Bicycle Diaries: The Canal Street Siege

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1.9.07

The Canal Street Siege

Mass attack





The bike cop in white, who herded us cats, has the rank of Sargent. That's the first time I've ever seen an officer ever involved in this. Also, I never seen so many undercover cops involved.

Originally I thought they didn't want us to interfere w/the crowds at Jazz Fest. But not letting us roll east as far down as 25th makes me think it's da' Mayor's house they were preventing us from rolling by. See the route map above.

At Canal and Halstead, they called out the calvary: a dozen unmarked cars, several ATVs, and perhaps 20 cops. Then the paddy wagon showed up. The cops actions were textbook examples of how not to deal with a crowd. In fact, they reminded me of the disastrous Poll Tax Riots in London in 1990 The police in that situation tried to compress the demonstrators causing a virtual stampede and then rioting.

In our case, folks finally got fed up with the constant blocking actions on the east-west streets, not to mention sarge's naive suggestions we go to Wicker Park.

The big question for me is whether this is a one-off incident, obviously trying to teach us NEVER NEVER EVER roll past da' Mayor's house or with the 10th anniversary coming up there's a new era of controlling the mass.

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