Oct 2023

This was Haloween Mass so some riders were dressed in costumes. The mass headed east on the south side of the river, and crossed over Tower Bridge. A much faster moving group led by a “Riddler” rider, who was on an electic unicycle with others, and was lighting green smoke canisters, turned left after the Tower of London junction, bringing riders back towards the west end. About half to 60% of the Mass stayed together, waited for each other, and headed north to Homerton. The “Riddler” group reportedy later turned around and tried to join back up with the Mass, but were unsuccessful and this group dissipated in Whitechapel.

(this following account is taken from a social media report:)

“My account is this: It all started after we stopped at a location in Homerton where a cyclist had recently been killed by a motorist. We blocked traffic and had a little protest, lighting smoke bombs and distress flares. [Unfortunately some local kids put a firework on top of a bus shelter while Mass was stopped, and these fell over, hitting a house, which probably caused the residents to call the police]. About 15 minutes after we arrived, a police van turned up and moved us on, following behind us. Some minutes later, they pulled up alongside one of our speaker guys and jumped out and grabbed him. He was in a Halloween costume, and his fake plastic machete looked a bit too real, I guess, because they thought it was. While they were talking with him, other police officers tried to usher the rest of the Mass away and move us on, but we refused to leave until they released our speaker guy. During this time, 3 or 4 more police vans had turned up. After about 5 or 10 minutes, they knew they couldn’t do anything, so they released him, and we started moving off again.

I don’t think they liked the fact that it looked like we were heading towards the city center, so they began their campaign of harassment, with sirens blaring, horns honking, driving dangerously close to us, and forcing us to the left. At first, I thought they were just trying to get past to head to an emergency, which others probably thought too because we all moved over and let them pass. But after it got ahead, it would stop, maybe blocking a junction it didn’t want us going down. We would pass, and they would do it again and again and again.

After doing that a couple of times, we stopped getting out of their way and blocked them from passing the Mass. They still tried, sirens blaring, horns honking, edging closer and closer, nearly knocking people over. Up ahead, a van had managed to get ahead and blocked off the end of the road we were traveling on, with a dozen police on foot walking towards us in formation. They were trying to kettle us. Mass had spread out quite thin and long though, so there were side roads still open to us. The front of the Mass managed to double back, warn the others behind, and we all headed down a side road with smaller streets. We either lost the police here, or they gave up and went home, and we headed back towards Waterloo Bridge. This is how it looked to me. Others might have a different perspective.”