Pier 57

Joshua Kinberg was arrested yesterday, for vandalizing sidewalks with chalk. 263 other cyclists were also arrested and detained at Pier 57. They were riding as part of Critical Mass, which seeks to raise awareness of bicycles as vehicles. You know, “share the road,” “we have a right to the pavement, too,” and all that.

They still have some work ahead of them. Some might say it’s ridiculous that so many were arrested without being informed why, often to be released without explanation after spending the night sleeping in a cage on oily pavement. But the NYC Police Commissioner sees it as a very simple situation: “They chose to drive 5,000 bicycles through midtown Manhattan. Obviously the government had to respond in some fashion.” By his standards, “it went very well.”

Given the path our culture is taking, I will not be the least bit surprised when I someday am arrested for merely standing in the wrong crowd. The only option to keep myself free seems to be avoiding public demonstrations of dissent. How long before merely dissenting gives me cause to fear?

UPDATE: The Memory Hole has posted pictures of Pier 57. I predict the second American revolution will adopt the fencing of such detention facilities and their matching “free speech zones” as a major icon.

Now the NYCLU is suing the city over Pier 57.

I posted this in August 2004 during week 1590.

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