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Why I'm going to the Critical Mass this friday

ILOVEGCHQ | 22.07.2012 21:35

Here's my reason why.

back in 2005, we found out the news that London was going to host the Olympic games, lots of people in the media make comments about how much of a shit hole Stratford is, but truth is, its not really that shit, it's just an easy target for the developers, there's no one to defend it.

Anyway since 2005 the amount of redevelopment with yuppy flats and Tescos popping up all over the town is out of control, the locals have been pushed to once side.

I'm mates with a local Tory campaign, funny cause he's a tory, and all his constituants hate the Olympics, and he agrees. I'm assuming that after the Olympics like the Millenium Dome and Iraq, the top politicans will admit it was a bit of sham.

Everywhere I go I hear people moaning about the Olympics, and then when I turn on the TV, I see nothing but smiling faces.

Even my parents who are miserable, Daily Mail types want to see the VIP lanes blocked.
We got taxis drivers moaning, dairy farmers out on strike, now its times for the opposite end of the spectrum to join in with the critical mass.

When I heard about the critical mass, I thought it was time to give 'them' a hernia with stress. 130 quid fine for cycling in the VIP lane? thats an insult to the normal people who are stuck in London.

Anyway over the years I've was part of the Summit Hopping movment, but no-one in London has realised all the Olympics is another political summit, and it should of been treated as such, with massive direct action, banner drops, etc etc.

anyway if your coming to the mass on friday, expect the police, GCHQ and they're other resources to really treat us like shit.
On saturday a facebook event was blocked with in one-hour of its creation, I hope the girl who made the event doesn't use her own ip address. GCHQ are deffinatly going to watch this one.
Proberly a massive Copenhagen kettle on one of the bridges, or southbank, so keep your wits about you, ride a blue barclays bike, and ditch it if shit gets heavy lets not forget, the psycos of our Armed Forces are in London in numbers, and they can't tell the difference between an Afgan wedding and terrorist camp.

Keep telling your mates, and invite them along.

See you in the streets.



Hide the following 30 comments

Yuppy flats and Tescos

23.07.2012 09:52

"Anyway since 2005 the amount of redevelopment with yuppy flats and Tescos popping up all over the town is out of control, the locals have been pushed to once side"

Erm can you put yuppy flats and Tescos in the same breadth?

I am not sure locals in Stratford feel pushed to the side by Tescos when most of them probably shop there. Now if it were Kensington maybe they would.

Dan Factor

Hijacking of Critical Mass

23.07.2012 10:54

Critical mass is not a demonstration, this is how it has been able to survive for so long, by co-opting it to demonstrate games lanes you are endangering the future of this amazing monthly event.

Massing since 1998

Crit Mass

23.07.2012 13:09

The best thing about Critical Mass is that it is what it is to whoever rides on it. So some people think by it's nature it's always a demonstration about using bikes and cycling together to make a comment on many things - environmental, public space, sharing, alternatives, transport, creation of community etc.

The originator of CM is San Fran Chris Carlsson very much saw it as a moment of collective spontaneity that creates a myriad of possibilities for making a pointed critiques of capitalist consumer society. This always works best when the ride is neither just a boring ride of people on expensive bikes nor a ride funnelled into the performance of radical politics. The ride itself is radical in that it's starting point is gathering people together on the marvellous machine of bicycles and then it's up to the ride to enact whatever it desires in the moment.

Having said all this, it does seem like lots of people are into the Mass making some fun around the temporary privatisation of London's roads for an unaccountable ginormous corporate sporting event.


critical mass identity

23.07.2012 13:48

hijacking of critical mass?

FFS who put you in charge of deciding what critical mass is and isn't? just because you've been doing it for years?

if you don't think there's ever been a link between masses and demos/activism then you're deluding yourself mate. it exists whether you like it or not. and plenty of us involved DO want to make it political. but unlike you we don't claim to speak for everyone.


come on everyone

23.07.2012 15:14

get the message out there!

the couriers, fixies, bmxers, skaters...

make sure they all know spread the word.


And people on foot too!

23.07.2012 18:45

And people can come on foot too, invite joggers to come and join us! Lets make this a mass cycle, skate boarder, skater and jogger event. Oh and bring your spray pain tins lets cover the town in anti-Olympic graffiti so graffiti artists are most welcome too.

The critical mass massive.

We are prepared

23.07.2012 19:03

We are well aware that certain individuals are trying to politisize the Mass and steps have been taken to ensure this does not happen. There will be stewards at all points within the mass and spotters looking out for trouble makers and those attempting to hijack the Mass for their own purposes. Do be assured the Mas will as usual be chilled and respectful to all.

One of the Mass

If you don't want to protest the scum games then don't

23.07.2012 19:49

But try to fuck with the protest and you will lower yourselves to cops and that will not be tolerated.


stay away

23.07.2012 23:14

Fuck off from the mass, this isn't an opportunity to tout your own agenda.

Graffiti "artists" are most definitely not welcome.

Lets keep the Mass clean and to the point that it was originally intended for.

If you want to protest the olympics, go and do that but don't fuck with the mass otherwise you will be most unwelcome and if that means shopping you to the cops then so be it


Mass Defence - wotever

23.07.2012 23:29

Trolls going mental on this month's mass. Hmmm wonder why? Prob cops. No one owns the Mass, so no-one can say what it is or isn't or what it can and can't do. There is no organisation behind CM that can even try to put out spotters to control it. Fantasy land.

Yeah Yeah

Its the same everytime

23.07.2012 23:48

The protest-trolls hijack anything that is remotely successful because everything they have is shit. So they then infiltrate other protests and attempt to use them for their own needs.

Everyone should keep a sharp eye on this Mass and keep its original purpose
It isn't open to change without the majority wanting it to change - which they don't

fuck off trolls

An Olympic event

24.07.2012 03:15

The following from an indymedia post:
"A sonic weapon designed to disperse crowds by administering "head splitting pain" is ready to be deployed. Unmanned drones will be patrolling the skies over London. A "safe zone" will be put in place with eleven miles of electrified fence, patrolled by 55 teams of attack dogs. The 2006 Olympics Games Act means that not only the police and armed forces can use physical force to "protect" the Olympics but also private security forces. This covers anything from peaceful demonstrations, strikes, and the sale of bootleg Olympic products on the street that are not officially approved. "Brand protection teams" will patrol inside the Games to make sure that only clothes or accessories with commercial messages officially approved can be worn.In addition people congregating on the street, a normal occurrence particularly in summer months, will be harassed,in particular local working class youth. In fact this is already happening with increased surveillance and harassment in the boroughs bordering the Olympics. Rough sleepers will be removed. The police can remove anyone "deemed in any way to be causing a nuisance".There is no sign that this will disappear with the end of the Olympics. The police will end up more armed and arrogant than before, London and Britain will be saddled with enormous debt as a result of exorbitant Olympics spending, whole neighbourhoods will be socially cleansed and gentrified, taxes will be increased and all the security devices and cameras installed will stay in place. The Games are not about sport. They are about phony patriotism, brand placing, profiteering for estate agents and landlords. They are there to boost the push towards neo-liberalism, to destroy our working class neighbourhoods, to boost the power of a state that is increasingly a police state. Who is the enemy in this new Britain? It is us, the majority of the population.


Not wanted

24.07.2012 10:04

I think some people are still not getting it - Critical Mass London does not want your political anti-Olympic protest. You do not represent the views of Critical Mass participants and you will be asked to leave the Mass if you attempt a demonstration or political act. A number of people have agreed to act as stewards and it has been agreed that they will intervene if political acts that are not in keeping with the Critical Mass ethos are undertaken.

Please make your protest elsewhere

Thank you.

Long time rider

Critical Mass boycotts olympigs

24.07.2012 12:47

As far as I'm aware CM will be boycotting the Olympigs. This means clearing off into South London, keeping it real and representing the streets on the streets. We won't have time for no funny olympig nonsense.

I don't know this, of course, I just think it. We'll see - but what I expect to happen is that all the numpty party poopers will get kettled on waterloo bridge and all the awesome people will be riding down Waterloo Road into the fine, fine free city of South London.

I encourage all other massers to push the idea. We head south! Then we can have some fun, Elephant and Castle, Brixton, Peckham, Camberwell and maybe, maybe head north once the opening ceremony is under way.

Can we have a couple of hours of freedom, of keeping the fuzz guessing, before those people who want to cause trouble start kicking off?

Can we please have our monthly bike ride? Because, basically, I don't want to be sitting in no jail cell so that some Waitrose-shopping-rupert-anarchist-yah can play the party pooper because daddy never watched him/her on sports day

Carlos X

I'm with Carlos X

24.07.2012 13:32

Well said, Carlos.

CM is a fantastic non political event that will be ruined by the Trustafarians that having destroyed the Climate Camp movement have now latched on to Olympic protest as the latest fashion statement.

Ride free

These 'stewards' & 'spotters' are plain-clothes cops.

24.07.2012 13:55

There has been no discussion of 'stewards' or 'spotters' on the London Critical Mass mailing list!

Anyone seen acting as such should be photographed and info passed onto the FITwatch database. This will render them unable to further work undercover later in their careers.

Thank you.


- Homepage:

FITWATCH info not accurate

24.07.2012 14:14

Somebody from Fitwatch (with the best of intentions I'm sure) said above,

"There has been no discussion of 'stewards' or 'spotters' on the London Critical Mass mailing list!"

This is true however the core riders of Critical Mass in London (ie those of us who do the leg work that keeps the CM running each time) have been discussing this in private for some week after this first started being talked about. Stewards have been chosen from those of us who care about CM and don't want to see it ruined by others.



24.07.2012 14:20

Basically, let's not get too worked up here. Whatever happens, happens. The ride will decide at the time what to do.

Hopefully we can respect each other's opinions, it's all cool. Let's not create trouble by anticipating it. Everyone will have to see how things are when we get there.

If there is a minority of people who wish to launch right off into a protest, well, okay, they will. But that doesn't mean anyone has to follow them...

I'm going to be my normal self engaging in a legal activity. Whatever...I hope everyone is just taking it easy. It's high summer and the weather is fine.

I don't want to be freaking out about some 'undercover'. It would be unrealistic to think that in an audience that large that there wouldn't be some Narcs. But who cares? Whatever. Not doing anything wrong. Paranoia about this shit destroys freethinking groups. When we're old and grey we can apply to the state for lots of free pictures of our good times. La di da.

This sort of conversation is grim. I mean - I could say 'what sort of organisation is CON (Counter Olympics Network)? Surely they are a state sponsored agent provocateur group? The keys is in their name 'CON' - it's a CON and they want to lead us into a trap?

Blah Blah Blah, Olympigs, badically couldn't give a damn. Whatever.

Carlos X

The group wasn't banned

24.07.2012 15:12

The group which the author alleges was banned can be found by typing


into Google and selecting the cached version. Therefore - it was removed by poster as it is still available. Boo yaa!

1200 invited, 100 said they'd go. Looked at the group when it was up. Bourgeois.

Group info reads:

Cyclists will be banned from using over 95% of London's Games Lanes and bus lanes are being removed and there is a £130 pound fine for using them​07/09/​olympic-road-ban-cyclists-w​ill-put-lives-risk

The next critical mass falls on the same day as the opening of the olympics...

The London Mass meets at 6.30pm on the last Friday of every month on the South Bank under Waterloo Bridge, by the National Film Theatre.

Let's all meet there or North Londoners could meet somewhere north and cycle down together!


So, there it is. Not removed by the state. Quite harmless.

Do you feel paranoia reducing?

False information in the article

Central London

24.07.2012 17:46

Some of us are coming from out of town for the cm. We are coming as it's important for the world to see there is some form of protest about these bullshit games. And we want to see and be seen in Central London not the southern slums.
Seems like there's a poster (probably a cop)with different names trying to cause division.
This is a great opportunity to wear your anti Olympic gear and cycle in a large group around busy central London.
All you pro Olympic morons go cycle somewhere else.



24.07.2012 19:38

to the 'out of town' agent provocateur using the tag 'anon'

a) you can't take your bike on the train
b) when you say 'some of us' - you just mean you
c) if you're not from London, why don't you make your own Critical Mass
d) the people who use Critical Mass as a sightseeing tour/ show off to the tourists are incredibly lame
e) no friend of the people would ever describe the blessed lands of South London as 'slums'. That sort of comment is indicative of the worst kind of mindless-bourgeois-suburban-rupert-dribbler
f) the route of critical mass is decided on an intersection by intersection basis. You have no authority to say anything other than that.
g)Critical Mass has legal status as a procession. To describe it as a 'protest' is simply wrong and ignorant. Critical Mass is radical and opinionated. It has things to say - it is not, however, your hobby horse or your vehicle. You don't have enough people to do anything so you want to talk crap about ruining other people's time and hijacking a different event. That's pretty lame.

Carlos X

to carlos

24.07.2012 21:21

You seem to fancy yourself as spokesperson for the critical mass. If so you will regcognise that the mass often blocks traffic and runs red lights-both illegal I think. So what is your problem with the mass cruising the vip lanes on Friday-surely you don't agree with those lanes for the rich only? If so you don't get what critical mass is all about.


CM been all over the place

24.07.2012 21:25

Critical Mass has been a nice ride about town with fellow cyclists and then it has also been a ride that has been part of tonnes of protests and demos both on the regular last Friday of the month and at other times. In theory, it should work that the Mass decides where it wants to go on 'an intersection by intersection' basis but this is not always the case esp if a bike sound system is leading the ride. It's not unknown that some riders have an idea of where the Mass could go and then it usually does. This is not really a criticism, more pointing out that the Mass is neither an apolitical ride from a to b to c to d and that in reality it is rarely leaderless. Maybe also worth saying that CM is a protest ride whether it's explicit or not. Always has been from day one in SF and still is.

Criminal Hummus

to 'cyclist' and the hummus

24.07.2012 21:53

I have something to say but it is clear from what I have written that I am not a spokesmodel for anything.

a) Legally Critical Mass is a procession. It is legal as such. No one is saying that it is a 'nice little ride around town'. It is filled with right on, active and engaged people who are willing to support right on causes. It is not the property of some black bloc rupert to piss on. If you anticipate trouble then you will make it.

b) No anonymous 'anarchist' has the right to decide that his anarchist faction will take over the mass. How dare he guarantee any such thing. It's not just false, it's stupid. It can be used as a false flag to shut us down completely. The Olympics has special laws and there are 28,000 soldiers and 20,000 extra police in town. So, basically whoever has written this article is a moron.

c) It is not illegal to 'cork' the roads (please note the 'cyclist' does not know the correct words to use). Nor is it illegal to go through the red lights. It is legal for a procession to move through red lights following the front which went through on green. This has been established in the Law Lords. We are legal. What we do is legal. As a procession.

d)Noone has the right or ability to say what will happen at the time. This has been talked about. Decisions are made at the time. Are individual riders more or less influential? Yeah, it's true. Can a determined group have influence? Yes - often. It's true.

Different outcomes might occur. If the mass heads north, looking at the map - we will have trouble on Kingsway. We don't often go onto Embankment at early points in the night. Hmm. Dunno. The Mall is closed. Oxford street is finally opened up again.

Ugh. It seems like a hassle. But, yeah, it will be decided. I have a preference for spending some time in the real areas of South Central (always do, hardly ever listened to). I'd hope to find kindred spirits on that.

Will there be time to protest? Yeah, it's pretty likely. I just hope we get some time before hand to ride about.

Turn up early to talk about it?

Carlos X

@ Carlos X

25.07.2012 01:21

Counter Olympics Network is coalition of groups working against the idiotic spectacle and downright dubious imposition of the Olympic Games on London. They are calling a demo on July 28th and defying a ban imposed by TFL to highlight many of the crap aspects of the Olympics. They are supported in this aim by:

ALARM, Athletes Against Dow Chemical’s Sponsorship, Badhoc, BARAC, Blacklist Support Group, Bread and Circuses, Brent Trades Council, Coalition of Resistance, Counterfire, Defend the Right to Protest, Disabled People Against Cuts, Drop Dow Now, East London Against Arms Fairs, Games Monitor, G4S Campaign, Grunts for the Arts, Hackney Green Party, Hackney Trades Council, Hackney Woodcraft Folk, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, Haringey Trades Council, Islington Hands Off Our Public Services, Islington Trades Council, Jewish Socialist Group, Lewisham People Not Profit, Lewisham Stop the War, Lewisham Trades Council, London Green Party, London Mining Network, Netpol, No Games Chicago, Occupy London, Our Olympics, Partizans, People & Planet, Save Leyton Marsh Campaign, Space Hijackers, Stop the Olympic Missiles, Thurrock Hecklers, UK Tar Sands Network, Waltham Forest Trades Council, War on Want, Youth Fight for Jobs, and more.

So calling them provocateurs is well out of order.


yeah, but

25.07.2012 11:45

Oh, I've talked too much, I've forgotten what the point was?

okay, like whatever, yo, but...

...the suggestions for CM were not made by CON, just by 'some guy'. Organising protests is - of course - totally cool. It's just not CM. I've said too much, I think everyone gets what I think...must stop writing...

There's a suggestion for a 'Slow Motion Olympic Half-Marathon to Olympic Park'

That's cool.

However, there's no organising committee, no pre-planning in terms of's all decided at the time.

That's what people in CON have told me. The police have asked if they have anything to do with "may be
involved in some way in the planning of a bike ride by Critical Mass on 27 July in the Bow area in support of CON". To which the response has been 'No'.

Simply - forget about 'provocateurs' - don't be worried, take it easy. We can always suspect each other. The fear caused by undercovers is half of their point. But we have nothing to fear because what we do is legal.

If you are pro-olympics you are welcome to come to Critical Mass. If you are indifferent, if you are opposed, it's all cool. I just don't want to think about the sodding thing. If the monsters are having a party, well, I'm ignoring them.

Carlos X

blimmin eck

26.07.2012 14:44

stop bloody winging the lot o yer.

Some people will cycle that day, some people wont. There might be some cops about, there might not. Who knows.

Some people are going to cycle some people don't want to.

Stop telling eachother you should or shouldn't cycle. People will do what they want no matter what.

Indymedia pay money for server space, stop spending they money on ot air.

The way I see it, either have a nice time sat at home eating cereal and watchin telly or have a nice time cycling.

The one thing I will tell other ter do is be well and do what yer wish.


to the angry TAXI drivers we will meet

27.07.2012 15:08

please forgive the delay i and my friends have caused you today.

i do not wish to cause in you anger or hatred whilst affecting your routine.
but i do plead that as you look at us gliding by you note; we are smiling, we are happy, we are people.

as a group you can see us, here we are. it is a sad thing to say that often when we are alone you do not see us, where was i?.

maybe you're running late? maybe you've been cut up by some 'stupid bloody fucking cunt'. more likely you've been sitting in our wonderfully designed transport system where it is deemed logical for car engines to run for hours whilst you travel a few miles. that is when it happens. then is when you hit one of us.

so forgive me. while i glide in bliss. because this is the only day i do not glide in abject fear that some stressed, tired, human being, is going to make a mistake that kills me.


@to the angry TAXI drivers we will meet

27.07.2012 23:15

Roads are designed and built for motor vehicle use. If you don't want to take risks, then don't use it.


My letter to Inspector Cryer

07.08.2012 14:57

I sent her a letter saying, "How can I help". She replied, asking me to let her know what was planned. My reply was 99% taken from informaiton publicly availble (Facebook and CM website) and by repeating her own words back to her...

Dear Inspector Cryer

Like you, I understand there is to be a ride on 10 August to commemorate the life of Dan Harris, at which a ghost bike may be placed at the site where he was killed. I believe the plan is to meet by the National Theatre under Waterloo Bridge at 6pm for 6.30pm start, and ride to the site of the tragedy, Lea Interchange, Eastway, Hackney ( Junction of Eastway/ Ruckholt Way - near end of Homerton Road), arriving between 7.30pm -8.30pm.

I do not know what route the ride will take; I do not know if I will follow other riders; I do not know if other riders will follow the route that I take.

I hope the above information helps you gain a general idea of the ride and what we want to do. I have no doubt that, so long as the police response is proportionate and non-violent, it will be a safe and enjoyable ride for cyclists, and one that does not cause huge disruption to others going about their daily business.

I would urge you to remember that Critical Mass is a procession, not a protest.


A Cyclist

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