Last weekend during a protest against Monsanto in Carytown a police car drove over a tall bike as its rider dismounted. It’s just after the 1:45 mark in the video above. Protesters report the rider was given a summons for riding against traffic.
Organizers say 350 people turned out for the protest.
This peaceful assembly of more than 350 Richmond citizens, organized by members of Renew Richmond, Wingnut Anarchist Collective, and other concerned individuals, was in protest of AgriGiant Monsanto, the world’s leading seed producer as well as the largest producer of Genetically Engineered (GE) Seeds and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).
Today (Friday), cycling advocates are holding a five-mile “Critical Mass” ride through Richmond. It leaves from Monroe Park at 6 p.m. On the event’s Facebook page, organizers say the goal is to raise cycling awareness. Similar rides take place in cities around the country, and often riders fill streets and ignore signals, causing traffic backups and generally pissing off drivers.
Organizers were not reachable for comment, but their promotional materials gave no indication that they would be disobeying traffic laws or going out of their way to disrupt other vehicles’ use of the road. Still, cycling advocates worried the event could strain relations between drivers and cyclists in the city.
“Going out of your way to break rules won’t help the position of cyclists in Richmond,” says Michael Gilbert, formerly of Ride Richmond. He says his hope is that riders will stress adherence to traffic laws and sharing the road with cars. ”If you don’t follow the rules you only confirm the bias,” he says.
Find out more about the ride on the event’s Facebook page.
(F.T. Rea made the video of the Monsanto protest.)