Thursday, October 20, 2005

Paranoia. It's the new black.

Here's a brand-new reason to keep cyclists and their bikes out of buildings! Simpson ties in our oil-obsessed consumer culture with our oil-obsessed administration, and an active discrimination against sustainable trasnportation. Cyclists just could be terrorists. Critical Mass cyclists probably are terrorists. It's getting to the point that you can find terrorists hiding under your bed at night. Terrorists could be rummaging through the stacks in your local library. The paranoia would be comical if it weren't so...paranoid. It would be comical if it weren't being used as a tool against anyone even mildly suspicious or outside the cultural mainstream.

Honestly, it's OUR country. Isn't it about time we took it back? We're Americans. We're better than this.

(Excerpts follow)

Bush's war on... cyclists?

Paul Simpson lectures on the Bush administration's attempts to boost consumption of oil

Monday, October 10, 2005 @10:00PM by Imai Welch

"You're either with us or you're a bicyclist: North American car-dependency and the use of the Bush Administration's 'War on Terror' to discriminate against bicyclists, pedestrians and users of public transportation" is the name of the lecture that Dr. Paul Simpson gave at McGill last Friday.

Simpson claims that the Bush government's war on terror "has been used to discriminate against [sustainable transport users]," some of it systematically-based. "Government and business now see any investment toward private cars... as an important investment in infrastructure—public transport is now seen as a wasteful subsidy."

A specialist in internal medicine from Pennsylvania and president of the Centre Region Bicycle Coalition, Simpson contextualized his speech at the beginning by giving a history of what he called "the obesification of America."

...Further discrimination is weaved into the Department of Homeland Security's courses post 9/11. "One of the things they taught was that bicycles could be used to cause terrorist attacks and should not be allowed into [public buildings and structures]," said Simpson. He added that there has yet to be an attack using a bicycle.

However, cars may be parked underneath buildings, serving as effective means to transport bombs. Cars have yet to be restricted to the extent bicycles have.

Another effect was the general mistreatment of bicyclists by police, who are often branded as terrorists. Among the many examples Simpson cited, one artistic group promoting bicycling, the Rutabaga Flying Cycle Circus, was arrested hours after their arrival in St. Louis, Missouri. Their bicycles were destroyed, their belongings urinated upon, and their artwork defaced or destroyed. All this, Simpson noted, "while these things were in police custody."

The police claimed they had a tip that the bicycle posse was a terrorist organization.

FreeRide, a bike co-op in Pittsburgh, was branded as a terrorist organization for promoting bicycle usage instead of cars. Another Pittsburgh organization, BikePittsburgh, was declared "a domestic terrorist organization subject to investigation and harassment by the FBI," Simpson said.

Under the U.S. Patriot Act—a cluster of anti-terror legislation resulting from 9/11—a terrorist can also be defined as anyone speaking against energy production.


Blogger Fritz said...

And if you question paths, you're an "enemy of cycling"! You just can't win, Ed; everybody hates you.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

You're absolutely right, Fritz! My Mom just called, denounced me as a Communist, and hung up. Everyone really DOES hate me!

4:20 PM  

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