Sunday, August 21, 2005

Pedal Power to the People

(Police motorcycle in the background) Something amazing happened on York Street last night. Over 2000 cyclists streamed by my place at about 11:00 pm and completely took over the street. First I heard the sounds; hooting, talking, laughing, ringing their bells. I went outside into the cool night air and was totally surprised to see hundreds and hundreds of these happy riders cruising by. I kept thinking that I should go inside and get my video camera but I was sure that it would end soon and I would miss the action. The first wave that I saw completely occupied the two lanes of York going south; four to six abreast, there were no cars. The silent whooshing of these night riders dominating the street brought me a feeling of what might be. I kept watching as they cruised by, a motorless alternative to the usual noise and exhaust spewing cars and motorcycles. They were laughing and joking as they rode, some in costume, some on “built for twos”, others bedecked in mini-lights, kids, parents, grandparents, a veritable party on wheels. And still they kept on coming. Literally thousands were participating in the river of alternative … what? Was this the Critical Mass movement? Nope, that’s on the 3rd Friday of each month. After about 10 minutes I finally saw a car trapped in the stream – a black stretch limo. Later I saw a single motorcycle cop cruising at speed. He pulled over and just watched. After 15 minutes I went inside and got my video camera. Although the stream had diminished somewhat when I returned a minute later, it was still impressive. Ooops, someone took a spill. Those around him exclaimed “whoooops” and parted carefully to avoid further accidents. Back on the bike after a few joking jeers from friends, the parade continued. At one point there appeared three cars amidst the stream. They were aggressively honking and racing their engines, but to no avail…what were they going to do, run over a few kids to exert their supremacy? No…their powerful poison pistons were rendered impotent … their occupants reduced to hollering and waving their fists out the window… to the laughter of those pedaling nearby. Eventually the stream diminished to groups of 20 to 30, packaged by the traffic light at the intersection upstream. But they continued to come … and laugh, and wave, and demonstrate the power of the people to quietly upset the status quo in a way I had never before witnessed. While watching the video later to extract the frame-grabs above, I Googled and found what I guess must be the origin of this amazing event, the Moonlight Classic. What a wonderful event! It was a sight to behold, and somehow brought me new hope in a peak-oil, Iraq-lies, Bush-Boy-in-the-Bubble world. Pedal power to the people!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Denver Rally for Cindy and Peace

Over 800 people (by my estimate) streamed into downtown Denver's Civic Center Park to "Give Peace a Chance". After a few comments and attempts at group singing, the crowd settled down for 20 minutes of silence in response to Cindy Sheehan's Crawford mission - to ask Bush "what is the noble cause my son died for?" Bush can't meet with Cindy because there is no noble cause - just the lust for the control of oil. Read all about it at the Project for a New American Century, Check out what the neo-rads were saying in the year 2000, Rebuilding America's Defenses, and see what they boldly planned to do, and are now doing. It's no big secret folks.

Friday, August 5, 2005

Meeting of Coleman Manor Neighbors and Representatives

Background Coleman Manor is a HUD subsidized housing project at 22nd and Humboldt in Denver, Colorado. Built in 1968, the project consists of 24 rental units owned by the Campbell Chapel A.M.E. Church, located nearby. In recent years, the project has become a magnet for criminal activities, much to the consternation of its nearby neighbors (see police statistics below). Recently, the second murder in 18 months at this property propelled the neighbors to action. A meeting was called and hosted by the City Park West Neighborhood Association on July 13, 2005. Over 200 flyers, announcing the meeting, were distributed in the project, and the 9 blocks surrounding the project. The following videos were taken at that meeting. Technical Note: In order to view these videos, you must have a broadband internet connection such as DSL or cable modem. First download the free Google Video Viewer. Click on this link and then click on “Download Video Viewer”. This process only takes a few minutes. Part 1 Nearby neighbor voices concerns over drinking taking place on the Church property. Church spokesperson Reverend and Attorney Felicia George counters that this is part of their Ministry. Part 2 Church spokesperson Reverend and Attorney Felicia George explains how to register a complaint. Part 3 A young resident at Coleman Manor explains her point of view. Part 4 Mr. Simpson, representing the Church, responds to the suggestion that Coleman Manor provide security at the site. Part 5 Nearby neighbors and a business owner express concern over panhandling, fighting, indecent exposure and public urination. Reverend Regina Groff, pastor at the church, enters the meeting room. Part 6 Neighbor from across the street speaks about her experiences for the last 4 years and the recent murder. City Councilperson Elbra Wedgeworth details who is responsible. Part 7 Reverend Regina Groff details her concerns and considerations.