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NYPD Threatens To Arrest Bike Riders At Critical Mass on Friday

Michael Scagnelli, the chief of transportation at the New York Police Department, has notified Transportation Alternatives that participants at Friday's Critcal Mass bike ride may be arrested or issued summons if riders break any traffic laws. [Read the NYPD letter]

Friday's Critical Mass is seen by many as the kick-off event of the protests against the Republican National Convention.

Organizers with Critical Mass have issued a response to the police threat. It reads in part: "As many activists are expected to be present at Friday's Critical Mass, it is clearly a chance for the NYPD to make mass arrests and present themselves as being in charge. By identifying Critical Mass participants as lawbreakers, and appealing directly to Transportation Alternatives as a "wonderful organization" with "lawful desires", the NYPD clearly means to manufacture a dichotomy between "good" and "bad'' protestors: those who will surrender their Constitutional rights in the face of police intimidation and those who will not... The best way for them to send this message is by criminalizing Critical Mass and arresting its participants before the week of anti-RNC protests even begin."

Critical Mass begins at 7 p.m. at Union Square.

Despite the police theats, the ride is on.

August 26, 2004 | Permalink

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