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From: "Jo Makepeace"
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 01:52:53 +0100
Subject: SchNEWS 518, 28th October, 2005

October 2005 Critical Mass London Ride threatened by police


Hundreds of cyclists in Halloween costumes might not look like serious criminals, but today (Friday, 28th October 2005) they will defy police threats of arrest under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, in what is expected to be one of the biggest London Critical Mass rides of the year.

At the last monthly ride, police circulated a letter labelling Critical Mass (CM) a "demonstration" and threatening that "participation in this event could render you liable to prosecution" (SchNEWS 515). The ride falls within the half-mile protest exclusion zone around Parliament (SchNEWS 507) in which demonstrating without police permission is an arrestable offence. Whether CM can be classed as a demonstration remains to be seen. New Scotland Yard's Superintendent Gomm doesn't seem too sure about it himself - when Cycling Weekly reminded him that CM participants frequently insist that they are not demonstrating he replied: "That's a matter of opinion," before adding "I see it as a protest about cycling conditions.

They've done a great deal of good for cycling in London over the years." So we suppose the Clown Army are protesting about conditions for clowns, then, and demanding more circus rings? Head to London and get on yer bike - we might even be there to film you...

Brighton has a critical mass on the last Friday of each month -
starts from the Level at 6pm.

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