On the 11th of June, the Clarendon Cup bicycle race returned to the streets of Arlington, VA. This particular running was unusual in that a large team breakaway got away very early and lapped the field while the race was less than half over. As the race continued smaller breaks-and a solo rider-managed to escape the main peleton and lap the field themselves, thus getting back into contention and preventing the race from being effectively over. All the winners were from these breaks, with a team sponsored by United Health Care sweeping the podiums.
The 6th of June was the first day of Metro's emergency "Safe Track" repair program. Construction is being done in a staged manner and started with only delays and not the coming closures. This still put enough extra cars on the road to put some intersections dangerously close to literal gridlock, as some drivers got caught in the intersections as lights changed. Drivers are told to never, ever enter the intersection until there is room to get back out of it, but will disregard this if they fear turning cars will otherwise take the space. If adjacent intersections get blocked this way, the result can be a spreading nightmare of traffic that cannot escape until the gridlock is taken apart from the outside in.
On the 27th of May, Heather Doyle was convicted of filing a "false" police report for truthfully complaining about being dragged by police from the Feb 3, 2015 crane sit against Dominion's gas export manner in an unsafe manner. She also truthfully objected in that complaint to being assaulted by police. The Calvert County Sheriff's dept turned the tables, denied all charges, and have now successfully sentenced Heather to serve 15 days in jail for filing a compliant for police brutality and recklessness.
On the 27th of May, a Critical Mass bike ride took to the streets of DC with well over 50 riders. Although nowhere near the size of the DC Bike Parties that can attract up to 600 riders, the Critical Mass rides are still taking place. They began in late 2001 and currently leave Dupont Circle shortly after 8PM on the last Friday of every month, the international day of Critical Mass rides. They have changed much since their anarchist and antiwar origins in DC back in 2001, but the core concept of a swarm of bikers taking to the streets remains.
Video of the May 27th Critical Mass including (at end) a car driver trying to order all riders off the street only to be shouted down
On the 23ed of May, the first verdict in the six cases against the police who murdered Freddie Grey was announced. As expected, Officer Edward Nero was found "Not Guilty" by a judge. He declined to face a jury for his crimes, choosing a bench trial instead. Protesters outside the courthouse were told by cops they had to "float," permitted to use neither the street nor the sidewalk. The Baltimore Bloc reported one violent arrest. The courthouse protest was apparently not the only protest of this verdict in Baltimore today.
Youtube video by "Zoo News" showing a larger,second protest at the Western District police station. warning: Youtube tracks all users
On the 17th of May, the Rubber Stamp Rebellion showed up in front of FCC Chairman Norman Bey's Dupont Circle area DC home.Some stayed all night-and early the next morning a notice of eminent domain was read out and a "pipeline" set up in front of his home. A neighbor reported Norman had skipped town to duck the protesters.
Verizon has still not signed a contract to end the strike by tens of thousands of Verizon and Verizon Wireless workers. Pickets are ongoing at Verizon Wireless stores all over DC. On Tuesday, May 10 one of these pickets was at the L st and Connecticut Ave stores.
Federal Protective Services officer Eulalio Tordil was arrested without being shot after shooting and killing three people, first killing his estranged wife, then showinfg up at two different shopping malls and opening fire. He was arrested "without incident" raising the question of whether his status as a police officer kept him from being shot himself.
On the 3ed of May, members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1764 showed up at the DC Circulator's garage in NE to demand that First Transit pay the Circulator's drivers a living wage. The DC Circulator is outsourced to First Transit, so their drivers are not covered by ATU's contract with Metrobus. Circulator drivers are paid a full $10 an hour less than Metrobus drivers to do the exact same work due to this outsourced contract. ATU is now in the third round of contract negotiations with First Transit in an effort to get fair pay for DC Circulator drivers.
On the 16th if April, DCMJ's full cannabis legalization activists returned to the White House, only to find Penn Ave closed, no doubt in fear of a return of the famous "51 foot joint." Undeterred, they headed to the H st side of Lafayette Park and give away cannabis seeds for free. The demand on the White House was simple: take cannabis off the DEA's "Schedule 1" total ban list.
On the 16th of April, Friends of the Earth and other climate activists participated in the Democracy Spring sit-ins, bringing the arrest total for the week to over 1,000. Police attempted and failed to block the route into the Capitol plaza area used for the sit-in
On the 4th of April, anti-vivisection activists showed up in front of the offices of BlackRock, which holds over 7 million shares of stock in Skanska USA construction. Skanska is building what is essentially a buried fortress vivisection laboratory for University of Washington. There were protests against BlackRock and other Skanska investors all over the continent on April 4. Here in DC activists began by fliering people going into BlackRock's building, following up on polite letters which have been ignored. This is the opening round of the DC portion of the "fracture their finances" campaign
On the 24th of March, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom at Haines Point. This is always a popular area for bike racers to take training rides, some of them were really pouring on the power.
On the 17th of March, Nancy Vann of Resist AIM Pipeline from NY was violently removed from the room after daring to speak out at FERC's monthly meeting. She was knocked to the ground when security guards in the process of forcibly removing her denied her access to her cane. Her property was condemned by Spectra Energy for their Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) project. This time around, FERC was not sucessful in preventing photos and video from escaping the hearing room. They are known for aggression against photographers but this time they were not sucessful in concealing their violence and aggression.
On the 19th of February, two women with a banner disrupted Mayor Bowser's ceremonial appearance at the start of demolition of part of the old St Elizebeth's psychiatric hospital. They were able to get behind the Mayor's podium and shout her down before being dragged away by dozens of men. The site is slated for replacement by a new stadium for the Washington Mystic also to be used for practice by the Wizards. Once again, professional sports is allowed to demolish public property in DC.
on Feb 15, Valentine's Day, animal rights activists distributed hundreds of valentines to Skanska executives and their neighbors, asking that construction company Skanska USA drop their contract with University of Washington to build an underground "primate reseach center" or vivisection lab.
On the 17th of February, FOX News pre-empted the crime coverage that usually starts their broadcast to focus on furious upscale residents at a Van Ness community meeting. The subject was Mayor Bowser's proposal to locate one of 8 dispersed homeless shelters in their neighborhood. Objections to opening a homeless shelter in upscale neighborhoods like anywhere in Ward 1 are usually based in NIMBYism (not in my back yard) fortified with an unhealthy heap of racism. In this case, there are legitimate questions about Mayor Bowser's objectives, given her police raids on homeless camps and her seeming belief that more arrests,searches, and police harassment can solve any social problem.
On the 12th of January, Real Food Challenge marched to the Baltimore office of Rep Elijah Cummings. A delegation met with Rep Cummings, who until now had not made any public commitments concerning this ugly repeat of NAFTA. Asked to take a stand, Rep Cummings told the delegation he was opposed to the TPP or Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. This statement may cost him corporate donations but will win him votes.
On the 25th of January, many residents in MD were still unable to reach the main roads using their cars. Side streets were not plowed, only packed down by passing SUV's. While cars often could not get out using their tracks, bicycles could, and once the main roads were reached could be ridden almost as in normal conditions. Politicians like Muriel Bowser are still asking people to stay home. They can no doubt summon the National Guard to bring them food by Humvee if they run out, so it's easy for them to demand others stay off the roads.
On the 21st of January, opponents of Bank of America's investments in Dominion's fracked gas export facility at Cove Point showed up at the branch across the street from the White House. Some of them were from Lusby in Calvert County, in the area an accident at the gas plant could incinerate. When one of the activists tried to deliver a letter to the bank manager, the bank refused to accept it and locked their doors in response to several more activists going inside. The bnak branch remained locked and shut down for the duration of the protest