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The Violent Bicycles of Denver Worry Democrats And Police

As the Democratic National Convention of 2008 begins with a faith-based panderfest, the crackdown is beginning outside, with law enforcement confronting the danger of… bicyclists. No kidding. The Associated Press reports that “Denver police also asked area law enforcement to be on the lookout for caches of supplies that could be used by violent demonstrators, such as helmets, nails, heavy protest sign handles and even bicycles.”

Bicycles? Bicycles are now signs of impending violence?!? I can see how the executives of big oil corporations might think so, but for the local police to regard a bicycle as a legitimate reason to suspect someone of conspiring to commit acts of violence is a sign of how far into paranoia Homeland Security has gone.

A bicycle is not a weapon. A bicycle is a peaceful tool that builds healthy bodies and preserves clean air and water. A bicycle is a quiet thing. It does not roar. It does not burn. It does not bash.

bicyclists for peace tshirtI think the Denver Police ought to take a look at Bikes Not Bombs to have an idea about the kind of people who may be riding a bicycle outside the Democratic National Convention this week. Bikes Not Bombs explains its mission by saying,

“Lasting peace and social justice require equitable and sustainable use of resources. BNB provides community-based education and assists development projects with recycled bicycles, related technologies and technical assistance, as concrete alternatives to the militarism, over-consumption & inequality that breed war and environmental destruction. Our organization is part of a worldwide movement for peace and responsible stewardship of the earth.”

I wish that the leaders of the Democratic Party would take a look too. It doesn’t send a positive message that Democratic Party officials are getting special police protection from bicycles. If I were head of the Democratic National Committee, I’d make sure to issue an official statement condemning the paranoid police pursuit of bicycles – and I’d tell the Denver Police to back off.

Of course, I’ll never lead the Democratic National Committee, but the point isn’t about me. It’s about the best direction for America. We need more bicycles on our streets – not fewer. If every household in America had and used a bicycle on a daily basis, we would be a more prosperous and peaceful nation.

(Bicyclists for Peace Tshirt)

5 comments to The Violent Bicycles of Denver Worry Democrats And Police

  • Oh, this reminds me a little of back in 2000 when Al Gore came to Waukesha, WI for an event. I think John Mellencamp was there with him or something. Anyways, my work place was on the first block outside of the barricaded area. I had my inline skates on and was about to head home. Just went up the road a short bit towards the road blocks and some guy started yelling at me to get out of the road. I was well behind the road blocks and was just going to look at what was going on. I didn’t get arrested or anything like that. But it didn’t leave me with a happy impression. And what the hell was I going to do on skates?

  • groetzinger

    If you are going to fly you will need to remove your shoes and don’t try to get a bottle of water through.This is a different world we live in and although I may think the security extreme and at times unrealistic,I also understand the reason for this.Myself I’m more concerned that the goverment maybe listening to my telephone conversation than stopping bikes outside the convention.

  • Well, clearly, Billy, you were the precursor of the Islamofascist: A Skatofascist. You dirty terrorist you!

  • Tom

    In a police state, the “law” looks for any excuse to lock people up in order to generate revenue, if nothing else. That’s why they have the fenced-in parking garage as make-shift prison for protesters in Denver. You’ll probably see something similar on the Republican convention site too.

    Corporate owned, publicly backed police state – get used to it. Heaven forbid we try to change it. This is what we got from the “religious right” and their ilk: 8 years of neocon ideology and “pre-emptive war” to a dessimated Constitution, Bill of Rights, secret government, spying on the citizenry, all the way to a devalued dollar, frozen wages, unaffordable health care, a broken military, social services and infrastructure disintegration and unsustainable living conditions for most.

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