Calling the city's legal strategy against the ride "highly irregular" and "as unnecessary as it is inappropriate," Justice Michael D. Stallman of State Supreme Court in Manhattan refused to bar an environmental group and four people from taking part in it, from gathering at Union Square Park beforehand, or from announcing the rides on the group's Web site, as the city had requested.
The city had also asked the judge to issue an unusual civil declaration, without a trial, that the environmental group, Time's Up, and the four individuals had "criminal culpability" for violating laws and regulations that carried penalties of fines and imprisonment. The judge also rejected that request.
In other words, give it up, NYPD! The next Crticial Mass is a week and a half - it'll be interesting to see how the cops treat the bikers; Gothamist bets the cops working the ride undercover will stay there. However, Justice Stallman ultimately would like those two crazy kids (the NYPD and Crtiical Mass riders) to work it out, writing,
"The social compact and the realities of living in a crowded place demand patience, mutual respect and self-restraint. Mutual de-escalation of rhetoric and conduct, and a conciliatory attitude, may help the parties and the Critical Mass riders resolve the litigation and arrive at a workable modus vivendi."
Modus vivendi? Good luck! Gothamist liked how Justice Stallman said that the city's claim that traveling en masse was wrong because what about commuters biking during the transit strike?
Last month's Critical Mass ride was a bit chaotic, with two cops injured. And here's a Gothamist Interview from last year with Matthew Roth, a biking enthuasiast who was one of the bikers the city was trying to ban from the ride.
Photograph from everyplace via Flickr