[*BCM*] Are we confused or dilluted, or am I confused and/or disillusioned?

Ari Pollak ajp at aripollak.com
Thu Jul 29 16:31:12 EDT 2004

I think you're right, a lot of people are using Critical Mass as a basis
for furthering a other causes. By using the sheer number and strikingness
of the ride, to a bystander it looks like everyone at CM supports the
separate causes of all of the other people on the ride.
There was a great example of this a couple of months ago, when the guys
with the upside-down USA and Jolly Roger flags were hanging out towards
the beginning of the ride, and a few bystanders came over and asked what
they were protesting. The group of people I was talking to at the time
just replied that they had no idea, and that we allow people to wear or
carry whatever they want.

I have no problem with inclusion, but I think it dilutes the whole message
of Critical Mass a bit when people "piggyback" totally unrelated causes
onto the ride. "Down with the government" is slightly different than "ride
a bike." It's not like you see pro-choice signs at an anti-war rally.

Remember, Critical Mass is "not about PROTESTING, but about CELEBRATING
our vision of preferable alternatives." If you want to further your cause,
by all means, but please respect the environment you're in and what the
purpose of it is.


Thomas John Vitolo said:
> As a long time reader, first time writer, I have to ask a few questions:
> 1.  When did Critical Mass expand its goals/ambitions from something like
> "mo-better bicycle acceptance in society" to something like "We're trying
> to let
> the Democrats know we don't approve of them being pro-war and
> pro-corporation"?
> The second quote comes from some fellow named Joseph riding in CM this
> morning,
> as per the second Globe article posted below.
> 2.  When did the CM mailing list expand its role from CM organization and
> general bicycling questions to a 20 email discussion on so-called "fair
> trade"?
> I ask because while I do agree with the goals of encouraging bicycle use
> and
> encouraging better government involvement with cyclists (bicycle lanes,
> parks,
> police interaction, etc), I don't necessarily agree with additional
> socio-political causes "piggybacking" on the cycling motives.  That's not
> to say
> that I think you guys shouldn't think or speak out on those issues;
> rather, I
> worry that the pro-cycling message will get dilluted by the
> anti-commercialization and anti-war messages.
> So, what gives?
> Regards,
> Tommy V
> http://www.boston.com/news/politics/conventions/articles/2004/07/29/police_prepare_for_rowdy_protests_on_conventions_last_day_1091114728/
> http://www.boston.com/news/politics/conventions/articles/2004/07/29/police_protesters_aim_to_keep_calm_on_conventions_last_day/
> http://www.boston.com/news/politics/conventions/articles/2004/07/28/dnc_smooth_sailing_for_protesters_and_police/
> Thomas John Vitolo
> Ph D Systems Engineering Candidate,
> Boston University
> _______________________________________________
> Boston Critical Mass mailing list
> list at bostoncriticalmass.org
> http://bostoncriticalmass.org/list

   ___   ___
  / _ | / _ \   Ari Pollak - ari at aripollak.com - www.aripollak.com
 / __ |/ ___/
/_/ |_/_/

More information about the Bostoncriticalmass mailing list