Pressure is mounting on the Metropolitan Police to reverse the restrictive bail conditions placed on protesters who took part in the Critical Mass bicycle ride on Friday 27 July, the night of the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
182 cyclists were held in a police kettle for two hours, handcuffed in buses for three hours, and held in police cells, some for as long as two days. A 13 year old boy was among those arrested. Police also confirmed the cyclists reports that CS gas was used during these arrests.
Out of 182 cyclists, only 3 have been charged with any offence. However, all have been handed bail conditions, imposed on them until September 18th 2012 restricting their freedom to move, assemble, associate and live their lives.
Critical Mass is a monthly bicycle ride through London which has taken place on the last Friday of every month for eighteen years.
In response to the heavy-handed tactics employed by the police during the incident, and the harsh bail conditions supporters have taken to change.org to express their concern. At the time of writing 1,896 people had signed the petition calling for the bail conditions to be dropped, and all data collected from the participants to be destroyed.
A fatal accident last night involving a cyclist and a bus carrying journalists to Olympic venues, has garnered even more support for the Critical Mass demonstrators. The death of the 28-year-old close to the Olympic Park, and the arrest of the driver on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving has highlighted the dangers for cyclists, and many believe has further called into question the police reaction to the protest on Friday.