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“Still We Ride” with Filmmakers Andrew Lynn and Elizabeth Press

October 27, 2005 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm EDT

Fresh from their European tour, filmmakers Andrew Lynn (creator of Troy Bike Rescue) and Elizabeth Press (aka EP, producer at Democracy Now!) present Still We Ride, a documentary film that takes an up-close look at New York City’s ongoing attempts to squash the monthly free-forming Critical Mass bike ride. The screening is a fundraiser for Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center.

On the last Friday of each month, cyclists around the country come together to participate in a monthly community bike ride called Critical Mass.  The ride, which originated in San Francisco in 1992, has since spread throughout the world and has existed for more than 6 years in New York City.  A new documentary called Still We Ride, produced by In Tandem productions, takes an up-close and personal look at the city¹s ongoing attempts to squash the free-forming event.

The story begins on Friday August 27, 2004 in New York City, just days before the start of the Republican National Convention, when 264 people were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and parading without a permit during the monthly bicycle celebration. But unlike the majority of the RNC-related arrests, which have been dismissed, bicycle-related arrests and bike seizures at monthly Critical Mass rides have persisted.  In March of 2005, there were 37 arrests and an even greater number of bike seizures. The monthly pattern of confrontation has forced the bike community into a legal battle with the city and has politicized the once celebratory ritual. The city believes that the event, which has no leadership organization or planned route, must apply for a permit in order for cyclists to assemble and
ride through the streets.  “You¹re blocking traffic,” says the assistant chief Smolka, in one scene.  A cyclist replies, “I am traffic!  What do you mean?”  

Lawyers on the cyclists’ side recognize that selective enforcement of such laws represent not only a threat to cyclists¹ rights to the road as legitimate vehicles, but to peoples’ First Amendment right to assemble freely in parks and other public spaces.  In the words of an interviewee who was arrested on the night of August 27, “I saw my experience not so much as something that happened to me, but as a window of opportunity for greater suppression of rights in this country.”

For five months, a small team of producers has been gathering hours of footage from independent videographers who have been documenting the ongoing harassment of Critical Mass. The resulting video is a collage of sound and imagery that is often raw and gritty and sometimes absolutely beautiful. It illustrates the most striking stories from the ongoing saga and condenses them into a continuous narrative.  Still We Ride is directed by former Troy residents Andrew Lynn (Troy Bike Rescue, Whirl Mart) and Elizabeth Press (aka EP, Democracy Now!), both of whom have played key roles with the Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center.

3361 6th Ave
Troy, 12180 United States
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