World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Car-Free Protest Heats Up In New York City


International protest campaign heats up after 48 more arrests in NYC

NEW YORK / PRAGUE – On Friday, another 48 cyclists were arrested in New York City for participating in a group bicycle ride known as "Critical Mass," bringing the total arrests of cyclists in the city in one year to 566. Meanwhile, community groups, environmental organizations and cycling clubs around the world are organizing film screenings and letter-writing campaigns to protest the arrests.

World Carfree Network, an international coalition of sustainable transportation and urban development groups, is pursuing a worldwide campaign to convince New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly to end the repression of group bicycle rides and develop policies to support cycling in the city. Letters from network supporters from Australia to Brazil and Spain and from numerous other countries have begun arriving in the offices of city officials by fax, e-mail and post.

"I am shocked and astonished," writes Ton Daggers, a traffic consultant from the Netherlands. "As a professional working with the authorities in megacities all over the world, such as Rio de Janeiro and Bogota, to solve traffic and congestion problems, I simply can not comprehend the actions New York City has taken against cyclists. It is time for New York to take its place among world-class cities by improving its sustainable transport, safe bicycle lanes and pedestrian areas."

Network correspondents in New York City reported that Friday’s community ride started out peacefully from Union Square with only minimal police presence, but within a few blocks police converged on the group of cyclists, dragging riders from their bicycles, handcuffing them and confiscating their vehicles. Crowds quickly gathered protesting the arrests and shouting, “Shame, shame, shame.” Most of the several hundred participants in the ride managed to escape. Forty-six of the arrestees were released early on Saturday morning, although their bicycles will be held indefinitely. Some bicycles have been held for over a year, regardless of national laws protecting private property from unjustified seizure.

Most of the cyclists arrested on Friday were charged with "parading with out a permit," "disorderly conduct" and "obstructing traffic." Three other cyclists were given fines for not having lights on their bicycles. At 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, the community group Free Wheels provided food to released arrestees and loaned bicycles to replace those confiscated by police.

World Carfree Network advocates equal rights for cyclists and pedestrians, including the right to use public streets and the right to an equal share of public funds. Given that 78 percent of Manhattan households do not even own or lease a car, the issue of criminalizing cycling raises significant concerns about equal treatment of citizens. The network has declared the mass arrests and systematic abuse of cyclists in New York City to be a human rights problem worthy of international attention.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Pakistan School Killings

GENEVA (16 December 2014) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday condemned what he described as “an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenceless children” at a co-educational school ... More>>


Sobering Data On American's Apathy About CIA Torture

Despite a scathing report on torture, a majority of survey respondents approve of the CIA's grisly methods. More>>

Sea Shepherd Intercepts Toothfish Poachers

Yesterday, at approximately 2152 AEDT, the Sea Shepherd conservation ship, Bob Barker, intercepted the illegal fishing vessel Thunder, at 62 15’ South, 81 24’ East, inside the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) ... More>>


Briefing On Changes In U.S. Policy Toward Cuba

Special Briefing Roberta S. Jacobson Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Press Briefing Room Washington, DC December 18, 2014More>>

ALSO:

The White House: Charting A New Course On Cuba

We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba. More>>

ALSO:


Journalist Most Recent Victim Of Israeli Military

Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014. More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Swiss government’s bid to convene a summit on Palestine
  • UN News - UN-backed reconstruction efforts continue in Gaza
  • UNICEF Mobilizes To Reach People Affected By Typhoon

    As Typhoon Hagupit wreaks havoc through the Philippines, UNICEF is acting quickly to support the Filipino government’s response to the emergency, providing lifesaving supplies and services for children and women in the areas hardest hit by cyclone-force ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • FAO - FAO praises government for early typhoon warnings
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news