Auto Show Shutdown
The two-wheeling provocateurs involved in Critical Mass hate automobiles as much as they love theatrics. Those dual passions crystallize at the Auto Show Shutdown, a protest ride and demonstration on Saturday 9 at McCormick Place against the Chicago Auto Show. Like last year, the bikers will utilize an unlikely weapon to wage their war: plush polar bear giveaway dolls that sport slogans like SAVE THE EARTH, RIDE A BIKE. “People really don’t expect it,” says Shutdown organizer Steven Lane. Likewise, Auto Show crowds don’t expect to be subjected to Bloc Party’s “The Price of Gas” right before gaping at Dodge’s newest line of gas-guzzlers. They don’t anticipate seeing men and women dressed as polar bears, oil-addicted cardboard Hummers, Santa Clauses or Superman look-alikes. To Lane—who will protest in character as a crash-test dummy that chose to defect from the auto industry—catching people unawares is part of the plan. “We’re so accustomed to these characters, I think people will think I’m with the show. But then I’ll tell them I defected, and say to them that maybe they should, too.”
The Auto Show Shutdown ride and protest starts at Daley Plaza at noon.