Edinburgh Critical Mass Attacked by Police

Yesterday afternoon the Edinburgh Critical Mass congregated at the Mound and set off onto the city streets, sound system in tow. The mass had a great cycle around town for over an hour, with motorists up to their usual tricks, and a lively, upbeat atmosphere from the riders.

The next monthly Critical Mass is Friday the 30th July. Meet 5.30 at the bottom of The Mound in Edinburgh and George Square in Glasgow.

[ Edinburgh Critical Mass is back! | Critical Mass on Wikipedia | Guardian blog video ]

As the mass neared the end of Melville Drive, followed by an impressive tailback of commuters, a police car swung in front of the cyclists on the wrong side of the road, forced the mass to stop and picked out the sound system rider for no apparent reason. As no offence was being committed, the riders found it hard to see why their details should be given over. After some arguing, and an increasingly frustrated cop who realised that he had no grounds for demanding the riders details, backup quickly arrived, with three more cop cars and three vans.

Suddenly, the sound system rider was cuffed and violently arrested by four officers, with other riders quickly responding, but forced back by the first cop on the scene, who drew his baton and threatened the other riders, shouting aggressively. The other cops shoved the riders around, refused to let them communicate with the arrested rider, and eventually forced the riders out of the Meadows with threats of arrest and physical violence shouting things such as "disappear". They also stole the soundsystem, trailer and bike.

The arrested rider was eventually released later last night with four charges - cycling without due care and attention, obstruction of the highway with a bicycle and trailer, failure to provide details when required and resisting arrest.

Edinburgh cops are known for this kind of criminalisation and harassment of peaceful protesters and their tactics are designed to put people off and crush dissent - but the mass will come back stronger!

*Next Edinburgh Critical Mass: Friday 30th July, 5:30pm, bottom of the Mound*


Re: Edinburgh Critical Mass Attacked by Police

By Paul

Anonymous wrote:
And you are who? His best mate? Bullying behaviour  indeed happened- on the side of a cowardly pig scumbag in uniform. Thanks you for your attention. Now fuck off and die.

That's nice .. you argue and moan about alleged bullying behaviour then do _exactly_ the same yourself.  Strange priority set you have ...

No such thing as Road Tax


Anonymous wrote:

Are you Critical Mass folk going to start paying road tax for the maintenance and upkeep of our roads?

There's no such thing as Road Tax. It's Vehicle Excise Duty. Toxic, polluting, health- and road-damaging vehicles pay that, Non-toxic, non-polluting, healthy vehicles don't.

You don't own the roads, you just make the most noise about them.

Re: Edinburgh Critical Mass Attacked by Police

By Anonymous

Anonymous wrote:

how about a compromise chaps and gals



Re: Edinburgh Critical Mass Attacked by Police

By Anonymous

Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:

and another thing.............

if you ever see anyone being wrongfully arressted or a violation of civil or human rights,

you have the right to make a citizens arrest whether it be a civilian or a police officer, they are all just as human as us.

make sure you know your rights first though, else you may find yourself in deep trouble,

a camera might help, but also a camera on your cameraman/woman just to be safe, and maybe a camera on that, after all evidence is a virtue if wrongly arrested.

and another thing............

if you do witness what you percieve to be a wrongfull arrest or a violation of civil or human rights,

make sure you know that scots law is scots law and thare is no such thing as british law, not even in england.

if you are stopped and asked for details about your particulars, its easy enough to be diplomatic and even freindly,

in fact, believe it or not, most police officers in scotland are quite down to earth and don,t hassle the innocent,

you can withold any personal details about yourself as long as you deem yourself to be innocent and have given no reason for these details to be disclosed.

unfortunately though, like any establishment, you do have your old fashioned bullies, some are old and some are young, you'll spot them easily, maybe the one's that are weilding their batton because you've raised your voice somewhat, or they've grabbed and twisted your arm ready for the cuffs because you were verbally stating your rights, these bullies probably started early, maybe even at primary school, their colleagues probably know who they are, maybe you know one or two of them yourself, all they probably want is some kind of feeling of importance or power.

unfortunately these people are in a position to bully anybody they don't like, just like franco did in spain in the late 30'sand early 40's.

its up to you if you will allow this to happen to an innocent person or yourself, you could intervene, firstly with a diplomatic approach, a freindly gesture, this may lead to further bullying and you could walk away and get on a train and put the gas on or have a shower.

you could on the other hand stand up for your rights and other citizens rights, if someone's rights are being violated and you dissagree with it, you can use your rights to affect the matter with minimum force if necessarry,

know your rights first.

be freindly, be diplomatic, be resolute....................


Re: Edinburgh Critical Mass Attacked by Police

By Rich

Typical of our police force. What has happened to the police humour and tolerance. Every time I meet a policeperson i wonder "so who bullied you at school" CM do a good job of highlighting the fact that cyclists are 2nd class road users. How often do you see the cycle lanes full of parked cars for a start. Come on Old Bill get a grip. Makes you wonder what our country is coming to.

Re: Edinburgh Critical Mass Attacked by Police

By Anonymous

Anonymous wrote:

I trust you lot had PRS (Performing Rights Society) and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) licences for your "sound system" as you were having a "public performance" so to speak - No? then you were committing an offence! - really!


Unless they were playing their own music or music for which they had copyright holder's permission to use.


Either way it's irrelevant because even if police were to argue that the soundsystem was infringing on copyright law(which is a civil offence unless I'm very much mistaken) they'd have to apply that rule to ALL road users as the prior post stated.


Seems there's a couple of people here who need to lighten up a bit.


A cycle group has as much right to use the road as a motorcyclist car driver or a tractor, wether they pay tax or not is irrelevant.


Finally the cop looks out of whack. Neither of his colleagues are holding batons and in either case there is absolutely no need to act in a threatening manner towards a crowd just because they won't be intimidated into giving away personal details related to some half cooked charges.


Looks like the guy's completely over-reacted to a situation that probably would only have required some talking.

If the group's causing an obstruction then there's no reason why they couldn't be reasoned with! It's not like critical mass are a bunch of thugs on bicycles.

Re: Edinburgh Critical Mass Attacked by Police

By Anonymous

I was one of the drivers you metion from the "impressive tailback" you caused. When I did eventually pass you, what I saw was not a peaceful and lawful bike ride, but a group of bored hippies intent on making a scene.

"Critical Mass participants have insisted that these events should be viewed as "celebrations" and spontaneous gatherings, and not as protests or organized demonstrations. This stance allows Critical Mass to argue a legal position that its events can occur without advance notification of local police."

If you were really that interested in wanting to celebrate cycling and cycling in safety then you would notify the apporiate persons and seek approval as it is a set day each month. BUT no, you have no interest in cycling, your only interest is to get a thrill from causing disruption or trying to capture a reaction police, which you lot can thereafter twist and manipulate on a website making out that you were darling little angels.

I can only assume that you couldn't afford the flights to Toronto for G20 so instead you have had to entertain yourselves here.



Re: Edinburgh Critical Mass Attacked by Police

By Anonymous

Anonymous wrote:

Are you Critical Mass folk going to start paying road tax for the maintenance and upkeep of our roads? thats right no you are not because half of you dont have jobs and can't afford to and you have nothing better to do than to disrupt honest hard working people driving home after a hard days work! 

Roads are paid out of general taxation and unless you earn more than £100k I pay more tax than you - so piss off from MY roads in your repmobile penis extension.

Re: Edinburgh Critical Mass Attacked by Police


Anonymous wrote:

Remember that if you "assault" a copper, even in the most tenuous way, brushing against them, stroking their dog, that's Police Assault and an automatic One (1) year prison sentence.

Would be nice if folk would show their sources for statements like these. I know that SCALP have a website but random anon comments have the potential to spread masses of misinformation and shouldn't really be treated as authoritative.

Re: Edinburgh Critical Mass Attacked by Police

By Fabbri

You can watch Still We Ride, the film about Critical Mass in New York, and their fight against Mayor Gulliani's gentrification of the city, on youtube here.