On Community

A brief thought:

Tonight, I was biking home along Brighton Ave when I noticed a bike laying in the street and a Jeep stopped and honking aggressively. There was a guy standing in front of the Jeep on his cell phone. A few cyclists were stopped nearby, whether a few cars away, on the adjacent sidewalk, or even on the other side of the avenue. I swerved around the Jeep, stopped, and walked my bike back to find out what was going on.

In short, the Jeep had been harassing the cyclist (who had been cycling legally), and it ended with the passenger getting out of the car and throwing the bike into the parallel parking and the driver using his car to hit the cyclist, who ended up standing in front of the Jeep to try to keep him from driving away. The driver was honking and yelling, as was his passenger.

It’s a beautiful day, so there were a lot of cyclists. We were collecting, surrounding the Jeep. The more he honked, the more cyclists stopped and boxed him in. He tried to yell out his window to other drivers to help him out, but then all rolled their eyes and kept going.

Our impromptu bike gang, looking out for a fellow cyclist, kept the Jeep where he was while the cyclist who had been harassed was able to call the police and file a report. Once they had the information and dispatched an officer, we wished the cyclist good luck and dispersed. A community of people who share a common threat came together, without prompting, to protect and help one of their own and do what they could to see justice served.

Why don’t we do this when we see women being harassed? Why do we have this idea that it’s “not our business?”

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03/17/2010. Tags: . Uncategorized.

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