June 14/04 5:55 am - World Naked Bike Ride a Huge Success!
Posted by Editoress on 06/14/04
World Naked Bike Ride a HUge Success!
Montréal Only City Where Nude Cyclists Arrested
Organizers of this year's inaugural World Naked Bike Ride are calling the event a roaring success. In the spirit of freedom from social restrictions and dependence on fossil fuels, naked rides took place in 24 cities around the world on Saturday, June 12. This international event drew over 1000 participants including 250 cyclists in Chicago, 85 in Vancouver, 75 in Seattle, 75 in San Francisco and 60 in London.
In Chicago, cyclists were initially barred from riding, but met at another location to thwart police. Eager to bare all and ride as a statement for oil-free transportation, the ride went into the rich affluent area of Chicago's north shore, and passed through notorious Cabrini Green - one of Chicago's most troubled neighbourhoods. Once riding, "the police were really amazingly supportive and they all just laughed and waved," reported a participant.
In Vancouver, naked riders pass though Vancouver's liveliest commercial district, to enthusiastic and loud applause, then proceeded to ride across two of the city's two main bridges.
New Zealand's Golden Bay reported 50 cyclists, 35 of which were naked, in the middle of winter.
The only group to face arrest was in Montréal, where Critical Mass bike activists have experienced continued police harassment.
"These arrests force us to confront an important question," said Sasha Webb, one of the participants, "Why are naked cyclists being arrested when other genuinely indecent crimes are taking place?"
"Despite glaring evidence that CO2 emissions are already transforming the planet, political leaders continue to emphasize oil and gas as energy sources, while displaying lukewarm support for green energy or reducing energy consumption. Every day millions drive their cars, fueling ongoing conflict in the Middle East that shows no sign of resolution. These crimes go unpunished, and are encouraged by governments around the world," Webb continued.
While a group of happy-go-lucky naked cyclists face persecution, gas and oil corporations continue to receive tax breaks and subsidies. Clearly, our political leaders' priorities are skewed.
Despite unjust police actions in Montréal, cycling activists and their supporters around the world will continue to take action as long as fossil fuels are our predominant source of energy. To the Montréal Police Force, we say, "Get used to it: naked cyclists are here to stay."