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Police harassment at Stockholm’s Critical Mass

Ian Fiddies | 01.05.2006 08:16 | Ecology | Free Spaces | Social Struggles | World

It must have been a slow day on the crime front in Stockholm on Friday as the police didn’t seem to have anything to do other than harassing a bunch of cyclists for cycling!

Friday evening saw two Critical Mass rides in Sweden, one in Stockholm and the other in Gothenburg. Rain marred both rides but still in Stockholm a respectable 35 turned out. Close to Slussen in Stockholm the police swooped in with sirens blaring and stopped one of the riders. There followed an id-check and a short interrogation before they allowed the harassed cyclist to proceed.

The other riders continued when it became apparent that this was taking a while which didn’t seem to please the boys in blue. Shortly after another police car turned up and through their loudspeaker suggested that we used the bike path. Some of the riders obeyed the voice of oppression but the skinny strip of tarmac we cyclists are usually banished to quickly filled up forcing others to stay on the road. This didn’t seem to please the upholders of the law very much either. Their retaliation was to stop another rider outside the palace and repeat the id and short interrogation farce they’re so good at. Otherwise the ride went off in a happy and peaceful manner ending at Vasa Park.

The Gothenburg ride was less dramatic but had a great boost from a Dutch rider on a two-meter high unicycle taking the lead at the start fronting the ride up Gothenburg’s main parade and terrace café avenue.

Ian Fiddies
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