bikes are slowing me down taking up the lane, etc.).

        Like it or not, cars ARE the status quo in the US (even in good old Portland).

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      wsbob November 6, 2014 at 9:58 am

      “…All you have to do is read the comments in O-live or serve on a jury to realize that there are plenty of people who already hate bicyclists. …” J_R

      And, read the comments at bikeportland to find there seems to be plenty of people that hate people that drive, and their driving.

      Neither really may hold much potential for a willingness to work together with each other. Committed to divisiveness, something like repubs and demos in Washington. This is a problem grass roots efforts have potential to avoid. Actually doing so can be very challenging.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Granpa November 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    The guest writer is certainly versed in the practice of demonstrations. About a year ago a band of protesters entered the private property of the David Evans and Associates office, where I work. This was when DEA was working on the CRC project. The protesters insisted on seeing a lobbyist who was hired as a consultant (but did not work in the company’s building). This occurred about a month after the Sandy Hook mass shootings, and with monumental tone-deafness, many of the group were wearing masks. The only person to address this crowd of perhaps 20 boisterous protesters was the poised young woman who worked at that time as our receptionist. She handled the situation well, but was seriously creeped out by the episode. In retrospect the protest did nothing. The defeat of the bridge project was brought about by Washington conservatives, not by liberal Oregon protesters. There is no evidence that the two camps were allied or in any way in communication.

    Go ahead and have your civil disobedience, but you might keep in mind that the things that are getting done are happening through the system, not by spitting in the face of the system. The local government may be unpopular, but if a bunch of masked anarchists start trashing public property, or intimidating public employees (or citizens), blocking traffic or making a vague public nuisance of themselves the community at large will rally to the side of the system. In the echo chamber of this blog it might feel as if there are lots of voices supporting public unrest, but I suspect that is not the case. Likewise if rules are disregarded because people want bicycle play where it is prohibited that will also not win public support.

    Working within the system brought about or is bringing about Springwater trail, the Tillicum crossing, Chimney/Pier park bridge, Sellwood Bridge, Gateway Green, Improvements at Williams/Vancouver, improvements associated with Portland/Milwaukie Light Rail, 50s bikeway, 20s bikeway and rock creek trail. The need for Clinton St. diverters has been brought forward by legal, peaceful and respectful protest that is noted by officials and appreciated by the community. Change is occurring because dedicated advocates for change have shaped their careers to work within the system to get things done. Be the change you want to see.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Hart Noecker November 5, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      It’s interesting to hear somebody’s inaccurate 3rd hand retelling of they weren’t there for.

      The only thing we did inside DEA was ask to leave a letter of condemnation for Patricia MaCaig. One person was wearing a gas mask as a symbolic protest of the pollution DEA and Gard Communications was contributing to.

      The receptionist is a friend of a friend of mine. We were very respectful of her. You can watch video of us dropping off the letter here.

      http://www.mismanagingperception.com/bicycle-brigade-raid-on-portlands-worst-polluters/

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        J_R November 5, 2014 at 4:39 pm

        So, Hart, it seems you consider DEA evil for working on the CRC project. Do you realize that DEA also prepared the highly-praised Mt. Hood Multimodal plan? Gee, kind of complicated, isn’t it?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Hart Noecker November 5, 2014 at 4:42 pm

          Of course we know their portfolio. You think we don’t do research? Their work on other projects in no way absolves them of their disgusting involvement with the CRC.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Art November 5, 2014 at 5:01 pm

            Isn’t this the same activist group that falsely accused a participant of being an undercover police officer?

            http://bikeportland.org/2013/04/01/activists-suspect-ride-participant-is-an-undercover-portland-police-bureau-captain-84949

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Todd Hudson November 6, 2014 at 8:45 am

              Oh man, the VeloProvo disaster never stops being funny.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              So... November 11, 2014 at 10:23 pm

              If you google “bikeportland racist”, 9/10 posts on the first page relate to that mess.

              I don’t understand why Maus has such a soft spot for this egomaniac.

              And I don’t understand why Maus edits so many comments but still lets this heartless comment stay on his site:
              http://bikeportland.org/2013/05/16/fatal-crash-highlights-problems-with-sw-barbur-blvd-86837#comment-4027198

              Mocking people’s death is gross. If you want to look like you care about people besides yourself, stop posting junk like this.

              I’m glad to see I’m not the only one not drinking the Hart flavored Kool-Aid.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Middle of the Road guy November 5, 2014 at 6:32 pm

            In your opinion….their ‘disgusting involvement”. No doubt, there are those who consider your actions disgusting as well.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            J_R November 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm

            Is there a “statute of limitations” or does your disgust last forever?

            Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Grandpa November 5, 2014 at 7:07 pm

        See my reply below.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Barney November 5, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Here we go again! Didn’t this discussion happen earlier this year?

    You want to take your personal “cause du jour” and shove it others peoples face while on your bike. A tactic by which you hope to give the impression that other bikers are like minded and your cause appears to have more support than it would otherwise.

    What you will achieve instead is to take some of us who may want no part of your personal crusade and get the public pissed at us all (cyclists). You will do more harm to the future of cycling than you will do good for your cause and we will suffer for it as a whole.

    Cyclists are not a monolithic group. Don’t try to hijack my biking to show false support for your “current issue!”

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Adam Herstein November 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Right, people who ride bikes are not some heterogeneous group with the same viewpoints on social issues. In fact, the only thing we probably all agree on is hatred of bike thieves and not wanting to die riding our bikes.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        davemess November 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm

        Did you mean homogeneous?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Adam H. November 5, 2014 at 3:04 pm

          I did, good catch.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      spare_wheel November 5, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      how exactly does a group of people protesting on bikes hijack *your biking*.

      “Cyclists are not a monolithic group.”

      if cyclists are not a monolithic group then what is the harm in a particular group of bicyclists protesting a cause. how does their protest limit your ability to bike?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        J_R November 5, 2014 at 3:52 pm

        Because not everyone is as adept as you or the author of this piece in differentiating between the actions and beliefs of specific individual and a more readily identifiable group.

        My ability to ride my bicycle safely on decent facilities is dependent, in part, on the willingness of a majority of citizens, many of whom do not ride bicycles, to allocate resources that provide for those facilities and enact laws that give me an opportunity to bike where I need to and want to ride. Maybe that’s not the way it “should be,” but that’s the reality.

        If protests directly effect someone, by say, threatening his or her job, and a significant number of the protesters appear to be “bicyclists,” do you really think that person is going to focus their resentment on the individuals or will they generalize and blame the group?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          spare_wheel November 5, 2014 at 5:02 pm

          “on the willingness of a majority of citizens, many of whom do not ride bicycles, to allocate resources that provide for those facilities”

          i see no evidence that the majority of people in portland are as reactionary or as easily influenced as you claim. for example, a recent poll found that two thirds of portlanders support safer bike infrastructure.

          http://bikeportland.org/2014/02/18/portlanders-disagree-on-bike-infrastructure-much-less-than-you-think-101638

          “laws that give me an opportunity to bike where I need to and want to ride”

          it is my understanding that portland police will not enforce the mandatory sidepath law or AFRAP unless a cyclists endangering others. what legal limitation on “where you need to ride” are you concerned with.

          “do you really think that person is going to focus their resentment on the individuals or will they generalize and blame the group?”

          i think they are far more likely to blame the protest group rather than a mom portaging her child in a metrofiets.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            J_R November 7, 2014 at 9:27 am

            In terms of the laws that benefit or are necessary for good cycling, I was not specifically or exclusively to the sidepath law. I was thinking more generally of things such as the state’s 1% allocation for bicycle and pedestrian facilities and the absence of prohibitions riding on freeway shoulders (as in some other states). Also, I think Portland residents are a bit more sympathetic or supportive of cycling than Oregonians as a whole. We do rely on some non-Portland legislators to enact state legislation.

            I do think people blame groups rather than individuals. Consider the adverse reactions of the general public toward pit bulls when a dog attacks another dog or a person. Consider the outrage expressed about gun owners and the NRA in response to a mass shooting. Just saying….

            Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Miss K. November 5, 2014 at 10:38 pm

          I am sure that most of the people on here has shouted “fuck you” to someone in a car at some point in their biking life. RUINING IT FOR EVERYONE!!

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Beth November 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm

        They certainly don’t limit my ability to ride a bike. However, when they ride irresnsibly and/or illegally in a purposefully public demonstration, their actions cannot help but reflect poorly upon those of us who are just trying to ride to school and work — and arouse the ire of those who would see ALL bicyclists in the same light, no matter what. Bicyclists may not be monolithic, but an awful lot of non-bicycng folks think we are.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          spare_wheel November 5, 2014 at 5:51 pm

          “and arouse the ire of those who would see ALL bicyclists in the same light”

          arousing the ire of a few anti-bike cranks who already dislike cyclists is not something i’m particularly concerned about. (oregon live comments are not a reflection of the average portlander.)

          “but an awful lot of non-bicycng folks think we are.”

          not according to my interactions with people in portland.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Hart Noecker November 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      “Don’t try to hijack my biking to show false support for your “current issue!”

      This is perhaps my favorite comment. Not sure even where to begin. Trust me, nobody would ever try to ‘hijack’ your biking experience. We only offered an invitation. If that threatens you, by all means, do your thing and ignore us doing ours.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Barney November 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm

        I am not threatened by you in any way. I just don’t want your passion for civil disobedience on a bicycle to foster a more negative climate for cyclists in general or cycling issues in particular. By specifically identifying the bicycle with your “whatever issue,” you are trying to affiliate bicyclists with said issue. That is where the “hijack” comes in. Why don’t you get that?

        You are getting plenty of push back in the comments here from rational people who also don’t want their love of cycling to be associated with your civil disobedience. There is obviously significant disagreement here with your proposed tactics. Others have the same concerns as I do.

        I will ignore you as you suggest, but it will be harder perhaps to ignore the negative impact you have on cycling locally. When cycling issues suffer because of a local community that is pissed off at cyclists will you stand and take credit for that? I am sure that your masked group of anarchist friends will support you, but the rest of us regular riders, maybe not so much!

        BTW: I am glad that You liked my comment the best!

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Hart Noecker November 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm

          Your line of logic is amusingly illogical. Soccer moms in minivans don’t worry that guys going to hot rod shows are giving them a negative image as drivers. Our actions on bikes while engaged in direct action has zero negative impact on how drivers perceive regular bike commuters legally riding to and fro. Suggesting otherwise is frankly absurd.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            davemess November 6, 2014 at 8:30 am

            I’m going to post this here to, since it also directly applies:

            Difference being: Cars are ingrained in American society. 95% of the country can EASILY relate to a car (they get in and use them every day). People are not going to associate cars with anything but transportation and driving (regardless of how many people they kill or sketchy things certain motorist do). Bikes on the other hand are not nearly as saturated in our country. Therefore most people have weak (at best) opinions and associations with bikes, and are going to be pretty easily swayed by the slightest things (hey that cyclist ran that red light, hey those bikes are slowing me down taking up the lane, etc.).

            Like it or not, cars ARE the status quo in the US (even in good old Portland).

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Hart Noecker November 6, 2014 at 8:44 am

              As Miss K. said here already, “I find it ludicrous how many people are saying that a group of people protesting on bikes puts all cyclists in a bad light.”

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              spare_wheel November 6, 2014 at 9:16 am

              “Therefore most people have weak (at best) opinions and associations with bikes, and are going to be pretty easily swayed by the slightest things”

              And yet…somehow…despite critical mass, bike swarm, and all of those scofflaws “who make us look bad” two thirds of portlanders support bike infrastructure.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                davemess November 6, 2014 at 10:22 am

                You keep throwing this stat out, but it was generated by a generic “feel good” poll.
                This stat has very little meaning to me, as it is essentially the same as “Are you in support of puppies?”. If you phrase the question “Would you rather have more bike infrastructure or fix more potholes in the city?”, then you will start to actually get at what people’s priorities are.

                And even then, who knows if this “poll” would have given ever higher numbers without the things you list?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Lupita November 6, 2014 at 11:17 am

                Agreed.

                64% of the people polled said that they would support a transportation funding package that “created safer bike routes that separated people riding bicycles from car and freight traffic.”

                If I had been asked that question, I would think, “You mean I’d never be stuck behind a slow bicyclist on SE 20th north of Hawthorne again? Sweet!”

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                spare_wheel November 6, 2014 at 12:02 pm

                “who knows…”

                grasping for straws.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Hart Noecker November 5, 2014 at 9:30 pm

          Your line of logic is amusingly illogical. Soccer moms in minivans don’t worry that guys going to hot rod shows are giving them a negative image as drivers. Our actions on bikes while engaged in direct action has zero negative impact on how drivers perceive regular bike commuters legally riding to and fro. Suggesting otherwise is frankly absurd.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • TonyT
    TonyT November 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    First off, I made a totally innocuous comment that was flagged for moderation and now has vanished. What gives?

    Second, “More recently, Critical Mass proved to be a game-changer in how we think about reclaiming streets for people cycling, as well as walking.”

    Proved? Says who? How would one “prove” such a thing anyway?

    I would argue that it is the boring everyday riders and especially the boring everyday families on bikes that are changing the game. It’s not Critical Mass that has gotten so many families on their bikes, it’s the presence of other families. Look at Sunday Parkways; those events change how people think about streets/public space. They get people on bikes and many of them keep riding.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Hart Noecker November 5, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      Even the police publicly admit that Critical Mass made a difference. If that’s not progress, then tell me what is?

      https://vimeo.com/56488470

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • TonyT
        TonyT November 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm

        A cop (a single cop) mentioning critical mass within a list of many other things that helped a bike race happen does not support the argument that critical mass “proved to be a game changer . . .”

        That it had an impact? Sure. What that impact was though, positive or negative, is absolutely up to debate. Nothing has been proven.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Adam Herstein November 5, 2014 at 5:43 pm

          Welcome to cherry-picking.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          davemess November 5, 2014 at 5:48 pm

          In Los Angeles (where most people still they have crappy bike access and infrastructure).

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            davemess November 5, 2014 at 7:44 pm

            most people THINK they have

            sorry

            Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Todd Hudson November 6, 2014 at 10:56 am

        Hold on a minute. You post many, many anti-police sentiments here, and now you want to use their word to corroborate your platform?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Adam H. November 6, 2014 at 11:05 am

          Yep, that’s what cherry-picking random quotes out of context to get your point across gets you.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      wsbob November 6, 2014 at 10:10 am

      “…I would argue that it is the boring everyday riders and especially the boring everyday families on bikes that are changing the game. …” TonyT

      Everyday riders and families on bikes are especially important to changing the game, that is, the dominance of roads for use by motor vehicle. Somehow have more people prepared to be at least an every other day rider, would represent an immense increase in the power to change. Right now, their percentage on the road continues to be small, not enough to bring about dramatic change in support for better conditions on the road for biking.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jonah November 5, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I hear a lot of folks wanting to beg corrupt politicians and careless drivers to respect our human right to clean air, safe communities, and a thriving biosphere.

    Newsflash: Capitalism means all of the politicians have been paid for by corporations like Koch Industries. Our entire system is based on violence in the name of profit. The fossil fuel industry and the car culture it creates is causing the deaths of millions of people every year.

    Every mile driven is a new case of rare cancer in an indigenous community near the Alberta tar sands or North Dakota’s fracking fields (or right here in Portland). Every freeway project is a noose around the neck of an environmental activist in Nigeria.

    And every Democrat-voting conservative who wants to tell me how to experience the love of riding a bike and tells me to wait for the system to change for me (when it’s profitable enough) is pawning off a dying planet after they’ve reaped all the privilege.

    If you want to wait around and not take action, be my guest. Chances are you are well-off enough or old enough to never experience the true horror of climate change. Just know that for everyone under the age of 35 and everyone who isn’t white or making a salary, fighting for justice is a matter of survival. Millions of people lose that fight every year because people like you thought it would be too inconvenient to take action.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Middle of the Road guy November 5, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Millions of people are going to die every year, regardless….and if you think corporations only donate to conservatives (insinuated by mentioning only the Kock smokers), then you are willfully ignorant.

      Violence in the name of profit? Entire system? Not sure how my buying tofu at the asian market is a violent act. It’s an act that I deem the benefit being worth the cost.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    anonymous November 5, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    This is probably a little off topic, but I went to the link for PDX Bike Swarm and then gave up on it when I realize it was on Facebook. I might be interested in the movement, but I’m too busy hating Facebook to even visit it from my web browser. If you want to gain people for a movement, it might help to use websites that don’t require accounts.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Philsten November 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    If you don’t think our local Critical Mass had a big impact on the City of Portland, you must be new here or missed our 2000s. Wow, that is crazy talk.

    I like the idea of more bikes engaged in civic action. Good post.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    rainbike November 5, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I think I like it better when the guest contributor doesn’t feel the need to make snarky replies to all who disagree with him.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Grandpa November 5, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    I recall it that you wanted to DELIVER the letter, which by my understanding would include seeing, but somehow your research failed to provide you with the information that the CRC office was in the state north of us. Regarding your friend, the receptionist, I doubt that she was mining the event for symbolism when she saw your partner in a gas mask, and your own blog documentation of the event showed that several persons were wearing identity obscuring dust masks. I can find no reason to expect that the receptionist, who I also consider a friend, lied to me when she reported, shortly after you left, that she was creeped out. So when you attest that I am a font of fabrication I ask: Throw stones in glass houses much?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Grandpa November 5, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      To Harts reply to my post

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Middle of the Road guy November 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Folks like Hart have only their own version of things…..and tend to believe that anyone who disagrees with them is not an intellectual equal. They believe in their own intellectual superiority which makes it impossible to have an open mind or give validation to the experience of others as being equally valid as their own.

      Ironic, since anyone with a higher level of intelligence would know otherwise.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Adam Herstein November 5, 2014 at 11:52 pm

        Having discussed other issues with Hart over Twitter, I can assure you that this describes him perfectly. He seems incapable of intelligent discussion and refused to take others viewpoints and arguments into account.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          spare_wheel November 6, 2014 at 8:31 am

          This reads like pot calling the kettle black to me.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      J_R November 5, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      I actually watched the link that Hart provided. It’s obvious that at least three participants were wearing masks. It appears your statements are backed up by Hart’s video.

      It’s also quite funny that despite Hart’s claims of research, he couldn’t even differentiate between an employee of DEA and a subconsultant.

      Hart’s failure to understand that McCaig was a subconsultant kind of proves my point that people aren’t always very good about differentiating between an individual and a group.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Hart Noecker November 5, 2014 at 9:15 pm

        J_R, we fully understand McCaig’s unethical role as lobbyist and consultant. Nobody was under any impression she was a DEA employee. You should probably understand DEA was one of 11 stops on our Portland’s Worst Polluters tour. Their location was timely and convenient for us. Thanks for all your concern about one of the CRC’s biggest profiteers.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          J_R November 7, 2014 at 9:19 am

          Hart: I have some cyclist friends who happen to work at DEA. I’m concerned that your hatred of DEA has an adverse effect on my friends. Some of these people had nothing to do with CRC and are doing some really creative stuff related to salmon protection, wetland restoration, etc. Again, this proves my point that the actions of a few distort your view of everyone associated with that group.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Hart Noecker November 5, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Welp, all I can tell you is watch the video and see for yourself.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Aaronf November 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm

        Eww. You wear sunglasses indoors!

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Terry D-M November 5, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    In a previous life, I specialized in social movement history and analysis…there is a long and vibrant history of the “Radical flank” forcing progress on social issues. Think Act Up in the 80’s, and 90’s.

    That being said, it generally is not their ideas that get incorperated, it is that the most radical ideas make the “progressive but work within the system” types seem much more reasinable by comparison…so they get these ideas implemented.

    SOCIOLOGISTS call it the “Radical flank effect” and historically, it seems to work in hetreogeneous communities.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      davemess November 5, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Hey Terry, I had a question for you in the Bridge pedal comments (re. crosswalks in front of Providence Cancer Center).
      I’m curious what you were proposing that was shot down?
      Thanks for a response

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Terry D-M November 6, 2014 at 8:20 am

        I did not propose anything…it was a PROMISE they made BEFORE they built the cancer center (years earlier)…then CONVENIENTLY forgot about and left off the building plans. After it opened a few years back, neighbors came back and asked for return of the proposed upgraded crosswalk……they responded with What crosswalk? We are not legally required to do this..here is our lawyer to explain things. Their new guest house even has a picture of a crosswalk in it right in front of the building….but they could not be bothered to put it in….it is the city’s responsibility, as they have so legally told us.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          davemess November 6, 2014 at 8:35 am

          There are 4 cross walks on 47th in a quarter mile around the cancer center (3 of the 4 are signaled). What other street did you want one at?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            davemess November 6, 2014 at 4:51 pm

            Sorry if this came across as rude, but I’m genuinely curious about the details.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Terry D-M November 9, 2014 at 9:08 am

            I am not sure what four you are Talking about, the only signals on 47th are at Oregon to the north (which does not line up with anything Hospital related…very bad placement), and Glisan to the south. There is the one at 49th and Glisan, but that is for the main hospital and access to the parking garage…that sees close to 17,000 vehicles per day travel down the residential arterials to get there….this is the one parking garage, the other is at the cancer center, without a signal to turn onto 47th.

            The HUGE cancer center is at Royal Court. Nether intersection is close to the actual building, when the building plans were adopted they said that the move of the painted…keep in mind we are talking about one or two $1000 in paint for a MEGA-MILLION DOLLAR facility….crosswalk was needed for building equipment. It is not in the best location for the neighborhood or the cancer center since the center does not have one in front. The original location is also at the half-way point.

            They were supposed to replace it after construction at Floral since it is the midway point between Glisan and Oregon. They have spent more on lawyers arguing that they never said that and they they did not need to do it LEGALLY, even if it is only $15,000 at most, $1500 most likely as PBOT said the sight line do not need a refuge island, as it would set as precedent.

            Their new guest house at 43nd and Glisan (no crossing between 47th and 41st…this is a school crossing and a bus-stop). The neighborhood wanted mixed use with ground floor commercial as we want a walk friendly environment (it is even in their CUMP plan to add ground floor commercial) but they were not willing to even take in neighborhood comment about this…they just made it LOOK like there is a storefront on it. The pictures they show of the new building even show a crosswalk in front…nope. They could not be bothered to spend the $15K. Hence, since 2000 they have expanded their operation by a third, increased the number of trips a quarter (admittedly there has been some move away from SOV’s), but have not spent one dime in improving the related infrastructure. The Halsey and 47th traffic light is now failing much of the day, mostly due to Providence. Their employees do not even follow their own parking rules. Luckily, the neighbors know that permit parking is coming down the pike…five years max. It has taken over a YEAR and I FINALLY have an e-mail contact so I can send information to them to update their 1985 Map on the net they send to the general public JUST so I can suggest to them to NOT include residential roads on it so as not to encourage suburban drivers to cut through.

            They spend one hour a year opening up their facilities to the neighborhood…an NA without a public meeting room, community center or school and a population density of over 10,000….and getting denser. We meet in a social service agency that helps those disabilities.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    gutterbunnybikes November 5, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Not that I disagree with you much….Buttttttt

    As one who attend a couple of the critical mass rides in the mid/late 90’s the claims that they actually accomplished something is a bit misleading.

    Those early rides got nothing but bad press and probably set “the cause” back a few years as far as public opinions went, and in actuality might still be. You want to know where the image of scofflaw cyclists started look no further than the critical mass rides.

    They were fun, no doubt about it. But for many (myself included) it was just an excuse to ride in a group and meet other riders. Those of us that were bike commuters, car-less (like myself) or daily riders were pretty few and far between, so it was nice to be able to meet other folks who did the same and in some cases put a face on the bike that you locked yours up next to every day.

    Very few of the people I met at them had any agenda other than participating in a casual/social group ride – which was a very rare occurrence at the time.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    random November 5, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Just remember that Asians are invariably police spies when demonstrating…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jess E. Hadden November 5, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    All of those things that “pissed people off” (like Critical Mass, Bike Swarm corking intersections during a protest, etc.) are the reasons why I started riding a bike. I’m not alone. You Portlanders are too soft.

    It’s OK to rock the boat a little. It’s OK to break through the torpor. It’s not nearly as bad as the way that our communities were ravaged, to build these soon-to-implode fossil-fuel-dependent concrete jungles.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Miss K. November 5, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    I am really surprised to see how negative the feedback / comments are. I wholeheartedly believe that the folks that are a part of Bike Swarm have good intentions. To my knowledge they have not done anything that has severely hurt anyone or any local business. I find it ludicrous how many people are saying that a group of people protesting on bikes puts all cyclists in a bad light. I ride my bike almost every day in Portland. I have done so for the last 11 years. I see just as many people in automobiles being kind and patient and sharing the road as I do people being ignorant to the rights of cyclists or just seeming to have an all out hatred for people on bikes. I really don’t think that has much to do with the point of this article. If we are given tools we should use them! If you ride a bike in Portland you likely know other people that ride bikes, perhaps you are even in a bike gang or club. If you start participating in a movement like bike swarm you might end up inviting your friends to join you. If people stop believing that protest makes a difference we are doomed. Oh and for anyone that said bikes can’t save the world F* You. They can save the world by empowering people that can’t afford a car or a bus pass and have to get to their job across town. They can give people freedom to explore places that they might not otherwise. They can make a woman who has to travel home by herself at night feel safer! Bikes can be more then just a hobby for privileged white people.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      9watts November 5, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      Thank you, Miss K. for saying that so well, & Jonah and Jess E. Hadden and meece and spare_wheel for your encouraging posts.
      I too am surprised how much flak Hart gets here for his proposals, his invitations. Something about garden variety civil disobedience really scares a bunch of the otherwise reasonable, interesting folks here into saying foolish things, ranting, becoming armchair sociologists who know exactly how those monolithic *others* are now going to not only think ill of all of us *bicyclists*—ostensibly failing utterly to differentiate among the heterogeneous multitudes who now bike—but act on those sentiments by physically threatening us and/or ruining our chances to have a nice bikey future. None of this makes much sense. It is built on layers of conjecture and suspicion and, I fear, reading too many Oregonlive comments.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      spare_wheel November 6, 2014 at 9:04 am

      the faintest whiff of non-mainstream politics causes the haters to come out of the woodwork. the way ms. blue was treated in the comments was another example of this.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Adam H. November 6, 2014 at 9:09 am

        These “non-mainstream” activists seem to think that provoking police is the only way to get things done, and refuse to admit when they are wrong. Just look at the Million Mask March. What is Anonymous even protesting anymore?

        This isn’t mainstream vs. non-mainstream; it’s about how to effectively get your point across and promote change. Blocking gas stations with your bike is not the way to achieve this.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          9watts November 6, 2014 at 10:03 am

          “Blocking gas stations with your bike is not the way to achieve this.”

          I get that you think this, but I’m trying to understand how you know this to be so? In our nonlinear, dynamic, violent, chaotic, broke society I don’t think it is possible to predict the outcomes of any one tactic today or tomorrow or in six months. Much of what people are writing here in these particular comments suggests that the writers find this annoying, disruptive, outrageous, but that their disdain is shaped by the rather comfortable position they occupy in society, a place that suggests the status quo, by and large, is working well for them. This may not be a fair characterization, but that is how some of the comments come across to me.
          Now if we take that comfort, that material security, that stability away, or even allow that those very conditions are bound up with precisely the kinds of arrangements, inequities, violence Hart is identifying as problems, perhaps you can appreciate that the world looks different from those other vantage points; less orderly, less functional, less sound.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Adam H. November 6, 2014 at 10:15 am

            Arguing that we can’t possibly know the outcomes is an appeal to ignorance and is not an automatic excuse for these actions. People in different socio-economic statuses may have different motives, but again, that doesn’t excuse their actions.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              9watts November 6, 2014 at 10:23 am

              “Arguing that we can’t possibly know the outcomes is an appeal to ignorance”

              How is that? No, it is an acknowledgement that the complexity of these dynamics exceeds our ability to make sweeping indictments of others’ tactics.

              “and is not an automatic excuse for these actions.”

              You might read what I wrote that way but I was not talking about excuses by a line of reasoning that differs from yours but that we can’t say is necessarily worse or flawed.

              “People in different socio-economic statuses may have different motives, but again, that doesn’t excuse their actions.”

              Again you are sitting in judgement of these strategies and unaware that your interpretation of their relative efficacy is just one point of view and maybe not even be the most well reasoned one. I don’t think you are hearing what I am saying. You think they need/don’t deserve excusing. I’m saying, from a different perspective than yours, the question isn’t whether this is something that can or should be excused but rather whether it is even possible to sit in judgement of these or any actions using their degree of efficacy as the yardstick.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts November 6, 2014 at 10:26 am

                should have written:
                ‘You might read what I wrote that way but I was not talking about excuses, but a line of reasoning that differs from yours that we can’t say is necessarily worse or flawed.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          spare_wheel November 6, 2014 at 10:35 am

          “Blocking gas stations with your bike is not the way to achieve this.”

          IMO, the status quo is so firmly entrenched that we will not see change until more people start “blocking” inequity/corruption/sociopathy with their bodies (and bikes). And it’s interesting that you mention Ghandi approvingly even though he led and inspired this same type of direct action.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Adam H. November 6, 2014 at 10:40 am

            The difference being that blocking gas stations isn’t standing up to some unjust law, nor is it even directed at the people in power.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              9watts November 6, 2014 at 12:10 pm

              Fine. But I am still left with the question of why you should get to pick and choose what and how others protest. Perhaps they have a higher opinion of the symbolic power of gas stations than you do? Perhaps you both have a point, but maybe in the end it doesn’t matter that your politics of gas stations differ because the world is a big place and there is enough room for you to not protest gas stations with bikes and for Bikeswarm to do this.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              9watts November 6, 2014 at 12:14 pm

              Fine. There’s always going to be a peon running the gas station, nuclear power plant, internment camp, but going to Headquarters has its own challenges. I am still left with the question of why you should get to pick and choose what and how others protest. Perhaps they have a higher opinion of the symbolic power of gas stations than you do? Perhaps you both have a point, but maybe in the end it doesn’t matter that your politics of gas stations differ because the world is a big place and there is enough room for you to not protest gas stations with bikes and for Bikeswarm to do this.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              spare_wheel November 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm

              and there you go again…telling others what they should and should not protest.

              i believe a gas station is an excellent symbolic target for those who are concerned about the ongoing mass extinction, climate change, toxic vehicle pollution, and the suffering caused by brutal petro-dictatorships.

              concern for the environment was and is the single most important motivation for my shift to active transport/cycling. i’m not going to stop protesting or linking environmentalism with cycling just because some nimby kumbaya types disapprove.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Adam H. November 6, 2014 at 1:07 pm

              I’m not telling anyone to do or not to do anything. I am merely expressing what I believe to be effective and ineffective, and what I think actually would help further a course vs hinder it. No one is holding a gun to your head.

              You seem to see things only in black and white and from your own point of views. Blocking gas stations affects not just the corporations you’re targeting, but people who just want to fill up their gas tanks and get on with their lives. Your selfish behavior is not likely to get you more support or further your cause.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                spare_wheel November 6, 2014 at 1:28 pm

                “You seem to see things only in black and white and from your own point of views.”

                I’m proudly black and white about my support of free speech and the right to assemble. Freedom of speech is often “inconvenient”.

                “Your selfish behavior is not likely to get you more support or further your cause.”

                I did not attend that protest and I certainly don’t agree with everything Hart says or does. But I do agree with what Hart wrote here:

                …this manner of policing of other’ tactics can ultimately be more divisive than actions by those pushing the provocation envelope.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Adam H. November 6, 2014 at 1:31 pm

                Again, I am not policing your tactics. In all honestly, we probably have the same end goal in mind. We just disagree on the means to achieve those goals.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Adam H. November 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm

                And by the way, blocking access to facilities and trespassing on private property wearing masks is not protected by free speech.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                spare_wheel November 7, 2014 at 11:10 am

                i never argued that trespassing on private property or blocking *access* to facilities was protected speech. however, decisions not to prosecute and outright legal exoneration are not unheard of for peaceful civil disobediance. i think this is a *good* thing.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Hart Noecker November 6, 2014 at 1:49 pm

                To quote from the article: “But such is the way of things. People will disagree on methods, groups splinter and form new factions. This is a largely natural process. Grasping this knowledge allows for a far smoother processing of criticism.”

                Adam, you’re not ‘merely expressing what [you] believe to be effective and ineffective’. You’ve made several comments that were attacks on me personally that have no place here.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Adam H. November 6, 2014 at 1:51 pm

                Pot calling the kettle black? https://twitter.com/HartNoecker/status/527031949312139264

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Adam H. November 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm

                Looks like you’ve deleted the tweet where you accuse me of being autistic.
                http://imgur.com/ORXuiXA.png

                Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        davemess November 6, 2014 at 10:24 am

        And the faintest whiff of non-conformity causes the people with differing opinions to be labeled “haters”. This is especially ironic coming from a group that holds anarchy so dear.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          spare_wheel November 7, 2014 at 11:27 am

          dave, you don’t know me or my politics and the fact that you felt the need to call me me an “anarchist” is disturbing. is it a moral flaw to be left-leaning? is it the 1950s again?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            davemess November 7, 2014 at 1:20 pm

            I didn’t label you an “anarchist”. I simply pointed out that the group(s) you are defending have strong a affinity of anarchy.

            And I really dislike the term “hater”. Disagreement is simply that, no need to call people “haters”.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              spare_wheel November 7, 2014 at 2:24 pm

              No.

              By referring to my use of hater and then writing, “this is especially ironic coming from a group that holds anarchy so dear”, you unambiguously labeled me an anarchist.

              I’ve not been involved with bike swarm (except peripherally when they participated in Occupy Portland) but the nasty tone of this comment thread has motivated me. I’m definitely going to check out the next bikeswarm action!

              Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Gasper Johnson November 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    major points taken:
    1) some people say you shouldn’t rock the boat regardless of an impending waterfall

    2) some people say previous movements were ineffective regardless of the parade of current city employees (eg Rex Burkholder & Charlie Hales) who state how beneficial it is to have unreasonable allies rocking the boat

    3) those people who don’t value Critical Mass will continue to reap the benefits of civil disobedience

    You can choose; either talk about what doesn’t work or take action to make it better.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      davemess November 6, 2014 at 8:39 am

      “Take action to make it better” means different things for different people. Many like to work through the system to see change happen (note the growth (though slow to many) of Portland bike infrastructure the last 10-20 years).

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        spare_wheel November 6, 2014 at 10:28 am

        Also note the 6+ years stagnation and the nominal decrease in mode share last year. And as you often enjoy pointing out, cars are the status quo. Well…direct action and protest can help change the status quo. A topical example of this was the huge wave of bike-centric protests that led to the cycling renaissance in the Netherlands and Denmark.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          davemess November 6, 2014 at 11:04 am

          Can we honestly have a discussion where you don’t bring up a European country.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Will P November 6, 2014 at 12:05 pm

            lol Comment of the week!

            Let’s keep it light in here folks. We all have different viewpoints. Many of us share the same passion.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            spare_wheel November 6, 2014 at 12:52 pm

            nope. i’m going to continue talking about the environment, equity, and cycling in europe because i think all of these things are very relevant to cycling advocacy.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    weastsider November 5, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    The comment “like thumbs” numbers strike me as very fishy. This is based on pased experience here in comment land, and the relative newness of this article. If we can’t trust that there are real and unique people behind those thumbs-up icons, it might be better not to have them at all.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Moyst November 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I enjoyed the guest blog. Empowerment through bikes is a good message. In any other city I have either ride bikes, or driven automobiles – there is NO greater community awareness of bikes than here in portland (granted there is still that population who are clueless of traffic laws all together). Point being – lead by example to effect change. It takes a bit of salt to push the point and there will always be criticism, both constructive and negative. So lets build on the constructive conversations!!! While reading the blog, I thought it would be cool to make different signs to hang from your bike saddle. Activism. Thanks!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Aaronf November 6, 2014 at 7:32 am

    weastsider
    The comment “like thumbs” numbers strike me as very fishy. This is based on pased experience here in comment land, and the relative newness of this article. If we can’t trust that there are real and unique people behind those thumbs-up icons, it might be better not to have them at all.
    Recommended 3

    It’s Captain Uehara. Total computer genius.

    Or, that is a common number of likes on this high-traffic blog, and most folks just don’t agree with Hart.

    Hmmmm

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Robert Burchett November 6, 2014 at 8:28 am

    note to editor: Hart wrote “cavalry”, a reasonable use of the word in that context. In the pull quote it became “Calvary”, that one hill outside Jerusalem. Help!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jonah November 6, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Just want to make clear that this article was collectively agreed upon by folks in Bike Swarm (and we’ve probably gotten more handshakes, hugs, and cheers than any of the folks on here who say we’re a band of outcasts on the fringe of reasonable behavior).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Dan Kaufman November 6, 2014 at 9:37 am

      As far as I am concerned bike swarm is a tactic of direct action and an unstructured affinity group supporting Occupy Wall Street, as well as, justice, bikes in the streets, and fun.

      There is/was no spokesperson, chairperson, membership dues, Roberts rules, or manifesto and I hope it remains that way as radicals seek new ways relate with each other without always relying on hierarchy and representatives.

      And yes,a hearty here, here, up-twinkle to Direction Action, Bikes in the Streets, and Fighting Evil Crime!

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    takeaspin22 November 6, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I think some clarification is needed on whether the premise of this article is about using bicycles as a tactic or about bicycles as a symbol of a cause. Are bikes suitable tools for any civil disobedience, regardless of the cause? Or are they best suited as symbols of the specific causes listed in the article (climate change, corporate power)?

    What about a group of pro-lifers taking a protest bike ride to an abortion clinic, or a bike swarm around city hall in protest of high taxes – would those be acceptable uses of bicycles engaged in civil disobedience?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Todd Hudson November 6, 2014 at 10:49 am

    My reaction when reading the author elevating his political causes to the women’s suffrage movement and the American Revolution: Gag. That analogy even makes Krisapon Chaisawat cringe.

    This article seems less about actual civil disobedience and more about promoting far-left, quasi-anarchist causes.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Adam H. November 6, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Agreed. Hart proposes no actual solutions to these problems other than riding your bike. Seems to me that his group would rather protest problems then actually solve them.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Hart Noecker November 6, 2014 at 8:12 pm

        Without listing off specific tactics, it seems like you fundamentally don’t understand that direct action is the solution. Simply riding your bike around it not direct action, it’s not even protest. Instead of judging from the sidelines what you don’t understand, why not come join us if for no other reason to gain the first hand experience lacking in your comments.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          davemess November 7, 2014 at 9:59 am

          Hart, this is the exact kind of response many on here are complaining of. Your insistence that people that don’t agree with you just “don’t understand”.

          I think many (but not all) of the things your groups do is fine, but you’re only a small part of what is going on. You seem to to denigrate others who are doing their part (but in a different way).

          Do whatever you want to do, but I would suggest toning down the “you don’t understand language”.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            spare_wheel November 7, 2014 at 10:52 am

            davemess, i agree with the above comment but, in fairness, there is quite a bit of “you” language directed at hart on this thread.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Hart Noecker November 7, 2014 at 5:22 pm

            Nowhere in the article or in my comments here have I made any statement about other various forms of advocacy or activism. The explanation of why we engage in direct action is not an indictment of others who do not.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    My Magic Hat November 6, 2014 at 11:19 am

    While I agree with many that bicycles could have a significant impact on our environmental situation, the last thing any cycling advocate should do is talk about the environment. The fact that bikes don’t pollute is really freaking obvious. Non-bikers stop listening as soon as the word “environment” leaves your mouth. It’s about like someone telling you that they’d love to “talk to you about Jesus”. Whether you’re a believer or not, you’re probably going to walk away as soon as possible.

    Search Mikael Colville-Andersen and listen to the man. He makes a convincing case for bikes as transportation and you may never hear him mention the environmental impact of driving vs. cycling. It turns out that guilt isn’t much of a marketing tool.

    You know what’s even less effective for marketing than guilt? Making your target audience angry and frustrated with the product you’re attempting to sell to them. Acting like a bunch of indignant outsiders only strengthens the “us vs. them” mentality as we truly make ourselves a “them”.

    This is the paradox of Critical Mass. I don’t see how Critical Mass – an event that is guaranteed to draw participants who are only there to be seen, raise hell and not ride that borrowed bike again until the next critical mass – is the least bit helpful to normalize cycling. I just have a hard time believing that presenting an image of a bunch of unrelatable angry dorks intentionally clogging the street is in any way helpful.

    You know what might work? Realizing that riding bikes does not make us special in any way. Better people? Maybe, but we’re not special. It doesn’t matter how many bikey images we post online of how awesome we think we are.

    Show the driving majority that we’re just like them, only less dangerous and less wasteful of space and resources.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      spare_wheel November 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      “the last thing any cycling advocate should do is talk about the environment”

      so much for respecting diversity of opinion (and motivation) among advocates.

      “Acting like a bunch of indignant outsiders only strengthens the “us vs. them” mentality as we truly make ourselves a “them”.”

      goddess forbid that anyone act indignant!

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Krista D December 1, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Spot on man. Spot on.

      “just like them”.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    are November 6, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    there should be a godwin’s law for mentions of mikael colville-andersen

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    shuppatsu November 6, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I believe that bike protesters contribute to a poorer reputation for cyclists. That belief is mostly based on the fact that it makes ME think worse of cyclists, and I’m an avid bike commuter. It’s a reasonable assumption that most drivers would be less inclined to be charitable and make fine distinctions than me.

    On the other hand, I’m sure that most civil disobedience results in backlash for the larger group. It may well be justified for a strong enough cause. Is your cause strong enough? Clearly you think so. You may be right. But you haven’t convinced the masses, or even half the people at Bike Portland.

    Is your civil disobedience effective? I don’t know enough about activism in the general sense or in this particular case to have an informed opinion.

    Do I want to join in your civil disobedience? Absolutely not. But then I own and use a car. Obviously I don’t view my use of my car as a social justice issue. It’s an environmental issue, but we all must make our peace with having some kind of ecological footprint.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    spare_wheel November 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    “I’m sure that most civil disobedience results in backlash for the larger group.”

    Seriously???

    Walk up to 10 random portlanders and ask them if they have ever heard of bike swarm.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      shuppatsu November 6, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      *I* had never heard of bike swarm until this article. That just means that it’s small and insignificant. But I have seen protesters on bikes, and my involuntary response was annoyance.

      I guess the word “backlash” carries more meaning than I meant. I meant negative thoughts and feelings imputed to the larger group.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Hart Noecker November 6, 2014 at 6:55 pm

        Everywhere we go people will shout out ‘Bike Swarm!’ and wave, people we’ve never even seen before. We’ve had rides as small as a dozen and rides that numbered in the hundreds. Having that kind of positive community support is truly rewarding. 🙂

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        spare_wheel November 7, 2014 at 9:07 am

        From backlash to “annoyance”. OK then.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Krista D December 1, 2014 at 10:36 am

      Challenge accepted – I walked downtown Portland yesterday and asked 10 completely random people, on a Sunday afternoon, if they had heard of Bike Swarm. NONE had.

      I would say your sense of self-importance is inflated here. What exactly has Bike Swarm DONE in terms of change? Or is it going to wilt like the Occupy movement did?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        spare_wheel December 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm

        So…why are you (and many others) so upset about bike swarm?

        Maybe it’s not because they “make us look bad” (as has been refrain here) but because you disagree with their politics and want to silence/discourage their protests.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Adam H. December 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm

          I assure you that’s not the case. Stop playing the “we’re the little guy that the big guys keep trying to keep down and silence” angle. It makes people not want to take your group seriously.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            spare_wheel December 1, 2014 at 5:24 pm

            1. i’m not a bike swarm participant.
            2. trying to have it both ways: they make us look bad but no one knows who they are.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    S. Brian Willson November 6, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Civil disobedience is as US American as apple pie. As historian Howard Zinn has said over and over (SEE “People’s History of the United States”, 1980) civil disobedience protests are an important and intrinsic part of the historic democratic struggle for social and economic justice in the Inited States.

    We live in essentially a lawless society that does not honestly seek or protect equal protection of our citizens at home or justice for all (but of course for the wealthy), and rarely complies with international law as it continues its interventionist plunder to assure geostrategic resources to assure continuation of our insatiably consumptive lifestyles. Such lifestyles are virtually totally dependent on burning massive amounts of carbon, a sure ticket to extinction or near so. Private automobile use is one of the most damaging practices in our modern society, disrupting and destroying socially and ecologically healthy human and natural communities, spewing particles of massive destruction with every mile driven.

    Leaving policy changes and political and ecological awareness to our business as usual oligarchic political economy ruled almost exclusively by money and war making is literally ecocide/suicide. A bicycle is one of the most sophisticated human inventions, a superior appropriate technology. That it can be creatively used for challenging business as usual through strategic civil (dis)obedience is a fantastic application of its power, in addition to its political power of simply modeling “alternative” travel with only infinitesimal use of energy. Go BIKES and TRIKES!!!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Hart Noecker November 7, 2014 at 1:23 am

      Beautifully stated, Mr. Wilson. Please know that all of us in Swarm know your background and the incredible acts of resistance you’ve participated in. Thank you for adding your voice to this thread, it means a great deal.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Dan Kaufman November 7, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Mr. Wilson you are a hero and deserve the Medal of Freedom!

      The efficiency and effectiveness of the bicycle/tricycle in demonstrations, protests, rallies, and marches can not be understated. This is likely the key point of this article.

      •Bicycles can facilitate the assembly of a vast amount of people, from a greater distance, and at a much lower cost than any another form of transportation- even when there is no/little access to infrastructure.

      •Because bicycles are vehicles. They can take to the streets.

      •Bicycles make great support vehicles for large actions.

      •Bicycle riders can assemble and disperse quickly.

      •Bicycles help prevent sore feet.

      •Bicycles get you back to food, shelter, and safety at the time of your choosing.

      •Group riding creates connection and enjoyment.

      Because of all this bicycles will always go hand in hand with direct action. It only makes sense.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Dan Kaufman November 7, 2014 at 10:58 am

    PS – Here is video from a recent action the PDX Bike Swarm was involved in (along with Rising Tide, 350 PDX and others) at Arc Logistics, Portland’s only oil-by-rail terminal.

    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=737931599621324 (You do not need a Facebook Account to view the video).

    If you live near a railroad line and/or you care about clean water and/or the atmosphere you should be concerned about these dangerous fossil fuel shipments.

    The protest on October 9th turned out to be a beautiful day. These bicycle riders could have instead gone on ride somewhere with a better views and clean smelling air had only our lawmakers and state agencies done their duty to protect the people.

    http://www.dangerblastzone.com/
    http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/05/oregon_ill-prepared_for_oil_tr.html

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Barney November 7, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Is all this talk still going on? It is obvious that each opinion is entrenched and the discussion barely remains civil. It has all been said, enough already! Go ride your bike!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Dan Kaufman November 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      thou doth protest too much

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Hart Noecker November 7, 2014 at 5:17 pm

        I thought we were the ones protesting too much. HA! 🙂

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Eric November 11, 2014 at 11:15 am

    ‘After my drive home from work, I hop on my carbon road bike and ride the Springwater. How is that going to save the world exactly?’
    -thoughts of commenters

    3 Cheers for BikeSwarm, direct action, and putting the fun between your legs!

    “If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law”
    ― Henry David Thoreau

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    ~n December 1, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Whew! Took a while to get to the bottom of the page to post this–not to interrupt the discussion, but a real quick question: Has there ever been any bike swarm action on Washington County roads? If not, why, or why not? There are roads in WaCo where some drivers act as though they’ve never seen a bike commuter before, even though the residents out here are consumers of Portland TV stations’ local evening news… and many employees who work in WaCo actually live in Portland.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar