25 May 2007

Leaderless resistance is fun!

Jenny Jones, an elected Green Party politician (for those of you surfing from the USA, etc) writes on direct action diy culture.

leaderless resistance is fun!

Just think what would happen if critical mass had one person running it (they would be jail for a start).

Critical Mass is more than a coincidence of cyclists travelling in the same direction. It is a little cultural gem in London life which has its place alongside Banksy's graffiti and Brian Haw's hats. It is one of those mixed up expressions of dissent, fun and celebration which doesn't fit with the usual definitions of political protest. OK, it's also untidy and slightly chaotic at times, but London was born that way. That is why the police are having such trouble controlling the event and I suspect it also explains why they are clearly determined to try.

For over a decade cyclists have gathered near the National Theatre at Waterloo for a once a month procession through central London's congested streets, nearly always with a small and unobtrusive police escort. Sometimes during cold & wet winter evenings there are less than a hundred cyclists, sometimes in the warmth of summer there are several thousand. This evening the turn out will be huge as the appeal court judges have decided by a two to one majority that Critical Mass does come within the provisions of the Public Order Act and that gives the police their chance to nab the organisers - their only problem being that there aren't any.

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