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NYCLU Files Brief In Support Of “Critical Mass” Bicyclists

The New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a friend-of-the-court brief opposing the City’s request for a federal court order that would bar thousands of people from participating in the controversial Critical Mass bike ride here in New York City. In its filing, the NYCLU argues that the court has no authority to order people not to participate in a demonstration when none of them are involved in the case before the court. In this case, the only parties before the court are five individual ride participants who originally sued the city over the NYPD’s seizure of their bicycles; none of them has any responsibility for the ride.

Earlier this fall the court rejected the City’s original request to stop the ride, which has been taking place largely without incident on the last Friday of each month for nearly ten years. Police first made mass arrests of participants in Critical Mass just prior to the Republican National Convention in New York this past summer. The NYPD also made arrests, cut locks, and confiscated bikes during the October ride. The court has enjoined the City from seizing unattended bikes without first charging a person with a crime or issuing a summons.

A ruling by the court is expected before December’s ride, which is scheduled for New Year’s Eve.

Click here to read the NYCLU’s brief. (Requires the free Adobe Reader.)

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