Quotes from arrestees

“I regularly ride on Critical Mass, attending at least 5 or 6 rides a year,
if not more some years and have done so since about 2005.””At about midnight I was seen by a nurse as I had reported on my medication when booked in. I had no medication with me and missed the dose due that evening.”
“Photos, DNA and fingerprints were taken.  I was not offered anything to drink or eat and had to ask for this at about 6.30 am but was released shortly after so did not get any sustenance.””I was cycling home (to watch the Olympic ceremony) when a Police Officer shouted ‘STOP’ and immediately pushed me off my bike. It took three weeks for the bruising on my hip and arm to fade , and two weeks for the bruising from the handcuffs to fade.”

“It wasn’t until about 8am the following day that I was finally taken to
the police station. By that point I was tired and hungry. The police
registered my arrival as being at 11.30pm or so the night before, which
was a lie as we were still sitting on buses at that time.”
[being detained on a bus] After a while a woman sitting close to me that I had become friends with in the kettle started to get really uncomfortable, as she need to use the bathroom. The officers kept saying “it wouldn’t be long”. I think she might have started to cry, because she was in pain.

“People were being led out 1 at a time with their bikes, the bikes were
tagged with the arresting officers number and put in a separate white van
and arrestees went on the buses.”

“After he arrested me I was placed in front of a police video camera which
filmed my arresting officer repeating what he’d just told me.”

“An hour later, we arrived at Charing Cross.  There were no seats left on the bus so I was standing, handcuffed, for this journey.”

“I went through to custody at 3am. My arresting officer gave his handover
to the custody Sergeant and I asked for a glass of water because I was
feeling faint and dizzy. I never got any.”

“I got out at nearly 3pm, 12 hours in the cell, plus the other 7 hours in
the kettle and on buses.”

“At this point the bus driver got out of his cab and got off the bus. He said to the police that he couldn’t continue to drive us, as he had been driving too many hours, and he wouldn’t be insured to drive further.”

“We were sat outside in the car park for a while, and then taken into what can only be described as a garage. It had no seats, no natural light, and we sat on the concrete floor with our arresting officers waiting to be booked in.”

“The officer told me that PACE did not apply, because I had not been booked in. I was not in custody, therefore had no rights. I was “under arrest”, which meant there were no rules on how long I can be kept for, and that I do not have the right to legal advice.”

“The police garage was already full of critical mass arrestees that had been brought to the station earlier than us. The arrestee next to me was expressing his concerns to his arresting officer about what was going to happen. He wanted to call his wife and children. The officer was telling him about what would happen in custody. I believed a lot of what the officer said to be incorrect.”

“We repeatedly asked for food. Some joked that we were on “involuntary hunger strike”. At 7.54am we were brought some food after the Croatian girl was close to fainting.”

“After an hour had passed people were getting twitchy.  The police had provided small bottles of water; however no one had been given access to a toilet for the three hours that had passed.  Some people were getting desperate.  I cannot tell you how heartbreaking it was to see grown men on the edge of tears in pain and fear that they were likely to wet their pants in public.

Finally, at around midnight, an Inspector came onto the bus and told us he would address the toilet problem. His solution was that people could go one by one.  Not only this, but the police would stand in the toilet with the person using it.  Monitored toilet trips. This started out ok, but two other buses joined the area equally full.  This meant sixty people using one toilet over a four hour period.”

“We were kettled at about 9pm. We were told our bikes would go
with us – these were then taken away from us and we were given no
information on how to obtain them – I only found out through word of mouth
several days later.”

“In the police station, I enquired about the bail conditions and when I
asked for clarifications, I was told abruptly ‘either you sign or you go
to the cell.’”

“This whole episode severely adversely affected my life and my livelihood,
my mental and physical wellbeing, and for what? What purpose could this
whole operation have possibly served that made it a worthwhile exercise?
It’s truly ridiculous, we were cycling, that’s all.”

“I had been kept in a cell, fortunately alone,
but woken every half hour to check I was still alive.”

“I was furious to the point of tears in my eyes.  I was trying to stay calm as I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of thinking she’d upset me.  The upset made me suddenly miss my wife as the first person I would turn to when upset, and I realised I still hadn’t had my phone call.  I rang the bell again.  Another officer opened the hatch.  I asked for my call and was told I didn’t have the right to a phone call.  I had a right for someone to be notified of my arrest.”

“I asked what had happened to the Boris Bike I had hired and was told it was in Charlton.  I needed to contact the pound myself to arrange release. With that, I walked {out of the station) at 10.45am, in the clothes I’d slept in, hair a mess, smelly, hungry and thirsty, to make my way back home.

Multiply this experience by 182 and you have the human impact on the cyclists of that night.  Then consider the impacts on the loved ones who got little or no information for 12 hours as to the whereabouts and conditions of their husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters.”

“This was my first Critical Mass, I’d recently got confident enough and fit enough in the early summer to give it a go. It was a long time before I went on another one!”
“I tried to sleep again after this but started to worry, especially after a hour or so that if they couldn’t confirm my address because of some stupid mess-up with the electoral roll (not my fault is it, why should I be penalized?) then I’d be kept till Monday to go before court. The combination of this growing worry and the fact that I wasn’t sleepy any more so couldn’t zone out caused me to get increasingly upset. It must have been almost 2pm I think when I pressed the buzzer and asked for pencil and paper, especially if I was going to be in a long time more. I thought some sketching or writing might calm me a bit, even though there wasn’t much to draw. I never got this, so instead I drew a picture in my minds eye – which I drew to get it out of me when I got home.”
A sketch of the police cell done from memory - all the bricks counted.

A sketch of the police cell done from memory – all the bricks counted.

“When she closed the hatch I broke down and couldn’t stop shaking and crying the thud of the metal sealing me in raised this claustrophobic lump in my chest and I couldn’t control it any longer. I waited for a long time it seemed like hours but was probably around ½ an hour. She clearly wasn’t coming back anytime soon so I pressed the buzzer again. I had been sat on the bed huddled and rocking, the officer who opened the door hatch could have clearly seen how much I’d been crying (and was still crying). I got out at nearly 3pm, 12 hours in the cell, plus the other 7 hours in the kettle and on buses.”