Spare a thought for the nine Critical Mass cyclists who went on trial on Feb 25.
Their crime? Cycling on the opening night of the London Olympics.
Critical Mass, a pressure group dedicated to making the city a better place to live in, ignored ‘public order conditions’ imposed by a nervous London Met which would have prohibited their monthly group cycle ride.
Among the bizarre set of new ‘section 12’ rules was a clause preventing anyone from cycling north of the Thames on the evening of the opening ceremony. Olympian control freakery at its most grotesque…
182 people were arrested on the night. Nine are due to appear in court this week and are worried about suddenly acquiring criminal records for nothing worse than pedalling a two-wheeled contraption, something which was always legal before the night in question and has been legal ever since.
According to one member of Critical Mass: ‘Arguments in court are likely to centre around whether the police had a reasonable cause to impose any conditions in the first place, then whether the conditions imposed were sufficiently proportionate and limited as necessary under the human rights act, then whether the accused were properly informed of those conditions, and finally whether the cyclists can be proven to have broken those conditions without lawful excuse.’
The case will probably last upto a week as each of the nine accused are dealt with in turn.
Updates of the trial are availabe here: http://justicecm9.wordpress.com/
Please support the CM9 by attending the public gallery of Westminster Magistrates Court.