Add hundreds of bicyclists of all political stripes blasting CreedenceClearwater Revival as they ride down Broad Streetto the sights you can see at the Democratic National Convention this July.
“We’re not storming the Wells Fargo Center, we’re not demonstrating outside, heckling and screaming,” said Alexandria Schneider, co-organizer ofRideDNC, a nonpartisan group bike ride planned to place during the Democratic National Convention (DNC). ” We’re just having a good time and making our voices heard.”
The goal of RideDNC is to get people involved in the political process while having fun, instead of holding placards and chanting, said Schneider and fellow co-organizerMariaSerrahima.
“Most people have similar concerns about the political process and how they’re affected,”Serrahimasaid. “It would be nice to have an open platform where people can come out, have fun, and have their voices heard.”
Yes, Trump supporters are welcome, they said.
“I have a friend who is a Trump supporter who will be coming,” Schneider said. “He will probably get a lot of heckling, most of it coming from me.”
Theride down 12 miles of Broad Street from Cheltenham Avenue is planned for July 27during the DNC, which will run July 25-28. Skaters, scooters and anyone on human-powered transport is welcome.
“Delegates are going to see this part of our Philadelphia culture — how we’ve mobilized, how we have a cycling culture, how we are earth-conscious,” Serrahima said.
They don’t want to be part of the numerous political protests expected to attract thousands of people to the DNC that have contributed to a $43 million loan for security from the federal government, which among other things, will pay for a brand-new armored van.
“We’ve been trying to combat the ‘doom and gloom, the sky is falling, there’s going to be riots in the streets,'” Schneider said.”It’s an anti-protest, it’s a peaceful, fun event. We’re not going to affiliate with one party or candidate.”
Schneider, 29, of Jenkintown, and Maria Ferrahima, 33, of Fishtown, are a leaning-towards-Sanders and straight-up Sanders supporter, respectively, but their vision of a political event is one that is open to any respectful messages.
Protest permits won’t be needed here. Since the participants will be moving in the flow of traffic, permits are not technically required, the organizers said.
They should know. Both have organized large-scale rides in the past. Ferrahima organizes the annual Philly Naked Bike Ride. Schneider organized the PopeRide during the World Meeting of Families to take advantage of the city’s closed streets, and the Bykofsky Ride for charity with the Daily News’ curmudgeonly columnist Stu Bykofsky.
So far, RideDNC has attracted the interest of a few hundred on Facebook, but it could potentially increase to hundreds more by the time of the actual event.
Naturally, the ride will end with a party in FDR Park across the street from the Wells Fargo Center where the Convention will be in full swing.
“If any of the delegates want to come, they’re more than welcome,” Serrahima said.