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Critical Mass: Anarchy in San Francisco

John on April 4, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Bryan at HotAir has an excellent report on a group of lawless bicyclists called Critical Mass who did $5K worth of damage to a mini-van full of people including kids. Why?

They attacked it because it was a minivan, and they don’t like minivans.

Read the whole thing, it’s well worth it.

Update 11PM: This afternoon Mayor Gavin Newsom promised to look into the incident:

Speaking at a news conference in the city’s Mission District about a tax credit program for low-income families, Newsom was peppered with questions from reporters about the Critical Mass incident reported in Wednesday’s Chronicle.

“Obviously we’ve got to address the concerns that remain,” he said, referring to the lack of arrests in the case. “People are frustrated that certain people can break the law and certain people can get away with breaking the law as it looks in this case.”

The CMers spokesman tells a different story:

Bicycle Coalition executive director Leah Shahum said witnesses told her that Ferrando “recklessly accelerated” into a crowd and hit the bicyclist so hard the bike was lodged under her vehicle.

I’m surprised a video of the incident isn’t on YouTube yet.

Update 11:05PM: Okay, no video of the incident itself, but the local CBS affiliate’s report is available here. After watching that, you can also read their published report which gives a fuller picture of the scene:

Kate McCarthy had been riding in that group, which she said was breaking off from the 20 or 30 bicyclists who made up a bulk of the dissipating mass.

With the way the police had held up traffic at the intersection of Post and Laguna streets, McCarthy and her group were alone without any traffic in the road.

Ferrando said she had the same experience after two police officers waved her through an intersection. She said there wasn’t a car on the road. She had no idea what was happening.

That’s when the stories diverge. McCarthy said the minivan zoomed past her, knocked one of the bicyclists in her group off his bike and then sped off. Some of the bikers then raced ahead to catch up with the van and stopped it.

McCarthy said she called 911 right away because of the hit-and-run. While they waited for the police, however, several more bicyclists peddled up to the scene, at Post and Buchanan streets, and they got violent, McCarthy said.

Ferrando said her daughter, who had just celebrated her birthday at Japantown center was sitting in the back with her friends when she saw a bike go through the window.

“Bikers were kicking the van, pummeling the outside,” she said. “We were in such a state of shock that we didn’t even think of calling 911 until finally my husband did.”

Ferrando said that she never hit anybody and that when her van was surrounded, one bicyclist purposely drove into the right panel of her minivan as if to provoke her.

“A biker to my right made a 90 degree turn into the van. I didn’t hit him,” she said. “He so very intentionally biked into me.”

Kate McCarthy isn’t identified in the CBS story (or I missed it), but in this story she’s identified as the Bicycle Coalition’s “membership and volunteer organizer.” Not exactly a disinterested third party then.

I don’t know who is telling the truth here. Even if we take McCarthy at her word, I still don’t see how this looks very good for the Critical Mass folks. They took retaliation into their own hands and inflicted damage to the car and the family far beyond the harm allegedly done to the rider (who as the video story notes refused to even give his name).

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Category: Secularism & Socialism |

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