Monday, July 30, 2012

More Olympic madness

So, in addition to not being allowed to say "Summer" or "London" for fear of the sporting mafia, and having to have surface-to-air missile batteries on top of their houses and soldiers on their streets, Londoners now can't go for a simple bike ride without being kettled, beaten, tear-gassed and detained:

Police have charged three people involved in a mass cycle procession in London during Friday's Olympic ceremony. They confirmed that a 13-year-old was among the 182 cyclists who were arrested in what is believed to be the UK's largest mass detention since last summer's riots.

Some of those arrested have told the Guardian they were kettled and detained through the night in a windowless police "garage" and single-decker buses.

The operation by the Metropolitan police was aimed at halting about 200 cyclists on the monthly Critical Mass bike ride from travelling in and around the Olympic Route Network as Danny Boyle's "Isles of Wonder" opening spectacle unfolded.

The UK police's justification for these acts is section 12 of the Public Order Act, which allows them to impose conditions on protests which threaten "serious disruption to the life of the community". But the only thing disrupting the life of the community here is the Olympics. Rather than arresting citizens going about their ordinary lives (and then banning some of them from continuing their everyday legal activities), perhaps they should be looking at the Olympic organisers and those who decided to spend billions on hosting them instead.