"One who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law." --Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hey, Haz, you are going to like this...
I went back to campaigning in 2001 after the incident with the bicycle I mentioned before. The Law of the Jungle (that gives name to my homepage) was inspired by the injustice of the bicycles (little animals) having no space in the jungle roads. And that's exactly evident in this article: The Law of the Land is the Law of the Jungle...
The Law of the Land
by Laura J. Sharp
Ripping around the corner at breakneck speeds, Maverick, Unit 07, Bike Courier, lays on the brakes in front of one of those giant glass oil company buildings in downtown Calgary. He skids to a halt, bounces off his bike, and locks it to the racks outside the building. He zips past several suits in his mad sprint to get into the building and deliver his trip.
Several of the suits turn and glare at him as he runs. What is it in their eyes? Is that hate? Or is it jealousy? When Maverick returns, speeding faster because of inertia. He climbs on to his bike and zips off down the bike ramp towards the road, only to be stopped at the end of the ramp by an officer of the law. The law is upheld and physics is stopped. Maverick receives his ticket.
This is one small event in the daily life of a courier, as they dodge glares, outrun shouts and profanities, and try to monitor the co-ordinates of the police officers "just doing their jobs." Never mind the onslaught of three million tons of steel whizzing past the bike riders every day. When asked why he got the ticket Maverick replies:
"...Irate secretary bitches from hell breathing down your neck, all in the name of greed from management breathing down their neck for their millions of dollars in your courier bag, which they can't get (there) any damn quicker than on a bicycle in the inner city core. And they're more than happy to cut you off on the way to the office to check on those millions you have in your bag. See, it all comes down to a greedy suit pig."
The Bike Couriers are a community of people providing a necessary and essential service to the same community of people who would love to see them squished against the side of a bus, or taken down by a S.W.A.T. team for trying to deliver their envelopes. It is this community that the couriers serve, who file complaints to city hall demanding by-laws for their own protection against "these hoodlums who defile the streets and threaten the safety of the pedestrians," as one downtown suit put it. Or as Stephanie Keer from the Calgary Sun, circa 1990, put it "(the Bike Couriers are) evil daredevils, and idiots."
So yes, bike riders are a threat to the common security of the populace that is released upon the streets every weekday at noon. But the common security is merely a sense, a false prophet that dictates the ruin of not only those that enforce the silly laws, but those that rely upon the silly laws for a sense of protection from the wild world of the free spirit.
The free spirit that owns the world of couriers. The free spirit that owns the wind and those that choose to ride in it. The free spirit that flies at the back of Maverick, Unit 07, as he tears up to the next office tower made of glass.
It is this freedom that prevents the Bike Courier from ever being caught. Caught within a self-defeating dome of glass and oil, and trapped from the outside world where reality still reigns.