On January 28, 2005 eight people were arrested by the NYPD and charged with parading without a permit, blocking traffic and failure to disperse. All 8 arrestees decided to fight the charges and defend their right to ride a bicycle in the streets of New York City. After several months of hearings and trial reschedulings, the "January 8" went to trial in New York City's Criminal Court the week of October 17th. Judge Harris dismissed the failure to disperse charge (wahoo!!!!), is reserving decision on the remaining two charges and is giving us an opportunity to submit closing defense statements in writing. These written statements are due in court on November 18 -- a mere 3 weeks away!

Here's the catch. GIDEON OLIVER, our awesome lawyer and the attorney for many many other similar so-called "critical mass" cases, NEEDS A COPY OF THE TRIAL TRANSCRIPT ASAP -- the verbatim accounting of what each witness said throughout the 3-day event (read: catching inconsistencies that support our defense!). If you are one of the several other "Critical Mass defendants," and/or care about your right to ride a bike in the streets of New York City, THIS TRANSCRIPT, as well as the closing arguments that Gideon is preparing, WILL IMPACT YOUR CASE AND ALL OTHER "CRITICAL MASS" CASES TO COME!!! For 9 months, the “January 8” appeared in court from as far away as California and Wyoming. The trial lasted 3 full days – all police witnesses – before the Judge dismissed 1/3 of the charges outright and asked both sides to submit legal briefs on the remaining blocking traffic and parading without a permit charges.

The court reporter estimated that the transcript will cost about $3,500 (yikes!!), and we need to raise this money this week (by the end of October, essentially) so that Gideon can have the transcript to prepare the written closing arguments. I'll note for you here that it is not usual to submit closing arguments in writing. This is an opportunity to let our legal team make the strongest, most specific arguments they can muster. The DA has probably already ordered the whole thing.

So, WE NEED YOUR HELP to spread the word, and we need your DOLLARS!! PLEASE support generously.
The easiest way to donate is to go through FreeWheels and their PayPal account:
 http://www.bicycledefensefund.org/donate.html
*Please be sure to note that the donation is for the "January 8 transcript."

THANK YOU!!