Things I thought

Saturday 28 July 2012

Cycleogical Warfare

Last night saw the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, an event which I and many thousands of others have spent the last seven years looking forward to with pre-emptive contempt. Despite this, and as part of my long running partnership with hypocrisy (Hypocrisy- For Lazy Ideologues Everywhere), I sat down with my parents to watch the much vaunted opening ceremony and, in a gloriously modern have cake/eat cake moment, simultaneously rip the shit out of it on Twitter.

It's a sign that the ceremony excelled beyond complete wank that my carefully readied arsenal of cynicism still lay largely unspent by the time the flame was finally lit. Indeed the entire event was so pleasant it even pissed off backbench Tory MPs and Toby Young, who also provided us with a chilling vision of just how shit it could have been.

However, for my fellow anarcho Twitterati and I, the social media platform provided us with an odd juxtaposition between the pomp of the ceremony and the increasingly weird and horrific stories of police brutality coming from the monthly Critical Mass event. As Isambard Kingdom Brunel sang about building Jerusalem here (planning permission pending), I was hearing the first reports that police had punched a man off his bike in order to make sure David Beckham wasn't late to the stadium. A little while later, as The Queen and James Bond parachuted out of a helicopter, someone forwarded me a video of a disabled man, who had reportedly been pepper sprayed, being beaten up by police. Finally, as hundreds of blue-lit, bewinged bikers washed into the Olympic stadium in a celebration of I'm-not-really-sure, hundreds of people who'd been celebrating actual bike riding were being arrested, loaded onto specially commandeered London buses and shipped around the capital.

Now I'd be the first to criticise the cops if I felt they'd gone too far, but on this occasion, I think Her Majesty's constabulary should be applauded for their calm and measured - nah, just kidding. This was obviously the instinctively fuckbrained powergasm of a police force that is so far out of control it isn't even in the same building. Despite what many people have reported, Critical Mass isn't a protest - it's a celebration of bike riding - one that last night met with one of the most heavy handed police responses in years, all because the people involved decided that an international celebration of sporting excellence was no reason not to go cycling.

The full details of the indignities and the injustice suffered at the hands of the cock-nippled, fuckburgling twatbastards who arrested Critical Mass have yet to come to light (there are reports that one group was held on a bus overnight without food in Croydon while others were taken to special Olympic detention centres. Those released have been given olympic bail conditions), but one thing is clear: the police let the whole country down. I'm not a patriot, let alone a nationalist, but when tens of millions of pounds have been spent on a spectacle designed to showcase the best of Britain, and that event is hijacked by a handful of violent, jumped-up thugs, then maybe it's time to cut down the tree that keeps growing bad apples. In this case, that must include the resignation of everyone involved in last night's debacle, from Gold Command on down to the people who drove the buses. Whether criminal proceedings then follow is a matter for the IPCC/an angry mob.

You may think this is hyperbole, but I'm sure those celebrating the games will agree that what happened last night is a national disgrace, and has gone a long way to ruining the hard work many thousands of people put into what should have been a joyous occasion. What's worse still is that this event will be widely reported in Russia, China, Iran and any other country we seek to lecture on human rights, reducing our standing as a nation and our ability to get things done. Even if you don't care about the olympic fucking games, or Britain's ability to throw its slender weight around on the world stage, you may still care about justice, fairness and democracy. Either way, with that in mind, a few heads rolling at the Met should be the very least we demand.

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