Friday night solidarity ride with PDX Bike Swarm

PDX Bike Swarm press statement regarding M1 May Day police brutality.

PDX Bike Swarm has remained committed to peaceful solidarity with Occupy Portland and the greater Occupy Wall Street movement. We have been open and honest about our intentions to ride our bikes legally to support peaceful marches, to lift spirits when needed, and to calm tensions between protestors and police whenever possible. We have strived to represent the very best of our local bike culture while committing our time and our hearts towards social progression.
With that mission in mind, it was deeply saddening to us to come under repeated attack by Portland Police Bureau officers on May 1st, 2012 during an “unpermitted” march through downtown Portland. Through the course of this action all of those involved, pedestrians and cyclists alike remained nonviolent and predominantly peaceful, yet came under violent assault by the PPB for what is nothing more than the traffic ‘crime’ of jaywalking, an offense that surely did not require the arresting and beating of some 39 individuals.
Of those 39 protesters that were thrown to the ground and in most cases injured, many were legally riding their bicycles at the time they were accosted and arrested. The police relentlessly broadcasted via public address system that the streets were open for “vehicular traffic” which undeniably includes bicycles.
Even more telling and shocking was the fact that not one cyclist arrested saw his or her bike removed from the scene by the police; they were yanked from their ride and were left to question if they would ever see their bicycle again. Theories have emerged that this was a deliberate attempt by the PPB to intentionally conceal the fact that these protesters were in fact not breaking any law at the time of their arrest.
It is for these reasons that the PDX Bike Swarm can no longer trust that the Portland Police Bureau has the intention of enforcing the law where it concerns cyclists. We have repeatedly attempted to communicate and cooperate with law enforcement officials during previous actions, and to make our intention to abide the law as bicycle riders abundantly clear.
On May 1st the police made it clear that the law means very little to them, and the future of our relationship with our police bureau is very much in question. It is our sincerest hope that this relationship can be resolved, and we look forward to a representative of the Portland Police Bureau making a similar statement of intent in the near future.

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4 Responses to PDX Bike Swarm press statement regarding M1 May Day police brutality.

  1. revphil says:
    When I see that behavior I’m reminded of toddlers whose parents have never set boundries. Can we put these cops in Time-Out? At a minimum they should be striped of their toys.
  2. jimmy says:
    hi guys!
    as always, heartwarming to see the swarm represent!
    (“warning” contains material that may upset some sensitive readers. Please read the whole thing and then let me have it!)
    hope you don’t mind a little constructive feedback, but I have to point out what I see in this picture, and it ain’t good. In fact, what I see in this picture is someone, on a bike, in the crosswalk. The fact of the matter is that bikes are in a grey area in crosswalks, made even greyer by the fact that bikes are not allowed on the sidewalks in the geographical area that this picture was taken in (north of Jefferson and between 13th and Naito). So, what is essentially happening in this pic is that someone is being grabbed by the cops, he may be attempting to flee, and he is in a spot that makes him a target for “legitimate” stop by the police. Not arrest, not beating, but simply being stopped. I hope you understand that I am not cheerleading for the cops here, but hoping to give feedback on the image that you are presenting and how it may or may not further your overall message. I am bummed that Neil got nabbed, but I am not sure that this pic is the one to illustrate your point, and it might even serve to water down your message. To the typical outsider, one who hasn’t been to these marches, etc. it might appear that you guys are complaining about nothing.
    the PR battle is one we are losing…don’t let’s fall into that trap
    Solid, Jimmy
  3. Lauriel says:
    The Bike Swarm is an amazing force for good in this world and it was so sad to see what happened to many of them on May Day. There is an amazing amount of video and still photography showing the brutality used by the PPB against peaceful people and I can’t wait to see the cops involved held responsible for their actions.

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