Road Rage Wrecks Critical Mass in Dublin

26th April 2002


Another sunny if windy evening and we awaited the gathering of the mass at the Garden of Remberance in Parnell Square. By about twenty five past six we departed with about 35 cyclists and a couple of skateboarders. As usual the spirits were high and as we cycled down O'Connell street we gathered a few more cyclists who didn't need much encouragement to join such a high spirited cycle though the city centre.

Once we had reached O'Connell bridge when a female motorcycle guard in leather trousers (confirmed my suspicions that certain people should not wear these) noticed our protest and ushered into one lane. We promptly ignore her and for our troubles we were accompanied by no less than 6 motorcycle cops all the way up Kildare street to the Dail itself. The 'Judge Dreads' lost interest in us at this stage and sped away. I think they mistakenly believed that at that stage we were finished with our protest. We cycled on down Dawson Street, Andrew Street to Dame street and turned up towards Christchurch. The plan at this stage was to go down towards the Quays and back into O'Connell Street.

When we reached Upper Ormond Quay there was a considerable amount of traffic blocked up behind the Critical Mass. The trapped motorists were all reacting differently. Some were hooting their horns in indignation that cyclists should delay them, some were resigned to the protest. Every time we heard a number of the cars and trucks toot their horns we cheered and punched the air with our fists. As usual the atmosphere was good and friendly. Then from behind us some idiot started to revving his car in a really aggressive manner. I turned around to find him reversing his beige Renault car and then suddenly he drove straight into the back of a bike of a guy who had just joined the mass of cyclists on the quays. He promptly fell from his bike and a number of us turned to look at this madman in his car. He reversed the car again and clearly had his window down and could hear a number of us shout at him. "What the fuck do you think you are doing ." amongst other things were shouted at him. He drove the car over the bike and knocked at least two people over. He screeched to a halt &endash; then revved the car again and sped away up the quays.

The critical mass had ended with this carnage. A number of people came up to us to give statements. One man was taken to hospital and at least two bikes were destroyed. As one guy who came down from his apartment said "I couldn't believe what I was seeing - that guy tried to kill ye". After 25 minutes two guards showed up from the Bridewell and took statements from the large number of people who stayed around to talk to them. The registration of the car was given to them &endash; and lets hope for everyone's sake that this maniac is kept off the roads.

Critical Mass needs more support. We have to have many more cyclists on the road for the next one. Every time we take to the roads we are making the authorities aware of the better facilities that we need and also we are giving people an insight for a moment of the visible improvement it would make to the city if the majority of people got out of their cars and used their bikes.

Dermo

Reclaim the Streets
14.30 at GPO (Dublin) Sat 6th May

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[A Personal report from a Workers Solidarity Movement member, these reports are posted to the Ainriail list when first written]


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