What’s the source of anti-cyclist/anti-mass transit/pro-automobile bias?

News Media Blackout on the Facts About the Critical Mass Police Riot

1. The news media started reporting “trouble” before the ride even began.

2. All “trouble” was attributed to the cyclists

3. The fact that the traditional police safety escort which had been promised was pulled at the last minute without warning or notice went unreported (still is as of this writing: 8/9/97, 9:55 AM)

4. 250 cylists were reported arrested on charges of running red lights and assault. The actual publicly available police record – available the day after the ride – shows that only 101 were booked at the Hall of Justice, most of them from a random sweep on Sacramento Street. Only six people were charged with serious crimes and at least two of them were pedestrians in business attire with no involvement with Critical Mass! The news media has yet to report these facts (still is as of this writing: 8/9/97, 9:55 AM).

5. The ride was inaccurately called “mayhem” and “chaotic” when in fact – except for the very predictable conflicts that occasionally occured when cyclists instead of police officers manned the intersections – it was an entirely normal ride.

6. At approximately 7:30 PM, police set up a roadblock at Market Street bu Fifth Street.

7. Cyclists and pedestrians (who were obeying all traffic laws) who caught in this roadblock were assaulted (shoved, knocked to the ground, struck with clubs, kicked, pepper sprayed, etc.) by a small group of out of control police officers.

8. Video evidence indicates at least one member of the “official” press was there taking photos – and this story has yet to make it to the “mainstream” press even though it has been on this widely visited web site since August 1, 1997. Note: the riot occured one block from the headquarters of the San Francisco Chronicle.

News reporters claimed these flyers distributed in Justin Herman Plaza before the ride by Critical Mass riders were messages from “splinter groups.” (First report via cellular phone from Justin Herman by Asian-American news reporter from Channel 4 at approx. 5:55 PM, well before the ride left.)

  • Flyer 1: Excerpt from the “Get-A-Grip” Ride
  • Flyer 2: Excerpt from the “Mass Against the Machine” Ride
  • Flyer 3: Excerpt from the “Free Willie” Ride

theory on why the San Francisco media was so quick to lead the attack on the riders and then cover the facts.

The SFPD under Willie Brown

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