Bicycle Civil Liberties Union (BCLU): Abuses of First Amendment Protected Demonstrations
Case Histories -- Police Abuses at Demonstrations

Too many to count...will be adding more over time. Note that due to time and technical constraints, the BCLU abuse reporting system was disabled for about two years. This site needs to have a PHP or other automatic interface so reports are generated immediately and without precious volunteer time.


  2. Motorist drives into crowd, runs over bicycles, crushing three; police and media lie to harm bicycling cause.

  3. NYT: Police Infiltrate Protests, Videotapes Show.

  4. Portland Critical Mass attacked during Bike Summer 2002 Critical Mass.

  5. Two Arrested at Louisville Critical Mass.

  6. Washington DC Critical Mass: mass false arrests, bicycles thrown in heap, during anti-occupation demonstration for Palestine Friday April 19, 2002. Check Indymedia site (linked) for photos and more.

  7. Police violently attack and illegally arrest bicyclists in Minneapolis Minnesota March 2002.

  8. Berkeley Bicyclists Fear Police Violence.

  9. Sacramento Critical Mass abuses as of Sept. 7, 2001.

  10. Sacramento Critical Mass abuses regarding August 3rd, 2001.

  11. Successful protest shutting down Esso station "fumigated" by police.

  12. Atlanta Critical Mass: two false arrests.

  13. Minnesota Critical Mass: police abuses.

  14. Berkeley Motorcycle officer illustrates ignorance of law, violent intent against Critical Mass.

  15. Tree Love bicyclist suffers false charges and confiscation of bicycle and tree!

  16. Bay Bridge Bicycle Riders -- seven were falsely arrested Monday, October 2, 2000 while demonstrating on a wide range of issues, most prominently against the veto of the "Good Roads Bill" by Governor Davis. for more information.

  17. Police facilitate deliberate and unlawful destruction of bicycle banner trailer to suppress first amendment rights regarding "Car-Free Month." A second account with photo is available here.

  18. Police refuse citizen's arrest and even the right to take report in road rage incident at Berkeley Critical Mass.

  19. Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles: reportedly, 300 cyclists rode in a peaceful and nonviolent Critical Mass demonstration, 75 of them were coralled and falsely arrested after being escorted and facilitated by police on Tuesday, August 15th. Many were still in jail days later with reports of strip searches and cavity searches. Bicycles are being held "as evidence" (something that rarely happens to any motorist, even a motorist who kills someone). Some arrestees who have been released have been ordered "not to bicycle in LA". Numerous stories in independent and corporate media. Cyclists are outraged and planning a legal challenge to these abuses. California Highway Patrol was involved. There is now a web page at, although as of Aug. 24 it has not been developed much -- probably because so many people are scrambling to stay on top of the situation directly. We have compiled many of the emailed news stories and personal accounts here.

  20. False citation of pedestrian intervening with regar ds to "bike boom box" at demonstration.

  21. Protesters on bicycles stopped, bicycles confiscated, June 5, 2000, Windsor, Canada.

  22. Police Violence, False Arrests: Hilarious Account of a Tragic Wrong (Bikesummer Berkeley Critical Mass)

  23. San Francisco Critical Mass, July 25, 1997

  24. Tales from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge;

  25. 18 Arrested at Portland Critical Mass, November 1998;

  26. Fifteen cyclists arrested in Chicago Critical Mass, September 25, 1998;

  27. Legal observer falsely arrested on Critical Mass ride, June 26, 1998.

  • To submit an abuse report.

  • Looking to document the extent that people suffer for and subsidize for driving? One primary resource is the Victoria Institute, In California, the California Association of Bicycle Organizations (CABO) has put together this page:

    Back to the Bicycle Civil Liberties Union.

    Back to the Bike the Bridge! Coalition.