How anyone can blog about bikes these days astounds me. Obviously, bikes consume my life, as they should yours. If you live in the city, this city, then you know why. All bikes, all funs, at all times. The multiple cultures and avenues of the urban cycling multiverse know almost no bounds.
While this blog has focused on three main themes, there are occasional topical events that more loosely fall within the scope of Rebel Metropolis that make normal content seem esoteric by contrast. Yes, the safety and welfare of active transit users, especially cyclists, should be viewed a social justice issue. But in comparison to colonial massacres in Gaza or racist state violence against black communities in Ferguson, the issues facing people on bikes become largely irrelevant. In such times of crisis, how people can continue blogging such trivialities is frankly disturbing.
— Joanna Oltman Smith (@jooltman) August 15, 2014
As it was so perfectly stated on Streetsblog LA last year after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, the entire concept of ‘livable streets‘ changes when you take it away from white bike/ped advocate culture and restore it to those literally fighting to survive in the face of lethal police violence on a daily basis:
“In the protests and rallies across the country following the acquittal verdict, the street as public space has been a central part of this story. Trayvon Martin, returning to the home he was visiting, was followed, presumed suspicious, presumed guilty of something, with no evidence as such, for the very act of walking down the street. In much of the popular urbanist discourse the goal of ‘complete streets‘ is invoked, usually to denote particular design features or characteristics. But if there are people in our society who cannot even walk without presumed guilt, than I would contend that no street can be truly “complete”. No sidewalk, no bike lane, no ideal tree canopy, no parklet, can correct for social paranoia empowered by flawed legal institutions. The street is a social construct foremost.”
This sentiment is one I’ve struggled with often. So many well-intentioned, intelligent active transit wonks are utterly blind where it concerns issues of race, class, and gender. As with so many things, the world of cycling is a white-male dominated one, and some effort has been made to correct this. But when the issue at hand is black teenagers literally being executed in the street, there’s no way I can keep focused on the niche of bike blogging. How others can, I do not know. Maybe their skin is thicker than mine.
Genuinely, I’d like to get back to focusing solely – or at least mostly – on the ideas of tactical urbanism, bicycles as a tool of social uprising, and the Right to the City movement as a non-life or death equation. Though as long as world events remain so galvanizing, that may prove difficult.
Until then, this madness continues.
How can it be that the constitution now in #Ferguson is a day by day document what’s the criteria for getting to suspend it in Mo?
— Nostradeptus (@adept2u) August 17, 2014
— Robert Cohen (@kodacohen) August 18, 2014
Demilitarization of police is important. But police, militarized in weaponry or not, are still militarized psychologically. #Ferguson
— zellie (@zellieimani) August 17, 2014
hey white people – retweet this if you ever shoplifted something and DIDN’T get shot by the police
— Micah J. Murray (@micahjmurray) August 15, 2014
White press is allowed back in. White. Press. They are fucking profiling the fucking press. Openly. #Ferguson
— Josh Melnick (@joshez_) August 18, 2014
I was there. Until cops attacked, people were talking, grilling, building community. No violence, just grief, love, solidarity. #Ferguson
— Trish Kahle (@trishkahle) August 18, 2014
— Anonymous Operations (@YourAnonGlobal) August 18, 2014
— Amnesty New Zealand (@AmnestyNZ) August 18, 2014
— Zoe (@YourFavoriteZoe) August 18, 2014
Everyone who’s yelling about kids being at protests don’t understand what it’s like for an entire community to be under siege. #ferguson
— Caleb-Michael Files (@cmichaelfiles) August 18, 2014
— Jess E. Hadden (@jessehadden) August 18, 2014
Tonight, #Ferguson police have: * Tear-gassed an 8-year old * Driven a truck through a crowd * Threatened to kill a reporter on air
— The Illuminati (@TheEyeOfControl) August 18, 2014
Do y’all not understand this. A cop murdered a kid & they let him go into hiding, are still payin him & imposed martial law on the community
— foxybrownn (@caseoftheKink) August 17, 2014
— ?ynd?cal??? (@syndicalisms) August 18, 2014
“As the people in Gaza … have a right to defend themselves… so do the people in Ferguson from a racist system.” http://t.co/zVaGQOACDg
— Electronic Intifada (@intifada) August 18, 2014
“They already kill us or take us to jail, we going on our own terms now.” – protestor regarding disobeying curfews #Ferguson
— zellie (@zellieimani) August 18, 2014
— Kim Moore (@SoulRevision) August 18, 2014
— Danielle Villarreal (@daneyvilla) August 18, 2014
— Gary Younge (@garyyounge) August 18, 2014
— Danielle Villarreal (@daneyvilla) August 18, 2014
We’re about to hold a press conference where the President will justify our repression. #Ferguson
— U.S. Dept. of Fear (@FearDept) August 18, 2014
I wasn’t afraid of police until I moved to the US. There are lots of great things about America. But there is a real problem with the cops.
— Mandy Morbid (@MandyMorbid) August 19, 2014
White ppl wanna say nigga, get cornrows, say Macklemore is a good rapper but tell us police brutality against blacks isn’t that serious
— Niña Leeeeeeeeeeeë (@NinaSerafina) August 17, 2014
— Cocky McSwagsalot (@MoreAndAgain) August 19, 2014
— Dani DeVito (@daniTYBG) August 19, 2014
Advice for journalists in #Ferguson: nearly always if your reporting includes the word “I”, you’re doing it wrong.
— Jeff Brady (@jeffbradynpr) August 19, 2014
Illegal to gather in groups more than three! Now you know why the Black Church was more than just God’s house, but a meeting place!
— zellie (@zellieimani) August 19, 2014
— Coop (@CoopFogg) August 19, 2014
Cops shot & killed a man in St. Louis (close to #Ferguson) just now. Cops say he had knife, but what have we learned about cops & the truth?
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) August 19, 2014
— #GHC_sec (@Global_hackers) August 19, 2014
Good thing we provided a stroad that’s wide enough for #Ferguson Police to operate all this military-grade equipment
— Sh*t DOTs Never Say (@DOTsNeverSay) August 18, 2014