Newspaper logo  
 
 
   Charm City's Revolution Zone

COMMENTARY:

Charm City's Revolution Zone

by Scott Loughrey

The start of a baseball game at Camden Yards is an hour away. Traffic is high. Angry, very angry drivers are darting to and fro on the public's streets. Now, add to this mix enough bicyclists to block their way on the public thoroughfares....
On the night of June 30, a rag-tag collection of rebels explicitly and implicitly donning anti-Capitalist garb descend at Charles and Redwood Streets to take part in Critical Mass, a slowly-ridden bicycle ride protest that takes place on the last Friday of every month. One of the riders is wearing a provocative sign, "Capitalism: Who will be exploited next?" This idea more or less sums up the spirit of the hour. The bike riders aim to “restart the revolution.”

The start of a baseball game is an hour away. Traffic is high. Angry, very angry drivers are darting to and fro on the public's streets. The competition they are engaging in is to be the soonest to be stopped the closest distance possible to the $200,000,000 publicly-financed arena.

The police are there, of course. Three police bicyclists arrive at our gathering spot early. One makes a show of riding off and returning very shortly with two sets of plastic handcuffs. Two more police cars arrive. Soon there are 14, 15,16—even 18 police officers standing with us as we quietly wait with our bikes.

After a few more comrades arrive we start out. This seems to startle the police. Some are visibly surprised that we intend to defy the Men in Blue working for the thuggish Martin O'Malley administration. We start up Charles Street, politely taking up only one lane at first. As we ascend the hill voices in the back shout at us that this is a Critical Mass. We then take up all lanes.

The cops aren't following. To our surprise, they take off. (We'll learn later that some evidently head over to a nearby protest over the MTA Transit Rate Hike—the latest act of war against the poor. There they arrest protesters for what Americans knew for centuries to be Constitutionally-protected speech.)

The ride is long and wonderful. The angry motorists are the only problem. Two of them try to start fights with us. The only thing worth remembering about these Creatures of Venom is their spitting hatred for us, as their aggressive and angry lives—largely at public expense—are temporarily frustrated.

We bike to North Avenue. We ride south on St. Paul, a nightmare for bicyclists. We take it brazenly down to Pratt Street, defying more motorists than we can count. We take our act East on Pratt Street. Since the stadium traffic is still engaged in their Battle, this makes people unhappier still. We tour Baltimore's Disneyland (i.e., the Power Plant). (As mentioned previously this is where the Constitutionally-protected speech such as leafleting has apparently been banned by O'Malley's goons.) We head West on Lombard. There are at least five lanes of traffic here, and we do our best to block all of them. Motorists aggressively pass around and through us. There were no injuries, although it certainly is a war-zone.

A red light stops us at St. Paul and Lombard streets. The many passersby either applaud or scream at us on the sidewalk. An elderly couple has an angry conversation with one of us; they are pissed.

South on Light. Single-lane near Harborplace. East on Key Highway. Finally, the ride concludes at Little Havanas. It's time for drinks.

All in all, it is a fun ride. The Revolution is underway.


Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Chronicle and The Sentinel. All rights reserved. We invite your comments, criticisms and suggestions.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on July 13, 2003.
  
LOCAL NEWS
7.14CALENDAR
7.23Rep. Cardin to Travel to Guantanamo Bay to Review Status of Terror Suspects
7.14Woodberry Woods Gains Second National Recognition
7.13Credit Union to Participate in the Federal Home Loan Bank First Time Homebuyers Program
7.13 New Phase of Gwynns Falls Trail Opens
7.13Presbyterians Name New Leader
7.13Hampden Showcases Youth Media
7.12Community Activists Find Their Efforts Trumped by Developers Aided by City Government
7.12Garden Center Blooming in Hampden
6.10MTA Rate Increases Go In Effect June 30
6.10Liquor: The Other Drug
6.4City Council Unanimously Condemns ‘Patriot Act’
LETTERS
7.12Letters to the Editor
Open Letters:
6.4To Baltimore City Comptroller Pratt
ART & ENTERTAINMENT
7.12Travel: Sicily, Crossroads of Invaders
7.12What happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
7.12Bottom Floor Concert Series Moves to Patterson Arts Center
7.12Anonymous Words of Wisdom
7.12Books: Sports Figures and Race: Overcoming Obstacles
7.12Book: Author Takes the High Road in JFK Bio
NEWS MEDIA CRITIQUE
7.24NYT Flaks for Government by Omitting Three Critical Words
7.15France Bashers Ignorant of American History
7.12Hugo Chavez Is Crazy!
7.12Poll Finds Major Polls Distort Results by How They Frame Questions
7.12Human Rights Watch Calls on Saudi Government to Make Real Reforms Instead of Mounting a Media Image Campaign
EDITORIALS & OP-EDs
7.25"Winning the War on Credibility"
7.22Even with Weapons, Hussein Was No Threat
7.16Is Fraud a High Crime or Misdemeanor?
7.14Lawlessness in Iraq and the Failure of Unilateralism
7.12To an American Friend
SPEAKING OUT
7.14Local Bar Abruptly Cancels Palestinian Aid Concert
7.14Charm City's Revolution Zone
7.14Baltimore Hosts ‘Peace Palace for Collective Meditation’
7.12Powell Denies Intelligence Failure In Buildup To War, But Evidence Doesn’t Hold Up
7.12It’s Not That College Students Are Stupid; They’re Willfully Ignorant
7.12Conservative Conundrum
7.12Nader Blasts Plutocrats, Bush & Iraq War: Calls for ‘Congress Watch Locals’
7.12Religious and Advocacy Organizations Establish ‘Global Benchmarks’ for Corporations Worldwide
7.2Of Mice and (Con) Men
6.22The 'Crime' of Exercising Free Speech at Baltimore's Inner Harbor
(INTER)NATIONAL
7.31Greens to Run Presidential Candidate in 2004, But Who?
7.23Daniel Pipes nomination stalled in committee
7.23Congress Takes Aim At USA PATRIOT Act
7.14Bush's Wasted Trip to Africa
7.12“The Matrix,” a French Philosopher, and the Events of September 11
7.13The Bi-national State: The Wolf Shall Dwell With The Lamb
7.12Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century
7.12Why Bioterrorism is America’s Greatest Threat
7.12Cardin Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Eliminate Medicare Late Enrollment Penalty
7.12Weapons of Mass Deception
6.27Dean or Kucinich: Which is Better for Progressives?
FROM OTHER SITES
SCREED: news major media ‘tries to hide’
Websites We Like!
Analysis & Perspective

Public Service Ads: