Talk:Critical Mass/Archives/2008

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"Conflicts with Motorists"

Changed "Conflicts with Motorists and Riders of Mass Transit" to "Conflicts with Motorists" Why: there is nothing in the article to support a history of conflicts with mass transit riders. In fact CM riders are generally supportive of mass transit in all forms for environmental reasons. In addition, in East Bay California rides, riders "let the bus go" meaning they form lane positioning to allow bus drivers to pass them on the right, closin in the gap just afterwards to the chagrin of private car drivers behind the buses. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:37, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

>>>In regards to vandalizing the names of the motorists and witnesses that came forward to the news media in the Spring of 2007: Harlan Head came forth for several televised and newspaper media interviews in the SF Bay Area, and voluntarily made himself a public figure, as did Gabe Schnake-Mahl. This story was all over the Bay Area news media for weeks afterwards, as was the Susan Ferrando story. Do a google news search or other news search and you will see that these two are no why are their names sacrosanct? They are newsworthy and there is no invasion of privacy here, no public disclosure of private facts, and no portrayal of them in a false light, and no intrusion upon their seclusion. I believe their names are fair game and could lead to more factual and useful development of the article and it's citations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Critical Chris (talkcontribs) 05:42, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Critical Manners / Influence on other groups/ rides.

I believe that Critical Manners is one of many groups that has spawned in reaction to, or inspired by Critical Mass. For instance in Los Angeles the group Midnight Ridazz in Los Angeles seems to be at least influenced by Critical Mass.

Perhaps this section should be devoted to all group bike rides that have been inspired or influenced by Critical Mass and not just Critical Manners. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:24, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

NPOV tag

I believe that a series of POV edits since the beginning of the year has created some strong balance/POV problems in the San Francisco section of what had a more-or-less balanced article. Some of the issues:

  • Driver-victim of critical mass violence described disparagingly as living "a 24 mile, 32 minute Caltrain ride from San Francisco"
  • "According to new coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle and National Public Radio, some cyclists, such as eyewitness Kate McCarthy who came forward for radio interview with National Public Radio's Richard Gonzales, claims she observed Ferrando strike a cyclist and flee the scene of the accident before cyclists chased after Ferrando surrounding her vehicle to prevent her further unlawful flight from the scene of the accident" - yes, they made that claim, but it's still POV and a BLP concern to accuse a victim of a crime
And who is the victim and who are the perps? Is it the cyclist who Ferrando struck? Or Ferrando who, apparently "out of blue," had her van vandalized? or Ferrando who attempted to flee the scene, or the cyclists who vandalized the van. I find your "victim" label also to have inherrent POV.Critical Chris (talk) 02:07, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
She's undeniably the victim of a violent act of felony vandalism. How could anyone possibly argue otherwise? Some weird biker logic where if you piss a crowd off they're entitled to smash windows, key ::::"cars, slash tires, etc? Provocation does not excuse violence. There is no a legal theory around that allows mobs to go on a violent rampage when they perceive a crime or injustice. It's preposterous that an insinuation that the driver should have been riding the subway instead is inserted into an article about driver-cyclist violence. There is no such proof that she struck a bicyclist or attempted to flee the scene, that sounds like typical implausible critical mass propaganda. But even if she did commit a crime that's a different issue. Either way it is absolutely not POV to say that we shouldn't use Wikipedia to disparage people to undermine their claims of victimization. By the same token we should not be naming names or going into personal details to disparage the bikers involved, including bikers mentioned elsewhere in this articles as undeniable victims of driver or police violence, and I have cut out some of those references too. Wikidemo (talk) 05:05, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
I've read some of the Wikipedia policies on naming names, and though she's a public figure, I agree on excluding her name from the body of the article here as per Wikipedia policies.Critical Chris (talk) 08:25, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
  • ..."and a Bicycle Civil Liberties Union (BCLU) media release, a "motorist with his wife deliberately ran into the side of the monthly Berkeley Critical Mass bicycle demonstration" and caused approximately $3,000 worth of damage to bicycles. The cyclists said Head shouted, "I'm sick of you people," and attempted to run them over." (already in article as of 1/1 in some form) - no reliable source; BLP problems.
The major news media sources, Chron, Trib, Berkeley Daily Planet, KCBS radio, TV reports may be considered more acceptable as per the Wikipedia news source policies.Critical Chris (talk) 08:25, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
  • "Just before the incident, some Critical Mass riders observed one of the "witnesses," Gabe Schnake-Mahl, verbally taunting the riders from the passenger window of a white BMW sedan. Subsequently, Critical Mass participants pounded on the hood and windows of the car in an attempt to get Head to stop his van and the windshield of the vehicle was cracked and fractured." - BLP problems; source does not support claim
This has already been removed if I'm not mistakenCritical Chris (talk) 08:25, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
  • "In 1997, the Mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown, was delayed on his way to dinner in his personal limousine in heavy traffic on the friday evening of the June 1997 San Fracisco Critical Mass ride. Brown subsequently issued a "declaration of war" - POV innuendo
Ahh, Willie's caravan of mayoral limousines, transporting a group of mayors from other cities, on the way to dinner in the Marina on the night of the June 97 ride...they hit heavy traffic that night and this needs to be sourced.
  • "According to a Time Magazine article, he threatened to keep both the bikes and the riders locked up, because "a little jail time" would teach Critical Mass riders a lesson" - op-ed piece is biased, not reliable source.
Steven Lopez of Time magazine...a biased unreliable source??? I'll have to reprint the discussion of this source from the Willie Brown article:Critical Chris (talk) 08:25, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
He threatened to keep both the bikes and the riders locked up, because "a little jail time" would teach Critical Mass riders a lesson. There is no reliable source for this statement. It is sourced to an anti-Brown op-ed piece[16] written by a well-known activist. The piece ascribes various motives to Brown without support, so even if one believes that Brown uttered the words "a little jail time", the statement that it was to teach a lesson, that he wanted to keep the bikes and riders locked up, etc., are all not properly sourced. The quote is an attempt to show that the mayor was vindictive or unreasonable, which needs to have a reliable source given this is a BLP. (Wikidemo)
The "a little jail time" is directly from the Time magazine article and the author whom you call a "well-known activist" ... actually Lopez was a noted Editor-at-large for Time magazine, and the LA Times for several years, and I'll have to do some digging, but I wouldn't exactly characterize Lopez as a "well known activist." If you wish to educate me otherwise I'm listening.Critical Chris (talk) 19:41, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
The Time piece speaks for itself. It is written in editorial rather than journalistic form and is advocating an argument, not facts. Lopez is well known, that's what I meant to say. I did not mean to imply that there is anything sinister about advocacy - but he's clearly a journalist. When someone is in advocacy mode it does not matter how good their credentials, they are voicing opinions rather than sourceable factual information. The fact standards are a lot lower in an op-ed piece. The claims about teaching a lesson, desire to keep bikes and riders locked up, etc., are all from Lopez, not Brown. There is no reason to doubt the accuracy of the quote, but for the interpretation is using a common rhetorical style where one makes up motivations and attributes them to people in order to stake out a position rather than to report on something he knows. Wikidemo (talk) 21:08, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
"...I was wrong about Lopez being an activist but the Time piece is clearly an op-ed from its tone, and the method of supporting the claims is not a journalist one. Looking through his history he seems to do about 80% straight journalism and 20% editorials and commentary, which is not unusual." -Wikidemo
I've added your comment from below here, for readability and critical discussion. "The claims about teaching a lesson, desire to keep bikes and riders locked up, etc., are all from Lopez, not Brown." Really Wikidemo? Lopez puts "a little jail time" in quotation marks, attributing the remark to a direct quotation from Brown, probably from the 31 July 1997 press conference. Lopez also placed the quote in direct context of teaching a lesson. Do you really think that a respected national periodical such as Time magazine would go to press interpreting a quotation out of context, "making up" motivations such as that? I think not, Time magazine is not exactly the American Socialist Workers Party newspaper, or the John Birch Society newsletter. Time is a respected, reliable, fact-checked, mainstream news publication of record. Time actually is considered by many to have a conservative angle, as opposed to Newsweek.Critical Chris (talk) 22:17, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
  • "During the ride approximately 250 riders were arrested" - later figures given were 115; 250 comes from immediate news account
Agreed...according to further research of available news stories.Critical Chris (talk) 08:25, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
  • "Brown was humorously portrayed by one news report as hypocritical and lacking credibility on the issue of enforcing traffic laws against Critical Mass bicyclists since Brown gained a noted reputation for flying through town with a motorcycle escort just to make his meetings on time" - POV and BLP issues
We need further clarification of this source if Phil Matier was in humor-op/ed mode. Matier works out at my gym, I could try to ask him, but I still wouldn't have a citation. So let's leave it our for now.

This section needs a lot of clean-up. This is just to get it back to something neutral. Some of these things are simply deletable as POV problems and should be summarily changed. Others need to be worked through. I'm hesitant to wade through this at the moment so for now I'll put an NPOV tag in the SF section. Wikidemo (talk) 10:35, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I think for a lot of the unreliable, unsourced material, it can simply be removed, as they don't add much to the article. The statement regarding "Gabe Schnake-Mahl" is half sourced. The Willie Brown intro doesn't need to mention the "private limo". If the 115 is sourced, let's use that, etc... -- MacAddct  1984 (talk • contribs) 17:05, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I can find the sources (though I'm busy today). The 250 and 250+ figures for arrests in the SF police crackdown of 1997 are based on initial media accounts, and are widely repeated. However, subsequent accounts in the SF Chronicle all say 115 so that is likely the official police number. Given the police conduct in the incident, I would not trust them 100% and I'm not familiar enough with police arrest and booking procedure to know if the official arrest count might be misstated (for example, if they released people without booking after realizing they were wrongly arrested). I know it all has to be sourced at some point, so I'm speculating here only to try to figure out how and where to find those sources. Wikidemo (talk) 17:36, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Some shoe leather at the Hall of Justice might get you into the blotter and booking log.Critical Chris (talk) 08:25, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Wikidemo, I have a serious question for you that I believe you should confirm or deny in the interest of ethics and possibly Wikipedia Policy if I can find one: Are you Willie Brown's publicist, or part of his publicist team? You seem to have taken a strong protective ownership of the Wilie Brown article making "ownership" statements on the discussion page there such as: "you need to slow down" this smacks of frowned upon ownership statements as per Wikipedia:Ownership of articles. Now you seem to be highly concerned about critical material on him here on this Critical Mass article. You also have a sudden interest in editing this article and possibly to disguise your true motives, you're attacking all the material here, and not just the Willie Brown stuff. If this is the case, your game is very transparent to me. If it's not the case, you'll have no problem denying it, right? ...and working constructively to avoid POV statements such as those that you've made on the Willie Brown article and talk page such as "Critical Mass -blocks- traffic" treating it as fact and foregone conclusion.Critical Chris (talk) 00:14, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
I will not answer your question. You have been singlemindedly and persistently adding inappropriate content to the Willie Brown article. Because I was interested in finding more information and sources about the "corking" method of blocking traffic I reread this article (this article has some good stuff on that), only to find that the same exact material had recently been added here. This kind of effort to slant articles to an extremist position, and make personal attacks when you do not get your way, is antithetical to the building of an encyclopedia. I'll give you an WP:AGF / WP:NPA notice on your talk page momentarily. Wikidemo (talk) 00:27, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Wikidemo, I haven't accused you of being on Willie Brown's publicist team, just as you asked me If I'm involved with Critical Mass on the Willie Brown talk page, I'm asking you, again, are you his publicist. I think this is a perfectly responsible question per WP:Conflict of Interest policy. This doesn't automatically disqualify you from editing the article, but it does beg the question since he just released an autobiography 2 weeks ago. Please note, I've assumed good faith for the past few weeks. Extremist is a harsh indictment of my edits, they are all well sourced from mainstream news periodicals such as the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, PBS Newshour, Time Magazine. If you think market-based congestion pricing of center city road use is extreme, you should take a look at Michael Bloomberg's platforms and George W. Bush's Transportation Secretary Mary Peters' public statements on this topic.Critical Chris (talk) 01:55, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Wikidemo, I'm taking a few days off of editing the body of articles to collect my thoughts. You seem very frustrated by my WP:COI conflict of interest question, whether you have a conflict of interest with Willie Brown and the Willie Brown article. As much as you resent it and see it as a personal attack, that's not my intention. My apologies if you see it as such. My intention is not to cause undue stress or frustration for you. However, I stand by my position that it's a responsible question. My intention is to see you affirm or deny the question so that, in the spirit of WP:COI we can all collectively make constructive, fully informed edits. I believe it's only fair and responsible for me to ask, given that you asked me if I ride with Critical Mass. For the record, yes I have done a critical mass ride or two in my time. Given that association, I will continue to collectively construct and improve content with others here on Wikipedia.Critical Chris (talk) 02:09, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Please mind your own editing and do not try to pin motivations or mental states on me for holding the line on policy. I asked you whether you had anything to do with critical mass because you repeatedly inserted POV content into two articles having to do with a critical mass event under the user name is "Critical Chris." An entirely fair question under the circumstances. You said no, so I will accept that at face value and leave it at that. You have zero basis for your admittedly tit-for-tat accusations that I am Willie Brown's publicist and all that other stuff. Whether you backpedal or having done it or not, it's an AGF and NPA problem. No stress at all, I'm just not going to play that game. Wikidemo (talk) 02:23, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
You asked me: "By the way, may I infer from your "Critical Chris" wiki name that you are somehow connected with the Critical Mass rides?" Wikidemo (talk) 10:20, 19 February 2008 (UTC) answer: "...the "Critical" in "Critical Chris" refers to critical thinking, not Critical Mass." That's if you're asking me what's-in-a-name? If whether I'm "connected with the rides?" I have gone out on some Critical Mass rides in my day, if that's what you're wondering. If that makes me "connected" perhaps it's a conflict of interest quite possibly, and if so, perhaps I should recuse myself from editing this article. I need to review Wikipedia WP:COI policy in further detail. Keep in mind Critical Mass has no leadership structure, and the rides are non-hierarchical. It's not a "club." There are no dues, no grants, no offices, no official website, no centralization, no structure, no organization...other than a group of cyclists showing up at 6pm and riding together. I don't represent or speak for CM, anymore than you would if you came out on a CM ride, dig? Please understand, I'm not accusing you of anything. Given the circumstances of your -apparent- sense of ownership over the Willie Brown article, I'm asking you to disclose whether you are "connected with" Brown's publicist team. No one has a gun to your head, you are not in front of a Grand Jury, this is not a deposition. This is my own (possibly silly...possibly important)ethics inquiry. In terms of you and your edits, I can only assume, a good faith independence of Brown's interests on your part, that you are not beholden to Brown's interests, that you are denying my interrogatory, and are not part of Brown's publicist team, absent your answer in the affirmative. Is it fair to say that's "assuming good faith?"Critical Chris (talk) 17:57, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
So let's discuss the article and our edits. This language is straight from the Chronicle article: (the cyclist)"smacked into the front driver's side of his car," ...I take this to mean he literally "smacked" or "slapped" the front fender with his open hand, and not that he "hit" or crashed into the fender with his bike. "Hit" could imply that there was a collision. What do you think? Moving on: "..the cyclist however, told Police Officers that he only hit the car with his lock after Webb had gunned his engine (throttle)." Why not stick to the Chronicle article language that the cyclist made statements to police, whereas your use of the word "claim" is significantly more ambiguous and could imply that the cyclist made "claims" to the press, "claims" to bystanders, etc. Critical Chris (talk) 20:25, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
The general term "hit" is better than "smacked", which is a meaningless colloquialism. Similarly, "claims" is a more useful general term for asserting the truth of a matter, when the details of exactly who he claimed what to and when is not relevant. We summarize events here on Wikipedia. Wikidemo (talk) 23:52, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Removed most obvious BLP vios

I've removed some obvious BLP vios and cleaned up some sections in the process, while trying generally to preserve the useful content. Material that disparages or discredits parties to the confrontations, providing names and home cities of people accused of serious crimes, and mentioning the names of minors who are crime/accident victims are not permitted per WP:BLP even though all these things are sourced and in public record. We take a step back from that here. Wikidemo (talk) 01:18, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Wikidemo, you want to "stick to (news source) article" than let's stick to the article. I've reverted the text to more closely align with the Chronicle article. Please take a look and let me know what you think.Critical Chris (talk) 11:25, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm sticking to what the source says, not directly quoting the author. The summary was more accurate without the selective choice of words you've added, which I see have been partly reverted by another editor.Wikidemo (talk) 23:49, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Refernce formatting

Hey Ilke2beAnonymous, thanks for cleaning up some of the reference formatting. It does look better.Critical Chris (talk) 06:40, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Conflicts with motorists San Francisco March, 2007

I've reverted eidts by Ilike2beanonymous for clarity: "blocked the driver's path of travel." I believe this in necessary to avoid confusion. The cyclists blocked the limousine from traveling forward in it's path. To leave out the word travel implies that the cyclists blocked the driver's path of escape from the doors of his limousine, which could be considered false imprisonment or false arrest. None of the cyclists are alleged to have prevented the driver or the occupants of the limousine from exiting the vehicle and fleeing the area. Merely leaving it at "path" could imply that the driver was prevented from escaping if he felt his personal safety was at risk. In regards to the word throttle: most all of us know what this means, however, it could be considered to be slang colloquy and Wikipedia is an international resource. I believe the article could be more useful to an ESL user if we included the word "throttle" which is more easily translated than something that might come off to an ESL user as "the driver fired a gun at his engine."Critical Chris (talk) 23:30, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

You're gaming this excessively. It's obvious what blocking travel means, and what gunning the engine means. Gunning engine throttles is not a real expression. Sourcing material is not a game of selectively reproducing authors' linguistic quirks in detail. This description is a deliberately mild statement of what happened. For goodness sakes, a mob surrounded the limo and assaulted the driver - surrounded him, prevented him from leaving, banged up the car, took his cell phone and keys, and slashed the tire, and one got arrested for a felony in the process. Your constant attempt to tilt events to seem sympathetic to violent biker mobs is getting really tiresome. Wikipedia is not a place for propaganada. Wikidemo (talk) 23:47, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
..."blocking his path of travel" is fine to me, whereas "blocking his path" is a bit more ambiguous. Also what do you mean by your claims that the two (or more?) cyclists "prevented him from leaving?" I believe there's a significant difference between corking the driver from driving forward into a mass of passing bicyclists and "preventing him from leaving" the area on foot all together, which would clearly be false imprisonment or false arrest. To color the action this way is arguably propaganda in its own right. If you can source that out than I'm listening. Also at what point did the two cyclists "assault the driver." You seem to be tilting events yourself sir. Do you have any citations for these allegations? If this is what happened then I'd be appreciative and better informed as to the true facts of this event with your reliable, fact-checked news sources confirming these details.Critical Chris (talk) 06:46, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree that you're just playing semantic games here; "blocking the path" of an automobile is entirely clear (except perhaps to an ambulance-chasing lawyer seeking to find a legal loophole somewhere) that it means the forward path of the automobile; anything else is redundant nonsense. Same with "engine throttle", a phrase I've never heard used. "Gunning the engine" is 100% clear and needs no further reinforcement. +ILike2BeAnonymous (talk) 07:02, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I notice you did not address Wikidemo's allegations that the "violent biker mobs" "assaulted the driver."Critical Chris (talk) 07:22, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Wikidemo, you belive I'm "Gaming this excessively?" I'm sorry you feel that way. I'm not playing games, I'm trying to improve the accuracy and usefulness of the article. Critical Chris (talk) 07:09, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, this is getting awfully petty. Please read the source cited. It describes blocking the driver's path (which corking is too, but it does not support that it was corking). It also clearly describes reports, by multiple witnesses including a police officer, that the cyclists surrounded the vehicle and prevented it from leaving. Ability to escape on foot is simply not an issue. You can call it false imprisonment if you want and it probably was given the events described but the bikers were not charged with that and we're not here to do legal analysis. This ongoing issue is an unnecessary waste of time and your tit for tat accusations of bias are out of place. I'm keeping this article neutral and in line with the better of the sources. Wikidemo (talk) 07:15, 25 February 2008 (UTC)


So let's discuss the article and our edits. This language is straight from the Chronicle article: (the cyclist)"smacked into the front driver's side of his car," ...I take this to mean he literally "smacked" or "slapped" the front fender with his open hand, and not that he "hit" or crashed into the fender with his bike. "Hit" could imply that there was a collision. What do you think? Moving on: "..the cyclist however, told Police Officers that he only hit the car with his lock after Webb had gunned his engine (throttle)." Why not stick to the Chronicle article language that the cyclist made statements to police, whereas your use of the word "claim" is significantly more ambiguous and could imply that the cyclist made "claims" to the press, "claims" to bystanders, etc. Critical Chris (talk) 20:25, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
The general term "hit" is better than "smacked", which is a meaningless colloquialism. Similarly, "claims" is a more useful general term for asserting the truth of a matter, when the details of exactly who he claimed what to and when is not relevant. We summarize events here on Wikipedia. Wikidemo (talk) 23:52, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
In a transportation, streets and traffic context, which this seems to be to me, "hit" could imply accidental or intentional collision between bike and car, whereas "smack" or "slap" implies a direct and intentional use of force by the cyclist's upper extremity against the side of the car. Thus I believe "smack" or "slap" is more accurate and less ambiguous. "Claim" implies allegation and not necessarily fact or truth. Is the details of "who he claimed what to and when relevant?" I believe it is as most criminal defendants (represented or not, when talking to police and prosecutors, through an attorney or in pro per without an attorney) are generally more cognizant of lying and perjury problems especially if plea bargaining, than someone telling a story or making a claim to a reporter. I have no problem with "claimed to the police" or "made claims to the police" or "told police." I do believe the defendant's statement to police is relevant here to describe the circumstances of the incident in an encyclopedic context.Critical Chris (talk) 07:09, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I am not going to debate this semantic quibble further. You are wasting time. If we were to reproduce the entire article there are plenty of lurid and disturbing details of what the cyclists did. However, we are trying to summaries and stick to what's relevant. Wikidemo (talk) 07:15, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Wikidemo, I'm sorry you feel I'm 'wasting time' editing this article..."boss." Please "mind your own edits," as you say, and please don't express your managerial tenor to me. I'll spend as much of my own time editing whatever I choose here. For the record, I believe there's a point of clarification to telling the reader that the cyclist "told police" or "claimed to police" as opposed to making claims to the newspaper reporter.Critical Chris (talk) 07:35, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Have we addressed all the POV concerns at this point? I'd like to remove the POv tag if so. If not, please chime-in here.Critical Chris (talk) 02:58, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I would be happy to see the tag removed. Wikidemo (talk) 03:05, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Seeing no objections for now, I've removed the tag.Critical Chris (talk) 17:42, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

A citation a day!

Can we all take a time out from our busy wiki schedules and promise to fix at least one citation format every day? Someone put a citation format tag on here, so I think it's good to pitch in to get the citations into templates rather than raw URL links. It's calming, it's productive, it's good for the world, and it's something we all agree on, right? Wikidemo (talk) 02:12, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Ha, ha, what a comedian...I'm ok with the spirit of your suggestion, but will admit that HTML is not my strong suit. That being said I will try to take note of format fixes I see here, and learn from them.Critical Chris (talk) 08:58, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Someone could add a little bit about Go Skateboarding Day, which is held on the first day of summer each year. I think that would be an event related to critical mass. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:55, 26 March 2008 (UTC)  Done I added a link to the See also section. Skomorokh 12:05, 26 March 2008 (UTC)


Wikidemo, thanks for cleaning up the vandalism..."dirty hippie parade" :) ...pullease.Critical Chris (talk) 04:37, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

nameclash with Critical mass

I consider it confusing to distinguish between the two articles with upper/lowercase m's - Critical mass and Critical Mass. (compare with discussion Talk:Critical_mass#Move_from_Critical_mass_.28nuclear.29_to_Critical_mass). Any other opinions? Widefox (talk) 18:40, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Are you recommending a change? What would you like to change? Personally, I'm used to it, and both pages have links to the disambig page, so I find the current namings not a problem. Cheers, Doctormatt (talk) 19:02, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

First Police Escort on a Crit Mass Ride?

27 June 2008: New Haven, CT may have become the first city to have a police escort during the entirety of the ride; we were told this was the case at the start, but no one seemed certain.

here's an article about it: [1]

Branfordrules (talk) 05:54, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Anecdotally, I've seen and heard of police escorting the ride in San Francisco. Generally but not always without incident. Since the route is unannounced and probably unplanned it's probably hard for the cops to figure out what to do. Wikidemo (talk) 06:01, 3 July 2008 (UTC)


This article seems very biased. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:05, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Would you care to elaborate? Your comment is not useful: it doesn't help us improve the article. Please give specifics and recommendations you think would improve the article. Thanks. Doctormatt (talk) 16:57, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I've been away from the article for a while, and actually I think it looks pretty good. One thing that jumps out at me though, is in the San Francisco Conflict with Authorities section, where the first sentence is "In 1997, the Mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown, was delayed on his way to dinner in his limousine in heavy traffic on the evening of the June 1997 San Francisco Critical Mass ride." before getting into the events of the 1997 crackdown. It's not supported by a cite, and even if it's true, seems like a very POV statement. -Chunky Rice (talk) 17:14, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Also, and this is not a bias issue, really, there's got to be some way we can consolidated the Conflicts section. I'm not convinced that the nitty gritty details of every clash with motorists or authorities adds much to the article. Certainly some incidents, like the SF 1997 crackdown probably should be mentioned independently, but the majority of it is probably not necessary, in my opinion. -Chunky Rice (talk) 17:20, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

How about the ENTIRE SECTION about "Sacramento, California?" Way below the Wiki POV standards, and it's crossing the line into preaching. " Ironically, the police actually occupy a larger portion of on-street traffic than the riders and thus inhibit the flow of traffic far more than the riders do. In addition, the police use every justification to issue citations, which tends to keep the speed of the mass very slow. Citations in the past have included tickets for not having lights, for moving too far into the road way, failing to signal when turning left, etc. Some believe that the police's domineering presence and propensity for issuing as many tickets as possible is an attempt to have a chilling effect on the rider's 1st amendment freedom of assembly." <--- the entire section has nothing to back it up other than anecdotal evidence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:04, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

== So these riders show up at an unexpected place, cause mass confusion and back up traffic...........all of which is illegal.......why are so many people upset that they getting arrested? Break the law go to jail.....that simple

Deleted Section on Berwyn Incident

I deleted the section on a drunk driver, who while fleeing the scene of a different accident, drove into some CM cyclists. This wasn't a conflict between a motorist and cyclists. The section seems clearly about incidents in which bikers or drivers have allegedly taken out frustrations on each other over philisophical differences. A drunken idiot accidentally driving into people doesn't fit the bill, there was no intent or anti-cyclist motivation on her part, just impaired judgement and reaction time. (talk) 19:36, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Conflict with authorities

This section has become something of a WP:COATRACK. Would people object if we condensed it into a few paragraphs that cited these incidents to support general statements about the nature of these conflicts? I really don't think we just want to keep adding a new sub-section every time some incident breaks the news. -Chunky Rice (talk) 17:00, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Seattle, July 2008

Wikidemo, as per WP:Weight ...this article will evolve over time as facts become more known and their significance clarified. As of right now, if anything the "conflicts with motorists" section could use more weight to offset the more lenghty "conflicts with authorities" section. Critical Chris (talk) 00:53, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

It's not really clear what happened there. For example, this page -- -- gives a story that's very different than what the section currently says. So I've put the NPOV and current event tag there ... dougmc (talk) 01:21, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Dougmc, are you suggesting public letters to the editor e-mails posted on "The Slog" should be considered a reliable, objective new source?Critical Chris (talk) 01:25, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
News coverage on the Strangers blog is a reliable source. The removal of the citation tags to published accounts of witness statements, which were removed from this article, was overstepping the bounds of editing practice. An admin should look back over the history of edits on this section and consider blocking a number of editors for vandalism. - Michael J Swassing (talk) 01:54, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Hold on. Please review WP:VANDALISM before accusing anybody of that. Also, WP:NOT#NEWS, WP:RS and WP:BLP. We don't know what happened. We may never know what happened. Various people are accused of crimes here, or conduct that may be a crime: "running down" bicyclists, "fleeing" the scene, attacking a person and a car, and engaging in self help. These are unproven charges sourced to witnesses at the scene. Those are utterly inappropriate per WP:BLP. Moreover, argumentation theories, such as that the bicyclists attempted to disable the car to prevent the driver from fleeing, are speculative at best. They're self serving and are serve no purpose other than to support a fringe interpretation by which it is okay for angry bystanders to commit violence because they feel entitled. Whatever their self-justiication, if they actually did it, then by their own description of facts they're likely guilty of false imprisonment and felony vandalism. Their excuse becomes irrelevant at that point. Weight is a problem for people on both sides. This is yet another confrontation very similar to many others - perhaps a dozen or two mentioned here. We can't give a long paragraph to each incident - that totally overshadows all the other aspects of critical mass. Wikidemo (talk) 04:17, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
The potential for conflict and public safety issues related to acts of civil disobedience which include violation of traffic laws is not an insignificant aspect of the subject of this article. Nor is police and media bias and assumptions in early reports about it. The relationships among the riders, disrupted traffic, public safety officials, and the media are pretty central to the subject of the events and their social and political intent and unintended outcomes.

If BLP prevents the suggestion that a crime was committed by the driver, then remove any suggestion that a crime was committed by the riders. They are also living people. Early reports were limited to the statement of the police spokesman, where Seattle Police is not to be considered unbiased. Present published accounts contain numerous eyewitness accounts which make the initial reports not credible. - Michael J Swassing (talk) 04:25, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, they should both be removed. It is okay to report arrests if those are well known but not to endorse or repeat claims by various unreliable sources. Police reports are generally not reliable; press reports are reliable. If you consider the mainstream press too biased a source to believe you've more or less given up on the premise of Wikipedia. But sources are of different quality, there are weight issues, and conflicting sources must be considered. Moreover, you have to distinguish direct reportage from accounts of witness and police statements. The latter are only as reliable than the person saying them - the press reporting what someone said does not make what they said any more reliable. Also you have to distinguish factual reporting from opinion and editorials by the press. The answer to this whole mess is, generally, stick to the known facts and don't try to spin a relatively minor incident of violence into a crime scene report. It's hard to take mob vigilante violence seriously as civil disobedience, but if that's truly the norm of the riders or some subgroup, that belongs in a separate section where their social norms can be discussed - not as a lens to filter every single altercation they get into. Wikidemo (talk) 04:37, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

1) Since when are police reports "not credible"? The report clearly states who was arrested, why, and the statements gathered by police... are you suggesting the information is incorrect and the police are simply issuing lies as "Reports"? (i.e. no on was arrested? the driver DIDN'T have a bleeding head injury and needed treatement? Witnesses at the scene indicate the cyclists corked the intersection AROUND the Subaru and hense how the panic driver trying to back out of the "critical mass"?) These are facts... that's what a report does. This isn't a social-engineering piece by a local rag with wash-out journalists... its an unbaised report. I don't recall the last time I commited unlawful detainment, vandalized a window vehicular window, assulted/battered a driver through that window, then PULLED A KNIFE from my cycling gear and slashed a vehicle tire (instead of just getting a plate number). There were MULTIPLE felonies commited here and to dismiss it as police "bias", who have no vested intested in this mind you, is shameful and an assult on the very principle of responsible journalism and checking of sources.

A police report is an unproven charge that has little standing in court. Yes, police to lie. They also make mistakes. And they make judgment calls that are fine for police reports but not taken as the unequivocal truth about things. Journalists don't regurgitate police reports. What they do is say that the police made a report saying a certain thing - hearsay essentially. Per our WP:V, WP:RS, and WP:PSTS, a police report can only verify as a primary source that the police said a certain thing. However, the relevance of the police saying a certain thing is limited. It doesn't prove that the thing happened. It's not a question of bias at all. It's a question of reporting things that are not proven. We are an encyclopedia, not a newspaper. We don't breathlessly repeat everything that gets said. Wikidemo (talk) 01:12, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
And for proof that police officers lie you don't need to go further than this report[2] - the biker tackled by the cop was charged with "blocking traffic, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and assault". I wonder what was in the police report. Reliable sources have fact checking, verification, editorial oversight. Police reports are simply witness accounts by government officials who may or may not be have better greater accuracy, perception, trustworthiness, recollection, and bias than random witnesses on the street. Wikidemo (talk) 17:56, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

section break, seattle 7/08

Wikidemo, "sped off" is the language from the --mainstream-- newspaper article and is completely appropriate to describe a factual event and is not intended to be inflammatory or "unduly evocative" as you say it's the best we have right now, barring strong objections from other editors, I advocate for restoring this language with proper citation. Also: this motorist made statements to police, "admitted," call it what you want, that he backed into at least two cyclists. If this is the case, the motorist's irresponsible motor vehicle operation, or appropriate use of force in self-defense...whatever the legal system might judge it to one of the essential facts of the case if you will that should be detailed in a basic description of this incident.Critical Chris (talk) 00:35, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Was the driver exceeding the speed limit? Was he accelerating any faster than most people do when they leave a place? Even if it were true, how is that relevant to this event? Newspapers use colorful language to keep things lively. Everyone knows those kinds of comments aren't literal. We're not a newspaper. Nor are we presenting a legal case. So 90% of the language a Newspaper would use on this story, on any story, isn't appropriate to the tone here. We rephrase. We don't cite newspapers for our choice of one word over another; we choose the neutral one. If people won't stop trying to add salacious details I'll have to take it to WP:BLP/N. But I wish people would just concentrate on getting the facts down. Wikidemo (talk) 00:41, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
A few other problems that linger: "was temporarily being prevented" - obviously trying to justify the biker's actions, but what does it even mean? "Assaulted" the motorist - if it's proven, yes, but that's a claim that someone committed a crime. "Distraught" motorist backed into bikers. What proof that motorist is distraught and why relevant? That's hinting at some causation that isn't established. Wikidemo (talk) 00:45, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

yes, that gaping head wound, smashed window, and slashed tires were an accident... or umm... self-inflicted? Give me a break, there's a difference between NAMING someone specificly as perpetrating a crime and reporting a victim of a crime exists. The suspects may be innocent until proven guilty, but that does NOT imply that until someone is convicted there simply was NO crime commited. If that was the case, NO ONE could be charged for committing crimes. A crime was DEFINTELY commited, and as long as the suspects are not specificly outlined in the article by name, there is no presumption of innocence violation.

The disputed material was restored after my above comment - so I take that as a break-down in discussions. Under the circumstances I'll take this to the next step of dispute resolution, i.e. BLP/N. The IP editor makes a good point that we can mention that someone was the victim of a crime if we don't accuse anyone of the crime. However, in this case it's hard to do. Any mention of the driver, for example, identifies the driver specifically. Leaving the name out doesn't obscure the driver's identity. Some of this is a matter of nuance - if it's well sourced that someone was injured we can say injured, or perhaps attacked - but assaulted is a legal conclusion. I'm not sure that single incidents of violence are notable though. We'll see what people think at BLP/N. 01:09, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Wikidemo, sorry, didn't catch your comment in time. If you want to "undo" that specific disputed material until other editors weigh in, I'm ok with that as per WP:CONSENSUS. Note: all suspected sock puppet and "meat puppet" editors will be investigated and tagged as per Wikipedia:Sock puppetry policy.Critical Chris (talk) 01:37, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
No, that's okay but thanks for the offer - even though it's a BLP issue we're not doing any harm to these people they haven't done to themselves and isn't in the press already. Please be sure to sign (~~~~) the comments. We have socks on this page? Yuck. Wikidemo (talk) 01:24, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

BLP/N report

Is here: WP:BLP/N#Critical Mass. Feel free to comment there; denizens of that page may arrive here too. Wikidemo (talk) 01:20, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

I think that 2 hypotheticals need addressing for people to understand this...

1) What if pedestrians had a "Critical Walk" at the same time, where they decided to block all vehicular traffic including the critical mass cyclists? Who would have the moral high ground?

2) If someone dies because their ambulance, fire, or other rescue vehicle was blocked by Critical Mass, who's fault is that? Is it intentionally reckless to human life to risk such a possibility?

If any spokesperson for the movement has addressed these points, I think the argument belongs in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:47, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

As other editors and Wikipedia policy will tell you, Wikipedia is not a place for original research if that's what your "hypothetical" "argument" on a point of ethics and "moral high ground" is. It is a place for concise, well sourced --encyclopedic-- information about various topics.Critical Chris (talk) 01:23, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

May 2007 incident

So, I was just reverted regarding two witnesses. If they were "hostile" or unreliable can I get a reliable citation for that? Neither cite for that sentence seems to indicate that. -Chunky Rice (talk) 01:45, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

The citations don't mention also that the Berkeley Police refused to take statements and complaints from most every cyclist riding in the Mass that evening. In any event there is considerable controversy over the objectivity of the witnesses that evening, one of whom was traveling in a caravan with the motorist and can be seen in YouTube videos of the incident shoving the motorist's wife back into the minivan with quite a bit of familial license. To mention the witnesses here, without also mentioning counterveilling witnesses begs questions of objectivity and balance. In other words, there were witnesses on both sides and to focus only on those witnesses to which the police gave most favorable credibility skews the balance of an encyclopedic treatment of the incident.Critical Chris (talk) 02:30, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Um, citation please? You're making a lot of allegations that appear to be unsupported. -Chunky Rice (talk) 02:37, 29 July 2008 (UTC)\
I'm not claiming to have citations for this...other than possibly: upcoming Berkeley Police Review Commission reports that may already be public record on file. I am saying that an unbiased encyclopedic treatment of this topic does not warrant the inclusion of early police investigation witness reports as in turn initially reported by the media. Public grievances have been filed to officially question the integrity of the police investigation which relied on witness statements from choice witnesses, and to the extent to which you advocate for mentioning those witnesses here you are giving less credit to the counterveilling witnesses who have filed grievances. Should we expand the section to include details of the current Berkeley Police Review Commission complaints?Critical Chris (talk) 02:49, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Are they mentioned in third-party reliable sources? The content of the article should reflect the content of the sources cited. Sounds like you're doing a significant amount of original research here. If you have a citation, let's use it. If not, let's change the text to reflect the citations we have. -Chunky Rice (talk) 02:51, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
It's not "original research" at all, there are real substantive issues of weight here that deserve consideration as per WP: WEIGHT. We have to consider the size of the paragraph against the overall length of the article, considering no arrests were made. I have no problem with a few more sentences personally, however some other editors to this article may feel stronger about length issues. If you elect to re-include treatment of the witnesses, It could easily fill a paragraph. Should we get into hair splitting over sentences such as: "some of the witnesess?"Critical Chris (talk) 15:59, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
It is absolutely original research to be making claims about the reliability of the witnesses, since we have no reliable source that backs that up. I don't see the WP:WEIGHT issue here. That clearly states that the article should accurately reflect various POV as reported by reliable sources. We have a reliable source here and right now, the article doesn't really reflect what it says. All I have asked of you is to provide a reliable source to back up your claims, which you have failed to do. -Chunky Rice (talk) 16:28, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm putting the reference back in unless you can provide a source that provides a reason not to. -Chunky Rice (talk) 01:27, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Do what you have to do, and don't make any plans this weekend :) Critical Chris (talk) 15:59, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand what this means. Is it some sort of threat to edit-war or something? -Chunky Rice (talk) 16:29, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Not at all, the WP:3RR rule will prevail. If 3 times in one day is a war, than that doesn't take up that much time. It's a proper --discussion-- of the issue here, in the context of a collaborative consensus editing process, that could potentially take up a lot of time. Framing and outlining facts and sources about: 1) the issue of the credibility of the various witnesses, 2) the police investigation and which witnesses the police listened to more and gave favor to...that takes time. Finding citations to reinforce things that will now and eventually be added to the article because of your suggested edits, all of these things take time, so no we're not even talking about an edit war.Critical Chris (talk) 06:21, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Recent vandalism (Jul. 30 2008)

There've been a few dozen vandal edits in the last 24 hours alone, both from anons and from User:Criticle subversives. Anyone up for semi-protection? evildeathmath 20:43, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

I was thinking that. But Critical Subversives is a new SPA that, based on the name, is up to nothing but trouble. Probably a sock. If the editor continues an indefinite ban would be in order, no? Some minor / background amount of IP vandalism we can deal with and just revert when we see it, that's part of the cost of allowing IP edits. Wikidemo (talk) 00:01, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

External Links

What about posting some external links for sites of the various cities listed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:15, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Cities with a critical mass

I think we should remove the section, as it only clutters the article and produces a very long list serving minimal purpose. At the very least, we should remove all but the biggest cities. Tealwisp (talk) 20:29, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

If no one objects within a few days, I will enact the edit (shorten list, not remove, yet). Tealwisp (talk) 22:38, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I was WP:BOLD and shortened the list. Tealwisp (talk) 08:37, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

  • The references mostly seemed to be links to websites for each city's CM and so I have merged the section into the external links. There are over 300 cities altogether and so a full list would be too long. All the major cities seem adequately covered elsewhere in the article. Colonel Warden (talk) 11:14, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
I think we have done a good thing here, and thanks for being bolder than I and taking it a step further. Tealwisp (talk) 02:05, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Austin Sept 2001 incident

I don't see any current mention of this in the page or in the talk archives, but it seems noteworthy enough that it should be present. There was apparently an incident in Austin, TX on Sept 28, 2001 involving a motorist running over bicyclist involved in a Critical Mass demonstration. It received mentions in several different newspapers.[3] -- Bovineone (talk) 21:34, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Split conflicts into separate article

It seems that it might be reasonable to improve the readability of the article by moving the two conflict sections ("Conflicts with motorists" and "Conflicts with authorities") into a single new article and then leaving only a brief summary of the types of conflicts here. This might also allow more exhaustive coverage of the notable conflicts, which seem to only be increasing. -- Bovineone (talk) 21:46, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

That would not be a bad idea, as there have been accusations (and videos) of police brutality regarding Critical Mass. Tealwisp (talk) 02:28, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Any suggestions on what the name of the split article should be? Conflicts involving Critical Mass, Critical Mass conflicts, List of Critical Mass conflicts, or something else? -- Bovineone (talk) 05:20, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I've completed the split into Conflicts involving Critical Mass and reorganized the existing page to bring most of the reactions under a single main section. I think this makes the content much easier to follow for a casual reader to the article. -- Bovineone (talk) 03:50, 15 November 2008 (UTC)