Rally to Support the New Prospect Park West!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The bike ride that helped change the whole city.
In New York City during the 1990's, bicycling was extremely dangerous. The number one complaint of cyclists was always safety. Group bicycle rides, like the critical mass, were one of the few places where cyclists could ride together and be safe. Besides their safe and fun dynamic, the group rides steadily attracted new riders which in turn built up the confidence in the riders to become everyday commuters.
In early 2000, the New York City critical mass started gaining huge popularity due to it's celebratory spirit and safe community environment. Bikers of all types would meet the last Friday of every month, as they do in over two hundred cities around the globe, for the monthly critical mass rides. The critical mass ride in New York City has always been a place where new riders could feel safe while building a strong community voice for non polluting transportation.
The cyclists were also fed up with the lack of safe bike infrastructure, and were continuously putting pressure on the City for more bike lanes, bridge access and green infrastructure that most cities around the world already were enjoying.
Some short sighted few in the New York City Police Department attacked the critical mass riders with a vengeance. They tried everything from law suits, tickets, arrests, and harassment, to violence, spying, undercover agitation, divisionary propaganda, and even going to the point of cutting locks and stealing peoples bikes to try and stop the bike movement. However, the bikers were persistent and adopted slogans like 'Still We Ride!' despite the harassment.
Eventually, after much persistence and global media embarrassment, the bicycle community got their way and New York City hired a new and bike friendly D.O.T commissioner who had vision. Today, our new greener, safer and bike friendly city is now enjoyed by all. In fact, the very spot in Times Square where each month thousands of cyclists raised their bikes over their heads is now an auto free zone.
Thank you New York City critical mass for this positive sustainable change!
MEDIA ALERT - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A press conference will be held 1:30 PM Tuesday, October 19th
Time’s Up! Press Contact: Barbara Ross - 917.494.8164, email@example.com
Plaintiffs’ Attorney Contacts: David B. Rankin - 212.226.4507, Gideon Oliver - 646.263.3495
When: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 1:30 PM
Where: Pearl Street steps, U.S. Federal Court House, 500 Pearl Street, Lower Manhattan
Who: Plaintiffs, Critical Mass participants, and attorneys Gideon Oliver and David B. Rankin
Details: A $965,000 settlement has been reached and was made public by the court on Monday in a civil rights lawsuit brought against the City of New York by 83 cyclists who were among hundreds arrested by the New York City Police Department on the nights of Critical Mass bicycle rides beginning just before the 2004 Republican National Convention and continuing through 2006.
Participants, including attorneys, will discuss the lawsuit and settlement, as well as, among other topics:
• The NYPD’s wasteful and dangerous use of police resources in response to Critical Mass rides since the 2004 RNC
• The lack of oversight of the NYPD’s Critical Mass policing by the NYPD, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the New York City Council since the 2004 RNC
• The chilling effects of the crackdown on present Critical Mass rides in NYC
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Critical Mass is a monthly celebration of non-polluting transportation, which takes place in hundreds of cities around the world. Critical Mass and other group bicycle rides have contributed to increased cycling and safer streets.
For more than 20 years, Time’s Up! Environmental Group has worked to educate people about the environmental impacts of everyday decisions, from the food we buy to the means of transportation we use.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Now is the time for community organizing and direct action.
Its up to each of us to save the gardens and create more.
Benjamin Shepard – 917 586 7952
Susan Howard – 917-207-6738
“The gardens were created through direct action and sweat equity – creating a green space out of rubble. They were protected in the late 1990’s with direct action in combination with a well organized campaign to preserve and protest community gardens. And this summer, Times Up used direct action to sound the alarm about the limitations of the new rules. And the city took notice. Today, more than ever, it will be direct action and community organizing which will protect and save the gardens. Each garden must be an open space, available for organizing communities. Through such organizing, regular people preserve these spaces. Today, we call for all gardens to be mapped as parkland.”
To this end, there are some very, very specific things garden activists can do to help preserve the community gardens. Among others, these are:
Push the city to include community gardens in their vision for a PlaNYC. Add your comments. Make sure the city understands that any discussion of a green New York must include discussion of gardens. PlaNYC commits to a 10 min walk to a park for all New Yorkers. http://www.nyc.gov/html/planyc2030/html/plan/plan.shtml This must include a community garden. There are PlaNYC meetings coming up this month. Attend the next PlaNYC community meeting in your neighborhood: Lower Manhattan, October 19, 6-8 pm, Theater 2, BMCC,
199 Chambers, NY, NY 10007; Bronx, October 26, 6-8 pm, Lincoln Hospital, 234 East 149th Street, Between Morris; West Queens, November 3, 6-8 pm; Frank Sinatra School for the Arts Tony Bennett Concert Hall, 35-12 35th Avenue, Astoria 11106
Support gardens which are in danger of development, such as La Guardia Community Garden under threat from NYU. Come to the community board 2 meeting on this issue on October 18th http://www.nyc.gov/html/mancb2/html/calendar/calendar.shtml
Use the gardens and keep them open. The best public spaces are well used public spaces. Make sure that each garden in your neighborhoods are well used on a weekly basis.
Let your community know. If you find out a garden in your neighborhood is under threat, let the world know. Contact your council member. Set up a bulldozer hotline. (Our hotline will be ready soon). And connect gardens with a larger struggle to a healthier world.
To this end, this weekend, please join Time’s Up! With The Reverend Billy &
The Church of Life after Shopping invite you to a
No Plastic BBQ at El Jardin del Paraiso
Sunday, October 10th, 2010
Inspired by 350.org’s Global Work Party and the ongoing imperative to
preserve and relish in New York's Community Gardens!
Participate in a plastic free bbq immediately following
The Rev. Billy’s Mountains and Gardens fabulous worship
1-2:30 pm at The Highline Ballroom
Free guest ticket available to Garden friends, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please bring food & prepare to explore a plastic free future.
El Jardin del Paraiso
Enter on 4th Street bt Ave C & Ave D
TIMES UP! is a non-profit environmental group that has been using educational outreach and direct action for the last 20 years to promote a more sustainable, less toxic city.
Sunday, October 3, 2010