By Jack Collins
On Thursday April 25th ten crazed cyclists took to Oakland’s streets to cause traffic problems and annoy the Pittsburgh police department in a cartoonish way. The cyclists threw caution to the wind and banded together to brave the streets of Oakland, no longer as isolated, vulnerable bikers, but instead as a force to be reckoned with. They cut off cars, forced them to drive slow, and took up traffic lanes during rush hour traffic. Their protest, called Cars Suck!!!, is an effort aimed at causing people to reject the current system of consumptive transportation that revolves around individualism, fossil fuels, and dangerous roads for pedestrians and cyclists. While motorists may find this annoying, it may be the only way to get people to stop relying so heavily on cars as their primary form of transportation.
At the moment, Pittsburgh’s transportation system is built around large volumes of cars pouring into the city and leaving every afternoon. While some effort is made to provide public transportation, many motorists avoid the options of biking, walking, busing, or taking the train in favor of located. But for cyclists, cars represent a hostile force that complicates an already strenuous day. Cars aren’t just automobiles; they are death machines that pollute, threaten, consume, and at times maim or kill the unfortunate people (or other cars) that get in their path.
The goal of Cars Suck!!! is to disrupt this system and get people talking about another way of getting from A to B. Yes, some people need cars to mitigate a disability or to make their commute affordable/ livable, but are you that person? Do you really need a car to get from Shadyside to Oakland every morning? Are there any other options that could make your day easier while keeping the air cleaner and the roads safer? How could Pittsburgh function without having so many cars on the road? These are questions we need people to start asking if we are to ever make a world without cars that is safe and accessible for everyone.
Cars Suck!!! is an ongoing protest organized by the Pittsburgh based anarchist group Unity Division. To join the next ride against motorist aggression and ecological collapse, and for more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jack Collins is a member of Unity Division.
PHOTO: Riders in Repose. Cars Suck! activists pose near Dippy the Dino in Oakland. Photo provided by the author.