For those of us who have watched London 2012 with a keen eye from its inception, we have been alarmed by the extent to which it appeared to be just a ‘festival of social control’.
Yesterday’s heavy-handed policing of the monthly Critical Mass bike ride was a chilling confirmation of this. Cyclists who refused to cancel their monthly awareness-raising bike ride in the face of the Olympic opening spectacle were kettled, detained, attacked, arrested, herded onto commandeered London buses and sent to Suburban stations (under the watchful eye of FIT photographer Gavin Paul). At around the time of publishing this article, some are still waiting to be processed at Croydon police station after being captive on a bus all night, others have just left Charing Cross police station but with no bike and no keys. Reports are also coming in of a total lapse in the Police’s duty of care, with many people being held on the buses with entirely inadequate food provision, in direct contravention of the PACE Codes of Practice.
These attacks cannot go unnoticed. We must assert our right to our own streets even in the most dire oppression. When simply assembling in public becomes worthy of such inhuman treatment by the state, we have to fight back. Anyone who thinks that, once given all these extra resources and powers, the state is going to willingly surrender them is deluding themselves. We must make ourselves ungovernable if we have any hope of asserting our freedom.
It is with this in mind that we urge people to get down to the Counter-Olympic Network demonstration in East London today. After yesterdays show of force, just simply being present on the streets of Olympic-clampdown East London has taken on an almost insurgent form. We must show our solidarity with all those who had their liberty and personal safety compromised last night and ensure the state doesn’t get away with it again.
Solidarity is our weapon!
‘The People’s Games’ Assembles 12 noon, Saturday 28 July 2012
Mile End Park, East London (nearest tube: Mile End)