Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Critical Spandex

I greatly appreciate the effort made by SPIN Cycle organizers, and the SPIN ride's adding to the demand for a better accomodation of cycling in Winnipeg, so I am writing this very much 'on your side'. However, to the organizers, politicians and regular citizens who rode today, got on TV, and proceded to smugly congratulate themselves for "not being like Critical Mass": It might not be your thing, but please understand that if it wasn't for Critical Mass and their "clashes with police", the issue of cycling would never have entered the public conciousness this summer, City Hall would be even further than it is from doing anything about Active Transportation studies, and your ride would not have happened.

And don't forget the young men like the one below, who took beatings and were detained for "disrupting traffic". Them, not you, provided the catylist for change--a June 1919, if you will-- in this city's ignorance towards cycling.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right.

SPIN wouldn't have happened without Critical Mass, and it certainly wouldn't have been news.

What Critical Mass did -- by breaking a few laws -- was raise the profile of an issue in the public consciousness. That's what they wanted to do, and they did it.

Good for you for realizing it, and for realizing that a few people got their heads stomped so SPIN could have a nice safe ride and enjoy a media response.

On a further note, I saw a group of cyclists leaving City Hall after SPIN ride side-by-side and disrupt vehicle traffic, so I'd caution them against being all high and mighty about getting a parade permit and obeying traffic laws.

Nice post.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well it just goes to show that no one wins when Critical Mass is criticized and people actually obey the law.

SPIN goes out and promotes the same thing and does it orderly, gets a parade permit and breaks no laws.....and it's all thanks to Critical Mass? Get over yourselves.

Oh and that "beating" you picture? Does it look like that "poor young man" (who resisted arrest) was being beaten? I see no blows or kicks being laid. He was being handcuffed on the ground as police are trained.

Of course what does any one else know? Obviously you are the expert.

All hail Critical Mass they are the heroes. Got to love the way you can just post things with little or no research (the Downtown Watch post a perfect example)

Yep, real nice.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Nick Weigeldt said...

Once again, Mr anonymous rears his head without so much as providing any indication who he is.

Guess that the 'honour system' Robert asked for isn't working.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Mel said...

Dear Anonymous,

Resisting arrest? Note that the man wrenching his arm in the original post photo IS NOT wearing a uniform.

Here you can see the "poor young man" and his injuries more clearly:

His name's Marcel, and he's a student at UM.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote the first anonymous comment. My site is at My name is Mike.

On my site you will find an account of what happened when this picture was taken.

I was standing right next to the man who "resisted arrest," as anonymous #2 said.

He did no such thing. He was standing beside me when an undercover cop grabbed him without identifying himself as a police officer. He struggled because he was being choked by a man in a polo shirt. Wouldn't you?

He was bleeding when he was dragged to his feet because the undercover cop repeatedly crushed the man's head with his knee.

I AM the expert. I was there. Anonymous #2 was not.

Furthermore, I have been reporting on the Critical Mass thing since May. I am not a part of the group. It is my opinion that the group has raised the profile of cycling issues in the city, and that SPIN received more media attention because of this.

I really don't see how you can disagree with that.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Nick Weigeldt said...

"I AM the expert. I was there. Anonymous #2 was not."

Yeah - my comment was referring to Anonymous #2.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh the expert, just because you say you witnessed this makes you an expert.... try that in court.

Bottom line, if no one had been fighting police, no one would have got taken to the ground/arrested.

"crushing" his head huh? Right!
He has a small bandage on his head in the second picture.

Watch this come out at the LERA hearing...everything seen is consistent with training and prone hand cuffing.

YOU are NOT an expert! Just because you call yourself a reporter and take pictures (lovely job btw), makes you what? NOTHING!

I would watch what you say actually.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

The plainclothes officers were inciting violence. Why?

Threats from anonymous don’t go anywhere.

8:34 PM  
Blogger JRB said...

Anymous #2 claims that Critical Mass riders should 'get over themselves' in claiming that they were partly responsible for the formation of S.P.I.N., but S.P.I.N was formed in response to the bad publicity garnered by Critical Mass(C.M.). Therefore without the initial media coverage of Critical Mass it is doubtful that S.P.I.N. would have been formed in the first place.

S.P.I.N. may be better equipped to enact change and perhaps C.M. should apply for a parade permit, but the contributions made by C.M. deserve acknowledgement.

Anyone looking to discuss this further is encouraged to visit my blogspot:

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike from here.

Wow. I love being threatened by anonymous people.

Watch what I say? Grow up.

I am quite aware of the LERA process, and it's flawed. I've checked the stats and read the reports, and LERA complaints never go anywhere. You might say that's because the cops are always right, and maybe they are... Maybe.

Then again, a host of groups are calling for an independent commission to oversee police actions because they believe the LERA process doesn't work.

I'm sure the cops will not be punished, but I saw what I saw, and it was inappropriate.

Am I an expert in police procedure? No. Was I there to see the event you are commenting upon so self-righteously? Yes.

Were you there?

Were you?

Do you know what happened, or are you just talking about procedure with no basis in reality?

What that cyclist did did not warrant that response. Period. You can throw all the procedure you want at me. I'm using common sense. You don't need that many cops to restrain one small man, and what part of prone-handcuffing procedure involves repeatedly crushing someone's head with a knee?

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe we should thank Bin Laden for killing all those people on Sept 11 too then! Airport security has been awesome ever since.

do you notice than in life for every dark act a pure one emerges?

Critical Mass is evil, disguised in the vial if purity.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Nick Weigeldt said...

Evil? Hah, hardly.

11:09 AM  
Blogger moc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:08 AM  

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