22. April 2007 – Critical Mass Vienna goes Earth Day Györ!

Der Earth Day wird in Ungarn schon beinahe traditionell mit großen Raddemos begangen, 50.000 (fünfzigtausend !!!) in Budapest (videos auf http://criticalmass.hu – Bericht darüber hier: E-Day-Budapest07), ca 1.000 in Györ. Das war nicht weit – also war auch die CM Vienna dort! Wir haben unser Bestes gegeben, die Stimmung anzuheizen! Fotos hier

I have the pleasant task of announcing that Budapest just enjoyed a 50,000 high participation of riders in Critical Mass on Earth Day, April 22. This is Budapest’s record so far, as last year we had 32,000. It’s also plain pretty high up there.As he did last year as well, the president of the republic, László Sólyom, rode along, as did the mayor of Budapest, Gábor Demszky. And there was a comment by Kükü (one of the main organizers, also spoke at TCFC in Budapest), that this is the first Critical Mass here which hasn’t been accompanied by a lot of negative sentiment from other spectra of society or the media (one tabloid a year or two ago addressed their front page title to CM cyclists: “You are all stupid!”)
There was however a little juice to make things more interesting: A few weeks before the ride, news hit us that a car organization – “For a more humane parking organization” would be the rough translation – did their part to sabotage (or so we could guess) the ride, by having previously registered the exact route of the ride as well as the time of the ride, with the police. A compromise was reached by allowing this organization to hold its mass at 3 pm, and then the real ride could start at 4 pm. Although I don’t think the CM could have been derailed that easily, it did cause for quite stir. Reports are that the car demo went ahead, with all of 7 cars tooting along.Critical Mass was also held in many cities throughout Hungary. Debrecen, a town of 200 thousand and a thriving student city, had 3200 people participate. The town of Kaposvár, with a mere 70,000 inhabitants, had 400 to 500 riders. Szeged, Pécs, Gyõr, and many others also had rides.To see some pictures or photos, follow this main link collection:


There are some streaming videos, although perhaps due to the large number of site visits, they were a bit slow for me:

http://criticalmass.hu/blogbejegyzes/20070423/critical-mass-budapest-2007-04-hvg-video http://www.velo.hu/cm.php?mid=&xtax= http://index.hu/video/2007/04/22/critical_mass_4/?p=5

Some nice pictures:

http://img3.tar.hu/kdezsoe/img/29581484.jpg#3 http://img3.tar.hu/kdezsoe/img/29591939.jpg#3 http://www.greenfo.hu/hirek/hirek_item.php?hir=15679

Also, to coincide with Earth Day, Autoirto, the Hungarian version of Carbusters, came out, you can see it on www.autoirto.hu. We also produced T-shirts with Andy Singer strips on them – they sold out. (When I say we, I mean Zöfi, the Hungarian Young Greens). There were many other events for earth day, all over the downtown area. As far as I know, there is a large melting block of ice somewhere near to City Hall, although I haven’t seen it yet (to bring attention to global warming). Zöfi also organized a large poster picture for earth day, composed of individual stickers, which riders of critical mass carried with them, and then pasted onto the canvass at the time of their arrival at the end of the ride, which made one big picture (the same basic background as the new autoirto cover). All in all, it was a great earth day.

With best earthy wishes,

Justin Hyatt ZöFi – Hungarian Young Greens World Carfree Network – Steering Committee member

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