Another death, another tragedy. 'One more bullet cracks the night.' This bullet had 4 wheels though. I can't believe this last year. Daniel McGowan going down; Meg Perry killed in New Orleans; Imogen at the New School; Brad Will in Oaxaca; Eric Ng in New York City. 5 people from all different aspects of this movement, taken down. And these are just the ones I knew! All in their 20's and 30's. And more: Sean Bell in Queens. The South Central Farm torn down. The last barricade in Oaxaca gone, Radio Universidad over. About 300 immigrants die a year crossing the border. The Iraqi death toll reaching 1 million soon. What the fuck is going on here?

I didn't know Eric Ng, but I recognized him. Saw him around. My friends told me to get in touch with him before about organizing some events. He was always looking like a bad-ass tough biker with a heart of gold. I send love to all his friends and family, his teachers and students, and all who were touched and would have been touched by another star like this, taken from us as he was burning.

When I saw a pedestrian get killed in august in a hit and run in brooklyn, i wrote this: Bikes, Death and Sacrifice. It was a reflection on how shocking and yet normalized the whole thing was. Another accident, another family ripped to shreds, another statistic, another life gone.

I think this shows us one thing: We can't just keep building more bike lanes, building more bikes, educating people about alternative transportation and more (although we have to do all of this). We have to stop the fucking death machinery of cars. We need to stop the onslaught of cars themselves. Let's face it: this is our civil war. Cars vs. pedestrians. The only problem is that the victims and the perpetrators are not separated by nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion or anything that simple. Anyone can be the victim, many can be the perpetrator. Who killed Eric Ng? Some 27 year old drunk guy. Do we want to put him in jail for the rest of his life and destroy his family too? Perhaps. Yes he's guilty, but perhaps not as guilty as the entire culture of death that supports this type of bullshit. Yet we can't punish culture. So how do we stop it, or change it? All the clandestine individual action against cars just sends people to jail indefinitely. Maybe we need to ride with spikes on our shoes, shields on our backs. U-lock justice fo life! Maybe we need to create carless zones. Congestion taxes. It's all pretty obvious what needs to be done. How to get there is the mystery. Maybe peak oil is a blessing in disguise.

How do we connect the stories and struggles, murders and violence of Brad Will and Eric Ng? One filming, one bicycling. One north, one south. Both members of similar communities in NYC. How do we connect them both to the murder of Sean Bell? And tie them to the repression against Daniel McGowan? Think about them in relation to the daily car murders and daily border deaths? What is this regime of death that produces a rolling tape of bodies so continuous that ritual sacrifice in 'primitive societies' sounds like a good alternative for at least that is less often and bathed in some sort of communal meaning. Our meanings for death are null in this place - unless we build them, from below, side by side. Memorials are primarily virtual, caught online before buried underground. How do we capture that virtual love poured out for these individuals and facilitate it into real human depth? The ghost bikes and memorial rides, the street demos and art making - these collective responses are both internally therapeutic and socially effective, creating a space both inside and outside ourselves to heal with tears and rage, amor y rabia. By consecrating the street - the only true home of an activist, especially bike activists - with collective acts of love and beauty, we remember the past by laying it in front of us, guiding our movements toward a place we don't yet know we're going. Like riding a bike, sometimes we curve just right, by a split second, missing that pothole-taxi-bus-pedestrian and flying on by with a breath of damn i made it, we made it, still going - that organized spontaneity of movement can be a break in the monotony of death that is drowning us all.

And how do we deal with the loss of one of our own? This question plagues all social movements. The concrete response is perhaps the most defining characteristic of any movement - a strange thing, since it is mostly only potential, yet a real potentiality that is more expressive of an idea, a cause, a people, a path, a road, a goal, a purpose, a struggle, a desire than any document, manifesto, action, meeting, conference or calculated program could ever be. When we inhale a death like a spirit of cold winter air, and we breath deep, holding it in, letting it overcome us, teach us, become us, and then, just then, when we're almost gonna burst, we exhale with an energy and refreshing force more powerful than we could have thought possible beforehand - this is how we carry it forward.

So let's build greenways on the rooftops of their SUVs, backpacks full of hammers, our frames formed with spikes, lights of fire, and ride on, ride on, ride on over this paved paradise and put a ghost bike on every corner, every lawn, every car until the streets are blocked by bicycles that can’t move no more, cemented to the ground, cars made of feathers, parties the streets are yearning for, and people full of a joyous remembrance of Eric Ng that will only bring us more and more meaning and power in the times to come. No longer waiting for the lights to change from red to green; in our world the lights will all be dancing too.

Eric Ng Presente!
Brad Will Presente!
Imogen Bunting Presente!
Meg Perry Presente!