Hundreds of cyclists taking part in the monthly Critical Mass bike ride were detained and kettled by the police on Friday evening, while the Olympic opening ceremony was in full swing
The cycle ride was in defiance of anticipated 'resistance' by the Metropolitan police. Counter Olympics Network activists released a statement which called for activists to support the cyclists and that activists should be 'peacefully assertive' in defence of the planned Critical Mass route.
A video posted on Twitter shows a police officer attempting to pepper spray a man in a wheelchair.
Around 100 cyclists were detained overnight in a bus. A photo of the draconian bail conditions given to one protester - under the guise of the 'Public Order Act' - appears to contradict the House of Lords' 2008 ruling that the spontaneous cycle ride was not in fact governed by the Act.
Critical Mass cyclist Craig Clark told Counterfire, 'it's ironic that as people were packed into the Olympic Stadium watching Danny Boyle's magical flying bicycles, real cyclists on a peaceful customary bike ride were being unlawfully and aggressively kettled outside.' He added that, 'as VIPs were bussed in, those arrested were being loaded onto commandeered London buses and shipped to police stations on the outskirts of the City in handcuffs."
Activist and writer Lindsey German commented:
'At the same time civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabati was carrying the Olympic flag, police were attacking legitimate protestors and cyclists outside the stadium. Arrested and kept overnight without food they were treated abominably. This is the other face of the Olympics: repressive and corporate.'
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