The New York Times is reporting 49 arrests during last night's Critical Mass ride. I witnessed about twenty arrests at St. Marks and Third Ave. The Times also lists Houston St./ Second Ave., w. 18th St. and W. 34th St. as arrest locations.

Earlier, as the ride proceeded along Greenwich Ave. towards 7th Ave. the NYPD attempted to block the front of the ride with vans while undercover officers on bikes aggressively chased cyclists. There was no warning given by the NYPD and their actions caused panic among peaceful cyclists who were forced to ride into oncoming traffic and risk their lives in order to avoid the trap.

I fear that it will take the serious injury or death of an innocent cyclist before the likes of Bloomberg, Kelly or Smolka come to their senses and call off these reckless monthly escapades by the NYPD.

The actions of the City through the NYPD affect not only cyclists but potentially all forms of Free Speech in NYC, not to mention the waste of our valuable resources and public funds in executing these monthly crackdowns. Keep in mind that the NYPD are not enforcing traffic laws during the ride. They are arresting cyclists and charging them with parading without a permit. The City/ NYPD wishes to control all activities in the public square and streets. As soon as you step ontside your door they want to dictate who, what, where, when and how.

If you believe in Free Speech then please contact the mayor, mayoral candidates and your city council member. Let them know:

1. You want the NYPD to stop arresting the peaceful cyclists who continue to ride in CM.
2. You want all charges against arrestees awaiting trial dropped.
3. You want the City to drop its lawsuit against Times-Up!
4. You want the NYPD to facilitate the ride as they have for years before August 2004, as is done in Brooklyn and in cities all over the world.

Respect to all those who continue to ride and to all fellow arrestees.