On Friday 27 July 2012, the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games coincided with the monthly Critical Mass ride. 182 cyclists were arrested. They were held in three seperate police kettles for well over two to three hours, handcuffed in buses for up to three hours, driven all over London (some as far as Bromley, Kent) and held in police cells from between six hours to two days. Once the police cells were full many were held overnight on buses, or on concrete floors, and were denied access to toilet facilities, food and water. Stringent bail conditions were imposed, including not cycling in the Borough of Newham, or going within 100-200 metres of an Olympic venue, quite a challenge in London that summer!
For an eyewitness account, see here.
For some, these bail conditions were amended at a later date (as some people would not have been able to use their Olympic tickets, or go to work). For the majority of the 182 arrestees no further action was taken and the cases against them were dropped as they were deemed ‘not in the public interest’. However, on Monday 25 February, after 7 months of waiting, 9 of those arrested who are still being prossecuted will begin their trial.
We demand justice for the CM9: cycling is not a crime.