Resulting in cheers and jeers alike, March 19th marked the annual Pies of March ride orchestrated by NYC’s direct action environmental organization Time’s Up!, best known for their involvement with NYC’s Critical Mass rides. These rides are ridiculously entertaining and inspiring, but the continual ticketing and police harassment of participants calls for an active ridership fighting for their right to the road.
During the massive protests against the 2004 Republic National Convention, I experienced the worst crackdowns I’ve seen of Critical Mass rides. A recent example of NYPD harassment of cyclists is recounted by a Brooklyn teacher who suffered an unwarranted arrest landing him in jail with charges for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, both dismissed due to a video shot by a witness of the arrest.
The bike lane battle is old news for anyone biking in NYC and many other American cities. Finding a bike lane free of cars and minimal risk of being doored is still a tall order. With political motivation to protect streets for cars, the NYPD goes to some incredible measures including giving speeding tickets to bike riders in Central Park last week. Seriously. Somewhat unbelievably, following complaints by ticketed riders, NYPD officers went door to door apologizing to those ticketed for the ludicrous move to crack down on biking resulting in the voiding of all but one ticket. Oops!
Promoting better bike lanes and more bike riding is a gimmie for any ethical vegan aware of the environmental impact of cars and cities organized with the promotion of cars as the main means of transportation. This year, the Pies of March ride took on the heated battle over the Prospect Park West bike lane and included many riders playing the role of various NYC politicians who have worked against cyclists rights. Culminating in a pie fight, the ride brought attention to the voices of those who support the bike lane.
While I watched the above Time’s Up! video of the ride for the pie fight, my favorite things about it probably include the age demographic of the activists and, as always, I appreciated the inclusion of a Le Tigre dance-a-long. (For those skeptical of the use of pie throwing or massive bike rides to promote serious political discourse, it’s worth reading Benjamin Shephards’ response on Huffington Post to the criticism the group received surrounding their use of pie throwing to promote their cause.)
For your pie eating or throwing pleasure, this week I bring you my favorite vegan pie recipe ““ Tofu Coconut Cream Pie. Olivia Lane over at SuperVegan rustled up this recipe, and despite the hefty amount of tofu involved I found it quite tasty. I made the recipe again last night and I’d definitely recommend sweetened coconut milk (perhaps even more than is called for) as the coconut flavor plus graham cracker crust is what makes this simple pie also one of the most delicious.
See ya in the streets, and don’t forget the pie!