heading into sunday

29 08 2004

NYC’s Critical Mass enjoyed its own glorious coming-out party lastnight. After being largely ignored by the mainstream press for most of its existence, the New York Times, NPR, local tabloid rags (the NY Post and Daily News) and radio stations and newspapers from across the country gave prominent coverage of New York’s largest Mass in history. The official police estimate was 5,000.

And of course what brings all of this attention? Perhaps it was the arrests, or perhaps it was the reality that we owned the streets for two hours taking over Time’s Square and peacefully riding past Madison Square Garden. During the last week official police communiques were filled with threats and fear-mongering in an attempt to keep people from showing-up, but their intentions only encouraged the community to defend the action.

Clearly the police hoped to strike at our spirit, but talk to anyone in the streets lastnight, outside of St. Mark’s Church, with police helicopters and their surreal spotlightights shining through the trees, the cheers of the crowd, the battle for the streets and the bands that played late into the night we know what happened. We owned the streets and overwhelmed their macho posturing with our own defiant celebration. The tone was set and it was set by us. The experience is held in our hearts. That can never be taken away.