On 8/16 we participated in a bike drive held at Working Bikes to support people whose bikes were stolen & destroyed by Chicago police. This event was originally in response to the 7/17 protest, but the night before event, police stole protester bikes again.
Day of the event
We arranged a bike ride to Working Bikes, for folks to volunteer intaking bikes and urged the Chicago bike community to donate bikes. - AND YOU DID!
Many of the folks who volunteered and donated bikes were BLU followers. Other BLU followers were on the receiving end of all of your help. Some followers who received bikes not only had their bikes stolen by police, but they even spent the previous night in jail.
It's no secret, there's an international shortage of bikes this year. Many stores have been sold out for months. Bikes are proving more important this year as people find alternatives to public transit and city officials weaponize public transportation against the community by halting transit with little to no warning. Police stealing bikes is incredibly damaging as it is often the sole transportation method and its so difficult to find affordable replacement bikes.
Everyone was hopeful this event would bring in 20 bikes, but that goal was SHATTERED when 42 bikes were donated. MORE THAN DOUBLING THE GOAL! 🎉 These were pretty nice bikes too - many of them were nicer than my own bike! (Someone even donated a green Uprise bike!!!!)
No visit to Working Bikes is complete without....
packing a truck of donated bikes. Volunteers also helped pack a truck of 384 bikes to go to Africycle in Malawi.
Thank you to everyone who helped organize the event, who volunteered, donated bikes and helped spread the word!