Vancouver Critical Mass

Mostly event announcements, news, and bicycle related activist opinions...
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Yes, we ride the last Friday of every month!


Big Fun Critical Mass Today

Ride at the usual time, usual place.
Come for the celebration of genuine public space.
Meet 5pm, leave 6pm ish from the Vancouver Art Gallery downtown Vancouver.

Do not fear the sensationalist predictions of crazy police or crazy black clad bike riders. All of that is nonsense (that will not happen) based on fear and a media that likes to tell stories that keep you home - out of your own city - afraid to make change. Instead, this is going to be one of the most fun rides of the year. There will be more people out on the street. There will be less cars than normal. People in cars will be more patient/friendly as they expect some disruption. The police are well prepared and have no reason to feel threatened or act crazy. The nihilists who cause mayhem for the sake of mayhem do not exist. (Check out the Vancouver Media Coop if you don't understand) Once a month is NOT an onerous burden for cyclists to place on the city. The mass of riders is going to me more sensitive than normal about keeping the odd testosterone case from taking over. If you are threatened violently then please phone 9-1-1, that is what we do. We don't have to feel like outsiders today, even if our city has been taken over by private interests paid for from our public funds.

Bring your family, dress up, lets have fun. As always Critical Mass is a great place to voice publically your expressions of politics. Voice your unOlympic message. Voice your support for whatever sports or Olympic pride you may have. It's all welcome, just be respectful of pedestrians on the street and motorists.

Wear a helmet and bring a light, it will be dark probably. If we ride over bridges, we should ride ALL the way over rather than stop in the middle. After all, we're not blocking traffic we are traffic! Tell everyone at the ride so that enough people know and it happens.

Ride together, stay strong. Take care and take the lane!

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Velopalooza 2010

The people at the Velolove list are moving towards this:


June 4 to June 13, 2010

Put more community fun into Bike Month. Check out the velopalooza website.

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Arrested for lighting smoke with Olympic Flame!

This is amazing but also ridiculous how violent the police takedown and arrest of this guy is.

Also check out this Al Jazeera Vancouver video:

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Breaking News: Olympic Censorship of Vancouver Media Coop

Update: VMC has re-posted the video which was censored from Youtube [details below] on here. I was right, there is nothing from this video that belongs to the IOC... their reason for censoring youtube is likely the Carrie Serwetnyk's interview.

Original Posting:

Wow, I just ambled over to the VMC page this afternoon to checkout the latest news and what did I find:

The same for the youtube:
What is going on here? Judging by the screenshot of this censored video,
it looks like it features Carrie Serwetnyk, who was diverted from her torch bearing run on commercial drive Friday. But the earlier VMC video:

is still up on the VMC video list.

So what is going on? What is the "copyright" violation? These videos are produced by VMC then broadcast via youtube. I would really like to see what is in that video and what the IOC claims they own even when it is just a video of protest made in Vancouver with the Olympics as the backdrop.

While researching this I found a few interesting articles about the IOC's heavy handed approach to information control: Covering competing logos, Antagonistic to Independent Media, they also got Amy Goodman stopped at the border afraid she would talk about the Olympics. They've copyrighted the numbers 2010 and our national anthem - so maybe the video just has people singing O Canada in it?

I do also know they have -- in my view -- abused the laws in Canada to protect their trademarks and official exclusive merchandise. Because the Olympics are a publicly funded entity here, VANOC has somehow been able to claim crown protection over their sport event logos. This crown trademark law is designed to prevent people illegally copying the logo from the police, fire or ambulance - that sort of thing. It is for those special cases only. But somehow the Olympics got their logo in with the same protection as if copying the olympic logo (or having had it up for years before the games) is akin to fraudulently pretending to be an ambulance!

Given the IOC track record, I must assume this recent video takedown is equally spurious -- that is until I can see the video and judge for myself. Fortunately this is video created by the VMC and only posted on youtube so presumably they will find another way to post this desperately needed dissenting dialogue video.

Shame on the IOC then for this recent suppression of disagreement. How do they get away with this? Will we continue to let them?

The mural by Jesse Corcoran is just so apt for the situation both with the artwork itself and how it was taken down.


PS The IOC is also trying to bully the British Media to stop them reporting on the negative stories about the Olympics!

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Love Ride 15th, People's Prom tonight

Hey, I don't know much about this but it sounds fun:

Says it aims to be between Midnight Mass and CM in style. Not sure what that means? I do hope people put some thought into being slightly organised. (Here follows my pro-corking tirade, I have no reason to think the organisers don't already know this, I just like repeating myself ;-)) It may seem a hassle to be pro-active about corking but it is really really worthwhile, doesn't take a lot of effort, and corking is fun anyway because you get to talk to strangers who are 95% of the time nice or interesting. And it keeps the ride together which is SO important for safety. If the choice is between being a total individualist and have to be super vigilant about every car/danger and riding together and having some look out for each other so you can have some spare attention to pay to other riders/the city --- I'd choose riding together every time.

Also, drinking and riding is a fun idea (ie I'd rather be a drunken cyclist than a designated driver) but not a safe or bright idea - especially when some people are not familiar with each other ---such as in this kind of publically announced ride. People in our community have been seriously injured riding drunk! Yes, you are not the danger to others that driving a car is - but I don't want to see cyclists hurt either. So please be sensible and maybe wait until the end of the ride for libation. Watch out for each other and all will be well.

That time of year again, the People's Prom is tonight. The funraising is for anti-olympic efforts this time. Haven't heard too much about it because it always sells out so I think they don't bother with much advertising. I don't know if tickets are left. They were sold at OCB as well as places on the drive but maybe not on this day of the event? Go early if you want to get in then.


Great Women's March today.


Hey, check out this new blog I only just discovered. Kinda pixelated graphics? A nifty blog nonetheless. They aren't taking sides on the o'lympdics -- but they are posting good information you don't find elsewhere. New blog for the blogroll :)


Hey, did you notice that Micheal Bluejay's worldwide Critical Mass hub has ended. :-( Too bad, it was a great resource and he did a lot of good work for 10 years. Makes me feel old that I remember CM blogging when his site first existed. Thanks Micheal! So the wikia is the global resource now I guess. C'mon people the Vancouver page is blank! I'll get a start on that today but please sign up for wikia and add to it!


Police agreed to a 45ft Banner Drop from Cambie Bridge. Good for them and everyone, maybe the issue of Homelessness will make the Sports TV news ;-p


I must confess: I am drawn to this Olympic attraction: free zip line over robson.

So much so that I hesitated posting it here selfishly because I don't want to increase the length of the lineup. Has anyone tried this? Is there a lineup? Is it worth it? (free) Can anyone go? (ie, my senior citizen dad? my baby?) Grrr... Olympics. At least its free. I guess I just like heights and to get that unique perspective of the city. Maybe I'll unfurl an anti-olympic banner as I zip down ;-)

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More 'Lymp-ics Links

This is an important video to watch given the overwhelming spin on these events in the mass media:So I guess RIOT 2010 happened this morning after all? I guess you've got to take the writing on the wall seriously then.

Anyway, here are some links to up to date news, I've found the main Olympic Resistance website pretty slow to update. Also, a favourite magazine of mine (when it was still printed) Only has some pretty decent coverage (actually that is where I saw some of the opening ceremonies) I will admit to being impressed that they recruited Shane Koyczan. That's a more locally connected performer than I would have expected. Rowan who actually made the first Vancouver Critical Mass web page that I took over knows? Shane. I've seen him preform at the W.I.S.E. hall and maybe Cafe Duex Soleil - I wouldn't be surprised if the WISE hall event was one of Rowan's Living Closet or an Artists Against War events... though I can't remember - does any other veteran of post-CM events know?

However, his poem was far too Nationalistic for my tastes. It isn't inherently different from those the Molson "I am Canadian" ads. Slightly better, but that may be negated if it catches on and gets oft-repeated the way the Molson ad did.

There is a new thing called Vancouver Media Coop which is quite exciting. I don't know the story of it. Maybe fill the hole left by Vancouver Indymedia? Looks like a pretty radical group, of maybe that's just the submissions. Its seems at first glance a lot better put together front page than IMC was - I think people expect more of the web nowadays. I wonder if this group will continue after the Olympics - boy howdy do we ever need more of that here in gentrified Vancouver!

This guy lost his job just for knowing Chris Shaw!

There was a flashmob on Robson that was threatening to be a great unpermitted street party - but sadly it was far too depoliticised and the red mittens hadn't much irony to them. Ah well, fun was had.

And the ubiquitous twitter feeds. I'll admit to being pretty naive about twitter, facebook and all the newfangled big brother web 2.umm whatever stuff. I've been avoiding it. Please write me some better links if you know better on that topic.

surprisingly this isn't bad:

The stuff that has a sense of humour to it is what keeps me going. Bitter but funny. Funny sarcastic comments at Vancouver Sun website.

PS you don't have to loath the Olympics like I do to enjoy Critical Mass. CM has all sorts of people on it. (Including those who haven't paid enough attention to this 8 Billion dollar boondoggle that will bite us for many, many more years) I'm just sayin' that because I know my posts are slightly off topic technically. But hey, start your own CM blog! I'll link to you too ;-)

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JOIN ME in SONG: Friday, Feb. 12, 3pm TAKE BACK OUR CITY at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Dear Friends,

I would like to invite you all to join me at the Welcoming Rally on
this Friday afternoon to reclaim community priorities! We will
demonstrate that we are not all supporters of the Olympics (which has
become a corporate consumerist bonanza, and a one billion dollar
security fiasco! Did you know you can build 20,000 houses for the cost
of the security for this event?!)

I will be present and singing with a choir. There will be two hundred
(plus) of us singing songs of freedom and celebration in four part
harmony. Lots of the songs are easy to sing, and you are invited to
walk along with us. Sing along, or just surround yourself with our
sound. I believe that within our choir and extending outwards into the
march and to the world, our peace will be a powerful force to be
reckoned with!

Look for the choir in the North West corner of the Art Gallery plaza.

In solidarity and creativity!


ps. contact me if you want ideas for safety and preparedness for the
weeks ahead.

- please post widely -

'Welcome' the 2010 Olympic Torch with Free Games, Free Food and Free Speech!
We are community groups, service providers, artists, citizens,
activists and educators united by a social justice critique of the

* Friday, February 12, 2010, 3pm
* Vancouver Art Gallery (Georgia Street, between Howe and Hornby)

Join us in a public festival at the Vancouver Art Gallery at 3pm
followed by a march to protest the opening ceremonies of the 2010
Olympics at BC Place Stadium.  As the Winter Games begin, we will show
the world the negative impacts of the Olympic industry and celebrate
our communities with our own games and entertainment.

* The 2010 Welcoming Committee supports the participation of parents
and caregivers. Childcare arrangements and registration at:;

While City and Olympic officials try to turn our city into a sanitized
corporate image, we experience:

*  At least 15,000 police, soldiers, spies and security forces with a
one billion dollar budget,
*  Increasing homelessness, poverty, while the rich get richer,
*  Union-busting and public services cutbacks with a $6 billion Olympic budget,
*  Threats to civil liberties and crackdowns on visible poverty,
*  Corporate sponsors engaged in arms manufacturing, human rights
abuses, and the environmentally destructive Alberta Tar Sands,
*  Exploitation of unceded Indigenous land and resources,
*  Major environmental damage to build the 'Green Games,'
And all of this disregarding public priorities.

Public space has been turned over to the Games but the community has
fought back and preserved our rights to protest.  Now is your chance
to Stand Up, Be Counted and Take Back Our City!

Organized by the 2010 Welcoming Committee: community groups, service
providers, activists and educators united by a social justice critique
of the Games.


The 2010 Welcoming Committee is endorsed by:
2010 Watch, Alliance for People's Health, Anti-Poverty Committee,
Bridgeview Community Action Group, Building Bridges Human Rights –
Vancouver, Bus Riders' Union, Check your Head, Citywide Housing
Coalition, Colour Connected Against Racism – UBC, Co-op Radio Bulland
Awaaz, Co-op Radio The Rational, Community Olympics Watch, Council of
Canadians – National, Council of Canadians – Delta/Richmond Chapter,
Council of Canadians- Vancouver/Burnaby Chapter, Council of Senior
Citizens Organizations – Sunshine Coast Chapter, DTES Community Arts
Network, DTES Power of Women Group, East Van Abolitionists, Ethical
Environmental Consulting, Federation of Iranian Refugees, Food not
Bombs – Vancouver, Freedom Socialist Party, Friends of Women in the
Middle East Society,;,
Impact of the Olympics on Communities Coalition, Indigenous Action
Movement, Industrial Workers of the World, Iran Solidarity, Justicia 4
Migrant Workers, Latin America Connexions Collective,;, No 2010 Victoria, No One
Is Illegal – Vancouver,;, Olympic Resistance
Network, Pink Resistance, Poverty Olympics, Progressive Nepali Forum
in Americas, Siraat Collective,  Progressive Nepali Forum in Americas,
Simon Fraser University Public Research Interest Group, Social Justice
Centre – UBC, Solidarity Notes Labour Choir,;, Streams of Justice,
Student Christian Movement – UBC, subMedia, Surrey Urban Youth
Project, Teaching Support Staff Union Social Justice Committee, UBC
Network of Sri Lankan Law Students, Vancouver Action, Vancouver Status
of Women,  VANDU Womyn's Group, Warrior Publications, West End Wild
Animal Alliance, Whister Watch, Workers Communist Party of Iran, and
Work Less Party.


VANcouver OCcupation

Well, I am told that Critical Mass this month is to be pretty Olympics themed. So, I'll give in and post my personal thoughts:

^my impression on the Little Mountain Housing squatted tent city

Here are some links, I'm pretty out of the loop these days (trying to stay out of the 5 loops! ;-) Keep in touch and make us proud!
Dance in the Olympic Streets!
Please update or add corrections in the comments. Thanks.

News and my comments:
  • The biggest weapon for the VANcouver OCupation against us is fear and intimidation... They want us depressed so we don't show up to make our own voice heard in our own city! that's pretty weak for them
  • Take heart, they are more vulnerable than us, even if they have all the money. They rely on a potent MYTH of Olympic popular support and Olympic Idealism. We know this to be lies, we only have to reveal the truth. Don't be afraid or believe all their hype. Our police are not monsters, they are often very reasonable human beings and even helpful at Critical Mass. They will be under pressure to do stupid things now - but not by us or most people. Always the violence at mass protests is overemphasized (or just plain made up) by mainstream media - all to scare us away because they know that corporate control is very fragile. We can simply refuse. Maybe that refusal will spread to Olympic volunteers and workers aka peaceful sabotage. I know more than a few people who are roped into helping out this 5 ring circus who don't support it and would gladly join the opposition if a viable useful way for them to help is offered. Be creative, possibilities are endless. Could this be the year the Olympics gets shut down and cancelled and the whole con game falls apart - local accountability prevails? :-) Olympics Fail?
  • Wow, the Olympics are literally nazi apologists covering up history!?!
  • Did you know VANOC, for their "greenest" Olmpics decided to "invest" in thousands of White SUVs to drive VIP Olympic Family (VISA, Coke, etc) around? Why not use trains, bikes, or heck even smaller cars? Well, they aren't carrying skies or any equipment, just a sort of limo service. For that you need SUV fleets. Like the police commanders in their luxury black SUVs calling the shots of a riot...(I digress) So what happens to the SUVs after the 'lympdics get out of town? They get auctioned off. I know there are over 300 under the Burrard bridge, and there are several other lots... so thousands. Most of these SUVs will likely be sold locally. So the most visible, everyday significant Olympic Legacy in Vancouver will be a thousand White SUVs on the street! This is the kind of cynicism we have come to expect from those corporatists occupying our city. And a pretty good reason for a cyclist (or any rational being) to take a stand against it all.
  • If all of this seems unduly negative, go checkout railforthevalley and get something more useful happening. Please. Bombardier is trying to push their Olympic line train. I don't like those Arms Manufacturers (and seriously, the Olympic torches look like a Millenium Line lighting fixture - pug fugly) but it proves there is a lot of possibility there.
  • Proof there is a God and he answers the prayers of the righteous ;-p I know this is old news but you have to smile. Maybe our dreams of housing price collapse (aka affordable housing in Vancouver) will be answered too!

Yes, big fun troublemaking peaceful ride, 5:30pm at the VAG downtown, Feb 26. Ride together, we are strong in one another. Think positive thoughts. Positive warm El Nino thoughts!

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Feb 5 - Bike Porn III

Bike Porn 3: Cycle Bound is a collection of short erotic films from
various artists. It is fun, smart and aware! Vancouver  is an ideal city
to host an evening of enlightened bicycle sensuality.

Friday, February 5th
One Two One Studios
121 Heatly St
8:00 pm Doors, $7-10 Sliding Scale, 19+
Presented by
With LIVE PERFORMANCE and indoor bike parking

Check out the sweet artwork:

For the past three years we have toiled to bring progressive ideas about
sexuality and transportation forward. These days just about anyone can
make a movie, but actually getting it shown in front of a audience is much
more difficult. We take those strong, independent voices and give them a
platform to share their ideas about the connections between sex and

What we are talking about is an LBGT and hetero friendly program of
progressive bike sexuality. It really is that amazing. Feeling bicycle
curious? Check out one of the trailers on

Here's how one of our interns put it:

Bike Porn is civic

Current political policies are designed to repress sexual expression and
transportation choice. The Bike Porn film festival challenges that trend
by enthusiastically displaying the quality of creative expression and the
amount of fun inherent to both bicycling and sex. Both activities are
worthy elements of a healthy lifestyle and a pleasant quality of life. -
Jeffrey Jacobson

Starting in February the Backlash Tour will take us more than 10,000 miles
to visit some 50 cities in 100 days. It is quite a challenge, but since we
don't sell DVDs this is the only way to share the movies while keeping the
filmmakers' privacy.

The thoughtful pacing of the program and live performances draw people in
at the beginning and get the audience on their feet when it is done. The
show is quite an exhilarating experience, but the magic happens afterwards
when people who otherwise would feel uncomfortable discussing sex, gender
or other topics are able to speak freely. Having watched the movies they
have a common experience that feels good and makes them want to share
their feelings.

reverend phil
bike pornographer