“Bike Spill” Protest Successfully Blocks Station Entrances for 3 Hours, Demanding SF Put Human Right to Safe Streets Above Access to Cheap Oil
Amidst honking horns and ringing bells of support by those passing the scene, and spontaneous acts of resistance throughout the evening, activists calling for a safe Wiggle bicycle route from downtown to Golden Gate Park successfully shut down the Fell St. entrances of the Arco (BP) station for about 3 hours on Friday evening in an action calling attention to oil spills, catastrophic climate change, and the unsafe streets that keep us hooked on fossil fuels. Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi spoke to the assembled crowd of about 100 people and pledged to throw his full political weight behind a separated bicycle path for Fell St. and closure of the gas station entrances. A total of five protesters were arrested after u-locks around their necks were sawed off by firefighters, sending sparks into the air. As of 9am Saturday morning, all but one remain held at County jail, 850 Bryant.
Protests have been held by the group Fix Fell every week since June 11th at the corner of Fell and Divisadero in San Francisco. The growing grassroots movement has a simple demand- that the City of San Francisco shut the Fell St. gas station entrances, build a separated bicycle path along Fell, and place the safety of all road users above free parking and convenient access to cheap gasoline.
While the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) recently painted the existing Fell St. bike lanes green, the conflicts between cars lining up for cheap gas at the Arco station and people riding home along the city’s only level east-west bicycle corridor continue, as documented in the latest video on the group’s website.
Drake Logan, a former Florida Gulf Coast resident who was arrested yesterday, says: “We will not forget about BP’s devastating crime in the Gulf, amidst false reports that the oil has somehow ‘disappeared.’ This spill is a warning of what is to come if we continue to bury our heads in the sand in the face of climate change. We need to re-prioritize our city, so that people can choose to use less oil. Bike lanes that encourage people to ride in the door zone are no longer acceptable when getting ‘doored’ is the single largest cause of injury to cyclists in the City.”
A growing number of SF residents- including those who regularly fill up at the station- are calling for the Fell St. gas station entrances to be closed, setting the stage for a new, safe, separated greenway connecting the “Wiggle” bike route with the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park. Urgent calls for a safe network for cyclists in San Francisco have intensified following the murder of 21-year-old German tourist Nils Linke last Friday night on nearby Masonic St. by Joshua Calder, a drunk driver.
Stuart Matthews, an IT professional who was arrested on Friday, says: “San Francisco residents have had a vision of a safe, green, landscaped corridor across the City for decades. As climate change worsens, oil spills foul our country’s shores, and our transportation policies routinely take innocent life, we need to take a closer look at how we treat non-motorized users of our roadways, and provide green, humane streets that are safe for everyone.”
Raw, unedited video footage of the protest-posted 2:20am Saturday morning- here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A5vKsK_mZo
Indymedia Coverage: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/08/21/18656470.php
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