Joined the mass a bit late this month, so the route only starts from Southampton Row, but the mass took the usual starting route, Waterloo Bridge, Tunnel and up Kingsway.

A number of Police vans thought they would randomly block the mass for no apparent reason.

First instance was on Edgware Road/Praed Street. A van blocked the back half of the mass from getting through.

Second instance was at the bottom of Park Lane. Fearing another kettle people turned around and went through the park. The van had moved and was still blocking everyone. We were now in a stand off. How long would it take the Police to realise how much of a tailback they were causing? Not quite sure what the Police's intentions were. Seemed to me like the Police were severely uninformed and/or misguided. They caused even more disruption, and huge tailbacks. They had even closed off Picadilly for all traffic even after the mass had gone through.

Once Police interference had stopped the mass moved freely without any issues.

I stopped at St Pauls, chilled on Paternoster Square.

Got some drinks and headed down to the beach rave under Festival Pier, where a number of CM'ers ended up.

Alex.

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At the strat I was unnerved by the presence of a couple of blue vest

police liaison officers and asked if they had more paper for us

outlining restrictions. No, I was told - it's just going to be a

normal ride. Go out and enjoy yourselves.

However, the shadowing of the ride by the police helipcopter seemed

unusual and then the occurrence of more and more police vans.

I didn't understand the van driving onto Edgware Road to block half

the mass and there were more vans at Marble Arch (were they intending

to kettle the ride on a section of Park Lane with no turnings but

failed to shut off the escape route into Hyde Park ?).

I crossed onto the island at Hyde Park Corner and avoided being

"trapped" . It appeared as if the police had also captured the Friday

Night Skate. I think I saw several cyclists try to escape the cordon

and were robustly shepherded back inside. Then it seemed as if the

skaters were allowed out but the cyclists retained behind. Eventually

some people lifted their bikes over the railings to the island and the

trickle turned to a flood and then the police released the Mass that

went with a cheer down towards Piccadilly.

There were more concentrations of police resources at Parliament

Square but as far as I could see no action actually took place.

Still puzzled by what they were trying to do.

Timothy.

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My first ride, hope its ok to send a message to this list. I inadvertently ended up

right at the front as the ride was stopped just outside Hyde Park and was one of the

first riders to get to the police line. I thought you might like to know what was

happening. While waiting I asked a (very nice) police officer what was happening. He

said that we were being held because the ride had stretched to cover over half a

mile and was causing traffic chaos. He said they were trying to get the ride back

together as a group before letting us go again (i didn't realise that they had

already broken us up earlier). He also stated that it was purely traffic control. I

questioned this and asked him if they would be doing the same with motorised traffic

to which he didn't really have an answer, just reassurances that we were not being

detained for anything else except traffic control and that we would be allowed to

continue our protest as soon as possible. I explained that I was not protesting, but

simply out for a ride around town on a Friday night with like minded people and had

every right to use the public road without being obstructed. He was full of

apologies and said that his team were not even supposed to be there but had been

called in from somewhere else to help. He seemed genuinely sympathetic and almost

embarrassed that he was part of the line that had stopped us so I didn't press my

arguments for us to be allowed to continue. By this point other riders had started

to put their bikes over the walls and cut across the roundabout. I stated to another

(not so nice) police officer that someone was going to get injured to which she

replied that we were all stupid and would get what we deserved. This was promptly

followed by an outburst about us not having the right to hold up traffic around

London. My reply about the police van parked right in the middle of the street

holding up more traffic than the mass didn't seem to go down too well but by that

time riders and skaters had started to break through the line so I decided to join

them. I left the mass shortly after as my girlfriend was tired after peddling a

boris bike around but we had both had a good time despite the police hold up.

see you next month !!!!

Pete

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