Defend the Critical Mass 182!

by bikesalive

Most people reading this are likely to know about the arrest of 182 cyclists in London on Friday 27 July.

For anyone who doesn’t know the story of the last Critical Mass ride, this is a succinct (but nevertheless pretty accurate) summary:

Before the ride (which attracted a typical summer crowd of many hundreds of the usual cross-section of cyclists) set off, lots of police turned up in a spirit of Olympic hysteria. Some of the police busied themselves giving pieces of paper to some (but far from all) of the cyclists present. The paper purported to ban cyclists from going anywhere north of the river. Most of the cyclists eventually did cross the river, however, and hundreds of them went via Stratford on their travels. A lot of cyclists from one of the batches that went to Stratford were rounded up by police there (as were some cyclists who happened to be in the area and had nothing whatsoever to do with Critical Mass). Including a handful of arrests of cyclists elsewhere, a grand total of 182 cyclists ended up in custody that night. There are some reports linked on the (unofficial – of course! – since Critical Mass has nothing “official”, by definition) London Critical Mass website.

DEFENCE CAMPAIGN MEETING – THURSDAY 9 AUGUST

The meeting is at 7pm, at Firebox, 106-108 Cromer Street, London WC1 (this is a couple of blocks behind Camden Town Hall on Euston Road, just a few minutes from Kings Cross and St Pancras stations. The aim of the meeting is to facilitate the setting up of a defence campaign – to help with practical or political or legal or other support for the 182, and to ensure that Critical Mass can continue without further legal molestation.

If you are sometimes a CM cyclist;
and/or if you were arrested on 27 July;
and/or if you’re involved in a police monitoring group or a right to protest campaign;
and/or if you’re giving legal support to any of those arrested;
then you’re warmly invited to this meeting.

The meeting is for anyone involved with or concerned about the arrests.

For more information about the origins of the meeting, see http://counterolympicsnetwork.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/defence-campaign-cm-182.

Please share information about this meeting with anyone who might like to know about it. If you’re interested, but can’t make Thursday’s meeting, please send a message (with the subject line “Defence Meeting”) to bikesalive@london.com – the message will be printed out and taken to the meeting.