Police at start of ride.
Police aside, the April ride was well attended and good fun but the usual commemorative anniversary t-shirts were sadly missed this time. Ironically, towards the end of the ride it was held up for a while in Shaftesbury Avenue by the usual Friday evening motorised traffic congestion. Critical Mass is often blamed for holding up traffic but they are not the only ones doing so on entertainment evening outings, nevertheless they are much more stringently policed.
2. The police had no control over the mass. There was constantly 20 people in front of the police line, at times going through red lights, blocking traffic ourselves, etc. This was the most empowering mass I'd been at for a while.
3. You have to look at the police tactic : They will make a line of cyclists to try and slow down and contain the mass. However, in most cases, it's very easy to go through that line - just cycle through them, overtake them by going on wrong side of the road, etc. As long as there's enough people pushing through (as was the case this Friday), they can't do anything about it. The problem is that some people will not go through that line ; they stop behind the police, and in turn block the people who are behind them. The police can cope with having 20 people in front of them, because they are holding up the rest of the mass (thanks to the first line of people who didn't try to overtake them) and so those 20 people are forced to wait (or split and do their own mass!)