Earlier this month the LA Times reported dozens of luxury cars were torched in Berlin by a group calling itself the Social Democratic People’s Bicycle Commando. Clearly this sort of over-the-top name was meant to be cheeky, but their tactics were quite serious.
The Bike Commandos claimed they “wanted to remove the windows from the luxury cars and scrap them the warm way,” according to a statement RT News linked to IndyMedia. The vandalism was in response to rapid gentrification in the city, and to recent police raids targeting squatters and other homeless people.
The Times claimed all 50 “masked left-wing extremists” were in fact on bicycles, but didn’t cite an eye-witness to confirm this. But let’s assume they were, and that a brigade of cyclists torching bourgeois automobiles has an implied environmental connotation beyond mere housing politics.
I shared the article in several online bike forums, and as you’d expect responses varied from “Hell yeah, fuck cars!” to “That’s terrible, it makes bikers look bad, violence is always wrong!”
— Taras Grescoe (@grescoe) February 9, 2016