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Protestor smashes car window with U-lock

San Francisco police have said they are aware of a YouTube video which shows a cyclist apparently smashing a car window following a dispute during a protest ride on Friday. While police initially said that they were not looking for the man responsible because no report had been filed, ABC7 reports that they have now issued a statement saying they will be assigning an investigator to the case.

The incident took place during the monthly San Francisco Critical Mass protest ride. A group of riders are seen in the video cycling against traffic when one stops directly in front of a car, apparently daring the driver to continue. When she does, there seems to be a very slow speed collision and the man leaves his bike leaning against the front bumper.

As other cyclists gather around the car, several shout and lecture the woman. When she reverses to try and manoeuvre past them, the bike falls and at that point things become even more heated. One cyclist hits the car with his bike, while another repeatedly swings at it with a U-lock. The latter is said to have smashed the driver’s side window.

Critical Mass is a monthly protest ride that happens on the last Friday of every month in San Francisco with similar events now also taking place in nearly 300 cities around the world.

On its FAQ page, Critical Mass organisers say: “We oppose anti-social behaviour of all kinds, and when we see bicyclists harassing motorists or picking fights we confront them. We promote an open approach that invites motorists to join us and does not assume the worst about people we don’t know.”

Last month San Francisco cyclists brought traffic to a halt by stopping at every red light and crossing in response to a police crackdown on red light jumping. Riders approached every stop line as cars must do, coming to a complete halt and only moving forward when they had the right of way, rather than making a 'rolling stop' as many cyclists currently do.

The protestors were calling for the city and California to adopt the Idaho Stop law, which allows cyclists to treat stop signs as give way signs, and red lights as stop signs, allowing them to proceed if the junction is clear.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

32 comments

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853rider [18 posts] 2 years ago
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What clowns

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MamilMan [60 posts] 2 years ago
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If the BNP were holding a protest march and beat up an asian person who got in their way how would that be portrayed? Far from hurting the BNP it would likely hurt anyone who held views on the right of the political spectrum.

In the same way this hurts the majority of cyclists who are NOT on a critical mass protest.

For my part when I have something to get off my chest about the cause of cycling I drop by my local MP's and councilors surgeries and make a nuisance of myself. I reckon if more people did that we wouldn't be looked upon as renegades.

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LarryDavidJr [377 posts] 2 years ago
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Wankers. Tried that if it was a beefy guy in the car? Doubt it.

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bikebot [2119 posts] 2 years ago
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That's what keeps putting me off about critical mass. I know it attracts a good natured crowd. It also seems to attract dickheads.

From what I have seen of the London rides, there's more alcohol than there used to be. Apart from whether that's wise from a safety view, not everyone is a happy drunk.

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t666dom [4 posts] 2 years ago
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Really brave surrounding & attacking a lone woman. Dicks

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farrell [1946 posts] 2 years ago
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MamilMan wrote:

If the BNP were holding a protest march and beat up an asian person who got in their way how would that be portrayed? Far from hurting the BNP it would likely hurt anyone who held views on the right of the political spectrum.

In the same way this hurts the majority of cyclists who are NOT on a critical mass protest.

For my part when I have something to get off my chest about the cause of cycling I drop by my local MP's and councilors surgeries and make a nuisance of myself. I reckon if more people did that we wouldn't be looked upon as renegades.

There are policeman in America murdering people for being black, which is clearly in keeping with my demands to have cycle lanes width increased.

Wibble.

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ChrisB200SX [563 posts] 2 years ago
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She appears to be using her car like a tank to plough through the cyclists, smashing the front of her car to make her aware of what she is doing could be argued to be a reasonable response. I don't think using something that is going to cause damage to the car is a wise idea though.

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felixcat [486 posts] 2 years ago
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I was at a Critical Mass where a woman tried to drive around the cyclists on the pavement. They quickly moved to block her and she got out of her car to harangue the demonstrators. They argued back, so the row made good TV for the cameras.
I noticed she had left her engine running and door open. Its illegal to do this, so I reached in and turned off the engine. I noticed a handy drain grid, but reluctantly pushed the keys under her seat. Everyone else's attention was elsewhere.
When she returned to the car she missed the keys of course, and started shouting about it. I joined in, "She's lost her keys."
She eventually discovered them. "Its alright, she's found them."
Childish I know, but she was that sort of aggressive driver who makes the roads unpleasant to share.

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 2 years ago
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Aggressive driver, or merely frightened?

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Bikebikebike [354 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm definitely on the more militant end of the spectrum, but these guys are being idiots. Admittedly it might be nice to turn the tables on motorists, and bully them. And unlike a punishment pass, smashing in someone's windows isn't going to kill them. So part of me is cheering them on. But... the motorist wasn't really aggressive, and must have been pretty scared when surrounded by those guys. Unnecessary, bullying and stupid.

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Angelfishsolo [134 posts] 2 years ago
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It doesn't seem to have been mentioned yet but the initial protagonist left the crossing and cycled the wrong way up the road towards the female driver. To me this indicates he was clearly looking for confrontation.

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felixcat [486 posts] 2 years ago
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Mungecrundle wrote:

Aggressive driver, or merely frightened?

Aggressive.

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jimbo2112 [89 posts] 2 years ago
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Complete idiots pushing back any good will to the dark ages (when bikes had steel frames).

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mlimburn [29 posts] 2 years ago
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Disgusted, these aren't cyclists they are moron's who are riding bikes.

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Ush [1015 posts] 2 years ago
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Cyclist breaks traffic laws, car-driver uses car as weapon. "Real" cyclists snuggle down tighter on their (saddle-less) seat posts.

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tatsky [42 posts] 2 years ago
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This was shocking. The guy is on the crossing, and then hangs a right, and heads straight for the centre of the car bumper. He even seems to be slouched over the handlbars as if aiming for the car, and trying to just tap the car. So he is immediately in the wrong, for travelling the wrong way up the lane.

The lady was obviously frightened, and crept forward a couple of inches, to demonstrate that she would move off, and maybe scare him off, which results in him going berserk, and then a load of other morons who probably didn't see the initial confrontation kicking off.

Absolutely shocking. How can these guys really think they are protesting on behalf of cyclists, and do something like this?

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700c [1171 posts] 2 years ago
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Idiots. They engineered that situation and cornered the woman. What did they expect her to do?

If they want changes to the law then they should lobby the authorities / politicians. Aggressively harassing other members of the public is not going to help their cause.

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don simon [1515 posts] 2 years ago
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If I were in her position I'd have invited them to have a look at my Roadcc sticker
2015-07-10 14.02.35 by Simon Carter, en Flickr
Cyclists drive cars too.  3

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Curto80 [51 posts] 2 years ago
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Let's do everything we can to turn this into tribal warfare, then we'll be safe on the roads.

Ffs.

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sunnyguy365 [8 posts] 2 years ago
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What a bunch of bell ends..... I really feel for the woman in the car. I hope she presses assault charges.

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wycombewheeler [1237 posts] 2 years ago
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felixcat wrote:
Mungecrundle wrote:

Aggressive driver, or merely frightened?

Aggressive.

Don't know what you were watching. As far as I can see she is just looking to get away from being surrounded by an aggressive group of men. These cyclists were well out of order. Change the scene to youths in hoodies and a woman with a pram. I doubt you'd be backing the gang.

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wycombewheeler [1237 posts] 2 years ago
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Ush wrote:

Cyclist breaks traffic laws, car-driver uses car as weapon. "Real" cyclists snuggle down tighter on their (saddle-less) seat posts.

Are you high on crack?

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felixcat [486 posts] 2 years ago
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wycombewheeler wrote:
felixcat wrote:
Mungecrundle wrote:

Aggressive driver, or merely frightened?

Aggressive.

Don't know what you were watching. As far as I can see she is just looking to get away from being surrounded by an aggressive group of men. These cyclists were well out of order. Change the scene to youths in hoodies and a woman with a pram. I doubt you'd be backing the gang.

What I was watching was not the video. I told a story about a Critical Mass in Britain, at which I was present. Mungecrundle was asking about that event, and my answer concerned this British C.M.
If you want to go back and read the posts you will understand that I was in no way backing the gang in the video clip.

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demolitionspecial [21 posts] 2 years ago
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Real big man. Probably spent the rest of the night bragging about his bravery. Dick.
If he'd tried that obnoxious behaviour here in England someone would have stepped off the pavement/out of a car and given him a lesson in manners, probably resulting in surgery required to remove that D-lock.
I wouldn't stand by and watch that happen, no right thinking person would.
That sort of poor excuse for a man doesn't represent genuine cyclists who want to share the roads. Hopefully someone will out him via the video and he'll get his collar felt.

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hawkinspeter [1111 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm usually an advocate of helmet cams and confronting bad drivers (in a non-violent way), but the poor driver was just trying to get out of the way and wasn't endangering people. Those cyclists look like a bunch of thugs and they just bullied that poor woman.

It's one thing to slow/stop the flow of traffic, but they looked unnecessarily antagonistic. At least no-one got hurt.

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felixcat [486 posts] 2 years ago
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demolitionspecial wrote:

If he'd tried that obnoxious behaviour here in England someone would have stepped off the pavement/out of a car and given him a lesson in manners, probably resulting in surgery required to remove that D-lock.

Some believers in the appropriateness of violence would, in different circumstances, say that this sort of thing would not happen in the USA, where guns act as "equalisers", and the driver might shoot.

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vonhelmet [847 posts] 2 years ago
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Cycling against traffic? Why would you do that? What point are you possibly going to prove by doing that?

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LarryDavidJr [377 posts] 2 years ago
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vonhelmet wrote:

Cycling against traffic? Why would you do that? What point are you possibly going to prove by doing that?

Prove that you are a twat. Duh!  3

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felixcat [486 posts] 2 years ago
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Wycombe, I am still looking forward to your apology.

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bikebot [2119 posts] 2 years ago
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felixcat wrote:
demolitionspecial wrote:

If he'd tried that obnoxious behaviour here in England someone would have stepped off the pavement/out of a car and given him a lesson in manners, probably resulting in surgery required to remove that D-lock.

Some believers in the appropriateness of violence would, in different circumstances, say that this sort of thing would not happen in the USA, where guns act as "equalisers", and the driver might shoot.

You really don't want to open that hornets nest. The video is in San Francisco, where it's near impossible for the public to legally carry a loaded firearm within the city. Of course the NRA think that leaving people without the means to defend themselves puts them in extreme danger and challenge it as unconstitutional.

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