Dozens of bicyclists protested outside The Washington Post Thursday over a Courtland Milloy column that they say incited violence against them.
The protesters said Milloy mischaracterized them as bullies and terrorists. Many of them wanted an apology from Milloy, who was not at work during the protest, and some called for him to be fired.
"I thought the article was an incitement to violence," said Jim McCarthy, a D.C. cyclist. "I'd like to see Milloy be fired. I thought the article was totally irresponsible."
Milloy's column was published Tuesday. In it he said that cyclists disobey road laws and labeled them "bullies" and "biker terrorists out to rule the road."
Victor Harden, another D.C. cyclist, said, "Being called a terrorist on wheels is quite upsetting and absolutely sends out the wrong message to everyone."
Milloy's words raised the ire of many cyclists in the district, but one passage in particular caused the most alarm. The protesters said it seemed to condone violence against cyclists:
"It’s a $500 fine for a motorist to hit a bicyclist in the District, but some behaviors are so egregious that some drivers might think it’s worth paying the fine."
Mike Forster, the protest organizer, said that the protesters "don't want to be characterized by lazy opinion writers."
"We want people to judge us by our own actions," he said. "I'd like for us to be judged today by following all traffic laws."