Sorry I posted on accident before I was finished. Please reread if you didn't get the recent stuff.
They gathered at that street corner for what appears to be a tradition. Look at this video, it's from 2010. Same stop sign! Notice the bicycle:
2010 "bike toss"
Now, go back and watch whichever video of the fire that you wish and see that there was a bike burning in it.
Now, watch the following video, which is a montage that some third party college video site has obtained. It's just silly stuff, but about 50 secs in,
the guy who made the video starts to walk to what appears to be the corner where the event will take place and turns it down the street. His friend
asks "What happened?" Other people were chatting and strolling away from the block party with ease. No loud noices other than the various
conversations that formed an overall din. This video
is basically depicting a bunch of police
congregating by what seems to be a portable, before anything has happened.
Keep the "bike toss" in mind from before. Now, the following video
longest yet (16 minutes) and the guy making it spends most of the first half going back and forth between his neighbors' partying, taking shots
indoors and playing beer pong in his front yard with friends.
His video shows people getting stopped by the police for who knows what. One guy for public urination. Irrelevant, these are perhaps normal police,
more or less. He walks up the street towards the infamous stopsign before anything had happened, reaching it at 5:16 in. You can tell it's the same
stopsign because of the facades of the two homes in the shot (compare with when the fire is burning).
At 5:43, notice how he says "Oh no, it's the bike". Not "Joe on his bike" or "Some bike". Saying "the" implies definiteness. It makes the bike into a
metonymy, standing in for some idea as part of a whole. The first video I linked to above shows this. It's something they do, not really that harmful,
of course it's illegal. So is putting soap into a campus fountain. So is parking the dean's car on the top of the science building. But there is
nothing over the top about forming a tradition with a ruined bike. After sharing a reminiscent laugh with his buddy, our videographer heads back to
his group and their festivities.
At 12:55 minutes he approaches that same intersection, reaching the stopsign at 12:55, where he says "Ohhhh, the effing bike".
Pause it at 13:11 and notice the group of three guys - one in a lightblue jersey - and a girl in a black A-frame. There's a box of beer on the ground
at the foot of the stopsign.
Through the 14th minute the bike falls and the struggle to put it back up.
Then, someone throws a beer bottle. I went slow and it looks like the guy in the white shirt and yellow rimmed sunglasses threw it - Check 14:43 to
14:48 in slow motion.
The guy says good by to some friends and walks back.
His next video starts off calm still. Go here
to see the next video.
Watch until 45 secs in, when his friend is standing behind saying "We were just over there."
Now my question is. Why were the police set up that quickly to handle a riot that had pretty much just started? I'm not going to apologize for the
group-think mentality, but who started throwing the beer bottles. The fire hadn't started yet and the bike was still hanging when the first beer
bottle was chucked.
Granted, it would be nice it was a continuous stream of video, and a guy saying "We were just over there" hardly qualifies us for "real time"
concerns. However, in the previous two times the videographer walked to that intersection, it took roughly two minutes.
Not enough time passed to allow for riot gear and an LRAD.
I would say that yes, perhaps it was agents-provocateurs.
Keep in mind, however, this could just be the university's way of ushering out behavior without having to fight student anger at a university
tradition being ended. Makes for a great excuse.
edit on 5-5-2011 by Sphota because: Hit post before I could finish.
edit on 5-5-2011 by Sphota because: spelling