Net tightens around Critical Mass
Taking no chances that the monthly Critical Mass bicycle protest would occur without having obtained a permit, last Friday evening police greeted the 500 riders who gathered at Union Sq. with a warning they would be arrested for riding in a procession. Making that point clear, police with large orange R.N.C.-style nets blocked the sides of the squares north plaza, the rest of which is blocked by metal gates.
Some riders agreed to meet up at 8 p.m. at Washington Sq. According to Matthew Roth, a spokesperson for Times Up!, some cyclists were arrested while walking their bikes away from Union Sq.
About 70 to 100 people congregated at Washington Sq. and started riding around the park, building the mass. However, police soon arrived and arrested a bunch of them in front of Bobst Library. In all, there were 17 arrests.
On Dec. 8 there will be a hearing, with witnesses testimony on the stand, in the ongoing federal case of whether the rides need a permit.