A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME,WELCOME TO ENGLAND 2012
police and cyclists near Olympic Park
More than 100 cyclists were arrested
by police close to the Olympic Stadium on the opening night of the Games.
There were scuffles between police and cyclists on the outskirts of the
Olympic Park, at about 22:30 BST.
People taking part in a monthly mass bike ride held in London said they were
"kettled" near the stadium.
The Metropolitan Police said they had made arrests for Public Order offences
but have not responded to the kettling claim.
The force said two groups had been detained - the first on Bow Flyover and
the other in Warton Road, Stratford.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "A number of people in breach of
regulations imposed on a monthly cycling event have been arrested."
In a statement, the force said the conditions on the cycle ride had been put
in place "to prevent serious disruption to the community and the opening
ceremony of the Olympic Games".
End Quote Joel Benjamin Critical
I saw several cases of the police being aggressive and
Kerry-Anne Mendoza, 31, who describes herself as a
campaigner and writer, said: "We were cycling down the Bow Road [in Stratford]
and the police directed us down a cul-de-sac.
"Then they kettled us in there. There is a line of police cars and vans
She added: "They have not communicated with us or told us why we are being
held here or when they will let us out."
The regular Critical Mass ride is a pro-cycling event.
Joel Benjamin, who has been on a number of Critical Mass bike rides
previously, said there were 400-500 cyclists who met on the south side of
"Usually there is a light police presence," he said. "Today there were far
more police than I've seen before."
He said police used a sound system to tell cyclists there were restrictions
placed on the ride but not what it meant.
"Basically, they didn't want us to go north of the river. The police had put
a roadblock stopping all traffic going north."
He said police took a "heavy-handed stance".
the scene of the arrests
"I saw several cases of the police being aggressive and physical, dragging
people off their bikes to the ground.
"I didn't see any arrests, but my friend, a solicitor was arrested.
"I left at about 8.30pm and managed to not get arrested, but I think around
100 people have been arrested.
"I guess there were people there who are against the Olympics, but Critical
Mass is really a celebration of cycling, there was no need to get so heavy
The Met Police said a number of the arrested cyclists had been removed from
the area near the Olympic Park.
The arrested cyclists have been detained under Section 12 of the