GB No. 4(19)/95
In October the Green Federation organised two bike demonstrations in Warsaw. The meetings marked the beginning of an action of collecting signatures under a petition to the City Authorities to make them assign ZL 16 billion for building the bike paths in the following year.
On 7th October over 50 cyclists rode in front of the City Authorities' seat. Dozens of bike horns and bells reminded the officials of bike-users being there. The demonstrators were welcomed by City Vice-President Jerzy Lejk. He promised ZL 3 billion assigned for a bike path leading from Bielany to Wilanów along the Vistula (by the way, in part the path exists but it is severely damaged). Heaving heard the declaration the demonstrators headed for Agrykola where each participant was served Tymbark juices (in returnable glass bottles, naturally). At the end of the meeting the participants filled questionnaires concerning what sort of paths they expect and where they should be built in the first place.
On 21st October about 150 cyclists turned up at the Zamkowy Square. The demonstration route lead to the Parliament House, where MP's were to be met. Unfortunately, none of them showed up, as it was not a working day for the Sejm and the invitations sent to Parliamentary clubs remained unanswered. The way back with the accompaniment of outcries: "Bike paths for Warsaw", "A bike doesn't pollute" took the cyclists much longer.
Back at the Zamkowy Square the most pleasant part of the demonstration started, that is contests. Prizes went to the owners of the prettiest pump, the tinniest bike (there were two winners, 4 year old twins) and to the oldest participant. He was born in 1928 and in summer he used to cover up to 200 km on his bike. There was also an Award for the dirtiest bike (a girl was about to win but she was beaten by a "mountaineer" from top to toe in mud). The most popular contest, however, was the one for the best equipped bike: almost all the participants had, besides dynamo lights, battery lamps, bike bags, horns, gauges and lots of other funny gadgets. The prizes were T-shirts, notebooks with a bike on the cover and backpacks.
So far the above-mentioned petition was signed by over 2,5 thousand people. The action is on till the end of December.
reprinted from Zielone Brygady, 12/95
translated by M. Maciejewska