Sunday, 27 June 2010

Critical Mass 25th June 2010, London

People and their bicycles gathered at Southbank for critical mass; lovely warm afternoon, the occassional cheer and whistle adding to the anticipation of a friendly ride.

The ride headed north over Waterloo bridge, through The  strand, and  passed by Parliament square to wave to the people at the Democracy Village: the atmosphere was positive and buzzing as the cyclists cheered the campers on who  are still there after 2 months; the campers returned the cheers and the critical mass headed to visit Buckingham palace waving to the Queen.

During critical mass, some aggressive taxi drivers screamed and rammed at cyclists going by, despite critical mass being simply some people on bicycles...

Things went stressful, when police vans surrounded the mass just by Herbal Hill; seconds before they arrived, a police van dropped a policeman who started running through the cyclists- when the police man ran out of stamina, he stopped and within seconds the 30 vans appeared.  No one was hurt during that.

I had a brief conversation with one of the policemen:
Me: What happened? what's all this about?
PM (policeman): When one of our men is in danger we come out.
Me: who's in danger what happened?
PM: well, if one of us is hurt we come out.
Me: one of you got hurt? how?
PM: [no reply]
Me: well i hope your friend is OK
PM: thanks have a good weekend
Me: Have a good weekend too
At this time a young man added: What happened is, a cyclist got hit by a taxi driver but of course the police is letting the taxi driver off and is after the cyclist.

The police stayed surrounding the mass for some time, and the road was blocked. They then asked the cyclists to start riding again and the mass ended up at The Foundry  which is being squatted after the council closed it  to make way for a brand new “art hotel”.

"One arrest with loads of cops and several drivers trying to physically intimidate corkers by nosing into them with horns blazing. "

"drivers deliberately ramming cyclists. I saw one woman cyclist knocked to the ground by a taxi. but the police don't seem at all interested in such things."

More pics here .