A “critical mass” has been happening every month in London for more than eleven years. A critical mass is a demonstration/march on bicycles, along the streets in central London, all together as a mass, in such a way that the traffic needs to accommodate to the bikes’ speed.

The police has never known too well how to stop them from happening, and for various years they chose to tolerate them while policing them. In the last years, various officers would accompany the mass on bikes too.

Now, during the last one, these policemen handed out papers where they said more or less that unless the organisers asked for permission and took responsibility for the demonstration, it would be illegal. The police also reserved the right to change the projected route at will.

No one who attends the “critical mass” is going to ask the police for permission to go on it, in accordance with its own spirit. So any one who participates next time could be potentially arrested.

For this reason, many people who wouldn’t otherwise come to a local critical mass, for example from North England, is planning to come. A lot bigger attendance than any other Friday is expected.

The fact that the police tries to suppress certain actions and with their measures they get exactly the contrary to what they intend is, apart from being ironic and amusing, a reflection of the current tendency in the general perception of the “public order” armed forces. Since childhood, we are taught (at least I was, and I do not believe I am an exception) to respect the authorities, to look up at the police as an entity that protects us from “the bad”. But for some time now, and more and more so, we are all questioning this notion. First, because “the bad” from which they protected us, the petty criminals, turned out to be no other than the disowned, the dismissed from the system – and I am not getting into this. As for the fat cat criminals, we got used to seeing them getting away – or almost – with what they did, and here came the first big challenge and disbelieving.

And now we see (some authors like David Widgery, author of “Health in Danger” saw it as early as in the 70s) that the police is used far too often as a repressive force against the active elements of society who demand a social change that favours precisely the least favoured. As if siding with the disowned, what in Christian is called “option for the poor”, meant to be one of “the bad”.

Well, there are more and more people who deliberately side with “the bad”, consciously becoming one of them, and defy the orders given by those public order armed forces with the sole objective of making invisible anyone who steps out line, to make it look like every one is happy even when they demonstrate en mass, because their complaint is so acceptable for the whole of society that they can afford to give their name and address to newspapers – sorry to the police.