Activism 101

Thanks to EnigMatic from ibiketo for the inspiration on this one.

This is the long version of my post.

As Cicero said, “Either the people are the slaves of the government, or the government is the servant of the people.”

”]Thank You to Steve Rhodes [CC License]

Having been to countless homeless/poverty committees in the past 10 years that have spent millions, if not billions of taxpayer dollars in this province/city with damned little to show for it I have utterly no faith in the power of politically based committees. HAC is a case in point. How much money have they spent to do nothing? How many activists have wasted their time with presentation after presentation?

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got–and that’s usually NOTHING.

Committees are powerless to make policy changes. All they can do is present watered-down recommendations to politicians. If I see one more self-serving media charade about another committee on poverty I am going to woof my cookies.

When they call now I tell them, “Are we going to walk out and do something? Because if we’re not, and you’re not willing to walk out the door and TAKE something, I’m not willing to talk. Talk is cheap. 70,000 families waiting for housing is 70,000+ too many. Walk out the door with me and we can cut it down to 69,990 today.”

*What do I suggest? I’ll tell you. Develop a vision and sell it.*–EnigMatic from ibiketo.

Precisely. Stop letting bureaucrats and politicians define the visions of the citizens. Let the cyclists define the dream.

I have respect for Critical Mass. One day a month they *take* the streets. They don’t beg, whine and although some may sit on committees, once a month they show their power to take the streets back. Do you all know how inspiring that really is? Even a cyclist pulling up for a bag of Fritos is bound to wave.

Why don’t we get serious like the no-car Sundays in Kensington? They didn’t ‘committee’ that to death. The citizens of Kensington took it.

Why are we begging our own elected officials to do the right, environmentally friendly thing? THEY are the public servants. We don’t owe them anything other than their more-than-adequate paycheques.

  • How soon do you think it would be before there would be bike lanes if hundreds of cyclists “flash raided” the major arteries of Toronto during rush hour one day a week?
  • How quickly do you think they would move on legal bike lanes? How seriously do you think they’d take cyclists then?
  • What would have happened if instead of supporting GM which, by it’s very nature, lives in the past and must go down unfortunately, that money was diverted to non-gasoline dependent infrastructure?
  • How fast do you think decent bike lanes and e-vehicle registration would happen *then* in major cities?
  • Gas vehicles are not sustainable. Cycling and e-vehicles are. Why are we begging for crumbs from the vehicular table?

The theory of a successful social/political movement is very simple. It’s two-fold. First the radical elements [anarchists, Black Panthers, AIM etc] demand change by direct action. This forces the state to deal with those who are moderate.

Before the following happens we need only make one decision. Do we want the whole road or do we want extensive cycling lanes?

In this case, direct action cyclists take over the roads while the moderates fight for bike lanes. Yet, both agree most of the time about the dream they share. They simply disagree on tactics and support the outcome, regardless. What the state hopes to do is to wear down the resistance over time or split the ranks by using the media.

Be smart. Don’t buy into the “you’re the good cyclists–they’re the bad cyclists” argument. If we stay solid, it’s an unbeatable poker hand.

It’s the history of political change 101.

Just ask the Bolivians how they took their water back.

Night Ride & Critical Mass

How much crazy crap would you cart on such an event? Here’s my list:

  • Okay, I’m juiced up.  I don’t mean on meth. Batteries. Check
  • Jerry-rigged pirate flag. Check
  • Huge super-tacky-anti-fashion-glow-in-the-dark reflector-sweatshirt. Check
  • Flashy blinding light for back. Check
  • Headlight. Check
  • Homely helmet that came free with Trike. Check
  • Tools for emergencies. Check
  • Video Gear:  Batteries/dvds/videocam/notebook. Check
  • Waist pouch full of regular crap. Check
  • Extra Polygrip in case I go really fast downhill and my dentures slip. Check

You know…I think I built a cabin with less gear.

_________________

Tonight is a 6pm Critical Mass ride. It sounds wonderful. It will be my first night ride.

Hmmmm.

I’m not sure my e-trike batteries will last all the way to the meeting point, back down and home since I haven’t yet tested their full capabilities and there’s no indicator to tell me how much juice is left.

I’ll top up the juice this afternoon, no matter what.

However, what I was thinking, is that I could barrel up Roncensvalles with my videocam and catch part of it if I left at the same time as the meet, I could place myself and cam to catch them whizzing by then jump in on the fun. That’s the great joy of cargo haulage on the trike.

Whatever I decide, I’ll be posting on my triking [and video, if I do so] adventures with Critical Mass.

See you at the Revue Cinema, either way.

Honka Honka!

  • Calendar

    • July 2017
      M T W T F S S
      « May    
       12
      3456789
      10111213141516
      17181920212223
      24252627282930
      31  
  • Search