Activist bicycle group pushes for more inclusive society
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Roc Freedom Riders say they’re taking a steep change in direction, for the greater impact of the Rochester community.
News10NBC talked to Devin Anglin, leader of the activist bicycle group. He says as a group their goal is to create a new system and challenge the old system for an equitable and more inclusive society.
“Part of you know, our saying is “Our Revolution Will Be Televised.” We want you to see that we’re out doing good in the community,” said Anglin.
What started out as an idea between two bike-riding friends during the start of the pandemic has grown tremendously in just three years. Roc Freedom Riders went from just riding bicycles in the city, to riding as a form of protest against police brutality, and the deaths of George Floyd, and Brianna Taylor. Anglin says Roc Freedom Riders, mostly black and brown people, stood for social justice.
“The bike rides turned into a mechanism of bringing the voice to the names that were lost in the protest. That was lost across the city, and then unfortunately we had Daniel Prude happen right in our backyard, and that ultimately amplified what we are doing,” said Anglin.
He says part of the new direction is to include more than just black and brown.
“In particular, we were bringing white faces into black and brown communities to solicit the businesses, and also show them that it’s not just what you see on the news,” said Anglin.
The new direction also advocates for more biking space in the inner city.
“We don’t see a lot of biking lanes in the inner city of Rochester. We’re not seeing a lot of infrastructure development around biking safety. We’re not seeing any signs in terms of speeds, or the reminder of biking laws in terms of keeping patrons who are riding bikes, or just any micro-mobility means of transportation safe,” said Anglin.
Through cycling, Roc Freedom Riders is using this as a tool to solicit black and brown business in the city, raising the business’s profile in the community.
“To ultimately give them a lane of success, financial stability, or economic prosperity as we call it, as one of our pillars of focus in community development, because if our black businesses are winning then the city ultimately wins in terms of the economy,” said Anglin.