A Harbinger Of 2008?

We’re almost exactly a year out from the Republican National Convention, and we’re already seeing agitators arrive in the Twin Cities. Yesterday, a bicycle rally turned into a melee when police attempted to arrest a rider who had reportedly acted provocatively (via Power Line):

Police arrested 19 bicyclists, including three juveniles, after a protest ride took an ugly turn in downtown Minneapolis Friday night.
About 200 bicyclists were riding on La Salle Avenue, with two officers monitoring the protest that called for reduced reliance on automobile transportation. The ride was also linked with weekend protests of next year’s Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities.
When officers tried to arrest a rider they felt had been trying to provoke them, a scuffle broke out, said Minneapolis Police Lt. Marie Przynski.
“When the officer went to arrest him, his buddy came up, and they started to struggle with the officer,” Przynski said.
A group surrounded the officers, and begin to chant “Let them go!”Then several people tried to prevent the officers from arresting these individuals,” she said, and a skirmish ensued.

Critical Mass has held several rallies in the Twin Cities, and police have never had a problem with them before. Police believe that infiltrators created the provocation in hopes of starting a riot — and they seem to have succeeded. Investigators have videotape of the incident and plan to carefully review it to identify the source of the disturbance.
It will be a long year.

65 thoughts on “A Harbinger Of 2008?”

    Bycyclo-fascist fundamentalist terrorist groups, determined to destroy our way of life. They must be crushed!
    Root out their Supreme Leader, Lance Armstrong, from his stronghold in Sheryl Crow’s bed. Ship him to Gitmo!
    Send Special Forces Teams to raid the Bike Shops and Starbuck’s franchises that are their breeding grounds!
    Find and destroy the secret caches of derailleur gear that they seek to use against us!
    Declare a Global War on Pedalists before they enslave us and force us all into their Campaignolo culture!

  2. “infiltrators” huh.
    wonder if they were undercover cops?
    wouldn’t put it past em.
    like they do in SF.

  3. If the bicyclists want to play, I wonder what would be their reaction to a contingent of Rolling Thunder showing up to join them.

  4. Other cities have Hell’s Angels, gang-bangers with AK 47’s, anarchist thugs…
    Minneapolis has provocative bicyclists.
    Love it! LOL…

  5. Gaffo, my friend, San Francisco has had Critical Mass for nearly two decades. They don’t need “police infiltrators” to start a riot. Critical Mass IS a riot. I’m sorry to see the need to politicize everything has reached the Twin Cities. check out SF’s Radical Dog Walkers, if you want to see what’s coming next

  6. Rolling drizzle

    Minnesota cops busted 19 anti-Republican bicycle protesters for being jerks. My question, how could Captain Ed post about this while laughing his behind off?

  7. I don’t know. I think a 55 below windchill, blowing and drifting snow and intermittent ice patches ought to take care of this problem, shortly.

  8. Critical Mass is a great idea in theory, but always somewhat obnoxious in its execution.
    Here in Toronto, a lot of the cyclists taking part in the Critical Mass rides are standoffish with the old “just gimme a reason” look on many of their faces. They challenge any car that happens to cross their path as it innocently trying to get wherever it’s going, as if everybody is supposed to already know what Critical Mass is and are supposed to cheer it on.
    I bet the videotape will show the cyclist was being a jackass.

  9. Oddly enough, I see no downside for the republicans.
    Similar to the ways the MSM covered our soldiers funerals; only showing up when the monster jerk and his crowd showd up with their anti-Irak signs; all I can say is … AND, THEN …
    Honest Americans, on motorcycles, come by. There are there to honor our fallen troops. And, since then? You’ve seen the MSM covering this stuff?
    So, the MSM can go over to where the bridge fell down; and, maybe get some shots of progress?
    But they can’t sweep, anymore. Not in the age of the Internet.
    Besides, Chicago was a disaster for the Bonkeys.
    People view these assinine freak shows for what they are. (Unless they’re held in San Francisco.)
    Then, besides seeing a lot of patriotic Americans showing up; you’ll see that Norm Coleman has the time to prepare for the expected violence.
    As a matter of fact, I’ll bet the vice squads are out in force, and men with “dancing feet syndrom” will also get arrested. And, booked. (Well? The Internet can cover those numbers, ya know?)
    Sometimes? It just doesn’t pay to write off sectons of America, because they happen to be Blue. Up ahead? You may see a better chance of them “bleeding to Red,” than not.
    The world’s changed.
    What was once the headline for the MSM, “if it bled, it led,” has turned into a subscription/subscriber loser for them, too.
    Maybe, they’ll call out, like the days in old Detroit, for “MORE CHROME. MORE CHROME.” But it didn’t save an industry.
    And, today? Lots of people are parking foreign cars.
    And, men have learned to type. Who knew? Who predicted?

  10. No, critical mass is NOT a good idea.
    You need to nip this in the bud.
    The nature of today’s “protesters” is that they can do anything, anywhere, and if you try to stop them, you are a fascist.
    BE the fascist, baby.
    Tolerate NOTHING. Not. One. Inch.
    These hippy losers need to understand that they are the outsiders…they are not, in any way, the mainstream.
    Ignore this at your peril. I live in the Bay Area where we have long ago surrendered our rights to the left.
    You don’t want to go there.

  11. Oh, and as Flight-to-the right says: THINK OF THE WEATHER!
    Lewis Black does an excellent riff on the differences in weather, between say, San Diego (where all the weather guy has to say is “it’s nice outside.”) To Minnesota.
    He says those immigrants that came on boats, arrived in New York City. “Wasn’t cold enough.”
    So, they marched over hill and dale. Till they got to Minnesota.
    Thanks for bringing up the weather!
    Especially if the bicyclists are training out in sunny California. Or even up in San Francisco, where they can peddle, and carry an umbrella over their heads, at the same time.
    Now, I can’t wait for the republican convention!
    By the way, how will the MSM “do” the bicyling parade? They’ll run along with cameras, beside them? And, then, what happens over those ice patches. Because if Minnesota was really accommodating to bicycling year round, they’d hold races. Just like ya get over there in frawnce.
    There’s a reason these things don’t happen, folks.
    As to dissent? Name a convention that didn’t have it? Lincoln supporters, dressed in yellow rain slickers, carried torches at 1:00 am. Just so you’d know conventioneers “don’t sleep.” And, Lincoln also advertised that he was a “rail splitter.” I guess they had pre-arranged ammunition, if another parade then crossed their paths? Did you know, Lincoln invented this “modern form” of electioneering?

  12. Amen to the SF Critical Massholes providing their own provocations. Gaffo is smoking his own socks.
    Regular folks just trying to get home to their families on a Friday night, set upon by a pack of pierced, white-cornrowed minimum-wage-if-that freaks. G-d help you if you have an American flag or Bush/Cheney sticker on your car — they’re just that kind of people.
    “Whose streets?!?” “OUR streets!!!” PFEH, Like any of them have paid an honest days’ income taxes in their so-far non-contributive lives.
    Good luck in ’08, Twin Cities…furious

  13. If they’re really stupid enough to do it, then it has the potential of being great theater. (Like that just provided by “Senator Flush,” himself. And, he didn’t win, now did he?)
    Sure, lots of people just stay home.
    But to think the Bonkeys, and their affirmative action maroons have any of the advantages, here, is just foolish.
    And, now that it’s been announced? What if they just melt, away? Are you gonna forget they promised to come?
    Any-hoo, if the thought this “early start” gave them a head’s up on spooking people, it’s even too early to do for Halloween.
    Oh, and what if there are masses of people (in a Blue State, no less), who come out to support our troops? And, our republican candidates?
    You think Mitt Romney, Rudy Guiliani, Fred Thompson, AND President Bush, can’t draw in crowds? What do you need, Barnum & Bailey to hit your heads with sticks? Think of the pluses.

  14. Dear reddog,
    Bycyclo-fascist fundamentalist terrorist groups, determined to destroy our way of life. They must be crushed!

    Cute, and oh-so-snarky, but, let’s face it, you seem utterly oblivious to the fact that “peace demonstrations” organized by left-wing groups are becoming increasingly violent. When was the last time you heard of Young Republicans rioting and attacking police? Irrelevance leads to impotence leads to frustration leads to anger leads to violence.
    When posting, I would cordially suggest you henceforth pay attention to The Great Emancipator who reportedly opined:
    “Better to keep your mouth shut and think yourself a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.”

  15. We have ‘Critical Mass’ here in Seattle. My buddy Ryan used to attend, on the basis that we need more awareness of bicycles on the road… quoted stats about injuries, related personal stories about dangerous drivers in cars ignorantly running over bicyclists.
    But then he stopped… because he watched the ‘good natured’ group morph into more of an ‘Oregon Anarchists’ kind of group. They vandalize cars that don’t move out of the way fast enough, intimidate pedestrians who are crossing the street while the bicyclists are running the red lights enmasse.
    The modus operandi of Critical Mass is to get so many bicyclists on the road downtown as to create gridlock. The don’t do it by following the traffic laws… they do it by blocking intersections, and then intimidating, harrassing, or assaulting the property of those who protest them.
    It would not be very hard for a dangerous group to ‘infiltrate’ a group that has already been taken over.
    Like so many times before, a group with a valuable message has been used as a shield by the anarchist types.

  16. One of the biggest problems for the RNC in Minneapolis isn’t going to be bicycle provocateurs… it’s going to be George W. Bush.
    In a nationally televised event, where in the schedule do they put this disastrously unpopular president? Which night does he speak, and for how long?
    I’ll bet there’s already a great deal of soul-searching, argument and delicate political calculation on this topic.

  17. The more the violent lunatics on the left exhibit their anti-social, destructive tendencies, the better for the country.
    They are the ones leading the Democrat Party around by the nose.
    You want these violent, leftist mobs running your community?
    Just vote for irresponsible, sociopath Democrats.

  18. Critical Mass got started here in SF as I recall, they’ve been running for over twenty years. I recall being bottled up in the Financial District on Friday afternoons waiting for them to clear out.
    I’m a bicyclist, nonetheless it still amazes me that in that time no one’s taken an F250 and flattened forty or fifty of the arseholes, because Lord knows they’ve long deserved it.
    We recently had one (a fortysomething bicycle messenger) assault a motorist during a particularly nasty CM run, get himself torn up in the process badly enough to need some months of surgery and recovery, and then try to take the motorist to court. The judge had the good sense to throw the guy out on his titanium-pinned rump.

  19. I agree particularly with Mr. Michael’s last statement. A lot of peaceful legitimate groups get overtaken by Marxist lunatics who want to destroy things but need a ready excuse.
    I used to be an avid bicyclist using quiet suburban roads intelligently until the dangers from oblivious drivers lost on their cell phones became too great to be worth risking life or paralysis because of aloof drivers.
    Recently in various cities, during rush hour, I’ve noticed more large bicycling groups weaving in traffic and side by side as to obstruct cars from passing. This indicates to me that some of these riding clubs have been overtaken by some with an agenda which is no longer physical fitness or bicycle commuting. Some of the publications like Bicycling Magazine used to be neutral but many of them have gotten off onto the global warming track or various squirrelkisser agendas having little to do with bicycling.
    The same can be said for the Sierra Club which once promoted covering up campfires and packing out garbage while hiking. The focus once was on identifying varmints along the trails and keeping parks clean. Nowadays that organization has been linked with spiking trees in the Northwest, arson at SUV dealerships and trying to shut down or severely restrict access to Yellowstone and Yosemite among other parks. Probably not what co-founder the late Ansel Adams had envisioned.
    The comedians Penn and Teller had a program several years ago revealing various bogus groups and scams. In one episode they interviewed the founder of the organization Greenpeace. To summarize the guy who founded the group to save certain endangered types of whales from Japanese reckless disregard for fishing limits etc. had no idea that his little organization would be overtaken by nut jobs such as those who tried to bomb that French warship docked in Australia or New Zealand back in the late 1980s.
    Critical Mass is probably no different than Act Up or any of Jazzy Jackson’s traveling circus or Al Sharpton’s rent-a-riot groups whose primary purpose is to shake down as many locals as possible for as much loot as possible before moving down the road. Uh, for the children.

  20. Ugh – I just moved to downtown St. Paul in December. I’ll definitely use my vacation during RNC week….

  21. There’s a group that bicycles naked in protest of this same cause I think. Maybe these folks need to try that.
    Seriously though, it’s so hard to take any of these people seriously. Somehow riding a bike and squawking at the police just doesn’t measure up to the truly radical influence of, for example, Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” or “Rights of Man”. These guys are dilettantes when it comes to fomenting social change. But I bet they felt righteous.
    Link below (includes nudity…and not especially appealing nudity at that).

  22. I happened upon the last two CM rides in Vancouver, BC (last Friday of every month – during rush hour of course)
    same story – a bunch of weasels hiding in a groups of several hundred bicycles just daring anybody to challenge them – cursing out drivers and walkers whenever they get the chance – followed by about a dozen police with beaten down, whipped expressions on their faces – lovely

  23. There are freaks on both the Left and Right. I think that will always be true and there’s little the non-fringe can do about it.
    What makes me most sad is when people use the behavior of the fringe to demonize an entire group (see for example NoDonkey and MarkJ).

  24. As has been commented on several times, we’ve had big problems with Critical Mass here in SF. It’s gotten to the point that the demonstrators (which isn’t even the appropriate term to describe them anymore) have run out of people to piss off.
    I don’t doubt that CM started out with a noble and honest goal, but simply put it has devolved into nothing more than an opportunity for people on bikes to harass anyone and everyone in full view of police who do little to stop them. Eventually someone will get killed, whether it be a cyclist or a motorist attacked by a mob and no one will be able to say they didn’t see it coming.

  25. “What makes me most sad is when people use the behavior of the fringe to demonize an entire group (see for example NoDonkey and MarkJ).”
    Jim Morrison sang, “they’ve got the guns and, we’ve got the numbers.”
    Then he took heroin and died.
    Bring it on, flower children.

  26. As Carol mentioned before, the only result of “protests” at the Republican convention next year will be revulsion at the hate spewed from the smelly , unemployed masses from out of town paid for with Democrat money. Any undecided voter will not be swayed to dump Republicans because of these hoodlums. Does anybody remember Chicago 1968? That was the Democrats’ convention, and look what it got them: Republicans in the White House for 28 out of the next 40 years. Bring. It. On.

  27. These guys shut down lakeshore drive in Chicago once a year. They want it turned into more parkland or something.
    I’ve hung out in that crowd a little a few years back. they’re all right guys. A little earnest. I never knew them to be violent. The most outlandish thing they’d do get drunk, dress up and Santa Claus and ride around Michigan Ave around the holidays. They always seemed more “merry pranksters” rather than some sort of malevolent force. I always liked them.
    What the cop said in the story about not having a problem with them rings true to me. Seems they have reason to think it wasn’t a Critical Mass guy who started with the cops.
    I think a lot of people look at ’68 and want to try and recreate it — especially in today’s politically charged climate. But I think that’s like waiting for lighting to strike.

  28. “I think a lot of people look at ’68 and want to try and recreate it.”
    I think Tom is right here. And what’s kind of funny about it? It’s the kids of those 60s “rebels” (and sometimes their grandkids) who just aren’t feeling the need to foment revolution. When I see these protests it seems like it’s a lot of unreconstructed 60s rad types, a few anti-globalist trust fund kids thrown in and a some Peace grandmas.
    Some people say it’s the lack of a draft, others that the kids have rejected the excesses of Mom and Dad back then as a typical way of distinguishing themselves from their parents. Either that or Mom and Dad just aren’t willing to fund the rebel lifestyle. That’s the mistake THEIR parents made.

  29. The anarchists just won big in Hawai’i.
    The “protesters” blocked a 300-million dollar ferry boat that was going to link the islands and enhance commerce. The Coast Guard stood by and said they were powerless. So much for protecting the free movement of commerce and shipping. I expect the “protesters” will stop cruise ships and close down the airport next.
    BTW, the “environmental opposition” is just a front for moneyed interests that don’t want the ferry boat to run.
    Oh well, back to 3rd world status (again). Looks like Minnesota is on its way, too.

  30. RE Canadian situation – if these mens’ photos have been broadcast ww and no group has claimed them – does this by default then, mean they were police? I don’t think so. Be honest, the Canadians have to know who all their police and Mounties are. If these people were Canadian police, someone would have said so – they would be id.
    As for Mpls – I don’t care if the group was infiltrated, they are causing problems and if not stopped (thanks to Pryzinski, the police spokesman – actually she’s female), there will be a mess next summer. Question is, will it hurt the Dems or Reps? Hard to say – 1968 riots in Chicago hurt the Dems.
    As for hippies, rebels, etc. There is a segment of this group that is still living in 1968 as the highlight of their life. Unfortunately, their kids have never learned responsibility, earning a living, etc. I’m guessing a lot of these CM people do not have regular jobs, think the world owes them a living, and just want to get “the man.” Raising kids and teaching them only their rights instead of rights and responsibilities leads to spoiled people who think their way is the only way.
    For every protester who wants cars banned, my questions are: Do you want to ban indoor plumbing? how about flushing toilets? how about running hot and cold water? You cannot selectively ban just what you want banned from a culture – once you ban one thing, you inevitably ban many other things you don’t want to ban.
    Until the greens, the protesters, etc. make a personal contribution that does NOT infringe on the rights of others, I have little respect for their “cause,” whatever it is.

  31. “I think a lot of people look at ’68 and want to try and recreate it “
    I saw a segment on local news recently revisiting the “summer of love” and I remember thinking “enough for *ucks sake, the 60’s ended up not being nearly as transformative as the generation that lived it thinks”. Considering that so many in the media are products of the 60’s and 70’s it really isn’t surprising to see the reflexive desire to want to relive it.
    Besides, the 60’s ended up giving us the 70’s and then promoting the worst excesses of the 80’s so that should discredit them plenty.

  32. Bob, Your Hawaiian story doesn’t float my boat.
    Yup. I saw it on the Net. The boat is huge. All its gears are covered, so fish,swimming underneath, or passengers that jump off the rails, won’t be turned into “blender” food. SORRY.
    The trips, between islands (so you don’t have to take these 1-engined plane flights), will set back travelers with cars. About $300 per passenger.
    Ya know? Environmental report, and a liberal judge, won’t be strong enough to turn the tides. And, in the meantime the ferry, I’m sure does “trial runs.” It’s not land-locked. And, it will have people who want to use this new transportation system, long before it will have “environmentalists” who want to stop it.
    As to “just going back to the 1970’s,” these people, even with their plastic surgeons, look like they’re suffering from arrested development; if not Alzheimer’s,now.
    In my book, for your anarchy to work, you need enough people in the mainstream willing to adopt this sick puppy. Outcomes for “the puppy” ain’t great. (Heck, Leona Hemsley, leaving her dog $12-million-dollars, just made him bait for a kidnapper.)
    So, bullshit becomes more noticable now, I think.
    And, you bet! Bush will draw a huge audience to the Twin Cities, when he comes. Just like he did in 2004. Where it was the Kerry campaign that plotzed.
    Again, this thread started because some people get so frightened of business decisions; they need to run into the crapper.
    But it was PURE GENIUS to pick the convention sight. Especially because the mistakes to be made will go to the Bonkey supporters. (Heck, they may even drag Elvira from Meh-he-co) to launch an illegals parade.) Ya know what? There’ll be legal arrests, this time around.

  33. Mn is fast becoming a carbon copy of a radical Islamic state. Need more proof that a riot over nothing. Sounds like the religion of murder has influenced a bunch of brain dead garbage from Mn.

  34. The next time the fried potheads running PBS want to romanticize the late 1960s they should make it a scratch and sniff movie. After the fifteenth smell patch bearing the odor of patchouli, weed, vomit and 3-day old urine many may question whether the producers of most hippie crockumentaries blasted all memory banks on acid and pot before disco was king. Where nostalgia is everything they can’t quite remember through that haze of lost weekends. Notice how many of those PBS / CNN crockumentaries show clean, sober astronauts walking on the moon then quickly cut to mangy, roasted yoots wandering aimlessly. As though those total opposites have accomplishments in common.
    I know a lot of people who worked in emergency medicine during sixties and all have vivid memories of treating kids barely out of high (pun optional) school having no clue who they were, where they were or how they got that compound fracture falling out of trees or off concert scaffolds / light stands, out of windows, out of cars etc. It’s one thing to prep patients for emergency surgery and another to have to BATHE the patients before you can prep them for emergency surgery. Then quickly try to figure out what garbage is in their body so anesthesia doesn’t finish off what’s left of them.
    About 1985 a rock group called the Dead Milkmen satirized the 60s in a song titled “The Thing That Only Eats Hippies.” Prominent in the lyrics was the Hendrixesque phrase “S’cuse me while I puke and die.” Notice how many still chanting “We shall overcome” still haven’t? Sure , there are plenty from that 60s era who’ve accomplished lots yet generally continue looking forward instead of dwelling in some mythical past.

  35. “If these people were Canadian police, someone would have said so – they would be id.”
    you are very naive. nobody wants to lose thier job – including any cops who would recognize those men and go public (or their wives – etc.).
    as the other guy said:
    wake up – or more aptly, get some healthy scepticism and stop blindly trusting authority figures/government.
    question authority – always!

  36. It could be most naive to think these protesters actually have jobs.
    Unless they go to the same unemployment agency as Grateful Dead (and nowadays Widespread Panic) fans. Or are on George Soros’ moveon.org payroll.

  37. Well I’m a fan of the Dead and WS Panic and I have a job…I’ve never gone on the road with either band though so I guess I’m not a true fan.
    I think a lot of these people DO have jobs, I think this is just their own special version of weekend warrior.

  38. I guess I should have said traveling groupies instead of fans to make it perfectly, absolutely and totally clear.
    Both groups cited do have (had for GD) followings which do nothing else but follow them around which makes steady work tough unless with the concessions and souvenirs department when the trust fund (or dope sales) won’t pay the steady bills or the recurrent bail.

  39. Comrades,
    Well, My prefernde is to simply find those who started this fiasco, an then hang them by their own own intestines rom the nearest lamp-post.
    There is a limit to free speech and these folks have crossed it.
    I will lose no tears over a few of these folks sacrificed for their beliefs.

  40. “traveling groupies…”
    I was agreeing, deadheads would say not a fan unless you were on the road and preferably sitting in the tapers section…
    The dead played at my college, late 70s. About 3 hours before the concert it was like we were in a time warp, tie die shirts, peasant dresses, vw buses and then a lot of people who didn’t look like that and didn’t look like us students, looked, I don’t know…odd, just odd.
    I think I still have the contact high.
    None of this has anything to do with the topic at hand.

  41. REALTY CHECK: For those who go backwards in time, to 1968.
    THEN: Problem to Hubert Humphrey’s campaign.
    THEN: Nixon. In a landslide.
    NOW: When the street theater begins, you don’t have to wait for the media trucks to arrive. Anyone with a cell phone, and an Internet connection is up there.
    What can the anarchists do? Text message each other?
    HELLO. The whole world’s connected.
    And, the side shows tend to shrink when the MSM can’ control them. But we can see individuals, like Cindy SHeehan, sitting there, with her protest mover of one. Or, all by herself.
    Again, to lose the the republican party has to make some awful mistakes. (Like having an elite corp that supports amnesty.)
    Cell phones. And, the Internet. Will make all of the difference. And, add in a bit of cold and/or rainy weather. That will take care of the street protestors, too.
    Conventions like this, by the way, bring good business to downtowns. Expect business to be good. And, reservations at the best restaurants, hard to get.

  42. Perhaps the best answer to Critical Mass would be to hold a Monster Truck rally at the same time, in the same place. Try intimidating THEM with a bicycle. Lol. I’d pay to watch that. Seriously, I’m truly sick and tired of the heroizing of the 60s culture. Any serious look at the period will show you a collection of people who may or may not have started out with good intentions, and mostly ended up as mental or physical wrecks if not actually deceased. There were very few full actual participants who came through in a functional state. Most of those today who carry on about the time’s wondrousness were observers or bit players. It is hard to believe that anyone today would hold that era up as one to emulate.

  43. We’ve had Critical Mass morons for years, and they have caused trouble a number of times. The last time was before we moved away, about three years ago. The “protesters” gathered outside the police station to “protest” about “police brutality” because one of the idiots had assaulted a police officer in full sight of everyone, and caught on videotape, and got his worthless butt arrested.
    It’s fortunate for them I was never caught in one of their bike protests. I would have slammed the accelerator to the floor and taken them out.

  44. It is hard to believe that anyone today would hold that era up as one to emulate.
    I don’t think the ’60s need emulating at this point. they were a reaction to a culture that had become too morally oppressive. Now, this decade, you’re kind of seeing the push-back on that.
    And anyone who can’t appreciate things like a mass protest with the aim of elevating the pentagon with psychic powers until it turns orange and vibrates, thus ending the vietnaim war… i don’t know what to say to you.
    the 60s were in many ways a celebration of life and its freedoms… it also became a lesson in its limitations.

  45. The comments are most interesting on this topic. They illustrate the great divide in left and right thought. Conservatives voice concern about civil disobedience. Progressive liberals are both paranoid about authority, and support civil disobedience in order to advance their pet cause(s). But hey; everybody must conform to these progressive notions.
    BTW Doesn’t matter if the agitators are cyclists, truck drivers, or circus elephant drivers. The issue is attacking police. If your Mom and Dad haven’t explained yet: police represent orderly conduct in society and rule of law (law applied equally for all citizens). What on earth are folks thinking when they take on a police officer. If the agitators can’t accept the consequences, then don’t commit the offense.
    Perhaps the agitators’ parents never taught them how to behave in the presence of an officer! Just a thought.

  46. I don’t know why CM was even protesting here in Minneapolis. They are protesting for “reduced reliance on automobile transportation” in Minneapolis? That’s a bunch of crap! We are one of the most bike and pedestrian friendly cities in the nation.
    Here’s some examples of what they’re “protesting”:
    We have a three foot law that states all vehicular traffic must stay three feet away from bicyclists. This is so people can ride on the public streets without getting hurt. We also have hundreds of miles of bike paths in and around Minneapolis (which actually extends all the way to Central and Southern Minnesota, and if you follow the river, there are bike paths that will take you all the way down to St. Louis), some that are special lanes in the roadways and some that are built just for bicycles. All corner curbs dip down to the street so wheelchairs and bikes don’t have to hop the curbs. We remove snow of the sidewalks and bike paths every winter, and we patch them every summer. Just like the roads.
    It’s obvious that these people have no clue about Minneapolis, otherwise they would have just rode the 100 mile Grand Rounds circuit that starts at the Mississippi river and ends somewhere in Rochester. They could have visited all 100 or so lakes, rivers, and streams along the circuit and seen a lot of people walking, jogging, running, and playing, none of them in cars. Even in downtown, we have separate bike lanes just so people can ride around and look at the city. Besides, most of the downtown area is all one way streets (good for the pedestrians and biking enthusiasts, bad for joy riding around in cars. heh) and there is 10 pedestrians to every car, truck, or bus on the roads, so traffic is already reduced.
    There really is no need for this type of a protest here since most people don’t travel around downtown by car. They drive into downtown, park their car, and walk to wherever their going. Hell, we even have pedestrian bridges (called skyways) that join one building to another on the second floor. You can walk for hours around downtown and never step outside! (It get cold here so we like to provide shelter for people.) I doubt that any of the protesters even knew what they were missing. They spent so much time complaining about the cars that they missed the entire city. Man, those guys are dumb! They missed everything!

  47. “I don’t think the ’60s need emulating at this point. they were a reaction to a culture that had become too morally oppressive.”
    Posted by Tom Shipley
    Let’s see: Widespread divorce, venereal disease, crime, illiteracy
    These are just some of the products of the ’60’s, that reaction to a “morally oppressive” culture. What the teens and young adults of the 60’s wanted was freedom to do whatever they wanted and freedom from the consequences. Now we are seeing the fruits of that. Personal responsibilty and moral standards elevate a society. Maybe when our government acts like the one in Iran you can complain about moral oppressiveness.

  48. First off, it’s very much a stretch to blame crime and illiteracy on the 60’s counter-culture. But, it seems that you’re one to blame the left for all ills of society, so I’m not too surprised.
    And as I eluded to in my post there were consequences to the counter-culture movement. Free sex brought about costly diseases for sure. Divorce I don’t count necessarily as a negative. Prior to it becoming acceptable, there were many women and men stuck in relations that were really not good them. Once it did become acceptable, yes, it did get overdone.
    But you also have to remember that our moral code in the 50s and 60s said women and blacks were not equal citizens. the civil rights movement helped liberalize our society to accept those groups culturally and legally as equals.
    And in many ways, we still live in a morally oppressive culture, just ask Senator Craig.

  49. The 60’s counter-culture never made it past the mid-70’s. It died out when most of the hippies became yuppies, the very people they rebelled against in their youth. Protesting has been going on for all of human history, so I don’t think any single decade can be used as a comparison. Also, people have used forms of violence like riots and getting themselves arrested as a means of dissidence as long as they have been protesting, and probably longer. After all, no one will pay much attention to a peaceful protest. They only know about the violent ones, and those protests usually fail as people will tend to see them as criminals and ignore the message.
    BTW, my favorite useless protest was by the hippies who screamed “Save the Earth!” while driving a VW Microbus, one of the dirtiest vehicles ever invented. Did you know that 25 percent of all gas used in a Microbus was vented out the exhaust? That’s a hell of a lot of pollution being dumped into the environment as you waste all that gas. Save the Earth, my ass! Heh.

  50. Here is another Critical Mass riot recorded by someone on youtube.
    The poster seems to have a problem with authority and the NYPD. Read the comments section to get an idea of what these jerks are about.
    The jerks all start chanting “Let them go” and then “The whole world is watching”
    I suggest we go down to their events and when an arrest happens we chant “Mace his face” or something to that effect. Bring your cameras and recorders to the convention it should be fun.

  51. Tom,
    Women were just as equal in the 60’s (and 30’s and 40’s and 50’s) as they are today. Remember, woman’s suffrage was accepted and the 19th amendment was added to the Constitution in 1920. After that, all women has equal access to jobs, property, voting, and just about everything else. There were even women in politics in the 20’s, so just what did the 60’s bring women that they didn’t already have? The right to divorce? They had that already. The right to vote? Had that too, ever since the 19th amendment. The right to own property? They had that as well. They only right they didn’t have in the 50’s and 60’s, and still don’t have, is the right to fight in military as a combat solder. The only thing the 50’s and 60’s brought to women was an abundance of “mother’s little helpers,” and I’m not talking about their kids.

  52. Hmmmm… refresh my memory.
    When the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers took to the streets in ’68, WHO got elected?
    So why are we complaining?

  53. Seems to me that most cases of obnoxious bike riders could be solved with a three-foot piece of pvc(or wood if you are an eco-freak) stuck through the bike wheel(s).

  54. Look at where the 60s Great Society has brought the urban female. Typically a bunch of wild, fatherless kids on a downward spiral needing that gummint check because no diploma, bad attitude and no job skills won’t cut it. Natural selection in reverse gear. The urban daddy has checked into the steel motel for a while so child support will arrive only via food stamps or other handouts. There is no parental guidance because the procreators have not grown up yet. The chirren’s (sic) grandparents probably aren’t more than, say, about 45 years old because their first kid was at fourteen, too.
    We still hear some of the hippie retreads claiming we shouldn’t blame their hedonism while they still blame the military, or The Man, “the morally oppressive” or whatever bogeyman for their failed relationships and screwed up bodies and lives. Help! Help! I’m being repressed. What a drag. Bummer. Things were really tubular until the Gestapo made me pay my electric bill…. Get over it, man!
    The point I was making earlier about “traveling groupies” was not about rock music fans specifically but to suggest that Critical Mass and plenty of other angry loser organizations are nomadic traveling road shows of practically homeless (by choice) people. An earlier post alluding to a microbus as their permanent residence is on target. I remember seeing groups like ACORN and similar rent-a-riot groups in the 1970s and before which tended to be like Cindy Sheehans with a vandalism streak. The cops were busy enough trying to keep those vermin from defecating in the streets or shoplifting until the punks finally moved along to the next peaceful town having clean streets to soil.

  55. emdfl ; funny you should mention the bike wheel method (or stick meet spoke). I also think this is a useful way to deal with belligerent bikers.
    In fact, I made up a saying which is often lost on my friends, but in this case it may apply well:“like a hockey stick thrust through the bicycle wheels of progress”. Only thing is that MC does not strike me as progress oriented.

  56. “And in many ways, we still live in a morally oppressive culture, just ask Senator Craig.”
    Posted by Tom Shipley
    Tom, are you saying you endorse such behavior? “Moral oppression” will always be felt by those who want to do something that isn’t permitted by law or conscience. Is this morally oppressive culture you whine about the same one that celebrates celebrity hookups and breakups, rehabs and adultery? Or maybe the one that knew about Bill Clinton’s womanizing ways yet elected him twice? If you call wanting to have intact families, drug-free children, and safe streets a sign of moral oppression, you are skating on thin ice.
    And by the way, the 60’s counterculture did not spawn the civil rights movement. It was churches who believed in the equality of all who started having success in the ’50’s. The civil rights political agenda had pretty much already been accomplished by the time the “Summer of Love” rolled around. I doubt that Martin Luther King had much in common with the libertine hippies.

  57. My general philosophy on public restrooms was summed up by the late Derek Jackson, the Oxford professor and jockey, in his advice to a Frenchman about to visit Britain. “Never go to a public lavatory in London,” warned Professor Jackson. “I always pee in the street. You may be fined a few pounds for committing a nuisance, but in a public lavatory you risk two years in prison because a policeman in plain clothes says you smiled at him.”

    Now this is the real Harbinger Of 2008.

  58. And in many ways, we still live in a morally oppressive culture, just ask Senator Craig.
    Is it moral oppression to expect people to keep their sexual business out of public view? This has nothing to do with orientation and everything to do with complete self-obsession and disregard for others. Gay sex in a public bathroom is as obnoxious as having an elevator door open up in front of you and reveal two heteros going at it. Get a room.
    It comes down to the simplest of things – respect for others. These protesters who block the streets never accomplish their stated goals because all they do is piss people off (and isn’t that really what these self-important, self-righteous bullies want?). There is a name for people who deliberately engage in behavior that will embarrass or upset others to bring attention to themselves – exhibitionists. They have no regard for anyone or anything but themselves. My 16-year-old daughter says she thinks that selfishness is the true root of all evil and I have to agree with her.

  59. “We still hear some of the hippie retreads claiming we shouldn’t blame their hedonism while they still blame the military, or The Man…”
    I don’t know, given some of the criticism directed towards the police officer who arrested Larry Craig, I don’t think it’s just hippie retreads who are into blaming The Man for everything.

  60. the fun thing about Anarchist groups like CM is when real anarchy breaks out and they get the brunt of the frustration, they are the loudest whiners about the “Brutality”.

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