Meeting at Pardall Tunnel at 9am (where Pardall Road hits the UCSB campus in Isla Vista) hundreds of students, staff, faculty and community members joined together riding from UCSB to downtown Santa Barbara. The ride was the 2nd major action undertaken by UCSB’s budding peace movement.
Participants emphasized the anti-Iraq war message, but the bike ride itself linked larger critical issues such as global warming, inequality, and immigrants’ rights. “Join us in a sustainable protest against this totally unsustainable and unjust war,” read one flyer for the event. The bike riders expressed opposition to the war while also sending a positive message about environmental sustainability and the need to move beyond a petroleum-based economy and invest in social infrastructure like mass transport. Riders came out for a variety of reasons all united in their immediate desire for peace, but all concerned with larger more structural problems in our society such as militarism and poverty.
More actions are planned.
The ride stopped at two "militarized zones" in the Santa Barbara community. The first stop was Raytheon (a massive military-industrial coporation) where several riders planted a peace tree and put down a plaque to commemorate the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed in the war. After Raytheon the riders stopped at the local Marine Corps recruitment station. Breaking out in song the critical massers then chanted "rich man's war, poor man's blood," expressing opposition to the war but support for the troops who want to come home.
The ride ended in downtown Santa Barbara. Some of the riders broke off for yet another direct action. Posting images of depleted uranium victims on the Balboa building they sought to call out yet another local weapons manufacturing corporation, ATK Mission Research, whose parent company is the larger producer of munitions for the US military. ATK makes DU ammunition.
[photos by Robert Bernstein - http://www.swt.org/act/criticalmass031707/