Bike4Justice

RB posted a notification about a Bike4Justice ride-out in support of DuJuan Armstrong, a young man who died in custody at Santa Rita jail, which has been termed as the most dangerous place in Alameda County. DuJuan had been scheduled to be released on the day he died.  Juneteenth seemed like a good day for a protest against police oppression, so I wobbled down to Lake Merritt to join in the ride, which was organized by the youth of the Urban Peace Movement.

Armstrong’s mother, Barbara, was there for the event (on a Lime scooter), and the gathered group of about 30 riders chanted “Justice for DuJuan” and “No Justice, No Peace”, as we took over intersections around the Alameda County Courthouse.

Bike4Justice ride

Bike4Justice ride

Bike4Justice ride

The leaders were careful to avoid causing too much disruption; after briefly stopping traffic at Madison and 13th, and then on 12th, we opened up one lane to allow cars and buses through. After considering how to respond, OPD decided to divert traffic for a while at 12th and allow the rally to continue.

After 15-20 minutes, we gathered the group together to “ride to East”, and the Oscar Grant mural (by Refa 1) recently completed at Fruitvale BART. The ride was a fun mix of members of the Scraper Bike Team, stunt riders on SE Bikes, and casual riders and kids.

Bike4Justice ride

Bike4Justice ride

The organizers want to make the Bike4Justice ride a regular event. I think it’s interesting to see the bicycle used as a more general tool of social protest; not only protesting about cycling issues as Critical Mass did, but protesting more generally about social injustice. Barbara said it was good to see younger kids out protesting injustice; she said that in her generation the kids weren’t motivated to participate in this kind of event.

I wouldn’t say that the teenagers were particularly engaged in the protest activity, but I think it’s good to be exposed to direct action at a young age. They may not be chanting along right now, but I hope they gain an understanding that community organizing is something that they can be a part of.

Bike4Justice ride

 

 

 

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