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The 'critical mass' attack

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Grey_Mana, Jul 28, 2008.

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  1. Rokyudai

    Rokyudai Member

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    I've fortunately never run into a cyclist(s) with this mentality. I'm willing to share the road with those that respect others safety.

    In this incident had it been unprovoked for sure, I would have stayed in the car and tried to drive out if I could. If my car is being breached or it looks like it's going Knight Rider side wheelie, I'm making speed bumps. They have crossed the line.
     
  2. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

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    I think the driver in this story would would disagree.

    What is that?
     
  3. fletcher

    fletcher Member

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    http://critical-mass.info/origin.html
    Seems like they pride themselves on breaking the law and causing trouble. Also seems like they don't believe in "share the road" so much as "get off the road, it's ours".


    I had heard of trouble from these groups before on the news as shown through the wikipedia references. The confrontations are just bad ideas from CM people. Pepper spray and not leaving your vehicle (and only rolling the window down a little bit if you want to talk to them) seems like the best plan for such a situation.
     
  4. CubDriver

    CubDriver Member

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    I would like to give a quick viewpoint on Critical Mass. I am an avid cyclist, and ride my bike a lot. I also drive a lot too, when biking is impractical, giving me two viewpoints on the same issue. I have to say that as both a motorist, and a bicyclist, I hate what CM has become. When they started, it was about building awareness, and providing the safety of numbers to go on a bicycle ride in the streets legally. Now it’s a very in your face crowd that wants to go out and stick it to the autos, cause problems, and look like the victims.

    I have watched more than one CM ride in Portland from an office window. They will swarm down a street blocking cars, they will roll right up to your car, I have seen them sit on hoods, taunt people through windows etc. I watched them do this to a family, the man driving started to honk when they were sitting on his hood, he was suddenly surrounded and they try to scare you. They were rocking his car, screaming that they were going to flip it over. He tried to inch forward, and they block his path and don’t move, as soon as he bumped into one of their bike tires, it was on. They began to beat on the car with everything they had. He floored it and got out, but they chased him for a while. I waited and the cops never showed up. This is what happens 99% of the time. You only hear about CM issues when it gets so bad that Police and Paramedics get involved.

    From what I have seen, I would be more inclined to believe the drivers story. I have heard from others too, that they create a dangerous situation and when someone tries to leave, they let them “bump” into one of their bikes and then feel justified in utter and complete revenge.

    This is the scary part, that using your car to force your way out of a bad situation is the correct choice, but its also the choice that makes you look bad on the news, when you run over poor bicyclists trying to have safer streets. Getting stuck in the middle of a CM ride in a car is one of my worst fears, I wont drive anywhere in Portland on the last Friday of the month. Its truly terrorism disguised as activism, and I hope the cops step up to stop it.
     
  5. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

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    We have quite a lot of that around here (Seattle). We have "eco-terrorists' who burnt down newly built "green" houses because apparently they weren't "green" enough - thereby creating even more pollution. We have "animal rights" activists that burnt down a university research facility that had nothing to do with animal research.

    And on and on...

    Put 'em in jail and let 'em write their manifestos from there.
     
  6. Rokyudai

    Rokyudai Member

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    actually several cities have them... Austin especially.
     
  7. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Here in FL, the Castle Doctrine extends to your car......with an angry mob, being assaulted and beaten, sure sounds like justifiable shooting time....[people] like that only doom their own cause....maybe they should start paying road taxes to be able to ride on them......
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2008
  8. tomkatz

    tomkatz Member

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    I saw both the driver and the first guy hit by the car on the local news last evening.
    The driver says he was afraid and he accidently popped his clutch causing him to lurch forward hitting a rider. This apparently started the attack frenzy full force.
    The guy who got hit is a Seattle lawyer, appeared to be mid to late 30's. His bike was a twisted mess and he showed his road rash down the side of his leg and calf. He seemed like a nice and believable guy.
    That being said, if he was just a "normal" rider who got caught up in this mess, then it should be a lesson to any other folks that if you get out there with this mob you may get injured or killed. They will continue to provoke this kind of thing until they are stopped by the law.
    I think the driver showed a lot of restraint. In this type of situtation your car is really your only defense, he chose not to crush some riders to get out of there. The bike gang should be thanking him!!!!
     
  9. FourTeeFive

    FourTeeFive Member

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    The latest from the Seattle Times

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008078611_criticalmass29m.html

     
  10. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    CM = anrchist on bikes
     
  11. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    This is what I was referring to with the "real threat" remark. I don't doubt that the driver was afraid, but I do doubt how reasonable his fear was. They're not going to be able to tip a car over. Everybody knows CM is just out to start fights. So like a politician or an agitated drunk you agree with them and calm them. Unfortunately you're not allowed to just kill them.

    That is the tactical lesson here. He's absolutely correct. If you start bumping, arguing or pepper spraying it will just invite more trouble. That goes for any mob of drunks or protestors. Or drunk protestors.
     
  12. torpid

    torpid Member

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    They might not be willing to if it came down to it (don't be too sure) , but it's entirely possible.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Sn6Wos_mur4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vkd8u06Edk

    And belligerent CM mob would have far more than four people.
     
  13. eric.cartman

    eric.cartman Member

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    If that was me, and my pregnant wife (soon to be mother of our first child) was in the car with me, I promise you I would take that as thread to my and my familly's life. Then I've got two words for those commie-bike-riding-cut-down-on-polution-stinking-hippies: HUMMER & GLOCK.

    God just thinking about a bunch of a**holes like that atacking a familly makes me so angry.

    EDIT TO ADD: first guy to break the window and stick his filthy hippie hands inside my car would take a bullet in the eye. If the mob didn't disperse in 0.5 seconds after that, body parts would be jammed between asfalt, rubber, and metal. God this makes me angry, I've seen hippies like that in NYC and wanted to floor it sooo much!
     
  14. stevemis

    stevemis Member

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    Want to bet? I remember about 25 years ago a neighbor of mine found his car upside down in his driveway. I have little doubt that his car did that on it's own.

    Newer SUV's with their high centers of gravity are probably pretty easy to tip. You might not be able to get it completely upside down, but I bet 10 or 15 people could easily tip it onto it's side.

    I'm curious.. many posters in this thread have mentioned how pepper spray would come in handy in this type of situation. I don't understand how one would safely deploy the spray while seated in a vehicle with an angry mob gathered around. If you deploy in the car, you'll get the brunt of it. If you roll the window down and try to deploy into the mob, you'll either get the spray taken away (and used against you) or dragged out of the vehicle.. or both.

    There are very few realistic methods to deal with an attack of hooligans. Unfortunately, the most effective is probably "drive thru".

    Those who compare the actions of Critical Mass to organized open carry events don't get it. Open carry gatherings are peaceful assemblies which don't infringe on the rights of others. There appears to be nothing peaceful about Critical Mass.
     
  15. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

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    Of course they could have tipped the car over. In addition, they demonstrated they were willing and able to...

    ...slash his tires with knives...

    ...smash his windows...

    ...split his head open with a bike lock (i.e., assault with a deadly weapon)...

    And you doubt for one moment how real his fear was? I'd say he had several real reasons to fear for his life.
     
  16. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    How do you figure that? Every time the Bulls won the championship, police cars got flipped in Chicago. Any idea what the weight difference is between a Crown Vic and a Subaru Outback wagon? I bet it favors the Subaru.

    It doesn't take all that much.
     
  17. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Look, a lot of people on the roads make me angry too, and for good reason. Some have nearly killed me. But after the fact, I don't get to ride up on their flank and shoot them in the back of the head. Hatred, even righteous hatred, does not open the way for application of deadly force. You have to view things in the circumstances. And the circumstances of a CM mob are unfortunately very well known. They don't kill people, and they don't present a deadly threat. They're just really annoying. If you really want to nail them videotape the whole thing while calling 911. YOU should remain cool and clear-headed, as this driver now admits.

    Not by CM. These guys are well known and predictable. They WANT to start a confrontation and they WANT to be martyrs to their cause. Just smile and wave and call the cops. Don't argue with them, don't get in a punchup with them and don't try to run them down because they're making you late. It's the same rule you should use for angry drunks.
     
  18. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

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    C'mon Cos...With all due respect, hitting somebody with a bike lock and splitting their head open IS most assuredly a deadly threat. And threatening to turn someone's car over is not only possible, it could also be considered a deadly threat.

    How can you even suggest otherwise?
     
  19. FourTeeFive

    FourTeeFive Member

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    Luckily the attitude in Seattle is a little different than that. And it's a lot more High Road.

    Being in a car while it is turned over by a mob is life-threatening?

    I don't have any love lost for these guys, honest. But I'm way more tolerant of a moron's right to act like a moron. Perhaps that is how I've managed to avoid any serious confrontations. If my life is threatened I will act accordingly. Otherwise, I'll wait a few minutes while the Critical Asses ride by.
     
  20. S4gunn

    S4gunn Member

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    Living in SF, I've been stuck behind these hipster ****s before and absolutely loath them.

    I have no problems giving cyclists a wide berth and sharing the road with them. I live in a fairly heavily cyclist trafficked neighborhood and a few of my friends use bicycles as their daily transportation.

    That said, if I decide to start blasting through the stoplights with my car, I get pulled over. Why aren't these clowns treated the same way?

    These worthless monkeys DO give cyclists a bad name. If they showed they can share the road with cars (like stopping for stop signs/lights in groups), I think they would be able to further their cause. However, is this what they want to accomplish? Of course not, they just want to party and live the PBR swilling poor life that only those who grew up in privilige seem to enjoy (the poor don't).

    I hate to say it but the only way this is going to get any better (read: more under control) is if it gets worse first. Our mayor in SF isn't going to lift a finger to control these clowns. I actually DO wish they would start rioting and causing more of a ruckuss. It would suck to own one of the cars that gets torched but at least that would FINALLY be a nice excuse to send the RIOT squad in to bludgeon the whole dirty mass of them.
     
  21. CubDriver

    CubDriver Member

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    I would say yes. I can envision several ways that being in a car and having it flipped over could endanger ones life. Also I think that a reasonable person would feel a grave threat from an unruly mob that was attempting to flip their car.
     
  22. eric.cartman

    eric.cartman Member

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    Everyone, go and read my post again. YES, it is a deadly thread to a 21 weeks pregnant woman (my wife as of today), or a new born (my son 4 months from now). Flipping a car over could easily cause my wife to miscarry, or could seriously hurt a newborn, who btw have no muscle strength or control to keep their head up straight... resulting in potential spinal cord damage.

    My words were "and my wife or newborn in the car with me".

    And yes, they are a bunch of stinking hypocrites! Noticed how the violent ones are always the hippies with peace signs all over their bodies???
     
  23. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

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    You should use the "emoticons" when you joke like that.

    Of course it's possible to flip a car over. Of course it could be considered a deadly threat for the occupants. Any mob that would even threaten to turn an occupied car over is capable of further violence - as amply demonstrated by their further acts of violence.

    I won't publicly state what I would do if I found myself and my family inadvertently caught in those circumstances - but you may be able to guess.
     
  24. torpid

    torpid Member

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    Obviously the mob wants to turn over your car to give you upside-down hugs.

    After all, any mob who flips your car with you in it is in absolute control of their emotions, and has a strong group dynamic towards loving interaction with the person who is the focus of its group activity.
     
  25. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    That was only after he screamed at them, bumped one of them down and got in a fracas with the mob. As he's acknowledged it wasn't a smart thing to do. I'm not saying the mob was in the right, I'm saying that he made tactically poor choices that caused a reaction from the mob.

    THIS is the wisdom to take and put in your pocket:

    I'm not blaming him or saying he should be charged, just that he made tactically poor choices. These would have been doubly poor had he been carrying and a hundred fold poor had he shot and killed someone. If you're packing you have to go out of your way to avoid all confrontations, even if that means swallowing your pride and letting the fools have their day.
     
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