- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Senator Jim Elliott
Tuesday, Nov. 08, 2005 at 8:08 AM
Senator Jim Elliott from the red state of Montana is no fan of cyclists, so why is he concerned about what’s going on with Critical Mass in in NYC ? Find out what got this cowboy mad enough to write an article for us.
jim2.jpg, image/jpeg, 125x161
As a rule, authority distrusts innovation and spontaneity, which to my mind pretty much embodies today’s cycling movement. I was reminded of this a couple of weeks ago when I watched “Still We Ride”—a documentary on the mass Critical Mass arrests in New York City during the 2004 Republican National Convention, and the subsequent harassment of cyclists and confiscation of unattended bikes.
It angered me to see a group of people targeted for legalized harassment for doing nothing more than enjoying their civil liberties.
Let me first make something clear; I am not a cyclist, nor do I intend to become one. In fact, in rural Montana, where I live, I tend to be more annoyed by cyclists who choose to tour our extremely scenic and narrow highways than sympathetic. That’s why I was prepared to cast a jaundiced eye on the plight of the people in “Still We Ride”.
The reason I was moved to side with them was not because I felt that their particular activity was being singled out by the authorities for special and unwarranted treatment, but because I have seen this kind of overreaction on the part of the police and civil authorities for decades, and enjoyed some personal experiences of my own that have left an indelible mark.
Be it the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s, the anti Vietnam War protests of the 1960s and 1970s, or going even further back in American history to the labor movement in the 1880s, people have had the crap kicked out of them for standing up for their belief that their opinion is entitled to respect.
Just so, those people who participate in Critical Mass, whether or not I agree with them (or whether or not anybody agrees with them) are being singled out and punished by the authorities for having a different lifestyle, expressing their beliefs—hell—just exercising their freedom.
Those who are not directly on the receiving end of the butt kicking probably don’t pay much attention. Maybe, even though you are a cyclist, you don’t either. Too bad, because the likelihood is that, in one way or another, your turn will come. In fact, in light of the United States’ government’s drive to save our freedom by destroying it, it may already be your turn; you just haven’t felt it yet.
So I am writing this article to pass along some thoughts that are important to me. First, freedom is not free; it is never given, it is always won by struggle. Even the most seemingly absurd, everyday things were fought for. Thousands of laborers died to secure things that today we take for granted—the weekend and the eight hour day; many thousands of Blacks were killed for merely trying to have a say in their own destiny. It’s a long, long list, and there is little that we take for granted today that is not on it.
The second point is that all people are engaged in the same struggle to win or maintain some sort of individual freedom, but they manifest it in different ways. It is our obligation, as their neighbors in spirit, to respect their desires and to see that they are not persecuted because they use legal but, to the authorities, intimidating means to achieve them.
We don’t have to join them in their struggle—we may not even feel they are right—but we must be always vigilant in protecting their right to express themselves without being harassed or brutalized by governmental authorities. Because, my friends, we need them to be there for us too.
I don’t feel any different about cyclists that I did before I saw “Still We Ride”. I’m not going to have warm fuzzies when after I round a curve I have to go into the ditch as an alternative to head ending a semi or killing a trio of cyclists riding abreast (yeah, it happened), but I am going to stand up for anyone who is given a hard time for what they do or what they stand for, and if those guys happen to be cyclists, I’ll be there for them both as a neighbor and as a Montana state senator.
Senator Jim Elliott (D) writes a biweekly column called Montana Viewpoint that is distributed to newspapers throughout the state. He sponsored SJ Resolution 19, the most strongly worded criticism of the Federal Patriot Act in the nation. It was supported by both Democrats and Republicans and passed both houses of the legislature by an overwhelmingly margin. Senator Elliott is also suing the Montana Department of Revenue for release of corporate income tax records to investigate the extent of corporate tax fraud in Montana. The case is now in front
The above article was originally written for...
C.I.C.L.E. :: Bicycle News, Advocacy, Culture
Cyclist Inciting Change thru Live Exchange
Visit us on the web at www.cicle.org
email us at email@example.com
Please feel free to distribute!
Report this post as:
Change Links September 2018 posted
More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre
Site Outage Friday
Change Links August 2018
Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land
More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke
Change Links 2018 July posted
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
More Local News...
Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc
Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk
Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement
Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator
The Dictatorship of Corporations
18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting
Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue
Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator
Shopping du bashing
After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again
“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen
Probabilités de fin d'humanité
Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW
Propagande de virus, virus de propagande
Steer clear of work morality!
Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates
Paraphysique de l'origami
The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally!
August 2018 Honduras Coup update
Du réussissement putréfié
Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges
Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts
Paraphysique de contextualité
Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism
Ex-voto de réification
Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh
More Breaking News...