Critical Mass alert

by bikesalive

You will probably remember the disruption of last month’s Critical Mass bike ride by the police (see the brief account below). Hence the importance of a good turn-out this month (ie Friday 31 August), to show that cyclists won’t accept restrictions that aren’t placed on other road users, and aren’t going to accept intimidation by the police, and will insist on our right to move peacefully around our city by bike as usual, wherever the mood takes us.


In the last day or so, information has emerged of what seems to be a new “under cover” attempt to disrupt the August CM ride. An individual has asked for, and received, permission from the police to organise a bike ride on Friday evening, with a pre-approved route, starting at the same time and place as the regular CM ride (ie meeting 6pm onwards under the south end of Waterloo Bridge, by the river).

By definition, this ride is not a CM event, for which there are never advance plans for routes, destinations, etc; there never can be a “planned” CM event, since there is no-one and no CM structure to take any such decision.

It’s hard to think of any reason for this individual’s personal application to the police, other than as a deliberate attempt to cause confusion and to give the Met an opening to disrupt – or try to take charge of – the ride again this month.

It was always going to be important to have a good turn-out this month. With this latest news, that good turn-out, and our insistence on travelling where we want to without needing police permission, is even more essential.

It would be helpful if people would urgently circulate this information as widely as possible, and encourage cyclists to turn out on Friday evening in the normal spirit of a free CM ride that requires no sanction from, and accepts no control by, the police, and which ignores attempts by anyone to take control of the ride.