Activists to Mayor Adams: Free the Disco Trike or face bike swarm – UPDATED

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

(Graphic: PDX Bike Swarm)

After Dan Kaufman’s Disco Trike was confiscated by Portland police during protests last Wednesday, activists are now increasing pressure on City Hall to release it.

In a blog post this morning, PDX Bike Swarm claimed that, “the police had no reason to confiscate it and we want it back.” In addition to impounding his trike, Kaufman says police ripped his video camera out of his hand and handcuffed him.

Now PDX Bike Swarm has issued a threat to Mayor Sam Adams:

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Would more bike cops and fewer riot cops lead to peaceful protests?

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

The face of a front-line officer at yesterday’s protest.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Our story about cops on bikes at the Occupy Portland protests yesterday has sparked a dialogue (that’s happening citywide, not just on BikePortland) about the size and style of force the City of Portland is bringing to these events.

In a comment on our story yesterday, former PPB bicycle liaison officer and noted community advocate Robert Pickett explained the reason for riot gear. “Jonathon [sic],” wrote Pickett, “the officers in riot gear are not there to respond to people like you, or most of the protesters at any demonstration. That is one of the reasons why this critique comes so often, I believe — most of the protestors are not there to attack or injure officers, so it is hard for them to understand the need for heavily armored officers.”

Pickett went on to share that police are prepping for the “small minority who mingle among the peaceful protestors.”

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‘Bicycle swarm’ planned to protect Occupy encampment from police

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Event flyer

With yesterday’s announcement by Mayor Sam Adams and Police Chief Mike Reese that they will enforce park camping laws beginning 12:01 this Sunday, a showdown between the police and Occupy Portland might be inevitable.

To help create a buffer zone between the encampment and any police action, a decision was made at the General Assembly last night to create a “swarm” of people on bikes and foot around Chapman and Lownsdale Squares. Here’s more from activist and videographer Dan Kaufman:

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Ride planned tomorrow in support of Occupy Portland

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
SW Main Street - Occupy Portland-7-6

View of Occupy Portland from
SW Main Street.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Local activist and founder of Crank My Chain! Cycle TV Dan Kaufman is organizing a bike ride from Southeast Portland to show support for Occupy Portland.

Kaufman is encouraging interested folks to “occupy your bicycle” and ride to this Friday’s meeting of the General Assembly that takes place in Terry Schrunk Plaza (across from City Hall). Kaufman’s ride is part of a larger idea/effort he’s putting together dubbed “Occupy Wall Street/Liberate Main Street.”

In a nutshell, Kaufman wants to plug into the Occupy movement in order to spur more citizen activism around transportation justice issues (such as the continued government subsidy of automobiles and influence of Big Oil on our national politics).

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